This homemade Chicken Schnitzel is an absolute favorite in our house. Thinly sliced chicken, coated in breadcrumbs, and pan-fried to golden perfection. You’ll love the contrast between the crispy exterior and the juicy, tender chicken center, with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon on top.
Not only is it exciting to share this recipe because it’s a family favorite, but it’s also (drumroll, please)… the first recipe from my new Natasha’s Kitchen Cookbook, that I am sharing on my blog! We hope that you will enjoy this dish as much as we do.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
What is Schnitzel?
Schnitzel is typically a boneless meat cutlet (pork, veal, chicken), pounded thin, breaded, and lightly pan-fried, with a crispy coating sealing in the natural juices, creating the most tender meat under the crisp crust.
This recipe is a variation of our famous Pork Schnitzel. Chicken Schnitzel is said to have originated in Austria and is very common in Germany and Israel, but it seems that nearly every country has its own version, because who doesn’t love a good chicken dish?
The first time I made this, my daughter, who was 6 at the time, got up from the table mid-dinner to give me a hug. She said, “Thank you for making me this chicken, Mom,” and I just about melted. Later that night, in true 6-year-old fashion, she remembered the tasty chicken in her prayers and thanked God for it. It’s been in the regular rotation at our table ever since.
Chicken Schnitzel Video
Watch Natasha share how to make this recipe, straight from the Natasha’s Kitchen Cookbook. Once you see how simple it is to make this Chicken Schnitzel, it will become a regular in your kitchen too.
This Chicken Schnitzel recipe is so easy to make, with most of the ingredients going into the quick dredging process to create the signature crisp, golden brown crust.
- Chicken breasts – halved, boneless, and skinless, tenders removed if present
- Flour – all-purpose, to dredge the chicken
- Seasonings – use garlic salt, paprika, and black pepper to season the crust (here’s our giant pepper mill)
- Eggs – help bind the breadcrumbs to the chicken
- Panko breadcrumbs – to create the crisp outer crust
- Oil – light olive oil, canola oil, or any high-heat cooking oil
- Sea salt – we love a coarse salt to sprinkle on the hot chicken
- Lemon wedges – squeeze on top just before serving to elevate your crispy chicken with tangy citrus flavor
Variations and Substitutions
Variations – You can add fresh herbs like parsley or basil, garlic powder, or even a cup of grated parmesan cheese, to your breadcrumb mixture. You can also try adding 3 Tbs of Dijon mustard to your egg mixture for extra flavor. Get creative and try a different variation every time you make this dish.
Gluten-Free – You can easily substitute the flour for GF flour, but I have yet to find a GF breadcrumb that maintains its crispy texture after frying. You can substitute panko for gluten-free Kellog’s Corn Flakes, crushed into breadcrumb size (make sure it is the GF version, not all Corn Flakes are GF).
How to Cut Chicken into Cutlets?
Cutlets are ideal for frying because they cook at the same rate and pounding the chicken makes it more tender. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Place cutlets between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Use a meat mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy saucepan to pound the chicken thin, about ¼-inch. Cut each cutlet in half to make 8 pieces (they are easier to fry when they aren’t huge)
How to Make Chicken Schnitzel
- Chicken – Cut and pound your chicken into cutlets as directed (see above).
- Breading Stations – Set up three medium shallow bowls: In the first, combine the flour, garlic salt, paprika, and pepper. In the second, use a fork to beat the eggs. In the third, add the panko breadcrumbs.
- Dredge – Fully coat both sides of each cutlet in the flour, then the egg, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, and finally, cover the chicken with bread crumbs. Repeat with the remaining cutlets. If time permits, let the breaded cutlets rest for 10 minutes and the breading will stick better when frying.
- Cook – Heat a large non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom (about 3 Tbsp). When the oil shimmers, add a few cutlets to the pan with space between each piece. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until crispy and golden. Reduce the heat if they are browning too quickly. Use a splatter screen to keep your stove clean.
- Finish – Transfer the cutlets to a paper towel-lined wire rack or plate. Immediately sprinkle the cutlets with salt. Repeat with the remaining cutlets, adding more oil as needed. To serve, garnish with parsley if desired and squeeze the lemon wedges over the top.
When is the chicken done cooking?
You can test the chicken for doneness one of two ways – If you slice a cutlet with a knife, it should not be pink in the center and the juices should run clear. You can also check by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the side of the cutlet and it should reach 165˚F when it’s cooked through.
The key to flavor with any fried food is to sprinkle it with salt as soon as it comes out of the oil. We also love a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the crispy cutlet for good measure.
Yes. Place your chicken cutlets on a lined pan, spray both sides with cooking spray, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 425°F, being sure to flip halfway through the baking time. Check for doneness (165°F in the center) with a meat thermometer.
This recipe is easily doubled. If you are making a large batch, set your oven to 200°F and put the cooked chicken onto a wire rack to keep warm in the oven. This will help them keep crisp as well.
Absolutely! Chicken tenders are even easier because they are small enough that you don’t have to pound them and still turn out very tender.
What to Serve with Chicken Schnitzel
This recipe is great year-round, and you can determine your sides based on the season or whether you need a cool summer meal or warm comfort food.
Schnitzel is best straight from the pan onto your plate to ensure that it has its signature crisp. Leftovers can be stored for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
- To Refrigerate: Let the cutlets cool on a wire rack to reduce moisture (which will prevent soggyness), place In an airtight container, and store for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat: Avoid the microwave and use an oven or air fryer to restore the crispness. Heat the oven to 350°F and cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping the schnitzels halfway through.
- To Make Ahead: You can prep up to the frying step, and store the breaded chicken between parchment paper in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours or freeze for up to one month.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
If you love this Chicken Schnitzel recipe, then you won’t want to miss these other tasty, easy-to-make chicken dishes. P.S. In addition to this schnitzel, we also have some of our best-loved chicken recipes in our New Cookbook.
Chicken Schnitzel Recipe
Servings: 4 (Makes 8 Schnitzels)
Line a cutting board with plastic wrap. Place the chicken on the cutting board in a single layer and cover the cutlets with a second layer of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy saucepan to pound the chicken thin, about 1⁄4 inch. Cut each cutlet in half.
Set up three medium bowls: In the first, combine the flour, garlic salt, paprika, and pepper. In the second, use a fork to beat the eggs. In the third, add the panko breadcrumbs.
Dredge both sides of each cutlet in the flour, then the egg, letting any excess drip back into the bowl before breading the chicken in the panko. It helps to use a fork or tongs for this process to keep your hands clean.
Repeat with the remaining cutlets. Let the breaded cutlets rest for 10 minutes if time permits and the breading will stick better when frying.
Heat a large non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat and add just enough oil to coat the bottom (about 3 Tbsp). When the oil shimmers, add a few cutlets to the pan, not crowding them. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until crispy and golden. Reduce the heat if they are browning too quickly. Transfer the cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate and slice into one to test for doneness; the juices should run clear and the meat should no longer be pink. Immediately sprinkle the cutlets with salt.
Repeat with the remaining cutlets, adding more oil as needed. To serve, squeeze the lemon wedges over the top.
344kcal Calories23g Carbs43g Protein8g Fat