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 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 chimichurri chicken cutlets 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.
How to Prepare Chicken Cutlets
A chicken cutlet is a thin slice of chicken breast. 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.
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.
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. Try to make the breasts as uniform as possible.
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.
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.
More High-Protein Meals
Here are some other high-protein, low-carb and keto meals you may enjoy:
- Philly cheesesteak skillet: Philly Cheesesteak Skillet is a high-protein, keto one-pan meal that can be made in less than 30 minutes! It's packed full of flavor with tender sirloin steak and charred veggies, including sliced bell pepper, onion and mushrooms.
- High-protein, keto salmon salad with spinach, feta & almonds: Loaded with flakey salmon, spinach, feta, and almonds, this high-protein and keto salmon salad has it all! It's big on flavor and texture and serves as a filling lunch or quick weeknight dinner.
- Harissa chicken and cauliflower sheet pan: If you love chicken with a bit of a kick, then you’ll love this harissa chicken and cauliflower sheet pan. We love the heat in the harissa marinade, but the yogurt topping (which tames the spice) takes the chicken to the next level.
- 1 pound of small to medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are roughly 8 ounces or less each (purchase cutlets or thinly sliced if you can)
- ¼ cup (8 grams) fresh parsley
- ½ tablespoon oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons exta-virgin olive oil, PLUS 1 tablespoon 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, 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.
To make the cutlets a meal, see above instructions under "Making It A High-Protein Meal."
Amount Per Serving Calories 464.6Total Fat 25.1gSaturated Fat 4.0gCholesterol 160.0mgSodium 144.0mgCarbohydrates 1.9gNet Carbohydrates 1.4gFiber 0.5gSugar 0.1gProtein 50.2g