Most Italian-Americans I know love Veal Parmesan, but not many people make Veal Parm at home. Typically they order it at Italian restaurants, and it's always massive... Perfect for taking home leftovers to make delicious Veal Parmesan Sandwiches the next day.
This this recipe will teach you how to make a Veal Parmesan Sandwich from scratch. It calls for thinly sliced veal cutlets, which are breaded and fried until crispy, then baked in a delicious tomato sauce along with fresh mozzarella. A little basil gives it lots of flavor to finish. And ciabatta makes the perfect vessel for this Veal Parm Sub.
Veal Parm Sandwiches are especially excellent for serving to a group, since a little bit of veal goes a long way. If you were to bring these sandwiches to a party or picnic, your friends would talk about them for months.
This recipe was inspired by two other Italian recipes on this site, Italian Chicken Cutlets and Eggplant Milanese. All 3 recipes call for the same flavorful breading mixture, which contains fresh parsley, dried oregano, and pecorino or parmesan for the ultimate Italian taste.
And because they're so rich and filling, this simple Arugula Citrus Salad makes for an excellent palate-cleansing side dish.
How to Make a Veal Parmesan Sandwich
There are 2 primary components of a good Veal Parmesan or Veal Parmesan Sandwich: The delicious fried veal cutlets and the simple tomato sauce.
Despite being really decadent and comforting, these Veal Parmesan Sandwiches require relatively few ingredients... But I recommend buying good quality ingredients to achieve the best flavor.
- Ciabatta bread
- Tomato sauce
- olive oil
- Crushed tomatoes
- Thinly sliced veal- "scaloppine" style
- Fresh parsley
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Dried Oregano
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Fresh Basil
- Salt, pepper, cayenne
- Olive Oil
You probably already have most of the ingredients on hand. The rest can be found in most grocery stores... except for the veal, which may take some searching.
Because veal is common in Italian cooking, many grocery stores in NY/NJ do sell it. But if your local grocery store does not, I recommend finding a butcher that does. A butcher can also slice the veal into thin cutlets AKA "scaloppine" for you.
If your grocery store has veal, great! Even if they only sell larger veal chops, you can pound them thin using a meat mallet.
See recipe card for quantities.
Making a Veal Parmesan Sub has a few time consuming steps, but that doesn't mean it's hard! It's just a labor of love that is well worth the effort.
Step 1: Make the dredge mixtures and dredge the veal in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs. Then place the veal on a sheet pan in the fridge while you make the sauce.
Step 2: Make the tomato sauce. This only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and only calls for 3 ingredients- garlic, olive oil, and crushed tomatoes. (and optional crushed red pepper)
Step 3: While the tomato sauce simmers, fry the veal cutlets for 2 minutes on each side and arrange them on a new clean sheet pan.
Step 4: Top the veal cutlets with the tomato sauce and sliced fresh mozzarella. Bake them on 350F for 30 minutes. Then broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese bubbles and browns slightly.
Step 5: Slice open both loaves of ciabatta bread. Arrange veal cutlets and fresh basil leaves on the bread, then slice each loaf into 4 pieces. Time to eat!
Hint: Most Chicken and Veal "alla Parmigiana" dishes are meant to be soft, even though they're fried. That classic crispy-turned-soggy texture is the best part of of eggplant, chicken, and veal parmigiana.
And since the veal fries first and then "bakes" in the oven, it's actually a braise. Braising meat achieves such tender results.
Don't know much about veal? That's ok! You can still make this recipe.
What Animal is Veal?
Veal refers to the meat of a calf, or young cow. It is true that many people have issues with eating a young animal. I personally don't find it any morally different from eating a grown animal. However, I believe it's important to buy meat from a trusted source, so you know the animal was raised humanely and with respect.
Does Veal taste like beef?
No. Veal does not taste anything like beef even though it comes from the same animal (cow). Veal actually tastes and looks more like pork. It has a lighter color and slightly chewier texture, but in a good way.
What is the best way to cook veal?
Because of its slightly chewy texture, veal is best fried or braised. Veal Parmesan calls for frying. Whereas Veal Ossobuco calls for braising. Ossobuco calls for larger veal shanks that really benefit from a slow braise to the point of fall-apart tenderness.
Where can I buy veal to make a Veal Parm Sandwich?
Based on a quick online search, I've aggregated a list of several grocery stores and online sellers that sell veal "scallopine" A.K.A thinly sliced veal cutlets. Keep in mind, many of these grocery stores only sell veal at certain locations.
- Wild Fork: This company has a few locations around the country, but also sells its meat, seafood, and even some produce online. They have a huge meat selection and their prices are very reasonable. For this recipe, buy their Veal Scallopine.
- Rastelli's: This is another online/delivery option. They are rated very highly, but their prices are quite a bit higher than Wild Fork.
- Stop and Shop
- Shop Rite
- Fairway Markets (not to be confused with Fareway, which does not appear to sell veal)
- Local Butcher Shops
Overall, it's easier to find veal in North East grocery stores, even more specifically, Tri-state ones. But your best bet is to order online or go to a good local butcher.
Halving the Recipe
The recipe makes 2 large format sandwiches, each serving 4 people. This means the full recipe makes 8 servings.
