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Cotoletta alla milanese with potatoes

Cotoletta (Italian pronunciation: [kotoˈletta]; from French côtelette[1] meaning "little rib", because of the rib that remains attached to the meat during and after cooking) is an Italian word for a veal breaded cutlet.

The dish is of Austrian origins. The Wiener schnitzel, created in Vienna, was brought to Milan when the city was part of the Austrian empire.[2]

There are several variations, in Italy as well as in other countries, due to Italian diaspora.



Vitello alla milanese with a side of risotto alla milanese

Cotoletta alla milanese ([milaˈneːze] after its place of origin, Milan) is a fried veal breaded cutlet similar to Wiener Schnitzel, but cooked with the bone in. It is traditionally fried in clarified butter. Due to its shape, it is often called oreggia d'elefant in Milanese or orecchia d'elefante in Italian, meaning elephant's ear.[3]


Cotoletta alla bolognese ([boloɲˈɲeːze] after its place of origin, Bologna) is similar to a milanese, but melted parmesan cheese and pieces of prosciutto are put overtop of the fried veal cutlet.[4]


Cotoletta alla palermitana ([palermiˈtaːna] after its place of origin, Palermo) is similar to a milanese, but the veal is brushed with olive oil, and then baked or grilled instead of being fried. The breadcrumb is often mixed with parsley and pecorino cheese, and unlike the milanese cutlet, the palermitana cutlet does not have eggs in its breading.[5]

Argentina and Uruguay[edit]


Various breaded meat dishes prepared in Argentina were inspired by the cotoletta alla milanese and are known as milanesa. In Argentina and Uruguay, milanesa a la napolitana is made similar to the cotoletta with a preparation of cheese and tomato.[6]

United States[edit]

Veal parmigiana is an Italian-American hybrid of cotoletta and the traditional Italian dish parmigiana di melanzane, consisting of a fried veal cutlet but prepared in a similar way to parmigiana di melanzane, substituting the eggplant for veal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "cotoletta: definizioni, etimologia e citazioni nel Vocabolario Treccani". Retrieved 2023-05-19.
  2. ^ Kostioukovitch, Elena (2009-10-13). Why Italians Love to Talk About Food: A Journey Through Italy's Great Regional Cuisines, From the alps to Sicily. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-1-4299-3559-3.
  3. ^ "I trucchi per fare una cotoletta alla milanese perfetta, croccante fuori e succosa dentro". Esquire (in Italian). 6 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Cotoletta alla bolognese" (in Italian).
  5. ^ "La cotoletta alla palermitana" (in Italian). 10 July 2012.
  6. ^ Receta de Milanesa a la napolitana Recetas Gratis. Retrieved: 2012-11-09. (in Spanish)