Chicken saltimbocca is an Italian classic made with prosciutto, cheese, sage, and an easy white wine pan sauce. It’s essentially an Italian take on chicken cordon bleu, and it’s quite lovely in an old-fashioned kind of way. It’s also on the table in 30 minutes and fancy enough for special occasions yet easy enough for every day. You can understand the appeal.

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

Our testers found this Italian chicken saltimbocca recipe was easy to make but very impressive and loved that it was “delicious enough for company.”

Jackie G. described it as “so much bigger than the sum of its parts.” Makes you want to try it, doesn’t it?

What You’ll Need to Make This

Ingredients for chicken saltimbocca--chicken, eggs, cheese, herbs, olive oil, wine, butter, and prosciutto.
  • Chicken cutlets–You can have your butcher prepare chicken cutlets for you, or you can slice a chicken breast horizontally to create two thin cutlets. You can also replace the chicken with veal, if you prefer.
  • Semolina–This is coarsely milled wheat, and is often used for making pasta. You can use coarse or fine grind semolina for coating the chicken.
  • Romano cheese–You can substitute Parmesan cheese, if you prefer a slightly milder flavor.
  • Provolone–You can substitute Gouda or Fontina cheese, if you prefer.
  • Dry white wine–Pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc are good choices for crisp, dry white wines. Avoid sweet wines, like Reisling, as they will make your pan sauce too sweet.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
  2. Combine the semolina, Romano, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Dip each chicken cutlet in the egg wash, then dredge the chicken in the semolina mixture.
  3. Fry the chicken cutlets. Melt the oil and butter in a large skillet, then arrange the chicken in a single layer and fry until golden brown on one side.
  4. Flip the chicken and top with sage, prosciutto, and provolone. Continue frying until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted. Transfer the chicken to warmed serving plates.
  5. Add wine and lemon juice to the skillet and simmer until reduced. Serve the white wine sauce with the chicken.

Common Questions

How do I pound chicken breast?

Pounding a chicken breast ensures faster, more even cooking. This is particularly helpful with breasts, which can be quite a bit thicker at one end. First, trim any fat or membranes from the breast.

You can just use a food mallet to gently pound the meat until it’s even. No meat mallet? Just slip the breast under a sheet of plastic wrap or inside a plastic bag and, again, gently pound with a rolling pin, empty wine bottle, or even a small skillet.

Can I use a different type of cured meat instead of prosciutto?

Sure. You can use other meats such as pancetta, bacon, or even thinly sliced ham. Just take care that the meat is thinly sliced and easily wraps around the chicken.

What should I serve with this?

Choose some classic Italian sides to serve with your chicken, like risotto, polenta, or pasta. Roasted asparagus would also pair nicely with the dish.

What wine pairs well with chicken saltimbocca?

If you prefer red wine, a fruity pinot noir or barbera is lovely. If white wine is more to your liking, orvieto bianco or pinot grigio are wonderful choices.

Helpful Tips

  • For a veal saltimbocca variation, replace the chicken cutlets with four veal cutlets.
  • Leftover chicken saltimbocca can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place in a 300°F oven until warmed through.

More Great Chicken Cutlet Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Made this for dinner last night! I served it with roasted asparagus and leftover white rice. It was so good!

The crunchy coating on the chicken was delicious enough, but the addition of the sage, provolone and prosciutto put it over the top. It was the most delicious thing I’ve had in awhile-and I made it!

Three chicken cutlets wrapped in prosciutto and covered in cheese in a skillet.

