Pork Cutlets in the Air Fryer

Air Fryer Pork Schnitzel is a delicious dish made with thin pork cutlets coated in panko crumbs and air fried to a golden brown and crispy perfection. This healthier version of pan-fried schnitzel requires minimal oil and only takes 10 minutes in the air fryer!

Lighten Up Your Schnitzel

The air fryer is a fantastic tool for making lighter versions of traditionally pan-fried or deep-fried foods. Since schnitzel is typically fried in oil, it’s a perfect fit for air frying. With just a light spritz of oil, the hot air circulating around the air fryer does all the work!

The panko breading used for this pork is similar to the one I use for air fryer cod, chicken bites, and breaded shrimp. It results in deliciously crispy food with little to no oil!

For a quick and easy weeknight meal, I love serving this pork schnitzel with air fryer green beans, rice, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You can also pair it with potatoes, carrots, or mixed vegetables.

What is Schnitzel?

Schnitzel is a traditional German dish made from a thin cut of boneless meat, such as pork, chicken, veal, or beef. The meat is pounded thin, coated in a simple breading, and fried until crispy.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These breaded pork cutlets are incredibly crispy with minimal oil.
  • They only take 10 minutes to cook in the air fryer.
  • Enjoy the pork on its own with your favorite sides or serve it on a bun for a crispy schnitzel sandwich.
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Details on the Ingredients

  • Pork Chops: You’ll need 4-5 boneless pork chops for this recipe. Make sure they are no thicker than 1/2-inch for easy pounding into thin cutlets.
  • Flour: A thin layer of whole wheat flour helps the egg stick to the pork and absorbs any moisture on the surface. You can use all-purpose white flour as a substitute.
  • Egg: Dipping the floured pork into the egg provides the adhesive for the crispy panko crumbs.
  • Panko Crumbs: These crumbs create the outer breading for the pork. I recommend using white panko crumbs, but whole wheat works too.
  • Seasonings: Dried basil, oregano, salt, garlic, and smoked paprika add flavor to the panko crumbs. Feel free to experiment with other herbs and spices.

How to Make Pork Schnitzel in the Air Fryer

Pork chops on a wooden board in between plastic wrap with a mallet next to them.

  1. Lay a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper on your work surface. Arrange the pork chops in a single layer on top and cover with another sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  2. Use a mallet to pound each pork chop until it reaches a thickness of about 1/4-inch.
  3. Prepare your breading stations. Place flour in a shallow bowl or rimmed plate. In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg. In a third shallow bowl, combine the panko crumbs and seasonings.
  4. To bread the pork, lightly coat each piece in flour, dip it in the egg (letting any excess drip off), and then coat it in the panko crumb mixture. Gently press the crumbs onto the surface of the pork.
  5. Place the pork cutlets in a single layer in the air fryer basket and lightly spray the tops with oil. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the pork in two batches.
  6. Air fry at 400°F for 5 minutes. Flip the pork over, spray the tops with oil, and air fry for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pork from the air fryer basket and repeat with any remaining pork, if necessary.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Pork schnitzel is best enjoyed hot and crispy, so it’s recommended to serve it immediately after air frying. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep in mind that the breading may become softer in the fridge.

To reheat leftovers, use an oven or air fryer to crisp up the breading again. Heat at 400°F for about 5 minutes, or until the pork is heated through and the breading is crispy. Be careful not to overheat, as it can dry out the pork.

Key Recipe Tips

  • Pound the pork thin: To ensure even cooking and a crispy coating, pound the pork cutlets to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Thicker cutlets will require longer air frying.
  • Use flour sparingly: Shake off any excess flour from the pork chops to avoid a thick and lumpy egg mixture.
  • Breading process: Use one hand for flour and egg, keeping the other hand dry for panko coating and transferring the pork to the air fryer. This prevents clumping of egg and crumbs.
  • Lightly spray with oil: For a golden brown and crispy breading, lightly spray both sides of the breaded cutlets with oil.
  • Air fry in a single layer: To ensure quick and even cooking, arrange the pork cutlets in a single layer and avoid overcrowding the air fryer. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Flip the pork: After 5 minutes of air frying, turn the pork chops over to ensure even browning and cooking.
  • Avoid overcooking: Since the pork cutlets are thin, they cook quickly. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness and prevent dryness.
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Other Air Fryer Recipes

  • Air Fryer Mini Pizza
  • Air Fryer Pita Chips
  • Air Fryer Turnip Fries
  • Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
  • Air Fryer Crab Cakes
  • Air Fryer Gnocchi
  • Air Fryer Beets

If you try this recipe, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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