Learn how to make chicken cutlets from the breast and you’ll save time when cooking.

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Spinach & Artichoke Smothered Chicken
Credit: Dera Burreson

From fried chicken to chicken noodle soup, chicken is an endlessly versatile source of protein. And one part that's full of delicious possibilities is the chicken breast. While you could enjoy the breast as is in recipes like Chicken & Broccoli Casserole or Hasselback Caprese Chicken, the chicken breast can also be transformed into a chicken cutlet with a few simple moves.

While slicing a chicken breast might seem like an extra, unnecessary step, cooking with chicken cutlets is beneficial in a few ways. First, it's a thinner cut of meat, so it'll cook quicker. Plus, a chicken cutlet will also cook more evenly than a breast. Using a chicken cutlet is beneficial in recipes like Chicken Florentine Roll-Ups or Bruschetta-Topped Crispy Baked Chicken as the chicken will cook more consistently. Learn how to slice a chicken breast to create chicken cutlets in two easy steps.

How to Cut Chicken Breast into Cutlets

1. Cut the Chicken

A hand using a knife to cut a chicken breast
Credit: Lindsey Spink

Place a boneless, skinless chicken breast on a cutting board. Hold it flat with the palm of your non-dominant hand. With a long, sharp knife, carefully slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise into two even pieces, keeping the knife blade parallel to the surface of the cutting board and using smooth, steady strokes.

2. Pound the Chicken

An Illustration of a hand using a hammer to tenderize a chicken breast
Credit: Lindsey Spinks

Place one piece between sheets of plastic wrap (buy it: Target, $5). Gently pound the chicken with a meat mallet like this one from OXO (buy it: OXO, $11) or the bottom of a heavy skillet, starting in the center and working your way to the edges, until the cutlet is an even thickness, about ¼ inch thick. Repeat with the second piece.

Once you have your chicken cutlets, the options for cooking are endless. From recipes like Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce to Jerk-Spiced Chicken with Charred Pineapple Salsa, you'll easily find a dish that utilizes chicken cutlets in a healthy and delicious way.

This article originally appeared in EatingWell Magazine, September 2021.