Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken schnitzel with Israeli salad and spicy mustard

Chicken Schnitzel is a popular and tasty treat served throughout Israel. Schnitzel is Austrian in origin; it was traditionally made with veal (known as Wiener Schnitzel) or pork. The dish later found its way to Israel with European Jewish immigrants. Like many Jewish foods, immigrants adapted this regional dish to suit their unique dietary kosher laws. In the case of schnitzel, pork (which is treif) and veal (which was expensive and difficult to obtain) was replaced by chicken and turkey. The result is a tasty treat that can be found in nearly every restaurant in Israel.

Schnitzel is a simple, budget-friendly dish to prepare; kids love it. It is often served with French fries, but I prefer to serve it with a fresh Israeli salad to cut down on calories. This easy recipe is sure to become a mainstay in your kitchen; I make it once or twice a month because it’s so simple and tasty. Try breading it with panko for a lighter, flakier, Japanese-style coating.

The traditional way to serve schnitzel is with fresh lemon juice. A squeeze of lemon juice really suits schnitzel, but funny enough, the origin of this pairing is less than appetizing. Before refrigeration was invented, lemon juice was used to mask the flavor of meat that had gone bad. The tradition of lemon juice stuck, and we still serve schnitzel with lemon slices to this day!

While I do love lemon juice on my schnitzel, I also like to get creative with mine and dip it in spicy mustard or Louisiana hot sauce. Yuuuuuummy!

Click the links for two other versions of this dish:

Gluten Free Chicken Schnitzel

Passover Chicken Schnitzel

Recommended Products

Mallet

Organic Panko Breadcrumbs

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Chicken Schnitzel

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 large breasts)
  • 1 cup flour for dredging
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, matzo meal, or panko
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying (pick one with a high smoke point like grapeseed)
  • Fresh lemon wedges for garnish

You will also need

  • Plastic wrap, mallet, skillet, paper towels
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Kosher Key: Meat
  • Lay down a 2-foot long strip of plastic wrap on your kitchen countertop. Place chicken breasts on the plastic, leaving a 2-inch space between each breast. Cover the breasts with another strip of plastic, so the meat is sandwiched between two layers of plastic. Use a mallet to pound the breasts until they are a little less than ¼ inch thick.
  • Set up three wide, shallow bowls and a large plate on your countertop. In your first bowl, put the flour. In your second bowl, beat the eggs. In your third bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, paprika, 1 tsp salt and sesame seeds (optional) till well blended. Leave an empty plate nearby where you will place your coated schnitzels.
  • Pour oil into a skillet until it’s deep enough for frying (about ½ inch). Heat the oil slowly over medium. While oil is heating, dip each breast one by one into your breading bowls—first coat with flour, then with egg, then with breadcrumb mixture.
  • The ideal temperature to fry schnitzel is around 375 degrees F. When the oil is hot (but not smoking or splattering), fry the coated breasts in single-layer batches until they are golden brown on both sides. If your oil is at the right temperature, it should take about 3-4 minutes per side. Don’t fry more than two breasts at a time in a regular sized skillet, or the oil temperature will drop and the schnitzels will become greasy.
  • After frying, set the schnitzels on a paper towel and pat them dry to soak off excess oil.
  • Sprinkle the schnitzels with salt to taste. Serve hot garnished with lemon wedges and your favorite condiment.

Comments (48)Post a Comment

  1. You need a user friendly print page. Takes too much ink to try to print recipes and I don’t want to copy and paste each paragraph. Just a little constructive criticism :~)

    1. im making this for dinner tonight. We cant say schnitzel aloud in our house( our dogs nickname is schnitzel) LOL. Printed fine if you click on print recipe. just the recipe not the picks. thank you so much for publishing this recipe.

  2. YUM!!! This might become a new comfort food for me. Great recipe and wonderful pictures! You always make it fun to learn and cook. Thanks for another great recipe.

  3. Similar to the chicken I make using three shallow pie plates one with flour salt pepper, one is egg beaten, and one is panko bread crumbs and parmesiano regiano grated cheese mixed together and then fry in olive oil in which we all know is heart healthy. Instead of lemon on top I make a rue of butter/ flour and chicken stock let it thicken a bit then add a heaping tablespoon of dijon and honey for chicken dipper dauce. mmmm

  4. This recipe sounds sooo good and easy enough for a novice cook like me! Also not too many ingredients which makes it a great thing to make at a moments notice!

