My First Love – Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe!

Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe

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If you’ve never been to Germany or Austria you may not be familiar with this meat dish. Traditional German schnitzel 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.
Scnitzel 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 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, 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.

Bauern 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.
Traditional German Schnitzel Ingredients
Gather your ingredients for preparing the schnitzel.
Pork loin and pounding tool
Using a good cut of pork, we use the loin, cut into slices about the same size for each person.
Pounding the schnitzel for tenderness
Cover the pork slice with plastic wrap and pound until thin.
Each pork schnitzel should be like this
Each pork schnitzel should look like this.
Dredging the pork through the flour.
First, dredge in flour.
Dredging through the eggs.
Second, dredge in eggs.
Lightly sprinkling with bread crumbs.
Last, add breadcrumbs to each side of pork.
Frying the schnitzel.
Fry until golden brown on both sides.
Traditional German 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. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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).
    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. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Serve the schnitzel with a slice of lemon and side of fried potatoes.

Our Favorite Traditional Schnitzel Restaurants

FrankfurtRestaurant Klosterhof
BerlinRestaurant Nolle
MunichPaulaner im Tal

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

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Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe

 

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “My First Love – Traditional German Schnitzel Recipe!

  1. Pingback: 12 Variations of Schnitzel or Mmmm... Pork for Every Month Recipes - Reflections Enroute

  2. Karen Smith says:

    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.

  3. rachael@safari254 says:

    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.

  4. Sally@Toddlers on Tour says:

    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.

  5. Anda says:

    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 says:

      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.

  6. Elaine J Masters says:

    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.

    • Corinne Vail says:

      Elaine, What?! I have never had abalone. It’s one of those things I’ve read about, so now I’m really intrigued. Do you have restaurant recs?

  7. Kristin Henning says:

    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.

    • Corinne Vail says:

      Kris, We use the Progresso or Panko, just plain with no spices or herbs. As a follow-on we’ll be posting variations and toppings for schnitzel, so stay tuned!

  8. Alissa Apel says:

    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.

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