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Air Fryer Pork Schnitzel

Air fryer pork schnitzel is crazy delicious! It can be our secret that it’s a healthy alternative to deep-frying. This juicy tender boneless pork chop is coated in a crispy panko crust accented with bavarian seasonings that will become an entertaining favorite for a casual dinner!

A simple weeknight dinner you can pair with a simple salad and some honey butter corn and not have to do much at all to get it on the table!

Close up of crispy coat on air fried pork schnitzel

Healthy Pork Schnitzel

One thing about pork schnitzel I can definitely say. Let’s be glad it isn’t called Chicken Fried Pork Steak. That wouldn’t sound half as appetizing and fun as pork schnitzel.

This healthy pork schnitzel is a great meal to have if you are celebrating Oktoberfest!

Just because something is fried with a crispy crust doesn’t mean you have to call it “chicken fried”. For that matter, just because something is fried, doesn’t mean you have to use a ton of hot oil either.

You can make excellent crunchy crusted, golden brown breaded pork chops in an air fryer!

I used my recipe for Panko Baked Chicken but did it in the air fryer the other day and knew right then and there I would be trying Pork Schnitzel the same way because I knew it would be amazing!

Air fryer pork schnitzel is crazy delicious! The classic flavors of Bavaria give some oompahpah! The waltz of rosemary, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and sage dance a polka with the meat. 

What to use for Bavarian Spices

  • Rosemary
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Bay Leaf
  • Sage

This air fryer pork recipe brings Bavarian spices to season a breaded pork cutlet. You brown it up and get a nice crispy crust.

Fortunately, you can save money on a trip to Germany but still enjoy this classic Bavarian soul food. (Although if you have a chance to go to Germany you have to go for Oktoberfest!)

Pasta and pork schnitzel on a black plate

What is schnitzel?

First, just to clarify, schnitzel actually refers to a cooking method. Schnitzel refers to meat that is pounded and tenderized, then typically breaded and fried. Probably the most well-known version of schnitzel is “Wienerschnitzel”. 

In Germany though “schnitzel” just refers to any meat that has been pounded thin. Although often breaded and fried, it isn’t a requirement in certain German schnitzels. 

Wienerschnitzel is essentially the calling card dish of Austria and it features veal as the meat. Not going to lie, Wienerschnitzel is amazing. Veal is great no doubt but pork schnitzel is every bit as delish at a fraction of the price. 

Indeed, schnitzel goes by many names in countries around the world. They all have a spin on it. If you ever had tonkatsu in a Japanese restaurant, then you won’t be the only one thinking you were served schnitzel. 

Actually, there are of course slight differences, besides just the catchy names. Tonkatsu is a breaded pork cutlet but not necessarily pounded out into a thin cutlet. But you get the point… 

Another variation is Chicken Parmesan– crispy Italian seasoned panko coats chicken then it’s topped with melted cheese and tomato sauce.

two crispy chicken parmesan pieces on a plate
Chicken Parmesan

How to Make Schnitzel

Create your dipping station with a couple wide shallow bowls. Seasoned flour in one, then beaten eggs in another, and finally panko with bavarian spices in the third. 

Spray the basket with an oil spray to prevent sticking.

Spray the panko lightly with oil to give an added golden color boost. The photo below shows the difference of the breaded boneless pork chops being sprayed (right) and not sprayed with oil (left.)

PRO TIP: Spray lightly with oil before cooking to give added crunch and golden brown color.

test of one oil sprayed cutlet versus no oil for color/cripsness of pork schnitel

What temperature do you need to cook pork for safe consumption?

The USDA has revised the recommended internal temperature minimum guideline to 145°. Use a thermometer to make sure they are cooked to a safe temperature.

Don’t have a thermometer, you can also a knife and cut into one to make sure it is done. I make sure it is opaque (white) and that the juices run clear. 

Dinner table with schnitzel and pasta on a black plate

Handy tips for getting extra crispy schnitzel in an air fryer?

I have a few tips for getting your pork schnitzel just right. You want a golden brown extra crispy crust on the outside and nice tender meat within. 

By pounding the meat into thin cutlets, the meat does get tenderized. However, you want to make sure not to dry it out. High heat gives you a nice crisp exterior. The meat cooks quickly too.

Spraying lightly with a burst of oil not only gives the pork a beautiful golden color but also gives it a nice extra crunchy crust.

Don’t let it overcook! The times given are what works in my Phillips Air Fryer, but all air fryers are different. Use a thermometer to check the temp.

pin to save to pinterst of how to make pork schnitzel

I don’t have an air fryer what are my options for making schnitzel?

