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Chicken Saltimbocca is a classic Italian restaurant dish with chicken cutlets wrapped in prosciutto, then pan-fried with sage in an easy pan sauce. Serve it over a bed of garlicky sautéed greens and dinner’s ready in just 30 minutes!

a plate with chicken saltimbocca with prosciutto and fried sage

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Saltimbocca Recipe

  • It’s Easier Than You Think (Really). This is a dish that looks like quite the feat to pull off, but I promise it’s easy to make at home. You only need 15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cooking for chicken saltimbocca, which means dinner’s on the table in just 30 minutes (just like Chicken Milanese).
  • Big Flavors Ahead! Transform ho-hum chicken breasts into something special, courtesy of prosciutto di Parma and a delectable white wine butter sauce. Saltimbocca is Italian for “jump in the mouth,” which is an apt description, because chicken saltimbocca practically leaps off the plate with flavor!
  • Well Plated Tweaks. Obviously, I did not invent chicken saltimbocca! My goal when I share recipes like this one is to find a way to put my own spin on it. Instead of using only whole sage leaves, I added chopped sage to evenly flavor the chicken. I also dredge the chicken before adding the prosciutto instead of after, which helps it stick without toothpicks and gives you crispier ham. 
  • You’ll Feel Like You’re Eating at Your Favorite Retro Italian Restaurant. Break out the white tablecloth! Light some candles! (Make an Italian Margarita? Yes, definitely do that too.) It’s date night at home when you make this chicken saltimbocca recipe. If you love other Italian-American staples like Chicken Piccata, Chicken Marsala, and Chicken Francaise, you’ll flip for this chicken saltimbocca recipe!
a serving plate with saltimbocca chicken breasts

How to Make Chicken Saltimbocca

The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breast Cutlets. Or use chicken breasts.
  • Ground Black Pepper. Freshly ground pepper gives chicken saltimbocca a bit of a kick.
  • Fresh Sage Leaves. Mince some; set aside some whole leaves for garnish too if you like.
  • Prosciutto. For the absolute best, look for prosciutto di Parma. (Also, try this recipe’s American cousin, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast.)
  • Unsalted Butter. If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use that, but cut back on the kosher salt.
  • Dry White Wine, Vermouth, or Additional Chicken Broth. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are good choices for the wine. Some saltimbocca recipes use marsala wine instead of white wine, so that’s also an option.
  • Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth. Chicken stock absolutely works too; just note that if the stock is unsalted, you may want to add salt to taste once you’re done cooking.
  • Red Pepper Flakes. Make it as spicy (or not spicy) as you want it.

Dietary Note

To make gluten-free chicken saltimbocca, simply substitute a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour blend.

The Directions

  1. Prepare. Position a rack in the center of your oven, then preheat to 200 degrees F. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet.
breading chicken for chicken saltimbocca
  1. Season and Dredge. Pat the chicken dry first. Sprinkle with chopped sage.
prosciutto on top of chicken saltimbocca
  1. Add Prosciutto. Press a slice of prosciutto onto each chicken cutlet.
sage leaves for chicken saltimbocca
  1. Fry the Sage. This is optional but easy and DELISH.
chicken saltimbocca in a pan
  1. Cook the Chicken. Start the chicken prosciutto-side-down for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side. Keep it warm in the oven.
butter in pan for chicken saltimbocca
  1. Make the Sauce. Wine, broth, and then add the remaining butter and red pepper flakes.
  2. Finish. Plate the chicken and spoon the sauce over the top. Add the fried sage leaves, season to taste, and ENJOY!
chicken saltimbocca on a plate with a side salad

Leftover Ideas

Dice leftover chicken saltimbocca and use it as an added protein for your favorite pasta dishes. It pairs well with Lemon Pasta, Butternut Squash Pasta, and Pasta Primavera.

