Easy Chicken Schnitzel Recipe – easy breaded chicken schnitzel that is tender, juicy, and full of flavor with a great pan fried crunch!
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Chicken Schnitzel is one of our all time favorite dishes – its easy to make, full of flavor, and totally comforting.
These German fried chicken cutlets are great for a quick dinner, and always a huge hit with even picky eaters.
Serve this chicken schnitzel with some of our German Spaetzle (super easy German dumplings boiled then lightly pan fried in butter) for a tasty German dinner!
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
Schnitzel is really just a thin cut of meat, coated in a simple breading, fried in fat.
Schnitzel in German literally means “cutlet” – not necessarily breaded and fried – but the dishes below are the traditionally breaded fried cutlet recipes most people think of when thinking of German food.
How to Make Chicken Schnitzel
To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:
- Chicken breasts. Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been pounded to be thin and flat, making them easy to dip and dredge in breading.
- All purpose flour. Flour makes for a perfect basecoat for dredging chicken, after chicken has been dipped in milk.
- Bread crumbs. Bread crumbs are the final coat of dredging, and give schnitzel a perfect crispy crunch.
- Eggs. Eggs work in dredging because they won’t wash away the flour and milk, and will stick to it instead – and breadcrumbs will stick to the egg.
- Milk. Milk acts as the first step in our dregding, allowing for flour to easily stick to chicken breasts. Milk and flour combine when dredging chicken to create a light, crispy barrier that keeps chicken from drying out, and adds a crispy crunch when frying.
- Cooking oil. Pan frying schnitzel requires oil that can withstand high heat and won’t burn when frying. Peanut, canola, vegetable, or other frying oils will all work well.
- Lemon wedges. Lemon wedges are the classic accompaniment – squeeze a bit of lemon on your schnitzel as a garnish for a burst of bright, tart, tangy flavor that helps cut through the fried chicken to make it feel less heavy and rich.
- Garlic and Onion powders (optional). For a bit more flavor, I like adding a bit of garlic and onion powder to add a bit of an earthy, pungent, savory kick to my schnitzel.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:
- Prep. Pound chicken out, using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, until they are very thin. Arrange dredging ingredients in four bowls or rimmed plates – milk, flour, egg, breadcrumbs. Dip chicken, coating entirely in each, to dredge. Follow that order.
- Pan fry. Fry schnitzel until it is golden brown on each side, and chicken has reached 175 degrees internal temperature (which if you’ve pounded the chicken to be very thin, won’t take very long.)
- Serve! Serve with lemon slices, spaetzle, and top with salt and pepper.
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Chicken Schnitzel
Bake schnitzel instead of frying. This recipe can be baked, instead of fried – prepare as written below, and instead of frying, follow the next steps:
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place battered chicken cutlets on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick metal cooking rack.
- Bake until chicken is golden brown and 165 degrees internal temperature – about 15 minutes for thin cutlets.
Air fry schnitzel instead of pan frying. To air fry schnitzel, prepare chicken schnitzel as described below, and instead of frying, follow the next steps:
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.
- Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray, place the tenders not touching into the basket, you may need to do this in batches.
- Spray the tops well with more olive oil spray, you want to make sure there are no dry patches.
- Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- After flipping, spray with more olive oil spray. Chicken cutlets are ready when they are golden brown and the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F.
Know the types of schnitzel. This list will come in handy next time you’re at a German restaurant, or traveling to Germany:
- Hänchen-schnitzel is German for Chicken Schnitzel.
- Weiner-schnitzel is German for Veal Schnitzel.
- Jägerschnitzel is Hunters Schnitzel – Veal Schnitzel topped in a mushroom cream sauce.
- Schweineschnitzel is German Pork Schnitzel.
- Paprikaschnitzel is Paprika Schnitzel – schnitzel topped with a tomato, onion, and bell pepper sauce. This schnitzel goes by Zigeunerschnitzel, which translates to “Gypsy Schnitzel”. We prefer to not use that term, since it is a slur to Romanians – we call it paprikaschnitzel instead!
- Rahmschnitzel is Cream Schnitzel – a schnitzel topped with a cream sauce.
- Münchner Schnitzel is schnitzel coated in mustard before it’s dredged and cooked.
Cooked schnitzel can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
You can use gluten free all purpose flour in a 1:1 swap to make this recipe gluten free without making any modifications. Any flour will work well since it is primarily a breading, and we are not relying on any lift or leavening from our flour for the schnitzel.
If you would like to skip the flour for dredging, you can also use cornstarch instead.
Instead of breadcrumbs, you can use crushed pork rinds, ground nuts, grated Parmesan cheese, cornflake crumbs, potato flakes, potato chips, or even tortilla chips! None of these are very traditional for schnitzel, but will work and give you a crispy crunchy flavor you’ll love.
You can use your hands, or a fork, or tongs to dredge your chicken, but it can end up being very messy. I recommend using one hand (or fork, or pair of tongs) for wet ingredients, and one hand (or fork, or tongs) for dry ingredients. This way you won’t end up having clumpy dredged fingers, instead of chicken!
What to Serve With Schnitzel
Chicken schnitzel goes great with a wide variety of dishes – but you can’t not serve with a big bowl of German Spaetzle or German Potato Salad, as well as a Easy Creamy Cucumber Salad that is loaded with mustard.
For our complete side dish recipe index, please click here.
Inspired By Travel to Germany
We try to travel to Germany often – not just because we LOVE tucking in to German food – but because my brother and sister-in-law and niece live just outside Heidelberg in a cute little town in the Rhine valley hills.
We’re missing our family a lot this year – so we’ve been making lots of schnitzel and spaetzle to bring back all those great memories of traveling through Germany!
To see more of our travels in Germany, please click one of the posts below, or click here for our Germany travel post index.
Easy Chicken Schnitzel Recipe
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Easy Chicken Schnitzel Recipe - easy breaded chicken schnitzel that is tender, juicy, and full of flavor with a great pan fried crunch!
- 2 chicken breasts, halved and pounded very thin into cutlets
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- lemon wedges, to serve with
- Add panko to one bowl, flour to one bowl, eggs to one bowl, and milk to one bowl.
- Dip chicken in milk, then flour, coating well.
- Dredge in egg after flour, and finish in panko breadcrumbs.
- Shake off excess.
- Add oil to nonstick pan, preferably one with a deep lip to prevent splattering.
- When oil is hot, add breaded cutlets.
- Fry 4-5 minutes, until crispy golden brown on one side.
- Flip chicken using long handled tongs.
- Fry additional 2-5 minutes until chicken is 165 degrees internal temperature and golden brown.
- Serve immediately with lemon slices, fresh diced green onion, and spaetzle!
Amount Per Serving Calories 378Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 181mgSodium 756mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 33g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.