Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe

Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe

The Spruce

  • Total: 33 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 18 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

Few foods are more evocative of Austrian cuisine (even though the dish originated in France) than the humble wiener schnitzel, which is German for "Viennese cutlet."


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  • 4 (5-ounce) veal cutlets (or chicken or pork cutlets, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or brown rice flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (large and well beaten)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Oil or lard (for frying, lard is traditional)
  • Serving Suggestion: lemon slices

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe ingredients
    ​The Spruce
  2. To pound meat thinly, place the cutlet between sheets of plastic wrap for easier washing up. Use a heavy, flat-surfaced pan to pound if you don’t have a meat mallet.

    Cutlets wrapped in plastic and rolling pin
    The Spruce
  3. Pound the meat evenly to 1/4-inch thickness for best results.

    Pounded cutlets
    The Spruce
  4. To bread the schnitzels, set up 3 shallow dishes: place the flour and salt in one dish, the eggs in the second dish, and the breadcrumbs in the third dish.

    flour, salt, bread crumbs with cutlets
     The Spruce
  5. In a large skillet, heat at least 1/4-inch of oil to 350 F. This takes about 8 minutes.

    skillet with oil
     The Spruce
  6. Working one at a time, dredge cutlets first in flour until the surface is completely dry.

    cutlet in flour
    The Spruce 
  7. Dip in egg to coat, allow the excess to drip off for a few seconds.

    floured cutlet in beaten eggs
    The Spruce
  8. Then roll quickly in the breadcrumbs until coated. Do not press the breadcrumbs into the meat. The crust should not adhere completely but form a loose shell around the schnitzel.

    cutlet in bread crumbs
    The Spruce
  9. Immediately place meat in the pan with the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Cook the schnitzel in batches, if necessary. Just make sure to allow enough time between batches to allow the oil to come back up to 350 F.

    cutlets in skillet
     The Spruce
  10. Fry the schnitzel for 2 to 3 minutes on one side, until golden brown. Make sure the breaded meat “swims” in fat. Contrary to instinct, the breading will take on less oil than if the meat is sticking to the pan. Also, the breadcrumb topping has a chance to puff up a little, and your clean-up is easier! You may want to swish them around a little with your fork to make sure they are not sticking to the pan.

  11. Turn them over once and fry an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until both sides are golden brown and the meat registers an internal temperature of 145 F. Remove from pan, allow the oil to drain off.

    fried, breaded cutlets in skillet
     The Spruce
  12. Wiener schnitzel traditionally is served with lemon slices and a green salad, potato salad, or cucumber salad and sometimes with French fries.

    Wiener Schnitzel on plate
     The Spruce
  13. Enjoy!


  • As with many simple recipes, the quality of the ingredients is what will make or break your experience with this golden fried treat.
  • Even if you can buy or cut a very thin cutlet, it's important to pound your meat before coating and cutting it. Of course, pounding makes the meat thinner, but it also tenderizes it. This an important step for schnitzel, which should be a very light, delicate dish. While a properly tender schnitzel is delicious when improperly prepared it can be, in the words of the New York Times' Kurt Guttenbruner, "like a piece of lead."
  • Avoid old oil or less-than-perfect meat and watch your schnitzel carefully to avoid burning.
  • Eating it fresh also is important. This is not a dinner that gets better reheated the next day. 

Recipe Variation

  • Traditional recipes for wiener schnitzel are made with veal cutlets, but chicken or pork cutlets can be used instead.