Chicken Schnitzel

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Bread and fry thin chicken cutlets to bring a platter of traditional Chicken Schnitzel to the table in just 25 minutes. Like supersized chicken nuggets, this classic German dinner recipe is a supremely family-friendly meal!

A plate of chicken schnitzel.

Similar to the Italian Chicken Milanese, Chicken Schnitzel is a very thin cutlet that has been breaded and deep-fried. It’s a classic German entree that is delicious with nothing but a squeeze of lemon, but it’s often paired with Spaetzle and Braised Red Cabbage.

It’s crunchy and delicious, and it’s easy enough to make that you can enjoy it on a weeknight. And if you’re more of a pork person, you can make Pork Schnitzel instead (or try it with beef or veal).

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for chicken schnitzel.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Bread crumbs: Light and fluffy, extra-crispy panko is a form of Japanese bread crumb. Find it in boxes or canisters at most major grocery stores or Asian markets. You can also learn how to make your own fried bread crumbs.
  • Chicken breast cutletsMost grocery stores stock chicken cutlets, but if you can’t find them, set the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice it in half horizontally, cutting all the way through. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Step by step instructions

  1. Prepare a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet, and line a plate with a triple layer of paper towels. Place bread crumbs in a large shallow dish. Spread flour in a second large shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, beat together eggs and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place chicken between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and pound to an even thickness, between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick. Pat cutlets dry with paper towels and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pounding chicken cutlets thin under plastic wrap.
  1. Bread the cutlets one at a time by first dredging thoroughly in flour and shaking off excess flour. Next coat with egg mixture, and allow excess to drip back into dish. Coat cutlet evenly with bread crumbs, pressing crumbs to ensure they adhere to the cutlet. Place cutlets on prepared wire rack and allow coating to dry, about 5 minutes.
Breading chicken cutlets.
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 cups vegetable oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Lay 2 cutlets into the oil without overlapping and cook, moving cutlets continuously and gently until wrinkled and light golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared paper-lined plate. Flip and blot cutlets several times to remove excess oil. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
Frying chicken cutlets.
  1. Garnish the Chicken Schnitzel with fresh parsley and serve with lemon slices.
A plate of chicken schnitzel.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Chicken Schnitzel recipe makes four (5-ounce) portions; each serving is enough for one adult entree portion.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The cutlets can be pounded out, breaded, and stored covered in the refrigerator one day in advance. Unfortunately, they cannot easily be frozen and then reheated in a pan or oven.
  • Tools of the trade: A meat tenderizer can make quick work out of pounding the chicken breasts into thin cutlets. A sturdy skillet will also do the trick.
  • Oktoberfest: Planning a German fall festival? See my full Oktoberfest Menu. Start with Pork Schnitzel or RouladenSpaetzleGerman Potato Salad, and Braised Red Cabbage are all fantastic sides. Don’t forget Soft Pretzels and homemade Mustard. Finish the meal with Lebkuchen cookies or a Black Forest Cake and serve with plenty of beer and some Lemon Spezis for the kids.
2 plates with chicken schnitzel, spatzle, and braised red cabbage.
Chicken Schnitzel with Spaetzle and Braised Red Cabbage.

Recipe FAQs

What is a schnitzel?

A schnitzel is a thin, boneless meat cutlet made from beef, chicken, pork, or veal. It is often breaded and pan-fried. The most famous is Wienerschnitzel, from Austria.

What is chicken schnitzel served with?

At restaurants, schnitzels of all kinds are typically served with spaetzle and either braised cabbage or another vegetable. Other traditional sides are cucumber salad, German potato salad, or French fries.

More German recipes

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Chicken Schnitzel garnished with a lemon and parsley.

Chicken Schnitzel

Bread and fry thin chicken cutlets to bring a platter of traditional Chicken Schnitzel to the table in just 25 minutes. Like supersized chicken nuggets, this classic German dinner recipe is a supremely family-friendly meal!
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings (1 schnitzel each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Calories 326

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (see note 1)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 cups vegetable oil divided
  • 4 chicken breast cutlets (about 1 1/4-pounds, see note 2)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, for serving
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions 

  • Prepare a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet, and line a plate with a triple layer of paper towels. Place bread crumbs in a large shallow dish. Spread flour in a second large shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, beat together eggs and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
  • Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place chicken between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and pound to an even thickness, between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick. Pat cutlets dry with paper towels and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Bread the cutlets one at a time by first dredging thoroughly in flour and shaking off excess flour. Next coat with egg mixture, and allow excess to drip back into dish. Coat cutlet evenly with bread crumbs, pressing crumbs to ensure they adhere to the cutlet. Place cutlets on prepared wire rack and allow coating to dry, about 5 minutes.
  • In a large Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 cups vegetable oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Lay 2 cutlets into the oil without overlapping and cook, moving cutlets continuously and gently until wrinkled and light golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Transfer to prepared paper-lined plate. Flip and blot cutlets several times to remove excess oil. Repeat with remaining cutlets. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon slices.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Bread crumbs: Light and fluffy, extra-crispy panko is a form of Japanese bread crumb. Find it in boxes or canisters at most major grocery stores or Asian markets. You can also learn how to make your own fried bread crumbs.
  2. Chicken breast cutletsMost grocery stores stock chicken cutlets, but if you can’t find them, set the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice it in half horizontally, cutting all the way through. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  3. Yield: This Chicken Schnitzel recipe makes four (5-ounce) portions; each serving is enough for one adult entree portion.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. Make ahead: The cutlets can be pounded out, breaded, and stored covered in the refrigerator one day in advance. Unfortunately, they cannot easily be frozen and then reheated in a pan or oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cutletCalories: 326kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 31gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 305mgPotassium: 517mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 337IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 3mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Hi Meggan, This is indeed an amazing food website. Thank you so much for the post. I enjoy it and got know food relation info from your blog post. 5 stars

  2. Perhaps you can help me with this. I cannot see any difference between this recipe and chicken Parmesan.
    Please educate me on this.
    Thank you,
    Bill

    1. Hi William, great question! Although very similar, chicken parmesan has parmesan in the in the breadcrumb mixture and this one does not. Additionally the chicken parmesan is then served with marinara and mozzarella on top. Hope this helps! – Meggan