Pancetta Wrapped Chicken Cutlets

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Pancetta Wrapped Chicken Cutlets

Chicken cutlets are pounded thin in this recipe with a meat mallet, filled with cooked spinach, onions, and garlic, & wrapped in pancetta and held together by toothpicks.  Fry it ’til it’s brown and then finish it in the oven.  Buy 8 small chicken cutlets or 4 breasts that are butterflied (you would cut these in half to make 8 cutlets).  Whats the difference between prosciutto and pancetta?  Prosciutto is similar to ham, is dry cured, and is eaten uncooked.  Pancetta is similar to bacon and should be cooked.

  • Author: beckie
  • Prep Time: 40 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop / Oven
  • Cuisine: International


  • 8 chicken cutlets (4 chicken breasts)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 ounces spinach
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 8 slices pancetta
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 16 toothpicks


  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Bring a large pan to medium high heat and add the oil.  When hot, add onions and cook ~ 3-4 minutes or until translucent.  Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Lower heat and add spinach.  Move around with tongs and cook for 3-4 minutes or until nearly wilted. Add parmesan, mix, and set aside.
  • Lay cutlets on a cutting board and place a piece of plastic wrap over the top.  Pound 8 chicken cutlets thin with a meat mallet (come on – get out that aggression!) and season with salt and pepper.  Lay chicken out & evenly divide the spinach mixture.
  • Roll up chicken tightly and gently wrap a piece of pancetta around each cutlet.  The pancetta may not be big enough to wrap around the whole cutlet – that’s ok – just secure it with two toothpicks.
  • Add oil to lightly coat a large pan. Sear chicken (pancetta side down) ~ 2 1/2 minutes or until brown. Flip and cook an additional 1 1/2 minutes.  Transfer to a baking pan or sheet and cook in the oven ~ 5 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F and juices run clear.
  • Rest 5 minutes before eating.  Add salt to taste.  Happy Eating!  Beckie


TIP:  Don’t want to pan fry the chicken?  Turn up the heat to 400F and bake in oven ~ 18-20 minutes, checking occasionally to see if pancetta is burning.  If it’s still not browning then broil for a couple minutes but watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.  You will also want to make sure the chicken is cooked through.


Things In My Kitchen:

  • Meat Mallet – good for getting some aggression out and also making meat paper thin if needed.
  • Toothpicks – affordable and a touch decorative.

For more kitchen items I love/use: please visit my shop page.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting my blog & love of cooking.

Keywords: Pancetta, Gluten Free, Low

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Pancetta Wrapped Chicken Cutlets

2 Replies


Can you offer any tips on how to reheat leftovers of this dish without drying out the meat?


Great question Jeanne, – If you use the microwave, try a power level of 6 or 7 for a couple minutes and cover the dish with a vented plastic lid (making sure the meat doesn’t touch the plastic). If you don’t want to use the microwave, I would still cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven at 350F ~ 10 minutes or until warm. Hope that helps. Chicken breast is difficult to warm up, especially with the pancetta.


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