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Authentic German Schnitzel Recipe


Schnitzel is a traditional German dish where meat is pounded out thin, breaded, and fried. The breading is very simple, but creates a wonderfully crunchy shell around the meat. Schnitzel is best enjoyed fresh and hot from the pan. This recipe comes from my Granny who is a first generation US Citizen. Her parents immigrated from Germany to the United States before the war. While I call it Granny’s German Schnitzel, the recipe was passed down to her from her own mother, born and raised in Hamburg, who got it from her mother.

Why Our Recipe

  • Lemon juice is added directly to the egg mixture rather than just squeezed on top.
  • Original recipe passed down for generations from my great-grandparents.

Schnitzel is a cooking method from Viennese cuisine where a thin meat is breaded and fried. Their famous creation is made with veal and is known as Weinerschnitzel. The popular dish spread throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire and into the Prussian Empire. In Germany, the dish was made with pork cutlets rather than veal, hence the name schweineschnitzel which translates to simply “Pork Schnitzel.” In modern-day Germany, it’s simply known as schnitzel and can be found all over the country.

Ingredient Notes

An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make pork schnitzel.
  • Pork: use a boneless pork chop of any cut, including pork cutlets.
  • Eggs: used as a binding agent for the crispy coating.
  • Lemon Juice: while often squeezed on top of the fried chop, we add ours directly into the crispy coating.
  • Flour: use all-purpose flour for a traditional crunchy coating, or mix or replace with cornstarch for extra crispiness.
  • Bread Crumbs: provides the schnitzel coating that distinguishes this dish from other thin fried meats.
A collage image showing the process for pounding out pork chops to make german schnitzel.

Schnitzel Varieties

The “Wiener Schnitzel,” made from veal, is one of the most renowned types of schnitzel. The name derives from the German word “Wien,” signifying “Vienna,” pointing to its origins in the Austrian capital.

Schnitzels aren’t limited to just veal or pork. Varieties using other meats like chicken, turkey, or lamb are also beloved. These are often named by combining “schnitzel” with the specific meat source, leading to names like “Hähnchen-Schnitzel” for chicken schnitzel or “Lamm-Schnitzel” for lamb schnitzel.

Jägerschnitzel Mushroom Gravy

Schnitzel is often eaten plain with just a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, but can also be served with a creamy mushroom gravy which is known as Jägerschnitzel. To make the sauce you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces finely chopped mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until softened and browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to coat them evenly.
  4. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  5. Increase the heat to high and bring the gravy to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer until the gravy has thickened to your desired consistency, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Serve the mushroom gravy over schnitzel. Enjoy!
A close up view of schnitzel on a plate that has a bite taken out of it to reveal the pork inside.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container. The USDA recommends that cooked pork be eaten within 3 to 4 days.

Reheating in the oven is the preferred method for leftover chops as the chops will retain more moisture this way, and the coating can crisp. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Begin checking the temperature after 15 minutes as reheating times may vary.

Side dishes to serve with Schnitzel

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

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