This Pork Schnitzel Recipe is made with pork chops, panko crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, lemon and butter. It is absolutely phenomenal and family friendly.
Today, we're diving into the world of deliciously crispy and tender Pork Schnitzel. Originating from Austria, this beloved dish has made its way into kitchens worldwide, captivating taste buds with its irresistible flavors and satisfying crunch. Picture thinly sliced boneless pork chops coated in a golden breadcrumb crust, seasoned with a delightful blend of garlic, onion, and paprika. With each bite, you'll experience the perfect balance of textures and a burst of savory goodness. Whether you're a schnitzel enthusiast or new to this culinary delight, join us as we explore the art of crafting the ultimate Pork Schnitzel and uncover the secrets to achieving that mouthwatering perfection.
What is Pork Schnitzel?
Pork Schnitzel is a traditional dish that originated in Austria but has gained popularity worldwide. It consists of thinly sliced boneless pork chops that are tenderized, breaded, and then fried until golden and crispy. The term "schnitzel" refers to a meat cutlet that has been pounded thin and coated in breadcrumbs before cooking. The pork chops are typically seasoned with garlic, onion, and paprika to add flavor to the crispy exterior. The result is a deliciously crispy and tender pork cutlet that is often served with lemon wedges, fresh herbs, and traditional sides like potato salad or spaetzle. Pork Schnitzel is loved for its satisfying texture and savory taste, making it a favorite dish in many households and restaurants around the world.
Why you will love this recipe
- Crispy and Tender Texture: The thin pork cutlets are breaded and fried to perfection, resulting in a delightful contrast of a crispy, golden exterior and a tender, juicy interior. The combination of textures creates an enjoyable eating experience.
- Versatility: Pork Schnitzel is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be served as the main dish alongside traditional sides, sliced and used in sandwiches or wraps, or even transformed into delicious schnitzel burgers. Its adaptability allows for creative culinary exploration.
- Flavorful Seasonings: The seasoning blend of garlic, onion, and paprika adds a depth of flavor to the dish. These aromatic spices infuse the meat and breading, enhancing the overall taste profile and making each bite a savory delight.
- Comfort Food Appeal: Pork Schnitzel has a comforting and satisfying quality that makes it an excellent choice for a hearty and fulfilling meal. Its warm and familiar flavors evoke feelings of nostalgia and create a sense of culinary comfort.
- Cultural Significance: Pork Schnitzel holds cultural significance, particularly in Austrian cuisine. It represents a part of culinary heritage and tradition, connecting people to the rich history and culture of the region. Enjoying Pork Schnitzel can be a way to appreciate and celebrate these culinary roots.
- Simple Preparation: While achieving the perfect Pork Schnitzel requires some technique, the recipe itself is relatively simple. With a few ingredients and straightforward steps, it can be prepared at home without extensive culinary expertise.
Pork Schnitzel Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Pork Chops
- Panko Crumbs
- Garlic Powder
- Onion powder
- Vegetable oil
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Pork Schnitzel
Pound the pork chops to an even thickness, about ¼ inch, using a meat mallet or the back of a heavy skillet.In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Mix well to evenly distribute the seasonings. Dip each pork chop into the breading mixture, pressing it firmly to adhere. Coat both sides of the pork chops evenly.
In a large skillet, add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom by about ¼ inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches about 350°F (175°C). Carefully place the breaded pork chops into the hot oil, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Adjust the heat if needed to maintain a steady temperature. Once the pork chops are cooked, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the lemon slices and fresh thyme leaves. Cook for a couple of minutes until the butter is infused with the flavors of lemon and thyme. Place the fried pork chops on a serving platter and drizzle the lemon butter sauce over them. Garnish with additional fresh thyme leaves if desired.
Serve the pork schnitzel hot with your favorite sides such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad. Squeeze some additional lemon juice over the schnitzel before eating for extra tanginess.
What to serve with Pork Schnitzel
- Potato salad: A creamy or vinegar-based potato salad is a classic accompaniment to Pork Schnitzel. The cool and tangy flavor of the salad pairs well with the savory and crunchy pork.
- Spätzle: Spätzle is a type of soft egg noodle that's popular in Germany and Austria. It's often served with gravy or butter and herbs, and makes a delicious side dish for Pork Schnitzel.
- Braised red cabbage: Braised red cabbage is a sweet and tangy side dish that complements the rich flavor of Pork Schnitzel. It's usually seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and spices, and is often served warm.
- Roasted vegetables: Roasted vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and potatoes make a nutritious and flavorful side dish for Pork Schnitzel. Toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven until tender and caramelized.
- German-style potato pancakes: German-style potato pancakes, or Kartoffelpuffer, are crispy potato pancakes that are often served with applesauce or sour cream. They make a great side dish for Pork Schnitzel, and their crunchy texture contrasts well with the tender pork.
- Salad: A light and refreshing salad can help balance the richness of Pork Schnitzel. Serve a mixed green salad with a simple vinaigrette, or make a classic cucumber salad with sliced onions and a creamy dressing.
- Poultry Seasoning: If you don't have thyme, you can use poultry seasoning as a substitute. It usually contains a blend of herbs like thyme, sage, rosemary, and marjoram.
