Chicken Schnitzel

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5 from 145 votes
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Ready in under 15 minutes, this chicken schnitzel recipe features tender fillets under a coating of crispy golden breadcrumbs. Pair it with some German potato salad for an authentic and hearty meal. 

crispy chicken schnitzel.

If you’ve made our chicken katsu or spicy chicken sandwich before, you are bound to love chicken schnitzel. They all share similar qualities, but this European version takes fried chicken to another level! 

Table of Contents
  1. What is chicken schnitzel?
  2. What is chicken schnitzel made from?
  3. How to make chicken schnitzel
  4. Alternative cooking methods
  5. Recipe tips and variations
  6. Storage instructions
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. Serving suggestions
  9. Chicken Schnitzel (Recipe Card)

What is chicken schnitzel?

Schnitzels are essentially thin slices of meat that have been breaded and fried to make them crispy. While there is veal, pork, and eggplant schnitzel, the most common is made with chicken breast fillets. It’s similar to my parmesan-crusted chicken and Chicken Milanese, but the main difference is that there is NO parmesan cheese.

Here are some reasons why this recipe makes the best dinnertime staple:

  • Only 6 ingredients. You only need six everyday ingredients to make one of the most famous European dishes. 
  • Cooks in 10 minutes. As the chicken fillets for schnitzel are very thin, they take only a few minutes to cook. The total time for this entire recipe is less than 15 minutes.
  • Freezer-friendly. You can bread as many chicken fillets as you like and freeze them, uncooked, for later. 
  • Three cooking options. While I prefer the drying method due to tradition, I’ve tested my original recipe in both the air fryer and the oven, so you have options!

What I love about this recipe is just how versatile it is! Leftovers are great in a sandwich or over a salad, and even sliced up on a pizza!

What is chicken schnitzel made from?

Honestly, this recipe calls for very basic ingredients. Besides the chicken, eggs, and a few pantry staples, there isn’t much else that goes into it. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Chicken. Chicken schnitzel is made with boneless and skinless chicken breasts. Cut the chicken breasts diagonally to get thinner cuts. If you are looking to use chicken tenders, try my chicken cutlets.
  • All-purpose flour. Dredging chicken fillets in flour helps get rid of any extra moisture and achieve crispy results. Flour also helps the egg mixture adhere to the chicken. 
  • Eggs. Dipping the chicken in beaten eggs ensures that the breadcrumbs don’t fall off. 
  • Breadcrumbs. The final coating provides the crispiness of the schnitzels. I like using panko breadcrumbs, but standard breadcrumbs also work.
  • Oil. To fry the chicken fillets. Opt for an oil with a high smoke point like vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Salt and pepper. To taste. 
  • Lemon. Fresh lemon wedges or a squeeze of lemon juice to serve.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How to make chicken schnitzel

Making perfectly crispy chicken schnitzels is easy if you follow three easy steps. Ready to cook some up?

Step 1- Pound the chicken. Cut skinless and boneless chicken breasts in half diagonally. Place the fillets between saran wrap or two sheets of parchment paper and pound them with a meat mallet or rolling pin until the chicken breasts are ¼  inch thick. 

pounded chicken breast fillets.

Step 2- Bread the chicken. Get three shallow bowls. In one bowl, mix flour with salt and black pepper. Crack the eggs in the second bowl and give them a good whisk. Add the bread crumbs to the last bowl. Dredge each chicken fillet in the flour mix, followed by the eggs, and the bread crumbs. 

breading chicken cutlets for schnitzel.

Step 3- Fry. Add cooking oil to a deep, non-stick pan or skillet. Once hot, fry the breaded chicken fillets for 4 minutes per side until golden brown.

frying chicken schnitzels.

Step 4- Rest then serve. Remove the schnitzels from the pan and place them on a wire rack to get them extra crispy. Serve with sliced lemons.

chicken schnitzel on wire rack.

Alternative cooking methods

As mentioned earlier, I’ve tested this recipe in the oven and the air fryer so you can cut back on the oil and added fat. Here is how:

Oven baked: Simply place the breaded chicken on a lined baking sheet and bake at 180C/350F for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

Air fryer: Once the chicken is breaded, place them in a greased air fryer basket and air fry at 200C/400F for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Remember, for each option, the easiest way to check if the chicken is cooked is to check it’s internal temperature. As per the FDA requirements, chicken is safe to eat once it reaches an internal temp of 165F.

Recipe tips and variations

  • My #1 tip when deep frying or frying meat is to check the temperature of the oil. The ideal temperature should be between 325F and 375F. Frying the chicken anything below that will result in greasy chicken as opposed to crispy chicken.
  • Don’t put freshly fried chicken schnitzels on paper towels. While paper towels absorb the extra oil, they tend to make the schnitzels slightly soggy. I recommend always using a wire rack.
  • Mix a tablespoon of Dijon mustard with the beaten eggs or brush it on the chicken fillets before seasoning them. This will give the schnitzels a mild mustardy kick. 
  • Don’t skimp on salt and pepper. Season the fillets generously on both sides to avoid bland chicken. 

Storage instructions

To store: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To freeze: While uncooked chicken schnitzels freeze better, you can freeze them cooked too. Wrap each schnitzel in food wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

To reheat: Whether you have had them in the fridge or in the freezer, the best way to reheat schnitzels is by using the oven. Don’t reheat chicken schnitzels in the microwave to prevent them from getting soggy. 

chicken schnitzel.

Frequently asked questions

What makes schnitzel a schnitzel?

The cut of meat and the preparation technique are the two things that make schnitzel a schnitzel. A schnitzel is made from a boneless cut of meat that is pounded thin, then breaded and fried to create a crispy coating.