Chicken Saltimbocca

4.72 / 7 votes
Essentially an Italian rendition of chicken cordon bleu, chicken saltimbocca is simply cutlets, cheese, prosciutto, and a lovely pan sauce. And it's on the table in 30 minutes.
David Leite
Servings2 to 4 servings
Calories1273 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • Four (5-ounce) chicken breast cutlets, pounded to an even thinness
  • 8 tablespoons semolina
  • 4 tablespoons grated Romano
  • 1 teaspoon minced parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten in a shallow bowl
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 1/2 ounces prosciutto (4 slices)
  • 2 ounces provolone cheese (4 slices)
  • 4 ounces dry white wine
  • 3 lemon wedges


  • Pat the chicken dry. Place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper and pound it to 1/4-inch (6-mm) thickness.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the semolina, Romano, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dip it in the egg wash, turning to coat both sides. Hold it above the bowl to allow any excess to drip off and then dredge it in the semolina mixture, turning and pressing to coat each cutlet thoroughly. Place the breaded cutlets on a plate.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the breaded cutlets and cook until the underside is golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Flip the cutlets and place 3 sage leaves on top of each cutlet and top with 1 slice prosciutto and 1 slice provolone. Cook just until the underside is golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to warm serving plates.
  • Keep the pan over medium heat and carefully pour in the wine and squeeze in the juice from 1 lemon wedge. Simmer and reduce slightly until you have about 1/4 cup. Taste and, if desired, season with salt and pepper to taste. (Keep in mind the finished dish will be plenty salty from the cheese and prosciutto.)
  • Pour the sauce around the cutlets, sprinkle with parsley if desired, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.


  1. Veal saltimbocca variation–Replace the chicken cutlets with 4 veal cutlets.
  2. Storage and reheating–Leftover chicken saltimbocca can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place in a 300°F oven until warmed through.

Adapted From


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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 1273 kcalCarbohydrates: 49 gProtein: 93 gFat: 72 gSaturated Fat: 32 gMonounsaturated Fat: 28 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 571 mgSodium: 945 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2016 Joanie Corneil. Photo © 2016 Eve Edelheit. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This saltimbocca dish was quick and easy to make.

The payoff was great! The end result was so much bigger than the sum of its parts. It’d really impress company. It was equally impressive for just the two of us.

I’ve never used semolina to make breading for meat. Mixed with the grated Romano, parsley, salt, and pepper, it made for a very unusual coating.

I didn’t add any salt or pepper to the sauce. I tasted it and didn’t feel that it was needed. I used Sauvignon Blanc for my wine.

An added bonus was that we each ate only one cutlet the night that I made them, which left two for leftovers the next night. This would have fed four, along with the grilled squash, artichoke hearts, and a puree of fava beans we had on the side.

“Italian chicken cordon bleu!” my husband exclaimed as he eyed his dinner.

This chicken saltimbocca is a pretty and tasty twist on fancy stuffed chicken breasts.

Bread thin chicken cutlets—I used slightly smaller cutlets than the recipe specified because that was how the cutlets were packaged—and cook till golden on one side, flip, stack, and melt.

And then, a hit of wine goes into the pan to make a tangy and intensely flavored sauce. (My wine was a very light and very dry rose. It worked fine.)

A squeeze of bright lemon on top and a sprinkle of parsley, and you won’t know whether to take a picture or a bite. This served 2 generously, although it could have served 3 with heftier sides (and less greedy eaters).

This chicken saltimbocca is quick enough to throw together for a weeknight and elegant and delicious enough for company. There’s so much flavor from the sauce, prosciutto, and cheese here that there’s no reason for chicken to be boring again!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hello,
    I initially thought you were using deli provolone but from the your luscious photo it appears it might be slices from wedge of Auricchio or similar provolone. Which type have you tested? Thank you.

    1. Den, our testers used an already sliced provolone, but you could certainly use another favorite. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out.

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you, Angie! I made this last night and it turned out terrific, even without the cheese! Delicious!
        You all are the best!

  2. 5 stars
    Omg! Made this for dinner last nite! Served with roasted asparagus and leftover white rice! It was so good! The crunchy coating on the chicken was delicious enough, but the addition of the sage, provolone and prosciutto put it over the top! It was the most delicious thing I’ve had in awhile-and I made it! Yum!

    1. Carol, we are so delighted to hear you enjoyed it! We agree—the seemingly simple chicken dish’s got so much going on. Thanks for writing to us!