Traditional German Schnitzel (Schweineschnitzel)

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

Okay, everyone, here it is!  Drumroll…

How to make perfect Schnitzel!

As much as I love to cook – and being from Germany – it would be unforgivably inexcusable, a total outrage, if I didn’t know how to make Schnitzel!  After all, it’s the quintessential German dish.  Every tourist to Germany has had Schnitzel and most fall in love with it.  (I suppose there are the occasional odd individuals who don’t like it, and there’s sadly just no helping them).

Most Americans associate Schnitzel with Wienerschnitzel.  “Wienerschnitzel” is actually a geographically protected term in Germany and Austria and can only be made with veal.  This traditional German Schnitzel is prepared the same way as Austrian Wiener Schnitzel.  The only difference – German Schnitzel is made with pork (my preference) instead of veal (nein danke).  As for where the Schnitzel originally came from…the technique of breading and frying thin cuts of meat is attributed to the Romans from around 1 BC.  Another little tidbit:  Austrians will be the first to admit that Wienerschnitzel doesn’t come from Wien (Vienna).

But whether it’s Schweineschnitzel or Wienerschnitzel, when it’s perfectly breaded, perfectly fried, and perfectly crispy, practically everyone loves a good Schnitzel!  And now you can make it – perfectly – in your own kitchen!

Throughout the pictured recipe steps below, I’m going to share some tips and tricks with you that are important for achieving perfect results – like the kind of Schnitzel you’d get at a German restaurant – so be sure to read.

As already mentioned, Schnitzel is traditionally served with Spätzle and gravy, Pommes (fries), or Kartoffelsalat (German vinegar-based potato salad – it’s the best and recipe to come!).  Additionally, it’s usually served with a leafy green salad.

Don’t forget to check out this authentic recipe for Homemade German Spätzle.

Homemade German Spaetzle

The most popular variations of Schnitzel is Jägerschnitzel (“hunter schnitzel”, served with a rich mushroom gravy – recipe to come!),  Zigeunerschnitzel (“gypsy schnitzel”, served with a zesty bell pepper sauce), and Rahmschnitzel (“cream schnitzel” served with a rich cream sauce).

Another heavenly option would be to use the recipe below for German Geschnetzeltes (omit the sliced pork) to serve with the Schnitzel and Spätzle.  This sauce amazing!

German Geschnetzeltes

All three are commonly found in German restaurants and both are positively delicious.  When served plain, Schweineschnitzel (simply “pork schnitzel”) is usually garnished with a slice of lemon and a sprig of parsley, as pictured.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authenticLet’s get started!

The first key to achieving the perfect Schnitzel is to pound it very thin, no more than 1/4 inch thick.  The reason this is important is because you’ll need to fry it at high heat for a short period of time to get that perfect crispy crust without leaving the middle of the meat raw.

The easiest way to pound the pork chops is to lay them between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Be sure to pound them using the flat side of a meat mallet.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

Lightly sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

Have all of the “dipping bowls” laid out at the same time so you can move from one to the other quickly.  Lay out two plates and a shallow bowl:  Fill with flour/salt, lightly beaten eggs, and plain breadcrumbs (not panko).

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

Dip the pork into the flour, coating all sides.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

Next dip the pork into the egg mixture, coating all sides.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

Then coat the pork with the breadcrumbs.   The next key to achieving the perfect Schnitzel:  Don’t press the breadcrumbs into the meat. Just softly coat the pork on both sides and all edges, and then gently shake off any excess.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

The next key is to immediately fry the Schnitzels.  Don’t let them sit in coating or the end result won’t be as crispy.  You don’t need a ton of oil, but you need enough so that the Schnitzels can “swim”.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

The final key is to make sure the oil is hot enough – but not too hot.  It should be around 330ºF – test it with a candy thermometer.  If it’s too hot, the crust will burn before the meat is done.  If it isn’t hot enough, you’ll end up with a soggy coating.  When the oil is hot enough it will  actually penetrate the coating less and you’ll end up with a crispy “dry” coating instead of an overly oily one.   The result will be a beautifully crispy coating with a tender and juicy interior, and that’s exactly what we want.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

Remove the Schnitzel from the fry pan and place them briefly on a plate lined with paper towels.  Transfer them to serving plates and garnish with slices of lemon and fresh parsley sprigs.  Serve immediately with Spaetzle, French fries, or German potato salad and a fresh leafy green salad.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

