Making chicken schnitzel at home is easy! Pinky promise. I’ve been making this recipe for years and I’m wowed by the flavour every single time.

In this post, I give you all the tips you need to make perfect homemade schnitzel and ways you can customise it for yourself and the one featured in the recipe here is a favourite in our house.

Ok, so schnitzel will never be mistaken for health food but, if you’re picturing a greasy piece of fried meat, think again. Get the meat, the crumbs and the oil temperature right and you’ll end up with succulent chicken and crunchy, golden brown crumbs. Success!

Serve this alongside broccoli cheese bake for a delicious comforting dinner or this asparagus, rocket and parmesan salad for a lighter side.

Closeup top down view of crunchy golden chicken schnitzel.

What is schnitzel

|Schnitzel (shnit-suhl) – a thin slice of veal or other light meat, coated in breadcrumbs and fried’ |

I love a chicken schnitzel but veal and pork are also used regularly. You could even use turkey.

Traditional schnitzel is shallow fried, meaning fried in only enough oil to come halfway up the side of the meat. It’s cooked one side, then turned over to cook the other until golden and crunchy. You can cook it with less oil, however, the shallow fried method gives the ultimate crunchy, golden crumb and, as long as the oil is hot enough, it won’t be absorbed by the crumbs, so won’t make them greasy 🙂

Even the Japanese love a chicken schnitzel – try this classic Chicken katsu.

Schnitzel ingredients

To turn your chosen meat into schnitzel, you’ll also need

Ingredients for saltimbocca chicken schnitzel.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Bread crumbshomemade breadcrumbs are definitely the best option, providing more texture and crunch. They’re simple to make too. If you must use store-bought, use panko breadcrumbs instead.
  • Herbs – dried herbs mixed in with the crumbs add lift and flavour.
  • Seasoning – don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.
  • Flour – you’ll dip the meat in flour for the first part of the crumbing process.
  • Egg – egg helps the crumbs stick.

Because everything is better ‘schnitelized’ (new word), I chose to turn one of my favourite dishes from our honeymoon – chicken saltimboccainto a schnitzel. These optional ingredients are;

  • Prosciutto
  • parmesan cheese
  • Fresh sage
  • Paprika – adds colour to the outside.

Those with chicken, all wrapped up in a crunchy, can’t-stop-eating-this crumb. For a regular, simple schnitzel recipe, just leave those 4 ingredients out. Easy peasy!

You can even ‘schnitzelize’ sausages – try my Crumbed Sausages.

How to make chicken schnitzel

A collage of 6 images showing how to make saltimbocca schnitzel.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

Homemade chicken schnitzel is a simple case of coating a piece of chicken in crumbs and shallow frying but here are the steps that will take yours to the next level.

  1. Slice: The first and most important step is to take a large chicken breast and slice it in half through the thickness, so it looks like you have 2 thin chicken breasts (photo 2). You’ve just made what is called chicken cutlets.
  2. Bash: Use a meat tenderiser or even a rolling pin, to gently bash the thicker parts of the chicken (photos 1&2) so the breast is the same thickness all over. Don’t bash it too hard or the meat will break apart. This step makes for even cooking and also tenderises the meat a little.
  3. Season the meat: Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and season the crumbs too.  Too often, schnitzels can be lacking in flavour and that’s because the seasoning can get lost in the thick coating. Seasoning both, ensures you have plenty of flavour and not a bland dinner.
  4. Optional step: For my Saltimbocca Chicken Schnitzel, I add sage, parmesan cheese and prosciutto to one side of the breast before breading (photos 3&4). You’ll need to handle it carefully so it doesn’t all fall off.
  5. Crumbing / breading:
    • Prepare 3 separate shallow bowls (large enough to fit the chicken breast) with flour in one, beaten eggs another and a seasoned homemade breadcrumbs in the third.
    • The dishes should be at least the size of the chicken breast and have highish sides so everything doesn’t fall out.
    • Coat in flour first and egg second making sure to shake off the excess after each. Finally, coat it all over in the crumb mixture (photo 5), making sure to press the crumbs onto the meat so they stick well.
  6. Don’t double crumb: you’ll just end up with a soggy layer underneath the crunchy one.

I make chicken cutlets for this recipe (chicken breasts sliced into two pieces). If you want to know more check out my full guide to chicken cutlets.

How to cook chicken schnitzel

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

The perfect chicken schnitzel only needs to be shallow fried. Don’t be tempted to deep fry as you’ll just waste oil.

