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Pork Cutlet Sandwich with Broccoli Rabe

Assembled sandwich with out top bread on cutting board

Look at that Sammie!!

Pork Cutlet with Broccoli Rabe – a Philadelphia staple! If you’ve ever been to Philly you’ve most likely had a cheesesteak. And if you’ve been to Philly and HAVEN’T had a cheesesteak…well…go back to Philly and get one. A casual Philly-goer will tell you their favorite cheesesteak. Someone that has lived in Philly will tell you their favorite roast pork sandwich.

Origin of a legend

loaf of bread on a cutting board

Believed to have originated in the Italian American section of South Philly, the classic roast pork sammie is an unrivaled piece of the Philly food scene. Whether you prefer DiNic’s John’s, Tony Luke’s, or one of the countless others we can all agree that this sandwich is a beast. This sammie is typically made with a slow-roasted pork shoulder, sautéed broccoli rabe, and provolone. Depending on where your favorite Philly spot is, you might even get it with some roasted long hots.

We didn’t feel like taking the traditional route – nor did we have the time to slow roast pork for lunch. We went with a pork cutlet instead; just like grandma used to make.

Why pork cutlet and not chicken?

hand over a pork chop that is on top of a piece of parchment paper

Choosing between a pork cutlet sandwich and a chicken cutlet sandwich can be a tough decision, but here are a few reasons why a pork cutlet sandwich is better

  • Flavor: Pork has a richer and more distinct flavor than chicken, which can make for a more flavorful and satisfying sandwich. The breading and seasoning on a pork cutlet can also enhance its flavor and texture.
  • Juiciness: Pork is naturally more juicy than chicken. A properly cooked pork cutlet can be juicy and flavorful, while a chicken cutlet can sometimes be dry or overcooked.
  • Just as Lean: Pork gets a bad rap. Certain cuts can be fatty but the pork chops used here are lean and healthy in a well balanced diet.

Trust the process

Let get to making this pork cutlet and broccoli rabe sandwich. Start by putting a pot of salted water on the stove and bring it to a boil. This will be for the broccoli rabe. 

While the water is getting to boil, put each pork chop in between two layers of plastic wrap and pound each one out to about a half inch thickness. 

pork chop between two sheets of parchment paper being pounded thin with a metal meat mallet.

Season each cutlet with salt and pepper. Also remember season the flour with salt and pepper.

Breading your pork

Confession: I love getting my fingers dirty breading meat. It brings me back to my childhood and helping my mother in the kitchen. Dip each cutlet in the flour first, completely coating it. Shake off any excess flour. Dip the cutlet in the egg next, completely coating it and shaking off any excess. Finish it in the breadcrumbs. Completely coat the cutlet in the bread crumbs. We prefer the panko as it really gets that extra crisp when you put it in the pan.

Here are the pans we used for the breading and flour. We use them for a ton of things in our kitchen.

Cook your broccoli rabe

steaming hot broccoli rabe in a wire spoon over a strainer

Check on your pot of water at this point, it’s probably boiling. Gently drop in the bunch of broccoli rabe in the boiling water. Make sure it’s submerged. Let it cook for about 3 minutes. It should be a vibrant green color. Strain it from the boiling water and drop it in an ice bath to stop the cooking.

Time to cook your pork

browned pork chop in a pan

Back to the cutlets. Put a thin layer of vegetable oil in the pan, just enough to coat the bottom. Turn the temperature to medium heat and let the oil get hot. It should start to just smoke, that’s how you know it’s hot enough. Carefully put the breaded cutlets in the pan, placing it in the pan away from your face, just in case any oil decides to jump out from the pan it won’t go in your face. Cook the cutlets for about 3 – 4 minutes on each side. Once you see that familiar golden brown, it’s time to flip. Once done, remove the cutlets from the pan and put on a cooling rack to let any excess oil drip off.

A shit ton of garlic

broccoli rabe in pan with garlic

While the cutlets are cooling, finish the broccoli rabe. Slice a shit ton of garlic. Yes, that’s the official measurement we use. Because you can never have enough garlic in Italian cooking. Bring the oil from the cutlets back to temperature and add in the garlic. it should start to just brown on the edges. Add in the broccoli rabe, season with salt and pepper,  and mix in with the garlic, cooking for about 3 – 4 minutes.

Ingredients, assemble!

Remove broccoli rabe from the pan. It’s time to assemble your sammie. 

Its time to assemble your pork cutlet sandwich with broccoli rabe!

Slice your seeded semolina bread down the middle, the whole way through. None of that three quarters slicing business. 

Brush both sides of the bread with some olive oil. Add the pork cutlet. Top with a generous amount of broccoli rabe. Shave a bunch of parmesan on top. Smash that bad boy down with your hands. Take a picture. Post it to your Instagram. Enjoy.

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finished sandwich

Pork Cutlet Sandwich with Broccoli Rabe

  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 0 servings 1x


A delicious sandwich that takes thin breaded pork cutlets, broccoli rabe and fresh Italian bread and makes the the perfect lunch.


Units Scale
  • 2 medium pork chops
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup shaved sharp provolone
  • 2 medium egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • vegetable oil to coat bottom of the pan
  • 1 loaf fresh Italian bread


  1. Fill a 6 quart pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Inside of your sink fill a colander with ice cubes. This is where you will put your broccoli rabe after cooking to stop the cooking process.
  2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, take your pork chops between two layers of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound them to about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Season the pork with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.
  4. Prepare your flour, panko, and eggs in separate shallow dishes. First coat the pork chop in a thin layer of flour, and then move it to the egg mixture. Coat in a thin layer of egg. Allow the excess egg to drip off before moving the the pork to the panko bread crumbs and make sure they are fully coated before setting aside.
  5. By now your water should be boiling. Cut the about a half inch off the bottom of your broccoli rabe and then carefully drop the broccoli rabe into the boiling water. Allow to boil for about 3-4 mins. The broccoli rabe should be bright green in color. Remove and add it to the colander with ice which stops the cooking process.
  6. Take out a tall walled sauté pan and put it on medium heat and coat the bottom with vegetable oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, carefully add in your breaded pork chops and cook for about 3-4 mins on each side or until dark golden brown.
  7. Remove the pork chops from pan and put on a grate or a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil.
  8. In the same pan that you just cooked your pork, add the thinly sliced garlic and saute until fragrant. The garlic should just be starting to brown on the edges. Add in your broccoli rabe, season with salt and pepper, and saute for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat
  9. Slice your Italian bread in half lengthwise and drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the inside of each side of the bread. Next, add your shaved provolone to the bottom of the bread loaf. Slice the pork chops into thin strips, and add the slices on top of the provolone. Top with broccoli rabe and the other half of bread.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Category: lunch
  • Cuisine: Italian

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