The traditional Italian fried cutlets usually do not start with pork – think veal Milanese, or the Italian-American chicken parm.  At Serious Foodie, we love to use pork – especially pork tenderloin.  It is a lean cut that soaks up flavors, and this recipe is full of flavor.  You can use pork cutlets from your butcher, but making cutlets from scratch allows for a much better product in the long run.

This recipe is a bit of a throw-back for us, celebrating the flavors of Southern Italy with a sweet/sour/savory/salty combination that had everyone in the test kitchen licking their plate.  The dish is super simple and fun to make with our Serious Foodie Southern Italian Fig/Orange sauce.  We combined the dish with our rosemary roasted potatoes and broccolini and baby carrots dressed with EVOO and lemon juice.  This dish also works well with simple salad of baby arugula and thinly sliced red onions.

Pork Tenderloin with Fig, Onions, and Olive Sauce

For an extra-crisp crust, we use panko instead of standard bread crumbs - but you can go with any good quality bread crumb you've got in  your pantry. You can also make this dish with chicken cutlets, starting with chicken breasts or boneless thighs.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 pork tenderloin About 1.5 pounds
  • 4 slices proscuitto Optional
  • 1 cup flour All purpoase. Lightly season with salt and pepper
  • 1 egg Beaten, lightly season with salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Bread crumbs We prefer panko
  • 1 cup neutral vegetable oil We use grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 large red onion Julienne sliced.
  • 1/2 cup white wine We use an inexpensive Soave or Pinot Grigio
  • 1 bottle Serious Foodie Fig/Orange Sauce Go to to order
  • 1/2 cup green and black olives Pitted and halfed. Add more to taste
  • Salt and Pepper To taste


  • Cut the pork tenderloin in half crosswise, making the tail-end slightly larger, then cut each piece in half lengthwise.
  • Place 2 pieces between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder, gently pound each piece to an even ⅛-inch thickness. Cut the pieces into equal portions (about 8 pieces per tenderloin)
  • Season both sides of each cutlet with pepper. If you are using the optional prosciutto, then lay a slice on each cutlet. Re-cover with plastic wrap and gently pound so the prosciutto adheres.
  • Lightly dredge each cutlet with flour, turning to coat and shaking off any excess flour. Dip each cutlet in the egg mix then immediately coat with the bread crumbs, pressing the meat so it adheres. Set the cutlets on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for 15 to 30 minutes so that the coating sets.
  • Heat 6 tablespoons of oil on high in a 12-inch skillet, to about 360 degrees. Begin frying by adding 2 cutlets and cook until golden on each side, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place cooked cutlets on a wire rack. Add more oil to the skillet as needed for each set of cutlets.
  • Drain the remaining oil, and add back 2 tablespoons of fresh oil. Heat the pan to medium, and add the red onion. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine, and reduce by 30% - about 2 minutes. Add in 1 cup of Serious Foodie Fig/Orange sauce and the olive, and bring to a simmer.
  • Pour the sauce over the cutlets and serve immediately.

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