Create a gourmet meal at home with this easy Veal Scallopini recipe. Thin slices of veal are lightly coated with flour and then quickly sauteed to perfection. Adding lemons and mushrooms creates an extra layer of flavor. The step-by-step instructions and helpful tips will make it easy to recreate one of the best Italian veal dishes.
Some of the most popular Italian veal scallopini dishes start with this simple recipe.
It is delicious and a great jumping-off point for making veal marsala, piccata, or saltimbocca.
It all starts with the best-quality veal to get the best results, and more importantly, it needs to be sliced and pounded correctly.
Before getting into those details, let’s define what scallopini is.
What does scallopini mean?
The term “scallopini” (sometimes spelled as scaloppini) comes from the Italian word “scaloppine.” It is a culinary term that refers to any dish made with thinly sliced boneless meat pounded to an even thickness.
The meat can be veal, chicken, turkey, pork, or beef, typically dredged in flour before being sautéed in butter and/or oil until golden brown. Serve this dish plain or with a sauce from cooking juices, wine, stock, lemon juice, capers, or other flavorings.
Let’s prep our recipe
This recipe has few ingredients but moves quickly, so ideally, you will want to prep all of them in advance.
Prep the veal slices: For this recipe, you will need approximately 1 pound. When purchasing from the butcher, request that the meat is from the top round, which is the upper portion of the leg.
Place the veal cutlets on a sturdy surface between two pieces of parchment or wax paper. Allow enough room between the slices for the meat to expand.
Use a meat mallet (or the flat side of a heavy saucepan or rolling pin) to gently pound the veal slices to an even thickness of about ⅛ – ¼ of an inch.
Start pounding from the center of the meat and work your way outward, being careful not to pound too hard, or you may tear the meat. You want to hit it straight down and then slide it outwards, stretching it in one continuous motion.
Pound the meat in all directions until it is an even thickness all the way through.
Prep the mushrooms: Please note that adding mushrooms is optional. If using, quarter about 6 ounces, which is about 2 cups.
How to make veal scallopini
Now that our veal slices are thin and ready to go, it’s time to start making this delicious scallopini recipe.
Whisk together ¼ cup flour all-purpose, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl or plate. Alternatively, you can season the individual veal slices with salt and pepper before dredging them in the flour.
Pat each veal slice dry with a paper towel and dredge into the flour mixture until lightly coated on both sides. Shake off any excess flour and set aside in a single layer on a plate. Note: Only dredge enough pieces to fit in the pan to cook at a time so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet or pan and turn the heat to medium-high.
Swirl the pan and add the flour-coated veal slices without overlapping when the butter sizzles. Work in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan.
Brown them for 45-60 seconds per side until golden brown.
Transfer to a warming plate.
Repeat with the rest of the veal. (If your pan is large enough, you can cook them all at the same time.)
Add ⅓ cup of white wine off the heat and scrape the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon to loosen the brown bits.
Return pan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (or the juice of half a lemon), bring to a simmer, and whisk until slightly thickened. This should take just a few minutes.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan and saute the quartered mushrooms over medium-high heat until golden. Season to taste.
Add the reserved wine/lemon sauce to the mushroom and heat for 30 seconds.
Pour over the veal. Garnish with chopped parsley, serve immediately, and enjoy.
- Instead of wax or parchment paper, use the plastic bag in cereal boxes to sandwich your veal slices when pounding them, as they remain intact even when hit with a mallet.
- Replace the veal with thin slices of chicken, turkey or pork.
- The use of Italian parsley as a garnish is a must in this recipe. It provides a refreshing flavor that complements the veal perfectly.
- Serve veal scallopini as soon as it is ready.
Pounding the veal cutlets helps to tenderize the meat and create a uniform thickness, ensuring even cooking. It also helps the meat cook more quickly.
Your veal scallopini might have come out tough for a couple of reasons. First, it may not have been pounded thin enough before cooking. Pounding the meat helps to tenderize and reduce the cooking time. Another reason could be that you overcooked the veal. Veal scallopini should not be cooked for more than one minute per side. Finally, if you used a too-small pan for the amount of meat being cooked, the pieces may be overcrowded, leading to tough results.
Coat the veal with flour just before sauteeing it to achieve a crisp surface. If the flour is in contact with the veal for an extended period, the surface will get soggy, and it will be difficult to achieve a golden brown crispy surface.
Let the veal cool to room temperature before storing it. Transfer the veal to an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Store the veal in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze it for 2-3 months.
What to serve with veal scallopini
The best side dishes for veal scallopini balance flavors and textures. Creamy polenta, spinach risotto, or plain noodles are all great accompaniments. Glazed carrots, air fryer eggplant, or roasted cauliflower all pair perfectly with this dish!
The key is to choose side dishes that complement the tender flavor of the veal without overwhelming it.
My mom often used this simple method of cooking thin cuts of meat, whether veal, chicken, beef or pork. More often than not, it was prepared pizzaiolo. This Italian-style veal scallopini recipe is a classic!
As a butcher, my dad always ensured that the cuts were cut and pounded to perfection. As for my mom, she was the one in charge of giving the delicate slices their final touch – an Italian veal scallopini recipe that was always perfectly done.
I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does.
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community, where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this Italian veal dish, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Best Lemon Veal Scallopini Recipe with Mushrooms
- 1 pound veal slices
- ¼ cup flour all-purpose
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil separated
- 2 tablespoons butter separated
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 cups mushrooms quartered (about 6 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley chopped finely
- Pound veal slices to approximately ⅛ of an inch.
- Whisk together the flour, salt and pepper on a large plate.
- Pat each veal slice dry with a paper towel and dredge into the flour mixture until lightly coated on both sides. Shake off any excess flour and set aside in a single layer on a plate. Note: Only dredge enough pieces to fit in the pan to cook at a time so you don't overcrowd the pan.
- Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet or pan and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Swirl the pan and add the flour-coated veal slices without overlapping when the butter sizzles. Work in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan.
- Cook veal (in batches) very quickly in a hot pan for approximately 45-60 seconds per side or until golden brown. Transfer to a warming dish and transfer to a warm oven.
- Repeat with the rest of the veal. (If your pan is large enough, you can cook them all at the same time.)
- Off heat, add the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon to loosen the brown bits.
- Return pan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (or the juice of half a lemon), bring to a simmer, and whisk until slightly thickened. This should take just a few minutes.
- Remove sauce from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté the quartered mushrooms over medium-high heat until golden. Season to taste.
- Add reserved wine/lemon sauce to the mushrooms and heat for 30 seconds.
- Pour over veal slices.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, serve immediately, and enjoy.
This post was originally published on February 28, 2015, and republished on February 23, 2023, with updated content and photos. Thanks for sharing!