My First Love – Traditional German Schnitzel and a Recipe!

What Is Traditional German Schnitzel?

If you’ve never been to Germany or Austria you may not be familiar with this meat dish. It is a flat, breaded and fried slice of pure goodness, one of my most 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. 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 Germany, 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 (see below), 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.

Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe - Beautiful plate with schnitzel, asparagus, fried potatoes, and lemon.You can use pretty much any type of meat for your schnitzel. I’ve seen turkey, chicken, pork, veal, and even ostrich schnitzels on the menu. If you’re going with a traditional Wiener Schnitzel then your talking veal. But the most common and popular schnitzel would have to be pork or Schweine Schnitzel 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.

Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe - all the ingredients: pork, spices, bread crumbs, eggs, flour.

My German Schnitzel Recipe

1 pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
1-2 cups bread crumbs
vegetable oil
1 lemon, sliced thinly

Cooking Schnitzel

Trim excess fat and silver-skin from the tenderloin, and then cut it into 4 equal pieces. 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.

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.

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).

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. 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.

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.

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.

Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe - The schnitzel all served up.

Our Favorite Traditional Schnitzel Restaurants

Frankfurt – Restaurant Klosterhof
Berlin – Restaurant Nolle
Munich – Paulaner im Tal

That’s it, crispy and delicious traditional German Schnitzel. What are some of your favorite recipes you’ve discovered on your travels?

More World Recipes To Try

One of the main reasons we travel is to try different foods and tastes around the world. And when we get home we like to try and recreate some of those specialties that we enjoyed so much. In Turkey we fell in love with Borek and Kofte, in Lithuania it was a really scrumptious Apple Cake, in France we found a rich mushroom soup that has become an autumn favorite.  Visit our World Recipes Index to find even more tasty dishes.

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Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe




























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Traditional German Schnitzel

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The most delicious and traditional pork schnitzel.
Recipe Image

Prep Time: minutes Cooking Time: minutes Total Time: minutes

Serves: 4-6

Recipe Instructions

  1. Scroll up to see a detailed description as well as video on how to make Traditional German Schnitzel.


  1. We have a German recipe book, and have made this. I’ll have to check the ingredients to see if it’s the same. 🙂 We love this dish! We often make German Spaetzle to go with it. It’s crazy because I got a Spaetzle maker for a White Elephant gift one year. Everyone at work was like, “What’s that?” I knew. I said, “Oh this is something I can use!” We do use it.

  2. Thanks for posting! Next time I’m in a kitchen, I’ll be trying this. (Are you particular about the sort of bread crumbs you use?) Recipe is saved, pinned, and embedded in my memory, like a big hug.

  3. We harvest wild abalone every chance we can up in the NW. The prep is similar with slicing, pounding and dredging, then frying. So delicious. I’ll have to try your Schnitzel variations.

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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