German Schnitzel (Schweineschnitzel)

This traditional German Schnitzel recipe, known as Schweineschnitzel, is just the way you know and love it from your favorite German restaurants!  Made the way I learned it from my Mutti and Oma, this tutorial includes all the tips and tricks are included for making the absolute PERFECT Schnitzel!

Be sure to also try our Jägerschnitzel smothered in mushroom gravy or serve it with our German Rahm Sauce to make Rahmschnitzel!

schnitzel recipe traditional authentic German pork best schweineschnitzel rezept

Being from Germany and as much as I love to cook, it would be unforgivably inexcusable, a total outrage, if I didn’t know how to make Schnitzel!  After all, it’s one of the most quintessential German dishes.  Practically every tourist to Germany has had Schnitzel and most fall in love with it.

Schnitzel vs. Wienerschnitzel: What’s the Difference?

Many people associate Schnitzel with Wienerschnitzel.  However, “Wienerschnitzel” is actually a geographically protected term in Germany and Austria and can only be made with veal.  German Schnitzel is prepared the same way as Austrian Wienerschnitzel, but the difference is that German Schnitzel, known as Schweineschnitzel, is made with pork instead of veal.  As for where the Schnitzel originally came from…the technique of breading and frying thin cuts of meat is attributed to the Romans from around 1 BC.  Another factual tidbit:  Austrians will be the first to admit that Wienerschnitzel doesn’t come from Wien (Vienna).

But whether it’s Schweineschnitzel or Wienerschnitzel, when it’s perfectly breaded, perfectly fried, and perfectly crispy, practically everyone loves a good Schnitzel!  And now you can make it – perfectly – in your own kitchen!


The most popular variations of Schnitzel are Jägerschnitzel (“hunter schnitzel” served with mushroom gravy),  Zigeunerschnitzel (“gypsy schnitzel”, served with a zesty bell pepper sauce), and Rahmschnitzel (“cream schnitzel” served with Rahm Sauce).  All three are commonly found in German restaurants and are all positively delicious.

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What to Serve with Schnitzel

In Germany, Schnitzel is most commonly served with any of the following:

Additional serving options include mashed or roasted potatoes, Sauerkraut, German Red Cabbage, and roasted or steamed veggies.

Non-German sides that pair well with Schnitzel include:

Whichever sides you serve it with, it is commonly garnished with a slice or two of lemon and a sprig of parsley.

schnitzel recipe traditional authentic German pork best schweineschnitzel rezept

Schnitzel Recipe

Let’s get started!

Throughout the pictured recipe steps below, I’m going to share some tips and tricks with you that are important for achieving perfect results – just like the kind you get at a German restaurant.

Expert tip 1:  Pound the meat very thin, no more than 1/4 inch thick.  The reason this is important is because you’ll need to fry it at high heat for a short period of time to get that perfect crispy crust without leaving the middle of the meat raw.

The easiest way to pound the pork is to lay it between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Be sure to pound them using the flat side of a meat mallet.  Lightly sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.  Dip the pork into the flour, coating all sides.

dredging meat in flour

Next dip the pork into the egg mixture, coating all sides.

dipping meat in egg

Then coat the pork with the breadcrumbs.

Expert tip 2:  Don’t press the breadcrumbs into the meat.  Just softly coat the pork on both sides and all edges, and then gently shake off any excess.

dredging meat in breadcrumbs

Expert tip 3:  Fry the Schnitzel immediately.  Don’t let them sit in coating or the end result won’t be as crispy.  You don’t need a ton of oil, but you need enough so that the Schnitzel can “swim”.

Expert tip 4:  Make sure the oil is hot enough – but not too hot.  It should be around 330ºF – test it with a candy thermometer.  If it’s too hot, the crust will burn before the meat is done.  If it isn’t hot enough, you’ll end up with a soggy coating.  When the oil is hot enough it will  actually penetrate the coating less and you’ll end up with a crispy “dry” coating instead of an overly oily one.   The result will be a beautifully crispy coating with a tender and juicy interior, and that’s exactly what we want.

schnitzel recipe pork traditional authentic German Austrian

Remove the Schnitzel from the fry pan and place them briefly on a plate lined with paper towels.  Transfer them to serving plates and garnish with slices of lemon and fresh parsley sprigs.

Serve immediately with French fries, Spätzle, or German potato salad and a fresh leafy green salad.  See blog post above for more serving recommendations.


schnitzel recipe traditional authentic German pork best schweineschnitzel rezept

For more authentic German recipes be sure to try our:

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet March 12, 2014

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