Chicken saltimbocca is an easy dinner recipe. It’s a classic Italian baked chicken dish with sage saltimbocca sauce. The ingredients include sage, prosciutto, provolone cheese, and chicken, so you know it’s going to be rich and full of amazing flavours. It’s beautiful served with polenta, roasted or boiled potatoes or pasta. This traditional Italian dish will become your favourite chicken dinner recipe.
If you want to enjoy a traditional Italian dinner, try this chicken with prosciutto, sage and provolone. It’s simple to prepare and tastes so good. The chicken comes out really juicy and the dish includes hints of garlic, shallot and parsley.
Ingredients for Chicken Saltimbocca
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the star of the dish, and you will also use provolone cheese, thin slices of prosciutto, shallot, garlic, oil, and butter. The seasonings are salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley, and sage.
As for the sauce, this is based on butter, sage, prosciutto, flour, white wine, cream, and more provolone and parsley. These are all traditional ingredients used for Italian classic baked chicken.
There aren’t many tweaks and variations if you want to stick to the classic recipe, although you could always sub minced yellow onion for the shallot, and minced garlic from a jar for minced fresh garlic cloves. You could try fontina cheese instead of the provolone if you wish.
You are going to need fresh sage leaves for this too – it’s a main ingredient so dried sage won’t work. The sage leaf is actually quite versatile. If you have leftover fresh sage, you can always make sweet potato gnocchi or whiskey cranberry stuffing – either of which is delicious with an easy dinner recipe.
How to Make Chicken Saltimbocca
The first step in this chicken saltimbocca with crispy sage leaves recipe is to season the chicken cutlet. Add salt, pepper and parsley on both sides then leave it for about 15 minutes so it can come up to room temperature.
Next, add some olive oil to a frying pan and warm it up. Add the garlic, minced shallot and red pepper flakes to the frying pan. Sauté for 3 minutes then take it off the heat.
Now dip the fresh sage leaves into the hot oil mixture quickly, using tongs, and drape them over the piece of chicken. Wrap the sage-covered chicken with a piece of prosciutto.
Add some butter to the pan along with the prosciutto wrapped chicken and cook for about 4 minutes on each side.
Next, transfer the chicken pieces on to a baking sheet and put some provolone on top of each one. Bake for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Now it’s time to work on the sage saltimbocca sauce. Melt some butter in a pan then add the prosciutto and sage, and cook for a few minutes. Gradually whisk in the cream and cook for several minutes or until thicken. Stir in the salt, pepper and grated cheese, then stir until the cheese melts.
Serve the chicken with prosciutto with some of the sage saltimbocca sauce ladled on top just like they do in an Italian restaurant.
History of Chicken Saltimbocca
Although it’s not completely proven, many believe this easy dinner recipe can be traced back to Brescia, and has been around for a couple of centuries. It is a popular dish in Italy and the neighboring Greeks and Swiss love it too.
Traditionally, this dish uses veal rather than chicken, but chicken saltimbocca is just as popular these days. Salty prosciutto, white wine and sage always feature in this Italian baked chicken dish.
There are variations, of course, and some trattorias or restaurants will sub chicken or even pork for the veal, or another kind of cured ham in place of the crispy prosciutto. It is one of the dinner recipes that is always a family favourite.
Marsala sometimes takes the place of white wine, and the meat can be pounded thin into a cutlet and rolled up or else left flat. Other ingredients like red onions, capers or artichokes sometimes make an appearance.
Saltimbocca derives from ‘saltare in bocca’ which translates as ‘jumps into your mouth’. I can definitely see how this name is very apt, since this prosciutto-wrapped chicken breast and sage really is delicious! Dinner time with this is Italian recipe is one you won’t want to miss!
Chicken Saltimbocca FAQs
Any typical Italian sides, such as roasted, boiled or oven fried potatoes, pasta or polenta would be ideal with this easy dinner recipe. If you prefer, you could even go for mashed potatoes or fries.
As for vegetables, something simple such as green beans, broccoli or even zucchini would go with this recipe.
Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use them within three days. You can warm your Italian baked chicken back up either in the oven or in the microwave.
Chicken Saltimbocca Recipe
The BEST Chicken Saltimbocca
- 4 Half chicken breasts
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper coarse
- 1 Teaspoon parsley dried
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon shallot minced
- 1 Teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 sage leaves large
- 16 Slices prosciutto thinly sliced, 1 to 2 per half breast
- ¼ Cup unsalted butter
- 8 Slices provolone thinly sliced
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and parsley and let rest and come to room temp for 15 minutes (as you work steps 2 to 6)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Preheat a frying pan over medium high heat.
- Add olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat
- Add the minced shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat.
- Quickly dip each sage leaf into the oil to infuse and wet. *use tongs and only wet the sage, do not allow to sit in the oil or wilt*
- Place sage over each chicken breast. Next, wrap with 1 to 2 prosciutto slices.
- Return the pan to heat and add ¼ cup of butter. Once melted, add the chicken. Cook for 4 minutes per side. Remove the pan from heat.
- Remove chicken from the pan and place onto a baking sheet.
- Lay a slice of provolone cheese over the top of each and place onto the oven on the center rack. Bake until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
- Return the pan to heat to prepare the sauce. Add the butter and melt. Next add the chopped sage leaves and prosciutto. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the flour and whisk. Once the flour starts bubbling, slowly incorporate the heavy cream. Whisk often and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, and grated provolone. Turn off the heat and stir to melt.
- Plate the chicken and add a spoonful of sauce
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Chicken saltimbocca is a sumptuous dish which is refreshingly simple to prepare. The chicken is wrapped in sage, a slice of prosciutto and provolone and served with a mouth-watering sage saltimbocca sauce. If you’re looking for an authentic Italian chicken recipe, this one is really worth making. This classic Italian dish makes the perfect weeknight meal or even a special occasion.
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.