How to Make German Schnitzel Recipe: Oma's Classic Schweineschnitzel

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

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My easy and authentic German schnitzel recipe is a perfect addition to your German food recipe collection. In fact, it's the easiest way to make the perfect schnitzel!

Schnitzel are really just thin cutlets and can be made with just about any kind of meat. You can have veal schnitzel (also known as Wiener schnitzel), pork schnitzel (which is most common in Germany), chicken schnitzel, and turkey schnitzel, among many others. The meat is pounded thin with a meat tenderizer, then breaded, and fried.

It doesn't get much easier than that, especially if you can buy your schnitzel already tenderized. 

German schnitzel recipe served with roasted asparagus

One of the most popular traditional recipes is German Jägerschnitzel (Hunter's Schnitzel). This is Schnitzel served with a most wonderful mushroom sauce.

Jägerschnitzel is sometimes made with un-breaded meat, making it a quicker and easier version than the breaded one.

You choose your fave. Mine? Definitely the breaded version. It's German food at its best!

Top 10 Schnitzel Variations in Germany

  1. Jägerschnitzel (Hunter’s) is topped with a rich mushroom gravy
  2. Käseschnitzel has cheese melted on top
  3. Münchner Schnitzel is covered with horseradish and/or mustard before coating in flour, egg, and bread crumbs
  4. Naturschnitzel is un-breaded, served plain or with a simple pan sauce
  5. Paprikaschnitzel has a tomato sauce with paprika and red peppers
  6. Rahmschnitzel is topped with a cream sauce, often containing some mushrooms
  7. Schnitzel Holstein is served with onions, capers, and a fried egg on top
  8. Vegetarisches Schnitzel is meatless and made from soy or tofu
  9. Weiner Schnitzel or Kalbsschnitzel is the traditional breaded veal Schnitzel
  10. Balkanschnitzel (originally called Zigeunerschnitzel) has a sauce containing tomato, bell peppers, and onion slices

What is Schnitzel?

The definition of schnitzel: a thin slice of meat cutlet, usually tenderized by pounding, coated in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs, and then pan-fried until perfectly crispy with a deep golden brown crispy breading that covers the tender, juicy meat.

The history of schnitzel spans over 2,000 years and involves the Romans, the Italians, the Austrians, and the Germans. 

What is the difference between Schnitzel and Wiener Schnitzel?

The original Wiener schnitzel is thought to have come from Vienna, Austria in the 1600s. It has to be made from veal and is controlled by Austrian law. It is often considered the national dish of Austria!

In Germany, if it's not made with veal cutlet, it must be labelled as coming from pork or chicken, etc. That means, you'll have Schweineschnitzel (pork cutlet) or Putenschnitzel (turkey cutlet) on the menu in restaurants. 

Me? I love the pork schnitzel!

Above, I've topped the breaded pork schnitzel with mushrooms that I've fried with bacon and onions. A delicious dish!

Turn Pork Chops into Schnitzel

Don't have any schnitzel at your butcher's? Is veal too expensive? Is there an alternative?

Absolutely! I take some nice, thick boneless pork chops and butterfly them. Then I gently pound them to an even thickness. Especially when these are on sale, Hubby and I will make an assembly line:

  1. Cut. 
  2. Pound. 
  3. Package. 
  4. Freeze. 

Perfect when I need a quick meal. Since they're so thin, they thaw real quick. Wunderbar!

There’s something absolutely mouth-watering about having a German meat-and-potato dinner. Get Oma's revised collection of her favorites in German Meat Dishes.

Take a look at Oma's German Meat Dishes eCookbook filled with traditional favorites.

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Can't get veal? Use pork instead!

I prefer to use thick, boneless pork chops and turn them into schnitzel. This method also works well with chicken breast. First, I trim off the fat that's usually around the outer edge. Make sure you take off any silver skin that may also be along the edge. 

If this fat isn't removed, it will cause the schnitzel to curl when it is frying.

First things first, trim the fat off the pork chop

Butterfly the pork chop: use a very sharp knife and cut the pork chop in half, almost all the way through.

If you cut starting on the rounded side edge, you'll have the longer straight edge as the butterfly back. 

This step shows how to carefully butterfly the pork chop

When you are almost all the way through, open the pork chop (like a book). You should be able to lie it flat. The middle part should be as thick as the rest of the pork chop.

If the middle is much thicker, cut it just a bit more. Flatten the meat.

Here is an example of what your finished butterflyed pork chop should resemble

Cover the meat with some plastic wrap, and using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound the pork chop sort of gently. You do not want the meat to tear.

You want the schnitzel to be no more than ¼-inch thick.

Pounding the pork chops thin

Set up three shallow dishes. The first has about half a cup flour, the second an egg/water mix, and the third has about 1 cup bread crumbs.

Season the schnitzel with salt and lemon juice, then dredge it into the flour, then the egg, and lastly in the bread crumbs. Repeat this whole process with all the schnitzel.

Dredging the schnitzel in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs

In a large frying pan, fry the tender cutlets in 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of cooking oil. Each side only takes a few minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and then keep warm in the oven until the rest have been fried.

Be careful not to crowd them in the pan. You may only be able to fry one at a time, depending on how big your schnitzels are. Mine below is quite big!

Frying the schnitzel in clarified butter or butter/oil mixture

Even though schnitzels aren't deep-fried, they pretty well swim in the fat. The trick to getting a puffy batter is to splash some of the hot fat onto the sides and top of the Schnitzel as it is frying. Don't submerge, though. Just a few splashes.

