Crispy Baked Veal Parmesan Recipe

Just the name "parmigiana" evokes images of Italy. According to The New York Times, its origins are a bit mysterious, although this famous dish does seem to hail from southern Italy. Parmigiana was always eggplant back then, but when Italian immigrants landed on America's shores, Italian cooks started breading and frying veal and chicken, overloading it with gobs of mozzarella, and plopping it on top of an enormous plate of pasta. Stephanie Rapone is a busy working mom, and in her blog, Pantry to Plate, she streamlines her recipes that cut preparation time but don't sacrifice the flavor. Rapone's recipe for veal parmesan simplifies what could be a labor-intensive dish and adds her own unique twist to how it's battered, which results in an incredibly crispy crust. 

Traditionally, veal parmesan is fried in oil, but Rapone eliminates the oil, and bakes the veal in a very hot oven, which substantially lowers the gut-busting calorie intake of the original dish and helps the cutlets achieve an amazing crunch. "My husband didn't think this one was possible!" she tells us. "To have crispy veal parm you have to pan fry it, right? Nope. This recipe actually works. It's crispy and delicious, a lot less messy, and healthier!" she raves. So if you're hungering for some comfort food that's easy to make, get your ingredients together for this simple veal parmesan recipe.

Gather the ingredients

You obviously can't make veal parmesan without the veal, and Rapone recommends buying veal scaloppini cutlets, which have already been thinly sliced and pounded to ¼-inch thick pieces. If your grocery doesn't have scaloppini, buy regular veal cutlets and pound them yourself. (Put each cutlet between two sheets of plastic wrap, and using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, gently pound the veal to ¼-inch thickness.) You'll have most of the other ingredients in your spice rack or pantry, and you can buy Parmesan cheese and sliced mozzarella anywhere. The unexpected secret ingredient in Rapone's recipe is corn flakes, which burnishes the crackling exterior a deep golden-brown. The ingredients also includes canned crushed tomatoes. You can use regular crushed tomatoes, but if your supermarket carries the San Marzano tomatoes, use those. They have a more intense tomato taste than regular or plum tomatoes.

Make the coating for the baked veal parmesan

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll be setting up a dipping station to make the breading, so have three small casserole dishes or pie plates at hand. In the first, beat the eggs so they're well-blended. In the second casserole or pie plate, combine the all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Put the cornflakes in a zip-top plastic bag, and mash them to crumbs. Pour the cornflake crumbs into the third casserole or pie plate, and whisk them together with the panko bread crumbs, ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, and 1½ teaspoons of garlic powder (not garlic salt!).

Crumb the veal and prep it for the oven

Depending on the size of your baking sheet pans, you may need two to hold all of the breaded veal in a single layer. Prepare the baking sheet by spraying it with nonstick spray. Season the veal cutlets with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and the remaining ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Arrange your dipping station so the first casserole or plate is the seasoned flour, followed by the beaten egg, and finally the cornflake mixture. Dip a veal cutlet in the flour, covering both sides, and shake off the excess. Using your opposite hand, dip the floured cutlet into the egg, and finally, dredge the cutlet into the cornflake mixture, pressing the crumbs lightly to adhere them to the veal. Lay the cutlet on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the dipping process with the remaining veal pieces, and lay them on the sheet, taking care that their edges don't touch. Spray the tops of the veal with cooking spray, then bake the veal for 10 minutes, until they're golden brown. Don't worry that the veal cutlets aren't fully cooked; they'll finish cooking later when they're layered with sauce and cheese.

Bake the veal and make the tomato sauce

While the veal is baking, you can make Rapone's easy fresh tomato sauce. Add the can of crushed tomatoes to a medium saucepan along with the remaining 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, the remaining 1 teaspoon of dried basil, the last ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, the sugar, and the onion powder. Stir everything together and heat the saucepan over medium-low heat. Keep stirring every few minutes so the bottom of the saucepan doesn't burn. When the sauce is bubbling, reduce the heat to low, and cover the saucepan with a lid.

