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Easy Chicken Sorrentino with Eggplant and Prosciutto

Classic Italian food lovers will go crazy for Chicken Sorrentino!  It is layers of tender chicken breasts, eggplant, prosciutto, and marinara sauce topped with lots of melty cheese!  Can you think of a tastier combination?

Chicken Sorrentino cut in half with topped with sauce, next to a bed of greens on white plate.

Chicken Sorrentino, also known as pollo alla Sorrentina, combines all your favorite dishes from southern Italy in one.  Chicken cutlets, salty prosciutto, and slices of eggplant are layered and baked together in a rich tomato sauce.  

Of course we love all of them all separately but stacked together they make an amazing chicken dish!  Serve it with a salad or a side of pasta for a fabulous meal.    

This is chicken dish comes to mind when I think of satisfying Italian comfort food.  It is a great recipe to serve for family dinners, holidays, or if you are entertaining guests.  

I can attest that everyone loves the layers of flavor you get starting with the juicy chicken and ending with the melted cheese.   On the many occasions that I have this dish, there have never been any left overs.  

A serving of Chicken Sorrentino on a white plate with greens.

Is Chicken Sorrentino a Classic Italian Recipe?

It is hard to know for certain if Chicken Sorrentino is truly an authentic Italian dish or if Italian restaurants in America created it.  In my quest to find out, I searched the web but could not find a definitive answer.   It seems to be loosely derived from gnocchi alla Sorrentina, a baked gnocchi dish topped with mozzarella and tomato sauce from Sorrento, Italy.    

Sorrento is in the Italian region of Campania where tomatoes, mozzarella, eggplant, and prosciutto are prevalent.  If not directly from the area, it could have been named after the city that inspired its creation.  

Regardless of where it originated, It is a delicious dish we enjoy regularly.  Although it requires a few steps, it is not a difficult dish to prepare.  So let me show you how easy it is to make my Chicken Sorrentino recipe.

Ingredients to make chicken Sorrentino with white labels over each item.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Boneless Chicken Breast:  You can purchase thin chicken cutlets, cut the chicken breast into thin slices, or pound the chicken breast with a meat mallet to create thin cutlets.
  • Bread Crumbs:  I prefer Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, but you can also use panko or homemade breadcrumbs.  
  • Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese:  Pecorino has a saltier flavor than Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, which we like.  But many recipes call for parmesan cheese which is also very good in this recipe.  
  • Egg:  Beaten, used for dredging the chicken breast in.
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Eggplant:  ​There is no need to peel the eggplant.  
  • Canned Whole Tomatoes:  I crush the tomatoes by hand so I keep some tomato chunks in my sauce, but you can substitute crushed tomatoes or passata if you prefer a smoother sauce.
  • Red Wine: Marsala wine is often used in this recipe, but you can use any dry red wine you enjoy drinking.
  • Fresh Basil: Go ahead and substitute dried if you have to, but I highly recommend using fresh basil if you can.
  • Prosciutto: I love the salty pork flavor prosciutto adds to this dish, but you can also substitute Serrano ham or another type of sliced ham.
  • Provolone Cheese:  Use sliced provolone, not the sharp brick provolone.   
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Either thick-grated or sliced mozzarella will work fine.  You can also substitute Fontina cheese for the mozzarella.  

How to Make Chicken Sorrento Recipe

Sliced eggplant on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

1. Roast the Eggplant:  Cut the eggplant into 4 thick slices.  Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush both sides with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper, and roast it in a 375-degree F oven for 20 minutes or until tender.  

Breaded chicken cutlets in a silver pan.

2. Make breaded chicken cutlets: Prepare 3 shallow bowls with flour, beaten egg, and a mixture of bread crumbs and grated pecorino cheese.   Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper.  Dredge each piece of chicken first in flour, then the beaten egg, and lastly the seasoned breadcrumbs.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken pieces over medium heat until golden brown on both sides.  Transfer the chicken cutlets to a plate.

Marinara sauce with fresh basil leaves in a sauté pan.

3. Make the sauce:  Sauté onion in the skillet until just tender, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant being careful not to burn it.  Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid and the wine to the skillet.  Stir scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and add the fresh basil to the sauce.  Cook for 20 minutes so that the sauce begins to thicken.  

4 pieces of breaded chicken cutlets, topped with proscuitto, eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella cheese in a white baking dish.

4. Assemble and Bake:  Spoon some sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish.  Place the chicken cutlets in a single layer on the sauce.  Top each cutlet with a slice of prosciutto and a slice of eggplant.  Spoon more sauce over the eggplant, layer the provolone and mozzarella over each stack, and finish with grated pecorino romano cheese.  Bake uncovered in a 375-degree F oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Chicken Sorrentino cut in half to show the layers of chicken breast, eggplant cheese and sauce.