A Traditional German Pork Schnitzel RecipeServed! With fried potatoes and roasted asparagus on the side, so delicious!

Can You Make Schnitzel in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can. My granddaughter, Lydia, made these in an Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer using her easy recipe

Served together with a slice of lemon and her favorite red cabbage as a side dish, this crispy German pork schnitzel recipe would also make a great sandwich on a German bun. So traditionally German.

Planning on Making Jägerschnitzel?

For a totally traditional German meal, serve Schnitzel with the most amazing and awesomely creamy mushroom sauce ever! Be sure to make the jäger sauce first and then fry up the schnitzel. This is German comfort food at its best!

The Austrian traditional Weiner schnitzel when served with sauce means that the schnitzel is not breaded. That's right. 

However, in Germany, it's more common to bread the schnitzel. You choose your favorite. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Both are delicious.

What Else Do You Serve With Schnitzel?

There are SO many ways to serve Schnitzel! If you're wanting a traditional German Schnitzel dinner, there are several side dishes that are a MUST! Of course, there are other ones that also pair perfectly with Schnitzel. Here are some faves:

Schnitzel, served any which way is just plain WUNDERBAR!

A Schnitzel served on a German Brötchen with all the dressingsA quick and easy meal: a breaded schnitzel served on a German Brötchen with all the dressings

Schnitzel FAQ

How do I keep my schnitzel from getting soggy?

Make sure your oil/butter is hot enough (around 330-350 degrees F). Also, don't overcrowd your pan, as it will reduce the oil temperature.

How do I make the crust of my schnitzel crispy?

When you pat the schnitzel dry, making sure all excess moisture is removed; this will help make it crispy. Then dip it first in flour, then in beaten eggs, then in breadcrumbs for the perfect coating.

Why is my schnitzel tough or chewy?

The meat for schnitzel needs to be thin. If the meat is thick, it may result in a tough schnitzel. Pounding the meat thinly and evenly before cooking will solve the issue.

My schnitzel falls apart while cooking.

Make sure to press the breadcrumbs into the meat to ensure it adheres properly. Remember the flour-egg-breadcrumb sequence to create a strong coating.

What kind of breadcrumbs should I use?

Dry breadcrumbs are ideal for schnitzel. They create a crispy texture. Some prefer to use Panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch.

Should I use oil or butter for frying my schnitzel?

It depends on your preference. Both oil and butter work fine, though butter can burn easily so be careful. You can also use a mix of both, my favorite.

What is the correct temperature for cooking schnitzel?

The oil/butter temperature should be around 330-350 degrees F. If you don't have a thermometer, insert a wooden spoon in the oil, if bubbles form around it, the oil is hot enough.

What kind of meat should I use for making schnitzel?

Traditionally, schnitzel is made from pork or veal, but you can also use chicken or turkey.

Ready to make Oma's German Schnitzel Recipe?

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How to Make German Schnitzel Recipe: Oma's Classic Schweineschnitzel

Oma's simple recipe for authentic German schnitzel is a family favorite. Serve this with mushroomy Jägersosse (Hunter's sauce) and you'll have the makings of a totally traditional German meal.

Schnitzel are thin cutlets and can be made from any type of meat, such as veal, pork, chicken, and turkey. If you want Wiener schnitzel, then use veal, or use pork, which is one of the easiest to buy and use. Both are so delicious!

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

12 minutes 

Total Time

27 minutes


This makes 4 servings.


  • 4 large veal or pork cutlets, about ¼-inch thick or less
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliter) lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon (3 grams) salt
  • about ½ cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliter) water
  • 1 large egg
  • about 1 cup (224 grams) breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon, sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°F (70°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Put a double layer of paper towels on a large plate. Set these aside.
  2. Sprinkle the schnitzel with lemon juice and salt.
  3. Place 3 shallow bowls onto the counter. In the first one, put flour. In the second one, mix the egg and water. In the third one, put the breadcrumbs.
  4. Dredge a schnitzel, first into the flour, then into the egg mixture, and then into the breadcrumbs. Place the breaded Schnitzel onto a large plate and repeat with the remaining Schnitzel.
  5. Heat butter and oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  6. Fry the schnitzel in the hot oil and butter mixture until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Do not crowd the Schnitzel. Depending on the size, you may only be able to fry 1 or 2 at a time.
  7. Remove the cooked schnitzel to the paper towel-lined plate to drain any fat and then place it on the baking sheet into the oven to keep warm.
  8. Fry the remaining schnitzel.
  9. Serve immediately, garnished with lemon slices or lemon wedges. 


  • If you are serving this as Jagerschnitzel, you'll want to make the mushroom sauce first and then fry the schnitzel.
  • When breading meat, make sure you first pat the meat dry with paper towels so that the flour will stick properly.
  • If you want to make this non-breaded, then just dredge in the flour and omit the egg/milk and breadcrumbs. 
  • My favorite side with this? Bratkartoffeln!

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06.11.2023 revision update

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Oma's delicious German Pork Schnitzel

How to Make German Schnitzel Recipe: Oma's Classic Schweineschnitzel


How to Make Wiener Schnitzel Recipe: Oma's German Classic

Discover the ultimate German schnitzel recipe with Oma's quick and easy method - perfect for any occasion! Taste the authentic flavors of Germany today.

Cook time: 30 minutes total time

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients: schnitzel, lemon, flour, breadcrumbs, butter, egg, oil, seasonings,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

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