See how easy it is to make authentic German Schnitzels at home, whether you use chicken, veal, or pork in this delicious recipe.
I like easy recipes. Very easy recipes that are no-fuzz and uncomplicated. These delicious authentic German schnitzels are definitely that!
So much so that you will make these again and again. They are perfect for your weeknight dinners or for entertaining.
What are German schnitzels?
If you have visited Germany or lived there, or just know anything about German food, then you know that Schnitzels are the quintessential German fare.
They are thin pieces of meat, breaded, and fried in some fat. The traditional Vienna-style schnitzel (Wiener Schnitzel) uses veal but most schnitzels in Germany are made with pork. Thus, they can be pork schnitzels (Schweineschnitzel) or chicken schnitzels (Hähnchenschnitzel) as in this recipe.
Why make German schnitzels?
Of course, you would make these schnitzels because they are plain delicious.
But then, they are also very easy and quick to make. You will get the hang of making them pretty quickly.
Lastly, they can be healthy. I always recommend you use the highest quality ingredients you can afford. As you will see below under “Ingredients”, you can make these schnitzels are healthy food.
What meat to use?
That is entirely up to you! Veal is traditional for the Vienna-style schnitzel but can it be controversial and expensive. Pork is a very economical, easy choice. I personally like to use chicken, even though it requires one extra step that the other two types of meat do not require.
Ingredients for your German schnitzels
- First and foremost, you need about 1 pound of meat. Again, you can use veal or pork boneless cutlets, or chicken breasts. I always recommend you use the highest quality ingredients you can afford. Since I like chicken, that is what I am using in this recipe, and it is free-range, pasture-raised, local chicken.
- You will need some flour. Plan on using 1 cup more or less for 4 servings. You can use regular AP flour, spelt flour, or einkorn flour. I have not used a gluten-free but if you do, please let me know how it turned out!
- Then, you will need 2 eggs. I prefer using eggs from chickens that roam in a pasture.
- For the breading, you will need at least 1 cup of breadcrumbs, possibly more. You can purchase them ready-made (make sure it’s breadcrumbs, not panko, the Japanese-style breadcrumbs) or make your own from stale bread.
- For frying, you will need oil. Any oil with a high smoke point works. I prefer using avocado oil. Depending on the size of your skillet, you might need a bit more than 1 cup of oil.
- Salt and pepper, although this is a bit optional.
The most notable kitchen item for this recipe is the meat tenderizer. You will need it to pound the meat evenly thin and tenderize it, as you will only fry the schnitzels for a relatively short time. I prefer using a wooden meat mallet but you can also a stainless steel meat tenderizer.
If you don’t own one, you might be able to ask your butcher to either cut the pieces of meat very thinly or pound them for you.
If you are using chicken breasts, make sure you have a very sharp knife to make things easy. Sometimes, it helps to sharpen your knife right before cutting the chicken.
You can fry the German schnitzels in any pan or skillet but I love using my 12″ cast iron skillet for this recipe. If you are new to it, you might be surprised how easy it actually is to care for cast iron!
How to make it:
Preparing the meat:
If you are using chicken breast, you need to cut the pieces in half horizontally. Try to make them evenly thick. You can skip this step if you are using veal or pork cutlets.
Using your meat tenderizer, pound the pieces of meat to an even ¼” thickness. Often, I like to flip the meat and pound it from both sides. If you like, you can season your meat on both sides with salt and pepper.
Breading the schnitzels
Now, prepare the breading station: gather 3 shallow bowls big enough to lay the pieces of meat in them. I like to use pasta plates rather than deep bowls.
Put the flour in the first bowl.
Crack the eggs into the second bowl and gently beat them with a whisk or a fork.
Put the breadcrumbs in the third bowl.
Take the first piece of meat and coat it with flour. Shake off any excess flour.
Next, coat this piece in egg, making sure both sides are evenly coated by egg.
Lastly, dredge the meat with breadcrumbs. Set aside and repeat these steps with the remaining meat pieces.
Frying the schnitzels:
Preheat your pan or skillet. Wait until your skillet is hot before you add the oil if you’re using cast iron. Then add enough oil that you have about ¼” in the pan or skillet.
Working in batches if necessary, fry the schnitzels in the hot oil. Since they are thin they will cook pretty fast. However, you can always gently lift them to see what they look like.
When they are golden-brown, flip them to the other side and fry them to a golden-brown color. Repeat with the remaining pieces or use more than one skillet.
How to serve German schnitzels
These schnitzels look very pretty if you garnish them with some parsley and lemon.
A green salad would also be a great side for these schnitzels. If you prefer serving them with some hot veggies, you could use steamed broccoli, asparagus, beans, or any other vegetable you like.
Easy German Schnitzels
- meat tenderizer/mallet
- 1- 1 ½ pounds veal, pork, or chicken
- 1 cup flour
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1+ cup oil with high smoke point (avocado)
- salt & pepper to taste
- If you are using chicken breast, cut the pieces in half horizontally. Try to make them evenly thick. Skip this step if you are using veal or pork cutlets.
- Using a meat tenderizer/mallet, pound the pieces of meat from both sides to an even ¼” thickness. Season your meat on both sides with salt and pepper, if you like.
- Gather 3 shallow bowls big enough to lay the pieces of meat in them. Put the flour in one, the beaten egg in the second, and the breadcrumbs in the third.
- Working one piece at a time, dredge the meat first in the flour (shaking off any excess), then in the eggs, and then in the breadcrumbs. Set aside. Repeat with remaining pieces.
- Preheat a pan or skillet. Add enough oil that you have about ¼” in the pan or skillet.
- Working in batches if necessary, fry the schnitzels in the hot oil until golden brown on one side. Flip and fry on the second side until golden-brown.
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