Let’s face it, just about anything breaded and fried is pretty tasty. So this is my meat-free version of a the traditional chicken cutlet. I do a quick pan-sear to get that golden crust and then I finish in the oven which helps get the chewy texture inside. If you just fry them, that’s fine but the texture inside will be softer but still delicious. You can also opt to skip the frying and just bake them for a healthier option (instructions below). I do this sometimes and while it’s not quite the same, it’s still very enjoyable. Another favorite way to enjoy this recipe is to make them smaller into nuggets. A great snack and perfect for dipping!
Makes 6 cutlets
1 can canellinni beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or another nondairy milk
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I also add in salt, pepper and nutritional yeast)
Canola oil or other high-heat vegetable oil
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
First, get yourself set up. For breading station, whisk almond milk and cornstarch together and add to a shallow dish. I used an 8×8 baking dish. Add your breadcrumbs to another shallow dish or a dinner plate will work. Next get a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray, set aside.
Add all ingredients through soy sauce to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until most of the beans are mashed. If there are a few pieces of beans that’s ok. Add vital wheat gluten and broth and stir. Once it comes together, knead by hand for 1-2 minutes. You will see the gluten strands start to form; this gives them a good texture. Form into 6 cutlet shapes.
Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat with a good coating of oil. While it’s heating I like to do the breading of the cutlets. Dip each into the milk mixture and then the breading, shaking off excess. Set aside on a plate.
Test the oil by adding a drop of water and if it sizzles it’s hot enough, if not turn heat up a bit. Add 2-4 cutlets, depending on size of your skillet. Cook until lightly browned on each side, about 2 minutes. As they are done transfer to the baking sheet and once they are all done, bake in oven for 10-12 minutes.
Optional Baking Instructions: If you want to make them a little healthier, you can skip the pan fry and just bake them. You won’t get the same crisp, golden crust but they’re still good. When I go with this option I reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake about 20 minutes or until crispy, and I flip halfway through. I also spray them with olive oil.