What to Serve with Chicken Saltimbocca

chicken saltimbocca with sauce on a serving platter

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Freeze the Chicken Before Slicing. If you’re using whole chicken breasts, you’ll need to slice them in half horizontally. To make this easier, I like to place the chicken in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, then as I cut, I place my hand on top of the chicken so I can feel if I’m making an even slice.
  • Make Sure the Cutlets Are Uniformly Thick. Look for cutlets that are 5 to 6 inches long and trim off any thin tips so the entire cutlet is roughly the same thickness and cooks evenly.
  • Heat Your Pan for Real. Yeah, we’ve all been impatient and added food to the pan after approximately 30 seconds of heating, but you really don’t want to do that here! A hot pan will make the prosciutto crisp and delicious; if it’s not heated enough, it will be flabby and sad. 
  • Don’t Walk Away from the Sage. If you’re making the crispy whole sage leaves for garnish, don’t leave the stovetop after you add them to the oil. They’ll go from crisp to burnt super fast, so you have to keep a close eye on them.
  • Use an Instant-Read Thermometer. This is the only guaranteed way to know when your chicken is perfectly cooked. Once the chicken reaches 160 degrees F, it’s done cooking; as it rests, the temperature will rise to 165 degrees F, which is safe to eat.

Chicken Saltimbocca

5 from 4 votes
Chicken saltimbocca is an Italian restaurant favorite that pairs chicken with prosciutto and sage in a white wine butter sauce. So easy!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 -6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 chicken breast cutlets or 4 medium chicken breasts, about 2 pounds (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves plus 8 (optional) fresh leaves for garnish
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto about 3 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth or additional chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions
 

  • Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 200°F. Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and set aside.
  • With paper towel, pat the chicken dry. Sprinkle both sides with salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • In a shallow dish, such as a pie plate, combine the flour and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • With tongs, lightly dredge each chicken cutlet on both sides with flour. Place on a flat work surface (I use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper). Sprinkle 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage over the top.
  • Lay a piece of prosciutto on each chicken cutlet, trimming as needed so that it fits. Lightly press the prosciutto to help it adhere.
  • In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. If you’d like to fry the 8 sage leaves for garnish (it’s easy and makes this dish next-level!), once the oil is hot and shimmering, drop in the leaves and let sizzle for 20 seconds, until the leaves crisp, change color, and smell fragrant. With a slotted spoon, remove the leaves to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve for serving.
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon butter to the skillet with the oil and let melt. Carefully lower half of the chicken cutlets into the pan, prosciutto-side down (the flour will help the ham adhere). Let cook on the first side until the chicken is light golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the otherside until the chicken is cooked through and registers 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 to 3 minutes more (the FDA directs to cook chicken to 165°F but its temperature will rise as it rests. Transfer the chicken to the wire rack on the baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • Once all of the chicken has been cooked and is in the oven staying warm, carefully pour the wine into the skillet, scraping up any bits that are stuck to the pan. Let simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth. Let simmer until it is reduced by nearlyhalf, about 4 minutes more. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and red pepper flakes. Let simmer 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  • To serve, transfer the chicken to a plate and spoon the sauce generously over the top. Top each piece with a fried sage leaf. Enjoy immediately, with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken saltimbocca in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm up leftover chicken saltimbocca in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
  • To split 4 chicken breasts into 8 cutlets: With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the chicken in half horizontally through its center so that you have 2 thinner pieces of chicken. I like to place my hand on top as I slice so I can feel whether or not I am slicing the chicken evenly. To make the chicken easier to slice, you can place it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes prior to cutting.
  • Nutritional information is calculated per cutlet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 329kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 38gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 127mgPotassium: 679mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 187IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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8 Comments

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  1. I made this last night and it was amazing! Followed the recipe as written and I will definitely make this again. I made another version of saltimbocca years ago and it was ok, but this one is soooo much better! A bit messy (dishes!) but very worth it. There are an abundance of great recipes on this site, it’s really hard to go wrong here.5 stars

  2. Absolutely delicious!! I added some lemon zest & lemon juice to the broth (off heat) then served over orzo pasta. Will definitely make again. Thank you!5 stars