Perfectly Made Schnitzel (Schweineschnitzel)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour combined with 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Place the pork chops between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them until just ¼ inch thick with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Lightly season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Place the flour mixture, egg, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dip the chops in the flour, the egg, and the breadcrumbs, coating both sides and all edges at each stage. Be careful not to press the breadcrumbs into the meat. Gently shake off the excess crumbs. Don't let the schnitzel sit in the coating or they will not be as crispy once fried - fry immediately.
  3. Make sure the cooking oil is hot enough at this point (about 330 degrees F) as you don't want the Schnitzel to sit around in the coating before frying. Use enough oil so that the Schnitzels "swim" in it.
  4. Fry the Schnitzel for about 2-3 minutes on both sides until a deep golden brown. Transfer briefly to a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Serve immediately with slices of fresh lemon and parsley sprigs or with your choice of sauce. Serve with German Spaetzle (see recipe for Homemade German Spaetzle), French fries, or German potato salad, and with a fresh leafy green salad.

how to make homemade German schnitzel pork recipe traditional authentic

72 Responses

  1. wrote on

    This looks just fabulous! I am so happy to have found you. I just got back from the local Indian store where I bought Kalonji to make your chutney. My family is going to be in for a real treat this weekend when I use this to make your Mango Chicken! Thanks.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Rhonda, I’m so happy you found my site as well! And I’m excited for your family – they’re going to be in taste bud heaven :) The mango chutney has been an especially popular recipe and it goes beautifully with the chicken. My whole family loves it! Enjoy! Best, Kimberly

  2. Karen

    wrote on

    Wienerschnitzel bitte… danke sehr :-).

    I was born in Augsburg, spent a couple of years there, then returned to Heidelberg and later Schweinfurt for my teen years. Loved the country, the country side, the people, the horses and the food!!! Heidelberg especially so.
    Nice to find your German recipes!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Karen, and welcome! Heidelberg is a beautiful place indeed as is the entire country. I’m from Stuttgart but I also lived a few years near Heidelberg and in the Hamburg area. But my heart is in southern Germany – Swabia where I grew up, and Bavaria where my mom is from. Southern Germany is also where all the best food is, Swabia in particular. Germans from others regions may attempt to argue that, but that is the general consensus – and it’s true! :) You know, I’ve had Wienerschnitzel maybe once or twice in my life. I’m just not a fan of veal. Schweineschnitzel (made with pork) is vastly more popular throughout Germany, it’s what I grew up with, and is my personal preference. But Wienerschnitzel is identical in every other respect and this recipe can be used with veal as well. Hope you’ll return often and give some of these recipes a try! Best, Kimberly

      • wrote on

        Hi there, I’m Canadian with German heritage, my husband is from Stolberg, near Aachan. I’m looking for a recipe for Mutzen. My mother in law made this every year but she never had a written recipe, she thought me all the other German recipes but for some reason we never made this one together, she passed away 5 years ago we have never been able to find her recipe….hope someone can help with a good recipe.

        • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Hello, yes I do! These fried doughnut-like pastries are popular throughout all of Germany, especially around Fastnacht, and each region has their own name for them. In this case Mutzen is from Rheinland. Here’s a traditional recipe:

          1 cup Quark (nearly impossible to find here but you can substitute fromage frais, fromage blanc, mascarpone cheese (much richer), or 3/4 cup ricotta combined with 1/4 cup full fat sour cream)
          2 medium eggs
          1 1/4 cup sugar
          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
          1 tablespoon rum (optional)
          1 cup all-purpose flour
          1 teaspoon baking powder
          Oil for deep frying
          Powdered sugar

          Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside. Add all the other ingredients in a stand mixer and mix to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture and knead until the dough comes together then knead for a couple more minutes. Have the oil already heated to 360 degrees F. Form the batter into small balls (about 2 teaspoons’ worth), carefully drop them into the oil and fry until golden brown. Place the fried Mutzen on paper towels and immediately sift powdered sugar over them.

          Happy Mutzen-making! :)

  3. Daniel

    wrote on

    This brings back good memories. My two younger brothers were born in Frankfurt and Munich, and we also lived in Heilbronn and Mannheim. Schnitzel and potato salad. Yum!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Good memories associated with good food are some of the best, Daniel! And this reminds me – again – that I need to post that Rotkohl (red cabbage) recipe! (*Note to self: Post the recipe! Soon!)