Prepare the casserole dish, and layer the veal inside

Spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray, then spoon about a ½ cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the dish. Spread the tomato sauce evenly with an offset spatula or wooden spoon. It's the same method used for baked lasagna, and according to The Whole Portion, this layer will help prevent the veal parmesan from sticking. But it also bathes the veal in that delicious sauce. When the veal is golden brown, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the veal in the casserole dish, slightly overlapping each slice. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan over the veal, then spoon the sauce over the veal. Rapone recommends keeping the sauce in the middle so the edges of the veal cutlets get crispy when baked. She also likes to reserve some sauce for serving.

Top with mozzarella, broil, and serve the baked veal parmesan

Layer the sliced mozzarella over the top of the sauced veal, cover with foil, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil from the casserole, and turn on the broiler. Broil the veal parmesan for 2 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Watch it carefully because the cheese can quickly burn. Take the casserole out of the oven, and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. While the veal is resting, finely chop or chiffonade a handful of fresh basil, and sprinkle it on top of the veal parmesan. The basil is optional, but it will add wonderful flavor and aroma to the finished dish. If you've reserved some tomato sauce, spoon a little over each serving. There you have it, a classic Italian-American meal your family will love! And like most casseroles, this veal parmesan makes fantastic, even tastier, leftovers.

Crispy Baked Veal Parmesan Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
Skip the deep fry and bake your way to crispy veal parm in under an hour! This tasty meal will soon become a weeknight staple in your house.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
6
Servings
baked veal parmesan
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 - 1½ pounds thinly sliced veal cutlets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup cornflakes
  • 1½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, divided
  • 2½ teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed Italian or San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 slices mozzarella cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • Fresh basil for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The veal cutlets should be ¼-inch thick. If not, then gently pound the veal.
  2. Beat 2 eggs in a small casserole dish or pie pan and set aside. In a separate small casserole dish or pie pan, combine the flour, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
  3. Place the cornflakes in a zip-top bag, and mash them to crumbs. In a third dish, combine the cornflake crumbs, panko bread crumbs, ½ cup of grated Parmesan, 1 teaspoon dried of basil, and 1½ teaspoons of garlic powder.
  4. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. You may need a second one, depending on the size of your baking sheet and your veal cutlets. They should fit in a single layer without touching.
  5. Season the veal on both sides using a total of 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Dip each veal cutlet in the flour, and shake off the excess. Then dip the veal in the egg, and finally dredge it through the crumb mix, pressing the crumbs to adhere. Place the breaded veal on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the top of the veal with cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 10 min, until the outside is golden brown. Don't worry about internal temperature or doneness; it will finish cooking later in the process.
  7. While the veal is baking, combine the can of tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, the sugar, and the onion powder in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes, so the bottom doesn't burn, until bubbling. Reduce to low, and cover with a lid while you finish the meal.
  8. Spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spoon about ½ cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the dish, and spread it to an even layer.
  9. When the veal is golden brown, remove the baking sheet from the oven, and lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Place the veal in the baking dish. You may need to overlap slightly. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese over the veal.
  11. Spoon sauce over the veal. If you want crispy edges, just put the sauce over the middle, and reserve extra for serving.
  12. Layer the sliced mozzarella over the veal. Cover with foil, and put the casserole dish in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the foil, and turn on the broiler. Place the casserole under the broiler, and broil for 2-4 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Keep an eye on it because the cheese can burn.
  13. Let the veal parmesan rest for 5 to10 minutes before serving.
  14. Finely chop or chiffonade the fresh basil, if using, and sprinkle it on top of the veal parmesan. Serve with extra sauce, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 498
Total Fat 20.5 g
Saturated Fat 10.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 168.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.1 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Total Sugars 5.7 g
Sodium 770.7 mg
Protein 38.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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