Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe

Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe

The Spruce

Ratings (155)
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
531 Calories
26g Fat
26g Carbs
46g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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."

Traditional recipes are made with veal cutlets, but chicken or pork cutlets can be used instead. As with many simple recipes, the quality of the ingredients is what will make or break your experience with this golden fried treat.

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. 

Ingredients

  • 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)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe ingredients
  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.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Pound the meat evenly to 1/4-inch thickness for best results.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
     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.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. In a large skillet, heat at least 1/4-inch of oil to 350 F.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Working one at a time, dredge cutlets first in flour until the surface is completely dry.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
    The Spruce 
  7. Dip in egg to coat, allow the excess to drip off for a few seconds.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
    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.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
    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.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
     The Spruce
  10. Fry the schnitzel for 3 to 4 minutes on one side. 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 3 minutes or until both sides are golden brown. Remove from pan, allow the oil to drain off.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
     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.

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe
     The Spruce

 

Kitchen Note:

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."