An air fryer pork schnitzel does do a fine job, but don’t feel obligated. If you don’t have an air fryer, then you can also bake it in the oven or pan fry it. 

Baked Breaded Boneless Pork Chops

For baking, use a high heat of 425-450 degrees. Make sure to flip it about halfway through so you don’t have a crispy side and a mushy side. Or place the chops on a cooling rack atop a baking sheet so the heat can get to both sides.

Pan-Fried Pork Cutlets

If you go with pan-frying, then just use enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan. Again, high heat is your friend. 

Common Air Fry Pork Schnitzel Questions

Can you make schnitzel with chicken?

Schnitzel can be made with chicken, veal, beef, turkey, pork and venison. The trick to successful schnitzel is to get it to cook evenly. Making sure each cut of meat is the same thickness will help with that. Your cooking times may differ a little bit using a different meat.

What wine can I serve with schnitzel?

I recommend a Bavarian Kabinett. Light and almost effervescent, it has a crisp, clean, dryness that goes great with pork and poultry. 

I don’t want to use bread crumbs because of my diet, any suggestions?

Use ground up pork rinds. They work great and add some flavor too.

What sauce typically goes with pork schnitzel?

Mushroom gravy works perfectly! You can do it the quick and easy way by using a can of mushroom soup, or make your own from scratch

What to serve crispy pork chops with?

More Air Fryer Recipes you might enjoy!

Check out some of my other air fryer recipes – cut out the oil, but not the flavor!

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Yield: 4

AIr Fryer Pork Schnitzel

Dinner table with schnitzel and pasta on a black plate

Air fryer pork schnitzel is crazy delicious! It can be our secret that it's a healthy alternative to deep-frying. This juicy tender boneless pork chop is coated in a crispy panko crust accented with bavarian seasonings that will become a entertaining favorite for a casual dinner!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops, cut or pounded to 1/3" thickness
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cups Panko

Instructions

  1. Rinse and pat dry the pork chops
  2. Turn on the air fryer to 390° 
  3. Create a dipping station.  In one bowl mix panko, spices and blend well.  Add a small amount of salt and pepper to taste.  Place egg and flour in two separate bowls.
  4. Dip chop in flour to coat. Then into egg wash. Then dredge all sides of the pork into the panko mixture.  Finish all pork chops and coat all surfaces.  
  5. Spray the basket from the air fryer with olive oil spray then place into the air fryer basket.
  6. My air fryer will hold 3-4 pork chops.  Place them into the basket and cook for 12-14 minutes opening at 8 minutes, spraying with a light burst of oil to help get a golden brown color.  All air fryers are slightly different check temperature to make sure it is 145° or cut into them and check to make sure the pork is opaque.    
  7. Cook in batches if you have more than will fit into your air fryer.  Place cooked ones onto a plate and cover to keep warm until the rest are completed.  
  8. Serve immediately.  

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 428mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 42g

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. Please calculate your own nutritional information if you want it exact to what you make and use my calculations as a guide only.

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KayeM.

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Looking forward to trying this! Just hope I can work out the temp and cook time for my Instant Vortex Mini … 2 quart. Has a 6 5/8 in x 6 5/8 in cooking surface so probably will do a half recipe and do 1 at a time! …. I spent almost a year in Germany in the late 60s! Loved the whole experience AND THE FOOD. My grandmother is German, so it’s in the DNA! I’m sorry I never got to meet her.

Michele Hall

Saturday 12th of June 2021

We have a smaller air fryer at my sisters house and do smaller batches too---- the cook time will probably be close the same even though you can cook in smaller batches. and I bet Germany in the 60's was so interesting--- we went a few years ago and loved ALL THE FOOD!!! thanks for stopping by! --m

AM

Saturday 13th of June 2020

Can I used dried herbs instead?

Michele Hall

Sunday 28th of June 2020

Yes! I use a little bit less if Im using dried versus fresh but they work just fine!

Tracy

Friday 7th of February 2020

Making this, and I put Brussel sprouts and rice in my instant pot. Easy dinner tonight

Michele

Sunday 9th of February 2020

ooh.. I need to try brusselsprouts in the instant pot! Sounds like a great combo with the Schnitzel!~m

Jennifer A Stewart

Tuesday 8th of October 2019

I love a good piece of crispy pork whether it's on a bun or just on my plate with a fork in my hand! Once again you have made my day! My air fryer has made this recipe three times and I have already taken out another batch of pork from the freezer so I can make more!

Norine Rogers

Monday 7th of October 2019

These look amazing. A fantastic dinner idea! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to try them in my air fryer.

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