  1. Heat the oil: Heat enough oil in a large skillet or frying pan to come halfway up the sides of the chicken, over medium-high heat, until you can see bubbles when you dip the handle of a wooden spoon in.
  2. Gently place the chicken in the oil: Gently, so that you don’t splash the hot oil around
  3. Don’t overcrowd the pan or they will end up boiling in oil as opposed to frying (this turns into soggy schnits). Just one or two in a pan at once. Don’t worry, they retain their heat well, so you can have some resting while a second batch is cooking.
  4. Cook: Let them cook until golden on each side (photo 6, above).
  5. Drain: Transfer the schnitzels to a tray lined with ruffled up paper towel to drain. Letting excess oil drain away for a few minutes makes eating them all the more pleasurable. They’ll still be piping hot after this process.

Serve your gorgeous crispy chicken schnitzel up with some lemon wedges to squeeze over the top.

A saltimbocca schnitzel on a white plate with green salad.

How long to cook chicken schnitzel

The cooking time will vary depending on how thick you make your chicken schnitzels and also how hot the oil is. Using the method above, for schnitzels that are about 1.5cm thick, they take around 6-7 minutes on each side.

For chicken to be cooked, it should read 75C / 165F on a meat thermometer. If your schnitzels aren’t even thickness, make sure to poke it into the thickest part. You can also just cut it open to make sure there is no pink meat left.


  • Add other dried herbs and spices that you like.
  • Use pork, veal or even turkey. You could also use the thigh meat too, if you prefer it.
  • Add them to burgers, like these crispy chicken burgers.

What to serve with chicken schnitzel

There are loads of tips and tricks out there, but if you stick to this method it will work every time. You will never have to buy pre-crumbed schnitzel again (and you won’t want to). I urge you to try this flavourful Italian chicken schnitzel. It’s super simple to make and the flavour is sensational. Golden, crunchy crumbs, and tender juicy chicken make this a much-requested dinner.

Crunchy golden brown schnitzels on a baking tray with lemon wedges.

IF YOU TRY THIS chicken schnitzel recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you, and it helps other readers too!

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4 crunchy golden brown schnitzels on a baking tray with lemon wedges.
5 from 5 ratings
Want to know how to make chicken schnitzel? With these tips and tricks, golden, crunchy crumbed chicken is easier than you think. Plus, a flavourful homemade chicken schnitzel recipe your whole family will love.



  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 12 large fresh sage leaves
  • 20 g parmesan, finely grated
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 2 cups homemade breadcrumbs (or panko crumbs)
  • 3 teaspoons mild paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (notes)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 1 large egg
  • cup plain (all purp) flour
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided


  • 3 high sided dishes
  • Large deep frying pan (preferable heavy based as it keeps the oil temperature more even)


  • On a large chopping board, slice each of the chicken breasts through the middle (thickness wise) so you have 2 thinner breast pieces (chicken cutlets) from each one.
  • Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of all 4 cutlets and gently bash the thicker parts with a meat tenderiser until they are the same thickness all over – about 1cm thickness is good.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and season the chicken well on both sides with salt and pepper. Lay 3 sage leaves on top of each one, sprinkle the parmesan over and then a slice of prosciutto over the top of that.
  • Take 3 high sided dishes, large enough to fit the chicken breast in flat and add the flour to one of them. Add the egg to the second and beat well.
  • In the third dish, mix together the breadcrumbs, paprika, oregano and sea salt flakes
  • With two hands so you can hold the prosciutto on, dip one piece of chicken into the flour. Coat both sides, then gently shake off the excess. Repeat this process with the egg. Finally, coat it in the breadcrumb mix, making sure to press them on firmly. Lay the chicken on a clean plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Pour the oil into a large, heavy based pan, no more than 1cm deep, over medium high heat. Line a baking sheet with plenty kitchen paper towel but scrunch the towel up.
  • Test the oil by dipping the end of a wooden spoon into it – if it starts to sizzle, the oil is hot enough. Gently place 2 schnitzels into the oil and fry for 10-14 minutes (notes), turning halfway through.
  • Transfer to the paper towel and test for doneness (a meat thermometer should read 74C / 165F). Allow to drain while you cook the other two – they'll stay piping hot, don't worry.
  • Let the second batch drain on the paper towel while dishing up te sides, then serve your schnitzels while still hot and crunchy. Serve with lemon wedges so you can squeeze over a little lemon juice.
  • Please take a moment to rate this recipe. I really appreciate it and it helps me create more recipes.


  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken and how hot the oil is.
  3. Check for doneness using a meat thermometer (which should reach 75C / 165F) or cut one open to make sure there is no pink left. 
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Chicken Schnitzel
Amount Per Serving (230 g)
Calories 510 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 135mg45%
Sodium 1565mg68%
Potassium 705mg20%
Carbohydrates 51g17%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 40g80%
Vitamin A 913IU18%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 205mg21%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.