December 1, 2023

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Pork Schnitzel Recipe – The Forked Spoon

5 min read

Pork Schnitzel (or Schnitzel Wiener Art) is an easy and delicious weeknight dinner made of boneless pork chops that have been pounded flat, then breaded and fried until golden and crispy. Popular throughout Europe, particularly in Austria and Germany, it’s the perfect versatile comfort food loved by all ages.

Slotted spoon holding a pork schnitzel hovered above a white plate filled with cooked pork schnitzel.

Ah, schnitzel. So crispy, crunchy, and beautifully golden. Perfectly fried with a juicy, tender center. I mean, everyone loves schnitzel. I certainly do!

But, before living in Germany in 2012, I had no clue what schnitzel was – although I had heard of the American fast food chain Wienerschnitzel. I soon learned that schnitzel is a thinly sliced piece of meat that’s tenderized and pounded even thinner with a meat mallet or meat tenderizer (a rolling pin also works). Most schnitzel is then breaded in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy.

German schnitzel is made with pork, whereas Austrian (Viennese) schnitzel (Wiener Schnitzel) is always made with veal.

What Type of Meat is Used for Schnitzel?

  • Wiener Schnitzel – Must be made with veal
  • Schweineschnitzel – Made with pork
  • Putenschnitzel – Made with turkey
  • Hänchen-Schnitzel – Made with chicken
All of the ingredients for pork schnitzel set aside in individual serving bowls.

How to Make Pork Schnitzel

1. Preheat the oil: Preheat a deep-frying pan with about 2 inches of oil until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Pound the meat: To tenderize the pork cutlets (or any type of meat), place them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them using a meat mallet. Flip the meat over and repeat the process on the other side until they are approximately ¼ inch thick.

Four boneless pork chops on a wooden cutting board covered with plastic wrap with a meat tenderizer.

3. Prepare the dredging stations: In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. In a second shallow bowl, beat together the eggs with the water. In a third dish, add the breadcrumbs.

4. Coat the schnitzel: One at a time, dredge each pork cutlet in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour. Dip the pork into the egg mixture, allowing any excess egg to drip off. Finally, coat it with breadcrumbs, making sure that it is covered evenly.

Six images in a collage showing the steps needed to bread pork cutlets in flour first, then egg, and then breadcrumbs.

5. Fry until golden: When the oil is hot, place 2-3 chops into the oil and fry for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and the internal temperature registers 145 degrees F as measured by a digital meat thermometer. Flip halfway through cooking.

6. Drain: Drain any excess oil on a paper towel-lined plate, repeating the cooking process with the remaining chops.

7. Serve: Serve immediately.

Breaded pork cutlet frying in a large cast iron skillet filled with hot oil.

Recipe Tips

  • Schnitzel should be pounded very thin- ideally, 1/4-inch thick. This is what makes schnitzel unique. Otherwise, it would simply be a breaded pork cutlet.
  • Fry the schnitzel immediately after coating it in the breadcrumbs (rather than coating them all first and then frying them in batches.) Letting them sit in the coating will result in less crispy schnitzel.
  • Schnitzel is best served immediately.

How to Reheat Leftover Schnitzel

Schnitzel is best served immediately after cooking to preserve its crispiness, but if you have leftovers, you can reheat them in the oven, air fryer, or stovetop.

  1. Oven method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the schnitzel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until heated and crispy.
  2. Air fryer method: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place 1-2 schnitzel in the air fryer basket, or as many that will fit comfortably without crowding. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through and crispy.
  3. Stovetop method: Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a small amount of oil or butter. Place the leftover schnitzel in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until heated through and crispy.

Be careful not to overcook the schnitzel when reheating, as it will make it tough and dry. Also, avoid using the microwave to reheat schnitzel, as it can make the breading soggy.

Platter filled with golden breaded pork schnitzel garnished with lemon wedges.

What to Serve with Schnitzel

Schnitzel is traditionally served with lemon slices or lemon wedges and fresh parsley. Popular side dishes and sauces to enjoy with schnitzel include,

  • Potato salad (like this German potato salad)
  • Green salad
  • French fries (Pommes)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Spätzle
  • Red cabbage
  • Cucumber salad
  • Mushroom sauce – Jäger-Schnitzel (hunter’s schnitzel)
  • Tomato sauce with peppers and onions – Zigeuner-Schnitzel (gypsy schnitzel)
  • Melted cheese – Käse-Schnitzel (cheese schnitzel)

More Pork Recipes

If you try making this Pork Schnitzel Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.

White plate with mashed potatoes topped with pork schnitzel sliced into thin strips and garnished with lemon.
Slotted spoon holding a pork schnitzel hovered above a white plate filled with cooked pork schnitzel.

Pork Schnitzel Recipe