  4. JosieO

    wrote on

    Hi, I too am happy that I found your site. Lived in Stuttgart for 10 yrs. Moved to USA and bought German food from germandeli.com. Now I moved to Canada and can’t afford to import anything really :( I’m glad I can finally find a good recipe site that I can make all of those things I love. Now, do you have a good German pretzel recipe :p doubt I can come close to getting it right. Much thanks!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hello, Josie and welcome! That’s so wonderful that you had the privilege of spending 10 years in Stuttgart. It’s such a beautiful area and I regularly get homesick. Oh yes, nothing beats a freshly baked German pretzel! Thus far I haven’t had much incentive to because I happen to live right next to a German bakery here in WA, so they keep me happily supplied :) But you’re right, I should definitely add a recipe to my site! In the meantime, I have several German recipes on here and many, many more to come! So happy to have you on board! Best, Kimberly

    • Alexandra

      wrote on

      I was born in Munich and know what you mean by missing good German Food. Over the years a lot of stores are starting to carry German products. You can find the Pretzel at Sams Club actually. Just put in the oven to make them as crispy as you like and enjoy with butter. We eat this German breakfast every weekend :)
      ~Alexandra

      • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

        wrote on

        Hi, Alexandra! Yes, it’s very nice to be able to find the occasional German item here and there. Really I’ve just mainly been able to find things in a local German store where I live. What was really excited though was going to Victoria, British Columbia last month and the Walmart there had a dedicated German section!! There wasn’t a huge selection, but boy was it exciting! Now if only the Walmart’s here in WA would do that…not crossing my fingers ;)

  5. Sue Rauch

    wrote on

    This looks amazing, but how can you make the mushroom gravy for the schnitzel? I looked at the hunters pork chops but you use the drippings from the frying to make the gravy, but you don’t really fry the schnitzel the same way?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Sue! Good point. Most people don’t have beef drippings on hand like they used to in olden days. So you would just start from step #5 and make the rich roux, ensuring the butter/flour mixture is a rich caramel brown for optimal flavor. It will taste great!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks so much, Carrie, and thank you for stopping by!

  6. Anonymous

    wrote on

    Schnitzel looks wonderful. My Polish grandparents cooked alot of German foods which I miss so much. This has encouraged me to give it a try. Thank you.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you and I hope you will give it a try!

  7. Karl Poetschke

    wrote on

    My Grandmother (from Germany hardly spoke english) would use graded parmesan cheese in her breading and never used flour. Do you know if this is traditional from some part of Germany or just her own twist? It was delicious!! And she always made a gravy using the same oil/butter from the frying pan with white wine, lemon, milk and flour. Is this traditional as well? or just another twist? Honestly, her Schnitzel and Red cabbage was the best I have ever had including the expensive German restaurants I have been to.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Karl, the Parmesan and wine-lemon sauce are not traditional ways of making Schnitzel in any region of Germany, but it sure sounds delicious! What she made sounds more Italian than German influenced (which is actually where the concept of pounding, breading and frying thin cuts of meats originated). I hope you were able to get her recipe – great family recipes are treasures. If not, I may need to add it to my (growing to the point of over-flowing) “Make a Request” list, because it sounds too good not to make! :) That recipe would lend itself especially well to chicken.

    • Steve

      wrote on

      Karl, not sure if you’ll see this, but here’s hoping. When you mentioned the Schnitzel coated in parmesan cheese it kind of brought to mind Kasehanchen (sorry, my laptop can’t manage umlauts). If you want to reproduce your grandmother’s recipe, you might want to start there.

  8. Andrew

    wrote on

    So glad I found this! I turned it into a sandwich on a pretzel roll with some Gulden’s mustard for my family to enjoy. A friend of mine that is heavily involved in our German Heritage society suggested the use of ground up corn flakes versus bread crumbs. I may try it that way next.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Schnitzel sandwiches are fabulous, Andrew! Cornflakes are definitely not traditional but as I always say, the most important thing is that it tastes good!

  9. wrote on

    Love your schnitzel recipe. Can’t wait to try the sauce recipes

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks so much, Debby! Happy cooking!