- Chicken or Turkey Cutlets: Instead of using pork chops, you can substitute them with thinly sliced chicken or turkey cutlets. Adjust the cooking time accordingly since poultry tends to cook faster than pork.
- Bread Crumbs: If you don't have panko crumbs, regular bread crumbs can be used as a substitute. They will still provide a crispy coating.
- Smoked Paprika: If you prefer a smoky flavor, you can replace regular paprika with smoked paprika. It adds a distinct and smoky taste to the schnitzel.
- Vegetable or Canola Oil: If you don't have vegetable oil, you can use canola oil as a substitute for frying the schnitzel. Both oils have a high smoke point suitable for frying.
- Clarified Butter or Ghee: If you're out of regular butter, you can use clarified butter or ghee for frying the schnitzel. They have a higher smoke point, making them suitable for frying at high temperatures.
- Lime or Orange: If you don't have lemon, you can substitute it with lime or orange wedges. They will provide a citrusy flavor and freshness when squeezed over the schnitzel before serving.
Pork Schnitzel Recipe Variations
- Mustard-Crusted Pork Schnitzel: A classic pork schnitzel recipe with an added twist of Dijon mustard in the egg wash mixture, creating a tangy flavor and a delightful crust.
- Parmesan-Crusted Pork Schnitzel: Traditional pork schnitzel coated with a mixture of panko crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese, resulting in a crispy, cheesy crust that enhances the overall richness.
- Herb-Crusted Pork Schnitzel: Pork schnitzel coated with a combination of fresh or dried herbs such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage, infusing the dish with aromatic and fresh flavors.
- Lemon-Pepper Pork Schnitzel: A zesty variation where the panko crumbs are mixed with lemon zest and freshly ground black pepper, imparting a bright and peppery taste to the schnitzel.
- Spicy Pork Schnitzel: This variation adds a kick to the traditional recipe by incorporating cayenne pepper, chili powder, or hot sauce into the panko crumbs, resulting in a flavorful and mildly spicy schnitzel.
Check out my Milanesa Recipe.
- Meat Tenderizer or Meat Mallet: Used to pound the pork chops or cutlets to an even thickness, ensuring they cook evenly and tenderize the meat.
- Shallow Bowls or Plates: Used for setting up a breading station. You'll need at least two shallow bowls or plates—one for the flour, and another for the egg wash.
- Whisk or Fork: Used to beat the eggs for the egg wash, ensuring they are well combined.
- Breading Station: A setup consisting of the shallow bowls or plates with flour, egg wash, and panko crumbs. This is where you coat the pork chops in the different layers of breading.
- Frying Pan or Skillet: A large frying pan or skillet is used to fry the breaded pork chops. Choose a pan with high sides to avoid oil splattering.
- Tongs or Slotted Spatula: Used for flipping and removing the schnitzel from the pan. Tongs or a slotted spatula help maintain the breading intact and drain excess oil.
- Paper Towels or Cooling Rack: Used to drain excess oil from the schnitzel after frying. Place the cooked schnitzel on paper towels or a cooling rack to absorb any oil.
- Serving Platter or Plate: A platter or plate to present and serve the finished pork schnitzel.
How to store Pork Schnitzel
To store pork schnitzel properly, follow these steps:
- Allow the Schnitzel to Cool: After cooking, let the schnitzel cool down to room temperature before storing it. This helps prevent condensation and sogginess.
- Wrap Individual Schnitzels: Wrap each schnitzel individually in plastic wrap or place them in separate airtight containers. This prevents them from sticking together and helps maintain their shape.
- Refrigeration: Place the wrapped or containerized schnitzels in the refrigerator. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing: If you want to store the schnitzels for a longer period, you can freeze them. Wrap each schnitzel tightly in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Make sure to remove any excess air to prevent freezer burn. Properly stored, schnitzels can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
- Thawing and Reheating: When you're ready to eat the stored schnitzel, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, you can reheat the schnitzel by pan-frying it briefly in a little oil or butter until it is heated through and crispy again.
Pork Schnitzel Recipe Top tips
- Thin and Even Thickness: Pound the pork chops or cutlets to an even thickness using a meat tenderizer or mallet. This ensures that the schnitzel cooks evenly and results in a tender texture.
- Proper Breading Technique: Follow the standard breading procedure of coating the pork in flour, dipping it in the egg wash, and then coating it with the panko crumbs. Press the crumbs firmly onto the meat to ensure a good adherence and a crispy crust.
- Resting Time: After breading the pork schnitzel, allow it to rest for a few minutes before frying. This helps the breading adhere better and prevents it from falling off during cooking.
- Don't Overcrowd the Pan: Fry the schnitzels in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and can cause the schnitzels to become soggy. Give each schnitzel enough space to fry properly.
- Drain Excess Oil: After frying, place the schnitzels on paper towels or a cooling rack to drain any excess oil. This helps to keep the schnitzel crispy and prevents it from becoming greasy.
- Seasoning: Season the schnitzel with salt, pepper, and any desired spices like garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika before breading. This adds flavor to the meat itself, not just the breading.
- Accompaniments: Serve the pork schnitzel immediately to enjoy it at its best. Consider serving it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of chopped herbs, or a dipping sauce of your choice to enhance the flavors.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove