Easy Pork Schnitzel Recipe

October 16, 2020 - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This Easy Pork Schnitzel recipe is easy to make, quick, and best of all it is delicious. It is a traditional German recipe that deserves its place as a famous dish and is reachable by any home cook and it cooks in just a few minutes. The flavor tastes like grandma spent hours over the stovetop to get it just right. A great weeknight meal if you are looking for something to get the job done, but still has a great homemade touch that makes it just as nice for when guests come over. Try this Pork Schnitzel recipe today! 

Four Pork Schnitzel cutlets on a large white platter, garnished with parsley and lemon.

What is Schnitzel?

It isn’t a dish, but a cooking technique where a meat tenderizer is used to flatten a piece of meat, then coated with breadcrumbs and fried. Often, this could include cuts of meat that are a bit more on the tough size and tenderizing it helps submit it into something easier on the teeth. Once tenderized, it is covered in breadcrumbs and then fried to perfection.

There are different kinds of schnitzel, but we are making a schnitzel today using pork chops. Many people might associate schnitzel with the traditional Wiener Schnitzel.

Remember, however, that schnitzel is a cooking technique. The Wiener in Wiener Schnitzel identifies that the schnitzel was made with veal rather than pork. Literally, Wiener translates to ‘Of Vienna’, so it is a traditional Viennese recipe. 

Our recipe using pork and not veal is more reachable to your average home cook, affordable, and it tastes great. Once you have this technique down, you might consider trying it with other cuts of meat and you can confidently know you are making a schnitzel of some sort!

Trim the Fat, Pound the Meat

One of the critical steps in making a schnitzel is producing a thin cutlet of meat and fat stands in the way. So, even though we are already using boneless porkchops, we need to make our ability to pound the meat as seamless as possible. So, trim the fat.

If you leave the fat on the cut, it will be liable to cause a mess. The pork chop will me more difficult to pound out and will also be more apt to fall apart around the fat. Our goal is to get it thin. About a quarter-inch thin. 

Actively trimming fat from a pork chop cutlet with two pork chops off to the side.
Trim excess fat off of your pork chops. This fat would not work well for the pounding process.

Pounding the meat is not that difficult, but I have a few tips that can make the process a bit more smooth.

Use a Meat Tenderizer

You know the hammer looking thing in your drawer of random kitchen stuff that is usually stuffed somewhere in the back? It probably gets caught when you open and closed the drawer and makes you wonder why you have so much stuff stuffed in there?

Well, today you put it to use. Usually, this tenderizer has a side with spikes and a flat side. Use the flat side. If you don’t have a meat tenderizer, now is as good as any time to pick one up! [Affilliate Link] You, too, can experience the joy of having a meat hammer catch on your kitchen drawer.

Cover your Meat

Place a sheet of plastic wrap on each side of the pork chop before you start pounding. This helps reduce the mess, but also helps keep the meat together when you are pounding. If you directly pound the meat without plastic wrap, there is just more of a chance that the meat will fall apart once you get on the thin side of things.

One trimmed pork chop between two sheets of plastic wrap and a meat tenderizer being held in a hand just prior to striking the chop.
Cover your pork chops in plastic wrap and use the flat side of your meat tenderizer to pound out your pork chop while making this.

Take Your Time

This really is not that long of a process and does not require the patience of a middle-school band teacher, but don’t rush this. It takes a little time to flatten the pork chop and if you start whacking the meat in a frenzy of chaos, the end product might reflect that. Just slow your roll and beat your chop at an appropriate pace. 

Dipping And Breading Your Schnitzel

You pounded out your pork and now we need to bread it. This is a simple four-step process. First, dip it in milk. Then, dip it in flour. Then, dip it in an egg wash. Finally, add it to your breadcrumbs. While it is four steps, it is easy! Each step helps ensure that the final product is as good as possible, so don’t skip any.

The only substitute I could really endorse is that you could get away with dipping the pork initially in water instead of milk, but I would only do that in a pinch.

Set Up a Breading Station

Do yourself a favor and set up a breading station. Four containers with each of the breading ingredients. This will make the process super easy and help ensure you have some beautifully breaded schnitzels. We performed similar, but slightly different, operations when we made our Baked Shrimp Po’ Boy recipe and our Beer Battered Fish Tacos recipe.

Type Of Bread Crumbs to Use

Use what you like! I have a great homemade bread crumb recipe that can be used, but sometimes I even like simplicity and buy our breadcrumbs. For this recipe, I used Progresso Italian Breadcrumbs, as I usually have that in our cupboard and we have used it in some other recipes like my Spicy Italian Meatloaf Recipe.

Uncooked, but breaded, Pork Schnitzel on a white plate being held up by a hand.
This is what your completely breaded, but uncooked, pork schnitzel should look like. This is just prior to cooking in oil.

Frying Instructions

When you fry the schnitzel, you want it to be able to swim in the oil. You do not need to use a deep fryer, but make sure to use frying safety guidelines to ensure you can make this tasty meal safely. 

I use my cast iron dish to fry my schnitzel, but I use my smaller one. Because these cook so quickly and they need a bit of time to drain, I feel good about cooking them one at a time, which is good for my smaller cast iron pan. 

I have a few tips to help make this as easy as possible. Make sure your oil is hot enough. I temp mine at 350 Fahrenheit before I add the pork and allow for a little time between each cut for the oil to heat back up.

