Italian Lamb Milanese

Lamb Milanese is a thin cutlet that’s been breaded and fried. As the name implies, the original dish is said to have come from Milan in Northern Italy, but it’s so popular  that it’s served around the world. In Latin America, where it’s also very popular, the cutlets are known as a “Milanesa”.

Lamb Milanese with lambs quarters salad and pickled ramp aioli
Lamb milanesa with aioli and a fresh green salad.

How to Make Lamb Milanese

The original was made with tender slices of veal, but lamb or goat work well. It’s a great way to stretch a leg into a meal that can feed a crowd. First you’ll need a roast from the leg or lamb loin. Cut the meat into thick slices, then butterfly them as illustrated below.  This is also demonstrated in the video. After slicing the meat is breaded with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs then  fried quickly until golden brown.

Butterflying a mutton leg
“Butterflying” slices of a mutton leg roast.

Milanese is a classic summertime dish and might be served with nothing more than a simple salad (arugula is often used) and a slice of lemon. The version here is a playful example from the summer when fresh, tender wild salad greens like lamb’s quarters and chickweed are coming out of the garden.

Lamb's Quarters
Lamb’s Quarters are a common edible garden weed.

I serve it with an aioli made with pickled ramps, but you could serve it with all kinds of things-even just a slice of lemon will be great. The high quality meat from Shepherd Song is really the star here.

Edible day lilies
Daylilies are edible. I add a few flowers for color, they’re optional.

If you’re not familiar with how to cut up a leg of lamb or goat into roasts as I use here, take a look at our post that describes the process.

Various Roasts from a leg of lamb
Cutting up a leg into roasts yields a number of unique roasts for you to cook instead of one large piece of meat.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef



This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo, a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.


Lamb Milanese with lambs quarters salad and pickled ramp aioli

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Lamb Milanese with lambs quarters salad and pickled ramp aioli
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Italian Lamb Milanese

Tender lamb or mutton cutlets with a tart, herby aioli and a salad of wild lamb's quarters.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Lamb, Lambs Quarters, Mutton, Ramps
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 559kcal


  • 1 meat mallet
  • 1 3 medium mixing bowls



  • A 12 oz roast cut from a leg of lamb or more
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1.5 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 3 eggs beaten with a splash of water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil


  • 5 oz salad greens 5 generous handfuls washed and cleaned
  • Wildflowers to garnish, optional
  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or another oil like hickory nut
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar or to taste


  • 1 cup mayonnaise homemade or your favorite brand
  • ¼ cup chopped pickled ramps or your favorite pickle
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons other soft herbs you like such as dill, mint, tarragon, etc
  • Zest and juice of one lemon



  • Mix the mayonnaise with the herbs and remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning for more herbs, salt, or lemon until it tastes good to you.


  • Trim the roast of fat if desired. Slice the leg at a ½ inch thickness *almost* down to the bottom, but do not cut completely down. Make another cut completely through the meat to make a butterflied slice. Refer to the video and image if this seems unclear to you. Repeat with the rest of the roast.
  • Pound the slices of lamb with a mallet until thin, being careful not to tear them.
  • For the cutlets, season with salt and pepper on one side only and reserve.
  • Season the flour with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and mix.
  • Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and add the parmesan.
  • One at a time, toss the slices of mutton in flour to coat, tap off the excess, then dip in the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs, pressing on the crumbs to help them adhere.
  • Fry the cutlets in a ¼ inch of oil until golden brown on both sides. Remove finished cutlets to a paper-towel lined plate in a warm oven.


  • Meanwhile, season the greens with the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and maple syrup. Taste and adjust the seasoning until it tastes good to you.
  • Spoon 1/3 cup or more of the aioli onto each plate, pushing it out to the sides as to not make the coating of the cutlets soggy. Garnish with a handful of the salad greens off-center, top with the lamb, garnish with some of the wildflowers, and serve.



Making in advance. This can be a nice thing to make ahead of time. After the cutlets are breaded, put them on a tray and freeze them solid, then wrap in cling film or put in a container and keep in the freezer until needed. They should cooked directly from frozen. 


Serving: 1cutlet | Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 26g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 632mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 617IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg