Air Fryer Schnitzel Recipe

Air Fryer Schnitzel 

We’re taking a modern spin on a German classic with our air fryer schnitzel recipe. Sponsored by the National Pork Board.

The holiday season is here! It’s time to gather with family and friends and capture the flavors of the season with delicious recipes.  

There is something about the winter season that always brings us back to our German roots.

Maybe it’s memories of European Christmas markets or the fact we recently visited our Bed and Breakfast rental in Fredericksburg, Texas, which is a German town with a gigantic German Christmas pyramid called a Weihnachtspyramide. 

For this winter recipe we’re whipping up German schnitzel.

But for a lighter option, we’re making schnitzel air fryer style!

Pork Tenderloin Air Fryer Schnitzel

We love how pork is such a versatile protein.  

Large cuts of pork can be utilized in so many different delicious ways. 

Often, we use a pork shoulder to make pulled pork and use the meat for tacos, nachos, and even a stuffing for baked potatoes.

Don’t miss our recipe for instant pot pulled pork or our tips on how to smoke pulled pork on a Big Green Egg.

For this recipe we are using a pork tenderloin in a new way, by turning it into schnitzel!

How to Make Air Fryer Schnitzel

What is schnitzel?

Schnitzel refers to the cooking method, not the actual specific dish. 

Making a schnitzel means pounding out meat thin, battering and frying it.

There are a number of different variations from Jaeger Schnitzel to Weiner Schnitzel to Kase Schnitzel.

Today we are cooking up a pork schnitzel and topping it with a gravy sauce.

Holy schnitzel, it’s amazing!

Air Fryer Schnitzel Batter

How to make schnitzel in an air fryer

You’ll start this air fryer schnitzel recipe by cutting your pork tenderloin into pieces and pounding the meat out thin with a mallet or meat tenderizer.

One tip to make this process cleaner is to place the pork between two pieces of plastic wrap and then start pounding it out.

Next, you’ll season the pork cutlets with salt and pepper.

Start your battering process by prepping your three batter dishes.

Use a shallow plate or a battering station tool.

Dip the meat into the seasoned flour until fully coated.

Next, dip it in egg and shake off all excess egg before you place it in the breadcrumbs.

Air Fryer Schnitzel Breading

This part of the process is the same whether you air fry your pork or if you pan fry it.

To prepare your schnitzel for the air fryer, spray each side of the battered schnitzel with olive oil spray.

This will help to prevent sticking and helps the breadcrumbs to crisp up to a golden brown.

Finally, place your schnitzel in the air fryer and keep a close eye on it.

Air Fryer Schnitzel

Cooking times vary based on your model or style of air fryer.

For us, our pork was ready after about 14 minutes in a 380 degree air fryer.

Any lower temp, the breadcrumbs don’t get golden brown. 

At a higher temp, you risk burning the breadcrumbs.

Air Fryer Schnitzel Recipe

What to serve with schnitzel

This air fryer pork schnitzel recipe is a bit smaller than a traditional schnitzel since it was cut from a pork tenderloin.

The smaller size makes it easier to fit in air fryer baskets and makes the perfect size schnitzel patty for a schnitzel sandwich.

If you want to turn this recipe into a schnitzel sandwich, it is terrific with a brown gravy for a pork schnitzel sauce, pickled red cabbage, and a kaiser roll.

Air Fryer Schnitzel Sauce

If you want to enjoy your pork schnitzel on its own, not in a sandwich, the red cabbage is a fantastic side dish. The light sweetness and acidity of the red cabbage pairs wonderfully with the savory pork.

We also love to serve air fryer pork schnitzel with homemade German spaetzle covered in cheese and onions.

For a lighter side, cook up some green beans or a side salad.

Air Fryer Schnitzel Recipe

Air Fryer Schnitzel Recipe

Serves: 4 schnitzels 

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 12 Minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 4 pieces 
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees F.
  2. Slice a pork tenderloin into 4 sections.
  3. Place a pork cutlet in between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a mallet to pound out the meat until it is about ¼ inch thick.
  4. Season each cutlet with salt and pepper.
  5. In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour with onion powder and garlic powder.
  6. In another bowl scramble the eggs.
  7. Finally in a third bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
  8. Dip the seasoned pork cutlet in the flour drudge, then in the egg wash, and then finally in the breadcrumbs.
  9. Spray the outside of the cutlet with olive oil spray on both sides and place in the air fryer basket.
  10. Without overcrowding the basket (you will likely need to do multiple batches), air fry the pork schnitzel at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes until the outside is light brown and crisp.  Cooking times can vary by air fryer, ensuring the center of the pork schnitzel reaches 145 degrees internal temperature. 
Air Fryer Schnitzel

Air Fryer Schnitzel Recipe

Yield: 4 Schnitzels
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

Make a German classic with this air fryer schnitzel recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 4 pieces 
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees F.
  2. Slice a pork tenderloin into 4 sections.
  3. Place a pork cutlet in between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a mallet to pound out the meat until it is about ¼ inch thick.
  4. Season each cutlet with salt and pepper.
  5. In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour with onion powder and garlic powder.
  6. In another bowl scramble the eggs.
  7. Finally in a third bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
  8. Dip the seasoned pork cutlet in the flour drudge, then in the egg wash, and then finally in the breadcrumbs.
  9. Spray the outside of the cutlet with olive oil spray on both sides and place in the air fryer basket.
  10. Without overcrowding the basket (you will likely need to do multiple batches), air fry the pork schnitzel at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes until the outside is light brown and crisp.  Cooking times can vary by air fryer, ensuring the center of the pork schnitzel reaches 145 degrees internal temperature. 

Find the National Pork Board’s complete recipe collection as inspiration here:  https://www.yummly.com/page/pork 

Visit pork.org for even more pork cooking ideas and inspiration!

Don’t miss some of our other most popular seasonal pork recipes:

Air Fryer Schnitzel - Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Click this link to pin this air fryer schnitzel recipe on Pinterest. 

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