Perfect chicken schnitzel

Cooking Basics

How to cook schnitzel

Schnitzel is a beloved dish worldwide, famous for its crispy coating and tender meat inside. Originating from Austria, this dish has found its way into many hearts and kitchens. Cooked right, schnitzel offers a delightful crunch, followed by juicy, flavourful meat – a combination that’s hard to resist. However, the key to taking your schnitzel from good to great lies in the preparation and cooking process. From choosing the right cut of meat, effectively tenderising it and achieving the perfect golden brown crust, every step matters.

In this blog post, we’re going to share some expert tips on cooking the best chicken schnitzel that will wow your friends and family. You can easily substitute pork, turkey or the traditional veal if you would prefer, and we even have some veggie schnitzel ideas at the end. So, strap on your apron and let’s dive in!

Breaded chicken schnitzel with potatoes Breaded chicken schnitzel with potatoes

Best spice blends for schnitzel


Choosing the right cut of chicken

Here are some tips for selecting the perfect cut of chicken for your schnitzel.

Picking the right chicken cut for your schnitzel recipe can make all the difference. Go for boneless, skinless chicken breasts – they’re lean, tender and easy to pound into thin, even pieces.

If you prefer a richer flavour, try flattening boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Just make sure to trim off any excess fat and skin.

Whichever cut you choose, make sure it’s fresh. Look for chicken with a pinkish hue and avoid any that’s turning grey.

And remember, size matters! Bigger isn’t always better. Choose medium-sized cutlets for a perfect balance of tenderness and taste. Don’t forget to ask your local butcher for advice – they’re a goldmine of information! 


Delicious schnitzel with sauce and lemon wedge Delicious schnitzel with sauce and lemon wedge


Preparing the chicken

Let’s talk about prepping your chicken! Learn how to properly tenderise and flatten the meat for a delicious chicken schnitzel.


Grab a boneless, skinless chicken breast and place it on a clean chopping board.


Cover it with some strong cling film. This isn’t a fancy cooking technique; it’s just to keep things tidy.


Next, find a meat mallet. If you don’t have one, a rolling pin or even a heavy-bottomed frying pan will do the job. You’ll want to evenly pound the chicken until it’s about half a centimetre thick. Why? This is “tenderising” the meat, which makes it softer to cut and eat. It also ensures it cooks evenly.

Now, your chicken breast is flattened and ready to be transformed into the best schnitzel you’ve ever tasted.


Breading the schnitzel

Let’s take a look at techniques and ingredients for a crispy and flavourful coating.

Cooking an amazing schnitzel starts with the perfect breading. It’s all about creating a crispy, flavourful coating that’ll have everyone begging for seconds. So, what’s the secret? Firstly, you’ll need three shallow dishes.


In the first, mix flour with a pinch of salt and pepper.


The second dish should contain a couple of beaten eggs.


The third needs a blend of breadcrumbs and your preferred seasoning. We recommend our Chicken Seasoning for that classic taste, or how about Italian Chicken Seasoning for some Mediterranean flair?

Now, here’s the trick. Pat your schnitzel dry, then dredge it in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip it into the beaten eggs, and finally coat it with the seasoned breadcrumbs. Press gently to ensure the breadcrumbs stick.

Schnitzel frying in hot oil Schnitzel frying in hot oil


Cooking the schnitzel

Now let’s consider how to cook your chicken schnitzel to golden perfection.

Remember, the key to a crispy coating is frying the schnitzel at the right temperature. Too low and it’ll absorb too much oil, too high and it’ll burn. Aim for medium-high heat and you’ll get that golden, crispy finish every time – about 165°C if you have a kitchen thermometer. If not, gently put a few breadcrumbs into the oil. If they sizzle immediately, you’re good to go.


Slide the schnitzel in carefully (away from you, so you don’t get spattered), be patient and let it sizzle until golden.


Flip it once halfway through, allowing about 3–4 minutes on each side.


Drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil and allow to rest for a few minutes.


The key to golden perfection? Don’t overcrowd the pan. Have two pans going at the same time if you are cooking for several people.


Serving suggestions

Need some ideas for delicious sides and sauces to complement your schnitzel? We've got you covered.

Your schnitzel will taste even better with the right side dishes and sauces. For a classic touch, potatoes are the way to go: German-style sauté potatoes, our Mediterranean potato salad recipe or perhaps some sweet potato fries. Want a lighter option? A crisp winter salad, beetroot salad or kale salad would go down a treat. These roasted veggies could also work great.

Sauces are another way to really elevate your schnitzel. Traditionalists may opt for a squeeze of lemon, but for something different, this creamy mushroom sauce is unbeatable. If you prefer a tangy twist, apple chutney or cranberry sauce can be a surprising but delightful combo.

Remember, the perfect chicken schnitzel meal is all about balance. So, mix and match these sides and sauces until you find your personal favourite.


Tips for veggie variations

Need some creative ways of making your schnitzel vegetarian?

If you’re looking for a veggie or vegan twist on the classic schnitzel, there are loads of options. One great idea is to use firm tofu or seitan as the base – both have a meaty texture and absorb flavours well.

For something a bit different, portobello mushrooms or aubergine make fantastic schnitzels thanks to their natural earthiness. Dip them in the same mix of flour, egg substitute and breadcrumbs with seasonings, then pan-fry until golden.

A chickpea or lentil patty can also be a great schnitzel alternative, packed with protein and flavour.

Don’t forget to customise your breadcrumbs with our herbs and spices for an extra flavour punch – all of our seasonings are vegan and made with natural ingredients.


Types of schnitzel

How many have you tried?

Wiener schnitzel, Jägerschnitzel, chicken schnitzel, turkey schnitzel ... The list of types of schnitzel goes on. But what does each term mean on a menu?


Wiener schnitzel: The Wiener Schnitzel is a thin, breaded veal schnitzel and is one of the best-known specialities of Viennese cuisine.


Jägerschnitzel: Jägerschnitzel is a veal or pork schnitzel served with a creamy mushroom sauce.


Balkan-style schnitzel: A Balkan-style schnitzel is an unbreaded veal or pork escalope in a flavourful sauce with onions and peppers.


Turkey escalope: Turkey schnitzel can be breaded or unbreaded, served with or without a sauce.


Cordon bleu: Cordon bleu is a breaded schnitzel, traditionally veal or chicken, stuffed with ham and cheese.


Alsatian-style schnitzel: An Alsatian-style schnitzel is baked with onions, bacon and crème fraiche.

Delicious schnitzel Delicious schnitzel


So, why not try cooking the best schnitzel at home today!

Cooking the best schnitzel isn’t rocket science and barely needs an actual recipe, but it does require a few key steps.


Start with high-quality, thinly pounded meat and season it well. A classic breadcrumb coating is essential, but feel free to experiment with different flavours.


The magic really happens in the frying pan – ensure your oil is hot enough and don’t overcrowd the pan.


Last but not least, remember to let your schnitzel rest before diving in.

Now that you’ve got the inside scoop, why not give it a shot? With a little practice, you’ll be whipping up mouth-watering schnitzels that would make any Austrian or German grandma proud. Happy cooking!


Which seasonings go with schnitzel?


Want to learn more about how to season meat properly?

Would you like to read more about cooking meat in general? Check out our article on how to season meat properly and our quick guide on how to make your next barbecue a success

What's more, we've got a list of our favourite spices and spice blends for meat here. These are perfect for seasoning your schnitzel, whatever flavour direction you choose!