Crisp on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside. This pan-fried pork tenderloin (Schnitzel) is coated in panko breadcrumbs, carefully seasoned with a warm blend of spices, and perfectly crafted for dipping. You’ll get the most fantastic crunch with each bite!
Shake up your mealtime routine with this unique and delicious German recipe, it's a must-learn! If you like the combination of anything breaded, fried and crispy this is the perfect one for you. And believe it or not, it's super easy.
What is Schnitzel?
Schnitzel is a German-style dish made with thin slices of meat that are coated in breadcrumbs and fried. Making Schnitzel with pork has always been my go-to, though variations of the dish are also often made with veal, beef, or chicken. There are similar dishes in other cuisines too, like Italian chicken parmesan or the Americanized country-fried steak.
For an authentic garnish, serve the Schnitzel with a twist of freshly squeezed lemon and a sprig of parsley.
Easy Family Recipe
My mom's famous pork chops recipe inspired this take on pan-fried pork tenderloin schnitzel.
Growing up as kids my sibling and I would run around the kitchen with our breaded, fried pork in hand, wrapped up in napkins, and taking turns dipping them in ketchup. It was such a fun treat that we always looked forward to.
Similar to how chicken parmesan is served with tomato sauce, my family always served fried pork tenderloin with a side of ketchup. While not traditional to German cuisine, it now makes so much sense as to why we loved this combination so much! (It makes it super kid friendly too).
Pan Fried Pork Tenderloin (Schnitzel) Video
Pan Fried Pork Tenderloin (Schnitzel) Ingredients
I’ll break down the simple steps for you, and with just a few ingredients, you’ll be quickly putting together this easy and tasty recipe that will make the perfect meal for every age.
- pork tenderloin
- large eggs
- panko bread crumbs
- chile powder
- garlic powder
- sea salt
- canola oil
- ketchup (optional)
Set up to prepare the Pan Fried Pork Tenderloin
Items you will need to prepare this recipe:
- cutting board
- cling wrap
- frying pan
- meat mallet/tenderizer
- sheet pan or large plate
Gather and combine the following ingredients into three separate shallow bowls to dredge the pork:
- First Bowl: Flour
- Second Bowl: Eggs, lightly beaten
- Third Bowl: panko breadcrumbs, mix in chile powder and paprika
Pan Fried Pork Schnitzel Cooking Tips
- Buy the pork pre-sliced, or have the butcher slice it for you.
- Cover the pork in cling wrap (individually) before tenderizing to about ½” to ¼”.
- Tenderizing will practically the double surface area, and the meat will become significantly more tender and easier to chew once cooked.
- You may not need two full cups of flour to dredge the pork, but I find that using a little extra is way easier to coat than when you don't have enough! So, don't be surprised if you have a little flour left over.
- Don't overcrowd the pan when frying. Note: you can use other cooking oils for this, but I recommend canola oil.
- These pan-fried pork tenderloins are amazingly crispy when served immediately and they make dynamite leftovers too.
What are the best sides for Schnitzel?
Anything with potatoes! A German side like kasespatzle, pasta noodles, or macaroni and cheese are great options too.
What if I don't have a meat-tenderizing mallet?
If you don't have a meat tenderizer, do not worry, it will not prohibit you from making this recipe. Many items around the house will get the job done! Some options include - a rolling pin, a wine bottle, a hammer, a potato masher, canned food, or a cast iron pan. You can get creative, just make sure the item is heavy enough and shatterproof.
Clean the item before and after using it with the meat. Finally, before you begin tenderizing, cover the meat in plastic wrap, wax paper, or even put it in a zip lock bag.
More Pork Recipes
If you love pork and are looking for some other great recipes try out some of my favorites!
Pan Fried Pork Tenderloin (Schnitzel)
- Cut the boneless pork tenderloin into cutlets about 1” in width.
- Place each pork cutlet on a cutting board and cover in cling wrap (individually).
- One by one, tenderize the pork with a meat mallet/tenderizer until nice and thin (½” to ¼”).
- Spread out the tenderized cutlets on a sheet pan or a large plate. Season both sides of the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Gather the three bowls you have prepared to dredge the seasoned cutlets.
- First dredge each pork cutlet in the flour, once fully coated transfer to dip in the bowl containing the beaten eggs. Move the cutlet to the third bowl after both sides have been fully immersed in the egg, and cover it entirely with the panko seasoning mixture.
- Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Fry the cutlets on each side for about 2 minutes, or just until each side becomes a crispy golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan.
- Once finished frying, remove the pork cutlets and place them on a plate with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
- Serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon (or by dipping in a side of ketchup!) and enjoy!