  5. I’ve made this before, but I didn’t know it was called Chicken Schnitzel! I like the sesame seeds in the breading, will try that next time I make it! By the way, I made the Rugelach on Super Bowl Sunday and they were sooo delish! Thanks for that recipe!

  6. I am definitely trying this! Do you have the recipe for the Israeli salad as well? I would love to try the combination…..

    Thanks!

  7. You guys are right, this is totally comfort food! So easy and yummy.

    Juanita, the Israeli salad is linked in the blog, here’s a direct link– the one in the Schnitzel blog pics has a little bit of red onion added:

    link to theshiksa.com

    Melody, I am thrilled that you made the rugelach! I was worried that people might be intimidated by that one because of the time involved. So happy to hear you enjoyed them!

  8. I’ve never heard of anyone who serves schnitzel with fries. In Israeli homes you’re most likely to see it served with side dishes like Ptitim (Israeli “couscous”), rice, or an Israeli salad like yours :)

    1. Interesting! Whenever we go out with our Israeli friends in Tel Aviv they order schnitzel served with french fries. Perhaps that’s just their personal preference. I definitely prefer it with a lighter salad. :)

  9. OK – so I have been perusing your blog and finding some family recipes (tishpishti) and I need to thank you, so here goes with one of my secret ingredients for this Milanese recipe:

    Instead of using flour, I use falafel mix. It has a great flavor and provides a crispy coating when fried.

    Of course, I now know how to make my own falafel “mix” from reading your blog!

    Cheers!

    Gary

  10. Hi there..I love your postings..I was wondering where you post all your recipes…and If I could get the recipe for your Israelie salad and and apple cake you always make over The holidays?

    Thank you…..
    Amy

    1. Hi Amy! Just use the search box at the top of the site. Type in “Israeli salad” and “apple honey cake,” the recipes should come up. Let me know if you’re having trouble.

  11. I’ve been making a variation of this recipe for years. Tried it with the panko and my wife went crazy. Definately tastier and crunchier than with herbed bread crumbs. I add some Penzy’s Fox Point seasoning mix to the flour. YUM!

    1. Panko really does make a wonderfully crunchy coating! Tell me, what is Penzy’s Fox Point seasoning? I’ve never tried it. Is it spicy?

  12. I finally made this tonight for dinner. It was divine. Everyone loved it. I didn’t serve it with lemon…I forgot. I did serve it with noodles dressed with lots of pesto and a dash of lemon on them though.

    This will absolutely make a return visit (many visits) to our dinner table….as everything else I have attempted from your collection.

  13. I made this for dinner tonight, but I tweaked it a bit. I made a more Asian style dish. I cut the chicken into strips and added sesame oil to the egg mixture and cayenne pepper to the flour mixture. I served the chicken with 3 different dipping sauces (store bought) Plumb sauce, Thai peanut, and teriyaki. As a side dish I served chow mein noodles w/ veggies. It turned out AMAZING! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  14. Hello, any reheating suggestions for a make-and-take meal? Would love to make this for a new mom! Thanks for any help.

    1. HappyValleyMom, schnitzel (or anything fried for that matter) tends to lose its luster when it’s not served fresh from the frying pan. It won’t be as crisp or yummy if you reheat it. That said, if you choose to make this ahead, reheat it using an oven (not a microwave); a convection oven works best for crispness. I would reheat it at 350 degrees for a few minutes till they’re warmed through. Good luck! And congrats to the new mom! :)

  15. Penzey’s is a venerable quality spice company based in Wisconsin. They’ve been expanding their brick and mortar stores recently – about 60 now – 3 in California. They offer some excellent salt-free spice blends, along with specialty spices (I’m guessing they sell at least 4 kinds of cinnamon). Their catalogs are most informative (heat scale for peppers etc) and include food/recipe related stories and recipes. The website is http://www.penzeys.com Personally, I think they need to do some work on their website to make it more user friendly.

  16. I’ve made a version of this dish for years,usually using turkey breast cutlets, but the addition of paprika and sesame is intriguing, and the next time I make it, I’ll be adding both.

