In just a little over 20 minutes, you can make high-protein, keto chimichurri chicken cutlets, which are deliciously tender and moist with a vibrant garlic-herb sauce.
Winner, winner weeknight chicken dinner! In this recipe, chicken cutlets (thinly sliced chicken breasts) are pounded thin and quickly sautéed to sear the exterior and keep the inside tender and moist. This method is one of quickest ways to cook chicken breasts. But, more importantly, it allows the chicken to cook evenly and produces tender, moist chicken, which can be difficult to do with boneless, skinless chicken breasts!
The chicken cutlets are served with a homemade chimichurri sauce, made with fresh parsley, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and a few other seasonings. The sauce takes less than five minutes to make and packs a ton of flavor with just seven ingredients.
Another benefit: this dish is full of clean, anti-inflammatory ingredients like parsley, oregano, extra-virgin olive oil and garlic. It's also high in protein (thanks to lean chicken breasts), healthy fats, and vitamins A, C and E. It's one healthy and nutritious dinner!
To make the cutlets into a high-protein, keto dinner, you can use the leftover chimichurri as a dressing on a simple spring mix salad (as seen in the picture), or you can serve the chimichurri over roasted broccoli. Both options are high in protein and keto friendly. See "Making It A High-Protein Meal" for more instructions.
Each serving of the keto chicken cutlets with chimichurri sauce is 1.4 net carbs and 43 percent protein.
What is Chimichurri?
Green chimichurri is an herbed sauce that originates from Argentina and Uruguay. It's typically made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano and garlic. Chimichurri can be used as a condiment or a sauce and is traditionally served with grilled meats like steak. However, it also can be served with seafood and vegetables. It's a versatile condiment that's full of garlic and herby flavor.
Just 8 ingredients in this easy keto chicken with chimichurri sauce. A few notes on key ingredients:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: Sometimes you can buy chicken cutlets or thinly sliced chicken breasts at the store. But, if you can't, simply buy small to medium-size chicken breasts (no more than 8 ounces each), which you can then slice at home.
Whenever you're buying chicken, be sure to buy free-range chicken that is antibiotic-free and hormone-free. Also, look for air-chilled chicken, which means that after slaughtering, it was cooled in the open air as opposed to cold water. Air-chilled chicken retains more flavor than chicken that's been cooled in water.
Parsley: You must use fresh parsley for the chimichurri. Even if you're not a parsley fan, you'll likely love chimichurri sauce!
Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is another must for chimichurri.
How to Make
STEP 1 - MAKE CHIMICHURRI: In a food processor, pulse parsley, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in a food processor until roughly pureed. Season with salt and pepper.
STEP 2 - SLICE INTO CHICKEN CUTLETS: To slice the chicken breasts into cutlets, place your hand (laid flat) on top of a whole breast and cut through the middle (parallel to the cutting board) until you have two thin slices of chicken. Repeat this process for each whole chicken breast. Chicken cutting hack: if you place the chicken in the freezer for 20 minutes before cutting, it will slice much easier.
STEP 3 - POUND CUTLETS: After slicing, you'll pound the cutlets (either store-bought or sliced at home) with a mallet (rolling pin or heavy skillet will work as well) until about ¼-inch thick. Before pounding, we recommend placing a piece of wax or parchment paper over the chicken to protect it. Try to make the breasts as uniform as possible. When done, generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
STEP 4 - COOK CHICKEN: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add chicken and cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side, and registers 165 degrees on thermometer. Remove from pan and plate. Drizzle chimichurri over chicken cutlets and serve immediately.
Making it a High-Protein Meal
It's easy to make these chimichurri chicken cutlets into a high-protein, keto-friendly meal.
The easiest option is to make a simple, spring mix salad with the leftover chimichurri sauce. To do so, you'll mix the leftover chimichurri with four ounces of organic, spring mix greens. Since the chicken recipe serves two people, each serving of salad will be two ounces. If this is done, the meal contains 2.7 net carbs and 43 percent protein per serving.
Or, you could serve the leftover chimichurri with roasted broccoli. To do so, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. You'll place two cups of broccoli florets (roughly 9 ounces) on a baking sheet and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper and spread the florets about the pan. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender and browned on the edges. Since the chicken recipe serves two people, each serving of broccoli will be about a cup (roughly 4 ½ ounces). When done, this meal contains 6.3 net carbs and 38 percent protein per serving.
Benefits of a High Protein Meal
We love high-protein meals since they help keep you full for longer periods of time, making it less likely for you to overeat or snack between meals. Furthermore, protein is important in maintaining and increasing muscle mass. You can read more about the benefits of high-protein meals at healthline.com.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag @lowcarbsimplified on your photo of this recipe on Instagram or Facebook. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Chimichurri Chicken Cutlets (High-Protein / Keto)
- 1 pound small to medium boneless skinless chicken breasts (roughly 8 ounces each, purchase cutlets or thinly slice if you can)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley (¼ cup of fresh parsely is 8 grams by weight)
- ½ tablespoon oregano
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for Chimichurri sauce)
- 1 tablespoon California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for cooking chicken)
- Salt and pepper to season
- Make chimichurri sauce: Pulse parsley, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in a food processor. Pulse until roughly pureed. Season with salt and pepper.
- Prepare chicken: To cut chicken into cutlets (if not purchased as cutlets), firmly lay hand flat on top of chicken breast and cut through middle (parallel to cutting board) until you have two thin slices of chicken. Repeat process for each whole chicken breast. (For easier slicing, you may place chicken in the freezer for 20 minutes.) Next, place a piece of parchment or wax paper on top of chicken and pound cutlets with a mallet (rolling pin or heavy skillet will work as well) until about ¼-inch thick. Try to make breasts as uniform as possible. When done, generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Cook and serve: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add chicken and cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side, and registers 165 degrees on thermometer. Remove from pan and plate. Drizzle chimichurri over chicken cutlets and serve immediately.