Is schnitzel just fried chicken?

Schnitzel is not just reserved for chicken; pork, veal, and even eggplant all work well using this method. Compared to standard fried chicken, chicken schnitzel is crispier, moister in the middle, and less greasy. 

Are chicken schnitzels pre-cooked?

While there are some brands that simply require quick microwaving, most will need to be oven-baked or pan-fried before consumption. 

Serving suggestions

I typically serve these for my family with plenty of vegetables and some form of potato.

chicken schnitzel recipe.

Chicken Schnitzel

5 from 145 votes
Ready in under 15 minutes, this chicken schnitzel recipe features tender breast fillets under a coating of crispy golden breadcrumbs. Perfect for a quick and easy dinner. 
Servings: 6 schnitzels
Prep: 6 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 14 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

  • 3 chicken breasts halved diagonally
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup oil to fry

Instructions 

  • Place the chicken breasts between saran wrap and pound into 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Add the flour, salt, and pepper in one bowl, eggs in another bowl, and the bread crumbs in a third bowl.
  • Moving quickly, dip the chicken in the flour mix, followed by the eggs, and then the bread crumbs. Shake off the excess from each breast.
  • Add oil to a non-stick pan. Once hot, fry the chicken for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the chicken once golden brown. Place the chicken on a wire rack for maximum crispiness.

Notes

TO STORE. Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
TO FREEZE. While uncooked chicken schnitzels freeze better, you can freeze them cooked too. Wrap each schnitzel in food wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
TO REHEAT. Whether you have had them in the fridge or in the freezer, the best way to reheat schnitzels is by using the oven. Don’t reheat chicken schnitzels in the microwave to prevent them from getting soggy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1schnitzelCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 18gFat: 4gSodium: 415mgPotassium: 281mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 108IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 20g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: German
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Recipe originally published November 2022 but updated to include new information and a recipe video for your benefit.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

    1. 5 stars
      There is a plant liquid substitute called Just Eggs in the refrigerator section. I use it because of egg allergies. I have made cake, cupcakes, cookies and cheesecakes, as well as, dipping in chicken dishes.
      I have found out that it will not work for waffles and keto pasta. Before this product there were dry powder ones that you added water to, but the texture did not work as well. I definitely recommend this product.

  1. 5 stars
    Arman,
    cette recette semble délicieuse 👌 a essayer je te reviens dès que je l ai essayer… merci pour le partage de ses belles recettes 👌

  2. Yum! I’ll be making this! Instead of Saran Wrap I put my chicken piece by piece inside a freezer bag and pound, then remove with tongs. Sturdier and catches splashes!

  3. 5 stars
    Love recipe, but love more the simple, concise
    way it is presented. Good format, even with ads.👍
    Had authentic pork version in Austria (1978)…
    Served with thick cut fried potatoes. Many years ago, but have never forgotten that plate of food!
    😆Thanks, uncle G in Tennessee

  4. 5 stars
    Excellent and simple recipe. Thanks!! Although, can you give a bit of guidance on how much and what kind of oil to use? I’m new to cooking (especially frying) and I feel like I maybe used too much canola oil

    1. Yes Absolutely! I’ll be making a video shortly but it comes down to personal preference- For ultra crispy schnitzel, you want enough oil so the chicken can comfortably sit in it. For less greasy but still crispy chicken, 2 tablespoons of oil is enough.

  5. Can a low-carb/keto breading be used (i.e. your almond flour & parmesan cheese mixture in your Keto Chicken Parm recipe)?

    Also, can these be cooked in an Air Fryer?

  6. 5 stars
    Fabulous! So quick and easy. My 9 year old son wanted to make chicken schnitzel and with only a bit of help, he followed this recipe with ease. The whole family enjoyed it! Will definitely make this again.

  7. This recipes reminds me of my long deceased German grandmothers whomboth made this weekly with pork cutlets using breadcrumbs from scratch, and lard for frying. Both had a small wire rack and towel on baking paper they used to let the schnitzel “rest” before serving. After that towel became saturated, it was popped in a low temp oven to retrieve the lard to be used for other particular recipes. They also added an egg or two to the egg dip and scrambled that in the lard. All this was served with a variety of potato dishes and occasionally pierogi. Thanks for reviving those fantastic memories. And yes, I prepare it their way except I lazily use paper towel!

  8. I made a traditional German Pork Schnitzel recipe last night. Same as this recipe except I used boneless pork chops instead of chicken. Same recipe ingredients.

  9. This recipe my grandmother taught me since l was 11 years old I am now 65 and this is an Italian dish called fettene báñate means Italian Chicken Cutlets An old recipe of my Grandmother in Italy when came to Canada A Traditional Recipe!! Not CHICKEN SCHNITZEL” Its an Italian Dish!!! Just to get your fact straight!!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you for a quick and easy Schnitzel recipe. And the link to the German potato salad was a perfect side for this dish. Everything tasted amazing!

      1. Why so rude, and angry? It is called “chicken schnitzel”, because this one is made with chicken. I don’t see anyone in this thread, saying you can’t make it with another protein. So how about you cool your jets 😉

      2. 5 stars
        Wow I’m with CoCo. Bunny you need to cool your jets honey, so rude can’t understand why you’re so up tight and so rude, but nevertheless the recipe is awesome and amazing thanks Arman keep the great recipes coming. Thanks man I really enjoy your site and the recipes.

    1. Do you think these would turn out as good in air fryer? Just spritzing them with oil?
      I love schnitzel!!! But I don’t want to go through the trouble and have them not turn out.