  17. If you put the chicken in a zippered freezer bag–do not close it until later–and pound it you then will then be able to close the bag and refrigerate until the next day when you are ready to cook. If you buy several chicken breasts when they are on sale then you can pound them all in bags and they will be easier to stack in the freezer and will thaw quickly. You can pound enough for a small family in a gallon sized bag or 1 or 2 in a smaller bag. Sometimes I even use pint or quart bags and then stack several in a gallon or two gallon bag so they do not get lost in the freezer. Pounded flat they stack so much better than un-pounded ones and pounded the night before makes the cooking part of this dish so quick and easy after a busy day or when you are having guests and do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen. When I am planning ahead for house guests I pound and freeze enough chicken and turkey for a meals every other day as there are so many ways to flavor and cook them so that no one complains about having different poultry dishes every 2 or 3 days.

  18. Just finished making it. Absolutely delicious. Crispy, crunchy and flavorful. Make sure you use the sesame seeds. They add another layer. I took the chicken breasts and butterflied them, then pounded them thin. It’s already going into the rotation!

  19. Looks gorgeous. Schnitzel is my husband’s favourite thing to eat, hands down. Your photos are Pinterest worthy, and in fact, have just been to my Cookery Board. YUM.

  20. This is a very delicious recipe. You should try ‘Putenschnitzel’ (made of turkey) sometimes – very common in Austria.
    By the way, the plural of schnitzel is schnitzel (a quick german lesson from an austrian girl;-))

  21. I live in Israel ( & am Israeli) We eat schnitzels with french fries at home.
    In every restaurant in Israel you have the option of a side order of french fries or mashed potatoes or rice with schnitzel.
    Thanks Tori for all your wonderful recipies.

  22. When i was in medical school this was all I ate when it came to meat in Israel and it was delicious,i have been making it here in Arizona only in the last year after many years of its absence.

    Meat was scarce in Israel in the 1980s we lived on yogurt which was delicious ,chummus,tehina,pita and on Friday we baked a chicken or made snitzel. And then one of y favorite salad turkit-turkish salad
    alan

  23. Tori, you say this recipe is gluten free. How could it be when it’s drenched in flour and then matzah meal or panko crumbs. My grandaughter is gluten free so I check all recipes.

    1. Hi Pearl, you’ve misunderstood. At the end of the blog, just before the recipe, it says, “Click the links for two other versions of this dish.” Underneath that, it says Gluten Free Chicken Schnitzel in red letters. Click that link, and it will take you to the gluten free version of this recipe. I hope your granddaughter enjoys the schnitzel!

  24. I love your web site and recipes. Thank you for suggesting the panko as a substitute. It gives such a nice crispy texture. I am half Jewish and half Japanese and I just can’t get enough of THIS one!!! The best of both worlds for me! Shalom and Arigato!!! :)

  25. Hi Tori,
    We love schnitzel! I hate pounding so a trick I do is to freeze the chicken breast for a half hour or so and then I can slice them in half. Works great.

  26. Just made these for dinner. Really yummy and my 2 year old loved helping me make it, and then mixing all the bowls of coating together on his t shirt.

  27. Cook yesterday this with mix veggies as a side dish my family enjoyed it I used honey mustard instead. Will definitely have this one of our favorite chicken meal.

  28. I am useless in the kitchen but tried your chicken schnitzel recipe. I surprised my husband by cooking for him for a change and everything turned out great. My 10 year old daughter even helped and we had fun. Thank you so much.

  29. I used to live in South Carolina and made this for my shiksa wife who, of course, loves fried chicken. She fell in love with this version, I would serve it with brown rice and whatever sauce(dip) I wanted to throw together. However, living now in the Philippines I can’t always find a lot of ingredients so I become as versatile as possible. I love hot spices but my Pinoy wife(who is also a great cook) doesn’t so many times I will make two dips.

  30. Hi Tori, I had chicken schnitzel in Israel when I went there in 2012. It was fab! I don’t know why I haven’t tried making it before but I decided to today! I found your recipe and followed it, along with the Israeli Salad. Oh my goodness!! It was amazing! I will definitely be making it again! I also made it for my daughter and, although she’s really fussy about food, she said it was delicious! She also had some of the salad, which she NEVER usually eats!! Thank you SO much for sharing the recipe!! :)

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