Best Veal Scallopini Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
When you need something on the table—fast!—veal scallopini to the rescue. A quick sauté and you have a thin cut of meat in a delicious sauce all ready to go.

Updated: May 23, 2024

Veal scallopini is a lightning-fast way to get an impressive, protein-packed dinner on the table. One of our favorite Italian recipes, this dish features thin cuts of veal—the word “scallopini” refers to a thin “scallop” of meat, also known as “escalope” in French cooking—lightly floured and cooked within minutes in a hot pan. It’s usually served with a buttery pan sauce, sometimes with mushrooms, as in our recipe, or with capers or tomatoes. It’s dynamite with a side of noodles, rice or potatoes.

If you’re a fan of German wiener schnitzel, veal piccata or even American chicken-fried steak, this is you’re kind of recipe. Schnitzel, also made from veal cutlets, uses breadcrumbs and flour in the coating. Veal piccata, another close cousin, comes swathed in a lemon-butter sauce. Any of these can also be made with thin cuts of pork or chicken instead of veal.

When looking to buy veal, you’re more apt to find cutlets in butcher shops or specialty markets. Look for meat that’s pale pink in color with a smooth texture. Because veal cutlets cook up fast but stay tender and juicy, veal scallopini is an ideal dish to prepare on the fly for guests or any weeknight meal.

Ingredients for Veal Scallopini

  • Veal cutlets: A cutlet is a thin, boneless cut of meat. Veal comes from young milk-fed cows and is more tender than beef from older cows. If you can only find thicker veal cutlets, it’s ok: You pound them out so they cook more evenly.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour here, or in a pinch, cornstarch works. Gluten-free and other types of flour could work, too.
  • Seasoning: The recipe calls for the classic pairing of salt and pepper. Choose kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper if you can.
  • Butter and olive oil: Using a combination of fats, in this case butter and olive oil, you add lots of flavor. Butter will brown at higher temperatures, and adding the olive oil helps prevent that. Using both allows the meat to brown more quickly.
  • Mushrooms: Any button mushroom will do, white or crimini, pre-sliced or ones you cut yourself. Here’s how to clean mushrooms if they’re particularly dirty.
  • Chicken broth: You need chicken broth for the sauce. Homemade chicken broth is great if you have it. If not, use your favorite brand or one of our Test Kitchen’s picks for the best chicken broth brands.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the veal

overhead shot; white wooden background; In a shallow dish; combine flour, salt and pepper; Add cutlets; turn to coat; with tong;TMB Studio

Flatten veal cutlets to 1/8-inch thickness. In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add the cutlets and turn to coat, shaking off any excess flour as you go.

Editor’s Tip: To flatten the cutlets, you can use a meat pounder like the one shown in the video or the bottom of a heavy pan. A few satisfying bashes with a rolling pin will do the trick, too.

Step 2: Cook the veal

overhead shot; white wooden background; In a skillet cooking veal cutlet;TMB Studio

In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter and oil over medium heat. Add the veal cutlets, and cook until juices run clear, about one minute on each side. Remove from the pan, set aside and keep warm.

Step 2: Cook the mushrooms

overhead shot; white wooden background; Add mushrooms to skillet;TMB Studio

To the skillet, add the mushrooms, and cook and stir until tender, two to three minutes. Spoon the mushrooms over veal.

Editor’s Tip: The less you stir mushrooms around, the browner they get. Resist the urge to stir constantly, and you’ll see (and taste) the difference that letting them cook makes.

Step 3: Make the sauce

overhead shot; white wooden background; veal and mushrooms served on two green plates; over kitchen napkin; with silver knife and fork;TMB Studio

Next, add the broth into the skillet, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Add parsley and remaining butter, and cook and stir until slightly thickened, one to two minutes longer. Pour the sauce over the veal and mushrooms.

Veal Scallopini Served on a Green Ceramic Plate with a ForkTMB Studio

Editor’s Tip: Use a flat-edged wooden spatula, one of our favorite minimalist kitchen tools, to get the browned bits up from your pan without scratching it.

Recipe Variations

  • Try different cuts of meat: Thin cuts of chicken, pork or turkey are fine to use in place of veal for this scallopini recipe. Or try a large portobello mushroom for a veg option!
  • Add capers: Consider adding capers instead of mushrooms. So if you make veal scallopini with capers and lemon, you’re making veal piccata.
  • Add some wine: Add a splash of white wine or Maderia to the sauce as it cooks for additional flavor.
  • Try different herbs: Add chopped fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, parsley or, if you can find it, winter savory.

How to Store Veal Scallopini

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the cooked veal scallopini for up to three months.

Veal Scallopini Tips

Veal Scallopini Served on a Green Ceramic Plate with a ForkTMB Studio

Do you need to pound the meat for veal scallopini?

By definition, this is a dish made with a thin cut of meat. It cooks rapidly and absorbs flavors without a lot of prep work. If you don’t want to pound, you can ask your butcher to do it for you.

How do you cook veal so it’s tender?

Veal is very tender to start with. Cooking it quickly is the key to making sure it doesn’t get tough. It may be a bit tricky to check the internal temperature, but if you can, the USDA recommends cooking veal to an internal temperature of 165°F. This will ensure it isn’t overcooked.

What do you serve with veal scallopini?

The side-dish options are endless for veal scallopini. Buttered noodles are the go-to in my home, but you can serve it with mashed potatoes, steamed baby potatoes, roasted turnips or polenta. Excellent vegetable choices include broccolini, asparagus, simply dressed cherry tomato salad and haricot vert.

Watch how to Make Best Veal Scallopini

Best Veal Scallopini

Prep Time 25 min
Yield 2 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 veal cutlets (about 4 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Flatten veal cutlets to 1/8-in. thickness. In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add cutlets; turn to coat. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter and oil over medium heat. Add veal; cook until juices run clear, about 1 minute on each side. Remove and keep warm.
  2. Add mushrooms to skillet; cook and stir until tender, 2-3 minutes. Spoon over veal. Stir broth into skillet, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Add parsley and remaining butter; cook and stir until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes longer. Pour over veal and mushrooms.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 435 calories, 35g fat (16g saturated fat), 120mg cholesterol, 941mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 21g protein.