  10. Anonymous

    wrote on

    Made this today and added a twist…topped the schnitzel with lemon slices and encrusted goat cheese medallions. Sides were fresh green beans with garlic and sea salt and roasted new potatoes. This dinner is a winner. Definite hit with the family. Make sure to get the oil the right temperature.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      That sounds yummy! And yes, oil temperature is crucial. Thanks for the feedback!

  11. Anonymous

    wrote on

    I grew up in Stuttgart and I love German cooking. Schnitzel is one of my favorites.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      That’s great! Mine, too :)

  12. Dee

    wrote on

    I’m so glad to find your site. I’m from German ancestors and treasure the recipes from my grandparents. I’m looking for a recipe my grandmother called apple dumplings and dip. The “dip” was made with milk and sugar and I’m not sure what else do you know this recipe? I would appreciate any help you could give. We also love the schnitzel. Yum to all German food.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi, Dee, I’m happy you found my site, too! The recipe that comes to mind that are Apfelkrapfen. Give that a “google” and see if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll see several recipe options. I’m not sure what the dip part is. These are generally just eaten as is. I would imagine the dip part was your grandmother’s own touch.

  13. wrote on

    […] and bread crumbs, and then fried. It is not something that needs help. It needs to be eaten. Traditional German Schnitzel (Schweineschnitzel) – The Daring Gourmet Michael Jahn – Slightly used PDF Evangelist Simi Valley California Reply With […]

  14. Mineo Tanaka

    wrote on

    It has been over 30 years since the German Delicatessen on Robson Strasse in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, closed its doors. They made a schnitzel sandwich that I have been looking for ever since. Nothing has come close after travelling the world. Yours looks very similar and I will give it a try. Will let you know!!!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Please do, Mineo! There’s nothing complicated about making a good Schnitzel. The process is very basic but a few tips – mentioned in the post – need to be followed to get the right results. Happy cooking!

  15. Sue Ferguson

    wrote on

    Hi Kimberly,
    I’m cooking your Schnitzel tonite, but I”ve notice in one statement you say to stand after crumbing, then cook start away.
    I like to put in frig for awhile, should I do this.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Sue, I don’t think I said anywhere to let it sit. In the pictured instructions and in Step 3 I emphasize the importance of frying the Schnitzel immediately after breading in order to achieve a crispy crust. If you’ve already refrigerated it, don’t despair, it will still taste wonderful. Happy cooking and enjoy!

  16. Anonymous

    wrote on

    This does look great but Schnitzel is Austrian not German.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi! It actually isn’t either Austrian or German, it’s Roman. But Austria is traditionally associated with Wienerschnitzel, which is strictly veal, not pork. And Austrians will even tell you that it did not originate in Wien (Vienna). If you read the post you’ll find the explanation.

  17. Natasha

    wrote on

    Made this for lunch today and it was delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Wonderful! I’m so glad to hear that, Natasha, thanks for the feedback!

  18. Anonymous

    wrote on

    Hi! I am from sunny South Africa. I am so happy that I found your site. I made your schnitzel last night with our traditional pap and my family loved it. Next time I,ll make it with your food, I,ll let you know. Thank you.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Greetings to South Africa! I’m thrilled you found my site and am happy you enjoyed the first recipe you tried. I really appreciate the feedback, thanks so much!

  19. Eric

    wrote on

    Made this Schnitzel today and it was AMAZING. Reminded me of the kind I would have while living in Sachsen. Thanks so much for the recipe. It made us very happy!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      I’m thrilled to hear that, Eric! Sachsen is a beautiful part of Germany and that’s wonderful that you had the opportunity to live there. Thanks so much for the feedback!

  20. Dave

    wrote on

    Mmm Lecker Lecker! I’m making some for Mittagessen! Danke!!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      That’s my kind of Mittagessen, Dave! Happy cooking!

  21. Dave

    wrote on

    Vielen Dank! Just made it! Sehr gut!!! I have friends in different parts of Deutschland (have been there 7 times and love it and I’m obsessed with their food..Currywurst, Schnitzel, etc and Turkish Döner! ) I recently made Semmelknödel. It was much easier than I thought and if I can make it anyone can LOL Thanks again!! Mach’s Gut–Dave :-)

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Fantastic, I’m so happy to hear it was a hit, Dave! I know, I really can’t get enough of German food either. And yes, the Döner’s in Germany are the BEST!! Thanks so much for your feedback!