However, you can easily halve this recipe. If you do halve the recipe, I recommend still making the full amount of tomato sauce. Use half of the sauce for the veal sandwiches and save the rest for making pasta or pizza a different day.
You can also freeze any sauce you don't use.
Here are a few ways to modify this Veal Parm Sandwich Recipe to suit certain dietary preferences.
- The Veal- The process of making these Veal Parmesan Sandwiches is exactly the same as making chicken parmesan sandwiches. So feel free to substitute the veal with chicken breasts. (thinly pounded)
- Dairy free- I find it perfectly acceptable to leave out the mozzarella when making veal parmesan (or any parmesan) if you can't eat cheese. The breaded veal with that delicious tomato sauce is still other worldly! Remember to also remove the parmesan from the breading mixture.
- Vegetarian - instead of veal or chicken, use fried eggplant! Eggplant parmesan sandwiches are so delicious. You can refer to my Eggplant Milanese Recipe to make fried eggplant.
Here are some other ways you might like to enjoy these Italian Veal Sandwiches
- The Bread - My preference for most Italian sandwiches is ciabatta. I love that it's firm but not too hard. If you want to substitute for a different bread, you an use French bread, Italian bread, a 6 inch hero roll, or even sour dough. Just find bread soft enough to bite through. Pre-sliced Italian bread is also a great option for making individual sandwiches.
- Deluxe Veal Parmesan Sub - Add arugula, provolone and hot cherry peppers or hot pepper spread to your sandwich. Now that's the ultimate Italian Veal Sandwich.
- Veal alla Parmigiana- Skip the bread, and instead serve your veal parmesan by itself or over pasta.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. However, this recipe doesn't require anything fancy.
I always pan-fry food in my All-Clad 3 quart Sauté Pan. (affiliate link)
It's also excellent for making tomato sauce... But you can't make the tomato sauce and fry veal in the same pan at once... You can, however, make the tomato sauce in advance, wash it, and then use it to fry the veal. Or jus use 2 different pans... Or buy 2!
I also love my lightweight, inexpensive and good quality Nordic Ware sheet pans for baking the veal. I use them all the time for many of my recipes, such as this Sheet Pan Vodka Pizza and this Sheet Pan Meatloaf.
Storing leftover Veal Parmesan Sandwiches
Wrap leftover sandwiches in foil and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, open the sandwich and bake on high heat in a toaster oven.
I've never tried freezing these sandwiches, but if you give it a try, let me know in the comments how that worked for you!
- Pat the veal cutlets dry before dredging them so the breading doesn't get soggy.
- Let the breaded veal cutlets rest in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes before frying them.
- Don't let the frying oil get so hot that it burns. As soon as you see burning, meaning the breadcrumbs are blackening instead of becoming golden, turn down the heat.
A perfect Italian Veal Parmesan Sandwich containing pan fried veal cutlets, a deliciously simple tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. It's so delicious, you'll want to share with all your friends.
For the Fried Veal Cutlets
- 1 pound of Veal Cutlets "scaloppine" style (about 6-8 very thin veal cutlets)
- 2 cups of plain breadcrumbs
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup of flour
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- Kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne
- 1 cup of Olive oil (See Note 1)
For the Tomato Sauce
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 large cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (or more to taste)
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 10-oz loaves of ciabatta bread
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or torn by hand
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- Prepare the dredge mixtures in 3 separate wide bowls, such as pasta bowls. In the first bowl, combine flour and pinches of salt, pepper, and cayenne (if using). In the second bowl, beat 3 eggs and a splash of water. In the third bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, oregano, and pinches of salt and pepper.
- Coat each veal cutlet in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture. Then place the veal cutlets on a sheet pan and refrigerate them while you make the tomato sauce, or for at least 10 minutes. (note 2)
- Make the tomato sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan or sauce pot set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for just 1-2 minutes. You want to flavor the oil without letting the garlic burn. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and ¼ can of water. Bring sauce to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the salt and red pepper flakes if using. Set sauce aside until needed.
- Preheat oven to 350. To fry the veal, place olive oil in a sauté pan or frying pan and heat it over medium heat. Use enough oil to make a ½ inch layer on the bottom of the pan. Fry 2 veal cutlets at a time, for 2 minutes on each side. Place the fried veal back on a clean sheet pan.
- Pour the tomato sauce all over the veal. Then add the sliced fresh mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes. When done, switch oven setting to "broil" and broil until the cheese is slightly brown and bubbly. Then remove from oven.
- Slice open the 2 ciabatta loaves and layer half of the veal on each loaf. Then top with basil, close the sandwich, and slice each long sandwich into 4 pieces. (8 pieces total)
Note 1: The amount of olive oil needed will vary based on the size of your frying pan. You need enough oil to make about ½ inch of olive oil in the pan.
Note 2: Refrigerating the veal after breading it helps the breading adhere better. If making the tomato sauce ahead of time, use this refrigeration time to bring the tomato sauce back to a simmer.
Keywords: Veal Parmesan Sandwich, Veal Parm Sandwich, Veal alla parmigiana sandwich, Veal Parm sub