Also, have both oil safe tongs and a spatula nearby to help you navigate any issues you may encounter. I only need these to be cooking to a temperature of 145 Fahrenheit, so a quick 45-second fry on both sides is all I need. The tongs should allow you to flip them, but it can be nice to have a good spatula available just in case you need a bit more control over the cut.

As I said, you need to get to 145 Fahrenheit. While the 1 minute and thirty seconds of frying should get you there, I always recommend having a meat thermometer [AFFILIATE LINK] on hand to temp your meat. I want you to be safe and making sure your food is at the appropriate temperature is easy enough.

One pork schnitzel in a skillet being fried and swimming in hot oil, while a cooked schnitzel is draining on a white paper towel off to the side.
Fry your pork schnitzels at about 350 Fahrenheit. I cook one at a time and make sure to allow the schnitzels to drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Allow to Drain

I am only cooking these one at a time and only cooking four cutlets. It should take less than ten minutes to finish all of them. You might think the first one you cook would get cold? Nope. We want these to drain on a paper-towel-lined plate for just a little bit.

Allowing your schnitzel to drain on a few pieces of paper towel will help wick away any excess grease from the cut and give you the best pork schnitzel possible.

What To Serve With Schnitzel

With the schnitzel itself, we are just going with a traditional combination of parsley and lemon. That is all one really needs, but you might also try a great condensed mushroom soup recipe that can substitute for a gravy or perhaps some fried onions. 

Other than what is served directly on top of the cut, consider some potatoes, bread, or something that goes well with fried food. I have eaten this with baked potatoes and I think this is a great pairing. Mashed potatoes would go excellent, as well, particularly if you are making a gravy to go along with this.

History of the Schnitzel

The origin story of schnitzel goes back to the 800s AD and Kaiser Basilleios I, or Basil I, who I believe to be the same person. Born a peasant, he grew to emperor of the region. As emperor, allegedly, he liked to have his meat flaked with real gold.

Quite the big spender, huh? Well, as an emulation of this opulence, people started using breadcrumbs to help achieve that gold look. And Schnitzel was born!

It tastes good, right? So the recipe preserved. 

Many people are familiar with the word Wiener Schnitzel, which is NOT what we are making here today, but worth mentioning. Literally, this translates to Viennese Schnitzel or a schnitzel made in the style that people from Vienna do, or with veal. There are Wiener Schnitzel recipes that were printed in the mid-1800s, but that is about as far back as well documented history goes with this dish

We, however, are using pork chops and not veal and what we are making is just a normal German schnitzel. The story of schnitzel does not end in Europe though, as many Germans emigrated to America in the 1800s and 1900s. 

In the American south, you start to see beef recipes that closely resemble schnitzel appear. Chicken Fried Steak or Country Fried Steak may very well have its origin in schnitzel and the German immigrants that settled in the south!

Tips For Cooking Schnitzel

  • The best way to pound cutlets is with flat side of meat tenderizer and cover meat with plastic wrap.
  • Use an appropriate dish for frying and always make sure to be safe while frying.
  • Turn using fry safe tongs
  • Use a thermometer to make sure pork reaches safe internal temperature of 145 Fahrenheit
  • Draining cooked cutlets is important.
  • A gravy or sauce, such as this condensed mushroom soup would be great for this.
Overhead view of four pork schnitzel cutlets on a white platter, with a fork and knife off to the side.

Products I Used In this Recipe

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Easy Pork Schnitzel Recipe

Four Pork Schnitzel cutlets on a large white platter, garnished with parsley and lemon.

You don’t have to have German heritage to celebrate awesome German recipes and this Easy Pork Schnitzel recipe is a great way to do just that! It is simple, affordable, easy, and fast. This pork schnitzel is great for a weeknight meal or for something to serve to special guests. Give this classic German recipe a try!

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: German
Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 4oz chop cutlets trimmed of fat
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying 

Instructions

  1. Pound each of the trimmed cutlets to about 1/4 inch. It is best to plastic wrap on each side and hammer with the flat side of a meat tenderizer
  2. One at a time, dunk in milk so entire cut is covered
  3. coat in flour
  4. Dunk in egg so entire surface is covered
  5. Cover cutlet bread crumbs and set aside
  6. Repeat until all four cutlets are covered
  7. Fill sturdy, skillet with oil and heat to 350 Fahrenheit
  8. Cook each cutlet 45 seconds on each side until done. Minimum internal temp of 145 Fahrenheit
  9. Set aside on paper-towel lined plate to drain
  10. Serve with parsley and lemon

Notes

  • The best way to pound cutlets is with flat side of meat tenderizer and cover meat with plastic wrap.
  • Use an appropriate dish for frying and always make sure to be safe while frying.
  • Turn using fry safe tongs
  • As with all of my fry recipes, I do the best I can to account for the oil in the nutritional information, but I cannot determine this exactly.
  • Use a thermometer to make sure pork reaches safe internal temperature of 145 Fahrenheit
  • Draining cooked cutlets is important.
  • A gravy or sauce, such as this condensed mushroom soup would be great for this.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cutlet
  • Calories: 812 kcal
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 512 mg
  • Fat: 58 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 47 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 47 g
  • Cholesterol: 93 mg

Keywords: Pork Schnitzel

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