  22. Karic

    wrote on

    This looks super good, can’t wait to make it!! My Oma has made this a couple times and its delicious!! I have a question for you though, I’m making this for my Adv. Culinary family meal project and I’m not sure what to make as a side dish. For one I’m making German potato salad but I’m drawing a blank for the second. Can you help me any?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Karic! Most typically in German restaurants this would be served with French fries and a leafy green salad. German potato salad is great option, too, and you could still include the green salad with it. Happy cooking!

      • Karic

        wrote on

        Alright thank you!!!

  23. mallory

    wrote on

    I loooove Schweineschnitzel! I used this recipe to make a German meal for my family when I went home for Christmas (I live in WA, as well!) and it was a huge hit. I made it with Spätzle, Rotkohl, a nice salad, and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte for dessert. My family is almost all German, although we’ve been in the US for a few generations, and I’ve been trying to connect with my heritage through cooking and attempting to learn the language so I can speak a little if I ever get to visit Germany again. I love your recipes, so please post more if you have them!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Mallory, I’m so thrilled to hear the Schnitzel was a hit, and the meal you prepared sounds sooooo delicious! I wish I had been one of your dinner guests! :) Cooking authentic German food is a perfect way to connect with your heritage and best of luck with learning the language. I’ll tell you, I grew up speaking German and English fluently so I don’t know any differently, but my non-English speaking friends tell me that English is much harder! English has such crazy, inconsistent rules and ways of pronouncing things, you know? Although German grammar is atrociously difficult, at least the words are all pronounced phonetically! Thanks so much for the compliment and happy cooking! (Oh yes, many more recipes to come :)

  24. Ursula

    wrote on

    We just had these tonight and they were delicious, thanks for sharing your recipe

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Wonderful, Ursula, I’m so glad you enjoyed them and really appreciate the feedback!

  25. wrote on

    I never found the recipe for the gravy from drippings (like my Austrian grandmother used to make). Very disappointed.

  26. wrote on

    Never mind, I found it with Hunter’s Pork Chops

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Excellent! Happy cooking, deirdret!

  27. wrote on

    We were stationed in Germany 1976-1980 and used to go to this little place and order Sahneschnitzel (I think that’s the correct spelling.) It had little slices of mushrooms in a white cream sauce, maybe a type of gravy, but not gravy like we have here in Texas.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Yes, Sahneschnitzel is another terrific version!

  28. Sharon

    wrote on

    I have been trying to “get it right” for awhile now. I wasn’t using the oil… not too much but just enough! Vielen Dank! Sahneschnitzel is another favourite…and if i could get away with Rotkohl, Spaetzle and Kaesller every night, I would!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      We think alike, Sharon! :)

  29. Stephanie

    wrote on

    So I’m not quite ambitious enough to attempt these from scratch yet, but there is a wonderful German deli in town that sells the schnitzel all ready to fry (fresh of course). I realize they probably won’t be as crispy, but I’m willing to risk it. My question is, what kind of oil do you use to fry them? When I lived in Germany I was just a child, and unfortunately, didn’t pay attention to that kind of thing, but I know when it tastes right, and I imagine the type of oil could have an effect on flavor…

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Stephanie! You’ll want to use a flavorless oil. There are a few options, the cheapest being vegetable (soybean), corn and canola. I personally avoid those like the plague because they’re really unhealthy oils, especially for high heat cooking. If you’re concerned about the health factor, I use avocado oil for high heat cooking like frying Schnitzel. Unfortunately it’s expensive, but I have found a great deal on it at Costco which is where I now buy it. It’s the best deal by far. Happy cooking!

  30. Trudy

    wrote on

    My son just returned home to Indiana from a two week college immersion trip to Tubingen. He brought be back a regional cookbook, but it is German so I can’t read it. Glad to find your site to help me make some of his favorite meals from his trip. We joked that the schnitzel is very similar to the breaded tenderloins we put on sandwiches in Indiana.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Trudy, Tübingen is just a few minutes south from where I’m from in Stuttgart, Germany. Hope your son had a good time! Those breaded tenderloin sandwiches may very likely be of German influence. I’m so glad you found my site as well – happy cooking! Best, Kimberly

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  1. […] and bread crumbs, and then fried. It is not something that needs help. It needs to be eaten. Traditional German Schnitzel (Schweineschnitzel) – The Daring Gourmet Michael Jahn – Slightly used PDF Evangelist Simi Valley California Reply With […]

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