Cooking Tips and Variations

  • Because this recipe has so many steps, I find having my ingredients prepped before I start to cook makes the process run smoothly.  
  • To save some time, you can bread the chicken, cover it, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before you are ready to cook it.  
  • Cook the chicken all the way through in the skillet so the dish only needs to be in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt.
  • The chicken cutlets are thin so they do not need to cook very long.  About 4-5 minutes on each side should be enough to cook the chicken through while maintaining its juiciness.
  • Don’t over salt the sauce because the prosciutto and Pecorino are already salty.
  • You can bread the eggplant as well as the chicken for a little added crunch and texture.  
  • If you like spicy, add red pepper flakes to the sauce for a little kick!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you reheat leftovers?

You can reheat Chicken Sorrentino in the oven set at 350 degrees f.  Cover it with aluminum foil and let it heat through for about 15 minutes.  You can also reheat it in the microwave for a minute or two.

Can you freeze Chicken Sorrentino? 

Yes, you can freeze this dish.  Placed in an airtight container, you can freeze it for up to 2 months.

What is the difference between chicken scallopini and chicken cutlets?

Chicken scallopini and chicken cutlets are essentially the same thing.  They are thinly sliced or pounded pieces of chicken.  In Italian recipes, scallopini is typically dredged in flour and fried.  While we usually associate cutlets with a breadcrumb coating.

A serving a chicken breast sopped with eggplant and melted cheese on a white plate.

Other Italian Chicken Recipes 

If you are looking for more great Italian chicken recipes, look no further.  I am happy to share some of my family’s favorite recipes with you.  

My Chicken Rollatini will impress your family or guests.  Tender chicken breast is rolled around a sausage, spinach and cheese stuffing.  So yummy!

Chicken Cacciatore and Chicken Spezzatino are traditional dishes that are both flavorful and hearty.  

One of our family favorites is my mom’s Chicken Agro’dolce, an incredibly flavorful Italian sweet and sour dish.   

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Chicken Sorrentino recipe or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for more recipes your family will love!

Chicken Sorrentino Recipe

Chicken Sorrentino

This southern Italian favorite delivers a little bit of everything in one bite. Chicken cutlets, prosciutto, eggplant, cheese, and a robust marinara sauce are layered together to make a hearty and delicious meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 836 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Chicken breast cutlets Thin sliced or pounded
  • 4 tbsp Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  • 5 tbsp Pecorino Romano Cheese grated, divided
  • 1 Egg large, beaten
  • 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Eggplant Medium, cut into 4 slices
  • 28 oz Canned Whole Tomatoes in puree or juice
  • ½ cup Red Wine
  • 2 tbsp Onion diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 sprigs Basil fresh
  • 4 Slices Prosciutto
  • 4 Slices Provolone Cheese
  • ¾ Cup Mozzarella large grated
  • 2 -3 tsp Salt Kosher
  • ½-1 tsp Black Pepper ground

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375℉. Place the eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with olive oil (about 1 tbsp.), season with salt (about ½ tsp) and pepper. Turn them over and repeat with the oil and seasoning. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until they are tender.
  • While the eggplant is roasting, prepare 3 shallow bowls, one with the flour, one with the beaten egg and one with the bread crumbs and 2 tbsp. Pecorino Romano cheese (mix the bread crumbs and cheese). Season the chicken on both sides with 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of black pepper. Then working with one piece of chicken at time, dredge both sides in the flour, shake off the excess, then dip both sides in the egg, and then in the breadcrumbs.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Add a little more olive oil to the skillet if needed and sauté the onion until tender. Lower the heat to low, add the garlic and cook until fragrant but be careful not to let it burn. Stir in the wine and the tomatoes with their juices. Season with ½ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of black pepper. Add the basil and cook stirring occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. Taste the sauce and add more salt if needed.
  • Pour several spoonfuls of sauce into the bottom of a 9"x13" baking dish. Arrange the chicken cutlets in a single layer, top each one with a slice of prosciutto, followed by a slice of eggplant. Then spread a couple of tablespoon so sauce over each one and top with mozzarella cheese and the remaining Pecorino Romano. You can spoon some additional sauce around the chicken if you like. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbles.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Because this recipe has so many steps, I find having my ingredients prepped before I start to cook makes the process run smoothly.  
  • To save some time, you can bread the chicken, cover it, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before you are ready to cook it.  
  • Cook the chicken all the way through in the skillet so the dish only needs to be in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt.
  • The chicken cutlets are thin so they do not need to cook very long.  About 4-5 minutes on each side should be enough to cook the chicken through while maintaining its juiciness.
  • Don’t over salt the sauce because the prosciutto and Pecorino are already salty.
  • You can bread the eggplant as well as the chicken for a little added crunch and texture.  
  • If you like spicy, add red pepper flakes to the sauce for a little kick!

Nutrition

Serving: 4servingsCalories: 836kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 66gFat: 48gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 227mgSodium: 1559mgPotassium: 1298mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 918IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 448mgIron: 5mg
Keyword breaded chicken cutlet, eggplant, marinara sauce, stovetop and oven baked
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Chicken was so tender and flavors were amazing. The perfect Sunday night comfort meal on a cold rainy day.

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