Pork Schnitzel

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Also known as Schweineschnitzel, Pork Schnitzel is an easy dinner recipe that is ready in about 15 minutes. Once you have the pork, you need just a handful of pantry ingredients to bring this crispy German classic to life.

Plates of pork schnitzel, braised red cabbage, and spaetzle.


 

Schnitzel is the German version of breaded pork cutlets. They are usually breaded and deep-fried like a Country Fried Steak or Breaded Pork Tenderloin. While schnitzel can be made with chicken, veal, or pork, German Schnitzel or Schweineschnitzel is made with pork.

The cutlets are extra crunchy thanks to a coating of flour, eggs, and panko bread crumbs. They need nothing else than a squirt of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of kosher salt, but I love Pork Schnitzel best with a platter of Spaetzle or mashed potatoes and Braised Red Cabbage.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled Pork Schnitzel ingredients.

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 breadcrumbs are a form of Japanese bread crumb. Find it in boxes or canisters at most major grocery stores or Asian markets, or learn how to make your own fried bread crumbs. You can also add more flavor to your crumbs with a teaspoon of garlic powder, a tsp paprika, or ground mustard.
  • Pork tenderloin: Trim off any pieces of visible fat, which can err on the chewy side, then slice at an angle into four portions that you can pound into cutlets.

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 and flour in separate large shallow bowls. In a third shallow dish, beat together eggs and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Working with one piece of pork at a time, place each piece of meat between two sheets of parchment paper or pieces of plastic wrap, and pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin, between 1/8- and ¼-inch thick. Pat cutlets dry with paper towels and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pounding pork cutlets thinly for schnitzel.
  1. Bread the cutlets one at a time: First, dredge thoroughly in flour and shake off excess flour. Next coat with egg mixture, and allow excess to drip back into the dish. Dip the cutlet evenly into breadcrumbs, pressing crumbs to ensure they adhere to the cutlet. Place cutlets on the prepared wire rack and allow coating to dry, about 5 minutes.
Breading pork cutlets for schnitzel.
  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 cups vegetable oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Fry 2 cutlets in the canola 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.
Pork schnitzel frying in a pan.
  1. Garnish with fresh parsley or fresh dill and serve with lemon wedges.
A platter of pork schnitzel.

What is the best meat tenderizer?

To get your pork super flat and tender for cooking, I love using the Oxo Steel Meat Tenderizer. It’s my top choice in my roundup of the best meat tenderizers and the one I personally use for cooking and in my test kitchen. You can get it for $16.80 at Amazon. A sturdy skillet or rolling pin will also do the trick.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Pork Schnitzel recipe makes four (5-ounce portions); each serving is enough for one adult main dish.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge 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.
  • Chicken Schnitzel: Substitute chicken cutlets for the pork.
  • Wiener Schnitzel: Substitute veal cutlets for the pork. “Wienerschnitzel” is a geographically protected term in Germany and Austria and that variety absolutely must be made with veal. You know how real champagne must come from the Champagne region of France? Same situation.
  • Jägerschnitzel: Also known as Hunter’s Schnitzel, these deep-fried pork cutlets are smothered in brown cream mushroom gravy as a sauce. Sounds good to me!
  • Oktoberfest: Planning a German fall festival? See my full Oktoberfest Menu. Start with beef Rouladen (with pickles inside), Spaetzle (homemade egg noodles), and German Potato Salad. Serve with plenty of German beer and some Lemon Spezis (Coca-Cola with Lemonade) for the kids.
Plates of pork schnitzel, braised red cabbage, and spaetzle.
Pork Schnitzel with Spaetzle and Braised Red Cabbage.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 cut of pork is pork schnitzel made from?

Pork schnitzel can be made from any boneless cut of pork such as pork tenderloin or boneless pork chops.

What is schnitzel called in America?

Schnitzel bears a close resemblance to Country Fried Steak or Breaded Pork Tenderloin.

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A plate of pork schnitzel, spatzle, and braised red cabbage.

Pork Schnitzel

Also known as Schweineschnitzel, Pork Schnitzel is an easy dinner recipe that is ready in about 15 minutes. Once you have the pork, you need just a handful of pantry ingredients to bring this crispy German classic to life.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings (1 schnitzel each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Calories 259
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients 

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 pork at a time, place pork 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 wedges.

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, or learn how to make your own fried bread crumbs.
  2. Pork tenderloin: Trim off any pieces of visible fat, which can err on the chewy side, then slice at an angle into four portions that you can pound into cutlets.
  3. Yield: This Pork Schnitzel recipe makes four (5-ounce portions); each serving is enough for one adult main dish.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cutletCalories: 259kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 9gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 284mgPotassium: 129mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 303IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 3mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. I’ve been making schnitzel for over 40 years..chicken.. pork or veal.. in the 70s we had a pork schnitzel called alimano.. I’ve tried finding this recipe with no luck.. adding parmesan is the closest I can get to the taste… any help would be appreciated..

    1. Hi Carol, thank you so much for the comment! I’ve not heard of alimano-style schnitzel, I wonder if it could be similar to Munich-style schnitzel, where one side of the cutlet is brushed with sweet mustard, and the other brushed with horseradish. Hope this helps! Take care! – Meggan