Hungarian Wienerschnitzel

from 6 votes

Crispy cutlets dredged in flour, eggwash and breadcrumbs, pan-fried to golden brown perfection, doused with a squeeze of citrus and sprinkled with a pinch of salt.

You know it as “Wienerschnitzel.” I know it as “Little Guys.”

The story as to why or how my siblings and I grew up calling schnitzel “Little Guys” doesn’t exist. Blame it on randomness. Consider it relatively odd. Go ahead, cock your head and go “huh?”

To this day my family still laughs thinking about the origin of the Little Guys name. But regardless of what anyone called it, Little Guys were a weekly staple in our American-Hungarian home. There were Little Guys with mashed potatoes. Little Guys with red cabbage. Little Guys with cucumber salad. Heck, there were even Little Guys with barbecue sauce.

And while traditional Wienerschnitzel is made with veal, we often put our own American spin on this eastern European classic by subbing in chicken, turkey or even pork. And after years of using traditional breadcrumbs, this past Christmas I got a lesson from Wolfgang Puck, the Wienerschnitzel master, who told me that crushed Panko is the secret to the lightest, crispiest, most golden brown crust imaginable.

Main Course

Hungarian Wienerschnitzel

This family favorite recipe for Hungarian Wienerschnitzel stars crispy cutlets dredged in flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs, pan-fried to golden brown perfection, doused with a squeeze of citrus and sprinkled with a pinch of salt.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.84 from 6 votes
Hungarian Wienerschnitzel from
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • Four 8-ounce veal, chicken, turkey or pork scaloppini
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten together with 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs, crushed
  • Peanut oil, for pan-frying
  • Lemon wedges


  • Season the scaloppini with salt and pepper on both sides then dredge them in the flour, then in the eggwash and then in the crushed Panko breadcrumbs.
  • Heat a large pan over medium heat and add enough peanut oil so that the oil will rise up to half of the thickness of the cutlets.
  • Test the hotness of the oil by dipping one tip of the breaded cutlet into the oil. You want to hear a distinct sizzle.
  • Pan-fry each of the cutlets until golden brown, turning them over as necessary.
  • Once fully cooked, remove the cutlets from the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Season them immediately with salt.
  • Serve with a slice of lemon and your favorite accouterments, like red cabbage, potatoes and cucumber salad.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 265kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 82mg, Sodium: 252mg, Potassium: 122mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 120IU, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 3.3mg


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Recipe adapted from Wolfgang Puck.

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  1. 4 stars
    Replace the peanut oil with a relatively tasteless vegetable oil such as rapeseed (canola in the US) or sunflower to avoid harm to those who are allergic to peanuts.

    P.S. It is accoutrements not accouterments

  2. This is the only way I knew how to make fried chicken. The only way we ate fried chicken was this way since I was a child. I’m of Hungarian descent and having chicken deep fried was such a treat ,but I still only make this way.

  3. 5 stars
    One of my favourite meals is schnitzel with parslied potatoes braised red cabbage and cucumber salad! My kids love it too. My mom made the best schnitzel always crunchy and tastey! I was actually born in Hungary, we escaped in ‘46 and eventually landed in Canada.

  4. 5 stars
    We’ve made this with chicken and it’s ok, but our favorite way is with pork tenderloin! This is my exact recipe and everyone loves it. My maternal grandfather’s parents immigrated from Hungary before WW1 and my mother was lucky to live in a 3 generation household with them. She used to cook a lot with her grandmother and she transferred her love of authentic Hungarian food to me!

  5. Hi Lisa,

    In Indiana and parts of Illinois and Iowa, fried pork tenderloin sandwiches are a local specialty. They are better than hamburgers, but unfortunately you don’t really find them in any other part of the country as far as I know. I was thinking you might want to give them a try; maybe make little slider size ones as a way to modernize them ( the sandwiches are typically very big?). Here is a recipe I have tried that is very good. It gives you an idea of the traditional condiments used on the sandwich (although I personally would switch the mustard for ketchup and use smaller pickles).

    I love your blog. My husband and I had a business dinner once with your father and he told me about your blog. I’ve been a fan of it ever since.

  6. I´m sorry to correct you but it isn´t hungarian dish.. It belongs to the best known specialities of Viennese cuisine. The Wiener Schnitzel is the national dish of Austria.

    1. 5 stars
      Tana, FYI, this is an Hungarian dish especially when made with pork – it’s called “Rantott Szelet”. Perhaps due to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, many similar dishes are claimed by each country.

  7. My husband spent time in Germany so we eat Schnitzel in our house. I have never tried making it with Panko we usually use seasoned bread crumbs. I will have to try that sometime!

  8. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks so much for your comment. The cucumber salad is a family recipe that I just throw together since I’ve been making it since I was 10 years old! This weekend I’ll work out the specific proportions of ingredients and post them. In the meantime, I can share that I usually use two large cucumbers (thinly sliced on a mandolin), shallots or red onion, white vinegar, water, sugar, salt and fresh dill. As for how much of each of those – I’ll report back soon!

  9. That looks so good! Do you have a recipe for the cucumber salad that you would share? I’ve been looking for one and yours looks so refreshing – the perfect side dish for wienerschnitzel.

  10. uhhhhh… I have such a weakness for wienerschnitzel. I can practically hear the crunch on that outside.

  11. My fiancee and I love a good schnitzel. We always add a tablespoon or two of grated white onion to the panko breading mixture for extra, unexpected flavor. Your plate looks clean and delicious with that thinly sliced cucumber salad… and of course the glass of beer on the side!