Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

June 27, 2018 By Cathy — No Comments
Tender pork chops coated with a crispy parmesan panko crust are nestled on a bed of arugula and tomatoes in this simple and satisfying weeknight meal.

Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

Do you have a dish or two that you never tire of, if it’s on the menu you always want to order it and if you don’t (because you’re trying so hard not to be boring and predictable) you regret it the minute the food is served? Or that dish that your family requests again and again and again and happily eats in silent bliss even though they’ve had it the week before and the week before that?

Well, this is the marriage of both of those dishes for me…my Italian restaurant go-to meets my family’s number one. Say hello to my version of Pork Milanese.

So what does Milanese mean?

Basically (btw this is the way my son starts every sentence lately!?) Milanese refers to a meat (usually chicken, veal or pork) coated with flour and/or bread crumbs and browned in hot oil or butter. The meat is usually pounded thin and often served with a squeeze of lemon and a simple salad alongside.

Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes


Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

If I see pork or veal Milanese on the menu I’m probably going to order it and if not, I’ll spend the rest of the meal kicking myself. I love the simplicity of the tender meat and crunchy crust, especially if paired with a bright and simple salad of peppery greens and juicy tomatoes. But man oh man, I’ve also had Milanese gone wrong, usually the result of overcooking the protein and making it tough and chewy.

Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

So, how do we achieve a tender, juicy pork chop?

Well, I have a little ace up my sleeve today and it’s inspired by my family’s most requested, hands down favorite…easy breaded chicken breasts (aka Max’s chicken). The secret is buttermilk. That’s right, I’ve blown off years of standard breading procedure training (flour/egg/breadcrumbs) in favor of a buttermilk marinade and then straight to the breadcrumbs. The buttermilk marinade not only makes these crazy delicious, it also acts as a tenderizer giving you a little extra wiggle room when you’re frying them up in the pan. A few hours in the marinade is enough, but if you’re a planner, overnight is even better.

Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

Tips for perfect Pork Milanse

  1. Take the time to pound these suckers somewhere between 1/2 inch and 1/4 thick. Pounding them thin assures that they cook quickly and evenly and it also helps to tenderize the meat by breaking down the connective tissues.
  2. Okay, so you’ve marinated, pounded and breaded. The hard work is behind you. Now the key is to get the oil very hot and carefully lay the breaded chops in the pan. Keep an eye on your flame. You’re looking for hot enough that these turn golden brown and cook quickly, but not so hot that they burn. Adjust the flame as necessary…depending on their thickness it should only take between 2-4 mins per side.
  3. Give these a quick drain after they cook on either a paper towel-lined plate or on a cooling rack. No one wants a pool of oil on their plate.
  4. SEASON. A sprinkle of salt goes a long way to enhancing the flavor.

So good, so quick, so simple. Serve with lightly dressed greens and tomatoes and you have dinner on the table in minutes, not hours. This is a weeknight dinner done right. And don’t be surprised when your family requests begs for these every week!

Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

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Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes
Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Tender pork chops coated with a crispy parmesan panko crust are nestled on a bed of arugula and tomatoes in this simple and satisfying weeknight meal.

Course: Main Dish, Quick Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pork milanese
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 588 kcal
  • 4 boneless pork chops, about 2 lbs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning, dried
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Place a pork chop in a large ziplock plastic bag and close. Lay the enclosed pork chop on a cutting board and pound until 1/2-1/4 inch thickness with a mallet. Repeat with remaining chops.

  2. Whisk together the buttermilk, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the pounded pork chops and turn to coat. Cover tightly or place everything in a large ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.

  3. Toss the panko and parmesan cheese together in a shallow baking dish. Remove a pork chop from the marinade and shake lightly. Dredge in panko mixture until coated. Turn and coat the other side. Lay on a plate and repeat with the remaining chops.

  4. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium high heat until very hot but not smoking. Place the pork chops in the pan (you will probably need to do this in two batches), being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 2-4 mins and flip and finish cooking on the other side, about 2-4 mins more. Season each side with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Place the chops on a paper-towel lined plate or cooling rack to drain. Repeat with remaining chops.

  6. Place the arugula and tomatoes in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Serve the arugula salad on top or alongside the chops with a lemon wedge.

Recipe Notes

I prefer thick cut, center cut, boneless pork chops pounded thin.

Nutrition Facts
Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 588 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 42%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 117mg 39%
Sodium 1256mg 52%
Potassium 1108mg 32%
Total Carbohydrates 43g 14%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 12g
Protein 45g 90%
Vitamin A 24.1%
Vitamin C 83.1%
Calcium 45.9%
Iron 20.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

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Filed Under: Main Dishes, Recipe


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