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My First Love – Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe!

If you’ve never been to Germany or Austria you may not be familiar with this meat dish. While it’s true schnitzel probably originated in Austria, we’ve come to look at some schnitzel as being a traditional German dish. German schnitzel is usually made with pork as opposed to the veal typically used in Austria. Also, schnitzel in Germany is much more likely to be served with some topping or sauce.

Regardless, traditional German schnitzel is definitely on our must try foods list for Germany. It is a flat, breaded and fried slice of pure goodness, one of my favorite foods in the entire world. When I’m tired, worn out, sick of the usual work grind and I want a home-cooked, feel good meal, I always want schnitzel.

Scnitzel with egg, ham, and cheese from one of our favorite restaurants in Frankfurt, the Klosterhof.
Schnitzel with egg, ham, and cheese from one of our favorite restaurants in Frankfurt, the Klosterhof.

About once a year, my mother used to make her version of Wiener Schnitzel, found no where in the entire world except her kitchen, and it became one of those meals that just feels like a hug from her. It’s that good! Since moving to Grafenwoehr, we have been on a serious hunt to find and eat the best traditional schnitzels in the country.

We’ve found a few great schnitzel restaurants, but we’ve also learned how to make the best ourselves, and here is our German Schnitzel recipe, complete with video. We’ve also learned that we love a good sauce or filling for a different schnitzel experience.

This hearty dish is a Bauernschnitzel or Farmer's Schnitzel.
This hearty dish is a Bauernschnitzel or Farmer’s Schnitzel.

What Is Traditional German Schnitzel?

You can use pretty much any type of meat for your schnitzel. For example, I’ve seen turkey, chicken, pork, veal, and even ostrich schnitzels on the menu. If you’re going with a traditional Wiener Schnitzel then you’re talking veal. But the most common and popular schnitzel would have to be pork or Schweineschnitzel and that’s our choice as well.

The trick to a tender, juicy German schnitzel is not slicing the meat super thin but rather using a meat tenderizer (hammer or rolling pin) to pound the meat down to a 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness. I’ve used a few different cuts over the years including boneless pork chops (several different cuts) pork steaks, and tenderloins. My favorite, for both tenderness, flavor, and consistency is the pork tenderloin.

Preparing Schnitzel

  • Gather ingredients.
  • Cut and pound individual schnitzels.
  • Dredge in flour and egg mixture.
  • Fry until golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve with a schnitzel sauce and with potatoes and salad.

Our Favorite Traditional Schnitzel Restaurants

FrankfurtRestaurant Klosterhof
BerlinRestaurant Nolle
MunichWirtshaus in der Au

That’s it, crispy and delicious traditional German Schnitzel. 

Pin our Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe for later!

Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe
Finished and plated schnitzel
Yield: 4 servings

Traditional German Schnitzel

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This traditional pork schnitzel recipe is tried and true. Eating it will make you feel that you are smack dab in the middle of a German Gasthaus. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 2 lbs.
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 cups bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin

Instructions

    1. Trim excess fat and silver-skin from the tenderloin, and then cut it into 4 equal pieces.
    2. Place one piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat for the remaining 3 pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic and spread it out on a large dinner plate. Whisk the egg on a second large dinner plate. Spread out a thin layer of bread crumbs on the third plate.
    4. Dredge one of the schnitzels in the flour mixture, being sure to coat both sides evenly, and shake off excess flour. Transfer the floured schnitzel to the egg and coat both sides.
    5. Lay the egg washed schnitzel on the bread crumb bed and sprinkle a layer of bread crumbs on top, pressing down gently to adhere the crumbs to the schnitzel.
    6. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet to around 325 degrees Fahrenheit so that the oil will be hot and ready for the breaded schnitzel (but be careful not to scorch the oil). Gently put the breaded schnitzel into the hot oil. Shake the pan carefully side-to-side while the schnitzel swims in the oil. Carefully flip the schnitzel after two or three minutes and continue frying for another two or three minutes (remember to shake the pan, side-to-side). Remove the schnitzel when it has a nice golden brown color. Repeat for the other three schnitzels.
    7. For the crispiest German schnitzel, serve directly out of the frying pan after a short cool down on a paper towel. Otherwise, finish frying all of the schnitzel and keep them warm in a 225 F (100 C) oven while you finish off sauces or toppings. Serve the schnitzel with a slice of lemon and side of fried potatoes.Typical schnitzel with fries and preiselbeeren sauce.

Notes

Try using chicken breast instead of pork for something different.

Looking for ways to liven up your schnitzel, we recommend trying something new with these additional schnitzel toppings and sauces!

6 of our 12 Variations of Schnitzel including Mexican, Ziguener, Greek, Parmigiana, Jaegerschnitzel, and bauernschnitzel.

Kelly

Saturday 11th of September 2021

Simple but perfect recipe - as good as any Wiener schnitzel I’ve had in Austria or Germany. I used veal, served with spaetzle and peas, and lemon wedges. I will try pork and chicken in the future!

Karen Smith

Sunday 23rd of April 2017

I want to try this recipe for schnitzel. I also use my mother's recipe to make a breaded pork tenderloin but it's tenderloin sized. I love that this schnitzel is made with the tenderloin. Can't wait to try it! Thank you.

Corinne Vail

Monday 24th of April 2017

Karen, We just cut the tenderloin to make our portions correct. That way it's tender and the right size.

rachael@safari254

Monday 1st of February 2016

I've only heard of German schnitzel but had no idea what it was made of. I didn't think that it would be that simple to make, I just might try out your recipe soon. The final product looks delicious.

Corinne Vail

Monday 1st of February 2016

Rachel, It really is! Let me know how it goes.

Sally@Toddlers on Tour

Tuesday 26th of January 2016

I didn't realise the trick was tenderising the meat. I've often bought a thinly sliced veal cut and whilst it's OK it's not great. Thanks for the tip I'm also going to try making some pork schnitzels.

Corinne Vail

Thursday 28th of January 2016

Sally, We have also found that the pork is more tender than the veal. Let us know what you find.

Anda

Sunday 24th of January 2016

I have to say, schnitzel was my first love too. We had many Germans in Romania (in Transylvania) and the recipe was very well known around the country. Every single restaurant in Romania can make a good schnitzel for you, so I grew up with it.

Corinne Vail

Sunday 24th of January 2016

Anda, And of course it's the same here, so you would think we hardly make it. Not true, though. It's something about cold and schnitzel, it just goes so well together.

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