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In Germany, Schnitzel means a smaller, thinner cut of meat. In practice, Schnitzel is a traditional German and Austrian dish made from a BreadedPounded and Pan FriedBoneless Cutlet. A Schnitzel can be almost any type of meat. Specific types of Schnitzel are described by using different adjectives.

A Wiener Schnitzel (a term used since at least 1845) means a Vienna Schnitzel which is a breaded Veal Cutlet that is dipped in FlourEgg and Breadcrumbs, and then Pan Fried in Butter or Oil until golden brown.

Wiener Schnitzel is typically served with a lemon wedge, for drizzling the juice on top and Potato Salad on the side. In Germany and Austria Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law and must be the Veal Cutlet.


Pork Schnitzel would be called “Wiener Schnitzle vom Schwein,” or Vienna Schnitzel made with Pork. 

Chicken Schnitzel is prepared the same way as Wiener Schnitzel but uses a Chicken Cutlet instead of a Veal Cutlet.

Turkey Schnitzel (Putenschnitzel in German) is prepared the same way as Wiener Schnitzel, using Turkey instead of Veal. Turkey Schnitzel is said to be the national dish of Israel. Vegetarian Schnitzel is prepared the same way as Wiener Schnitzel but uses a vegetarian Cutlet made from TofuSeitan or Textured Soy.

There are also a number of regional and local variants of Schnitzel.

Salzburger Schnitzel, a specialty of Salzburg, Austria, is a Wiener Schnitzel stuffed with mushrooms, bacon, onions, and other herbs.

Holsteiner Schnitzel, a specialty of Holstein, Austria, is Wiener Schnitzel topped with a fried egg, Anchovies and Capers.

Hamburger Schnitzel, a specialty of Hamburg, Germany, is Wiener Schnitzel topped with a fried egg.

Jägerschnitzel (meaning "Hunter's Schnitzel" in German) is an unbreaded Cutlet served with Sauce aux Champignon.

Naturschnitzel (meaning "Natural Schnitzel” in German) is an unbreaded Cutlet that is Sautéed (not Pan-Fried), and served with a simple Pan Sauce (pan drippings) to which Sour Cream might be added for richness and as a thickener.

Rahmschnitzel (meaning "Cream Schnitzel" in German) is Wiener Schnitzel served with a creamy Sauce that often includes Mushrooms

Zigeunerschnitzel (meaning  "Gypsy Schnitzel" in German), also called a Bell Pepper Schnitzel (Paprikaschnitzel in German), is a Wiener Schnitzel served with a Tomato Sauce flavored by Bell Peppers and Sliced Onions.


Wiener Schnitzel is not a direct substitute for a Cotoletta Milanese because the Cotoletta Milanese can be based on either a Bone-In Cutlet (traditional in Milan) or a Boneless Cutlet. A more appropriate translation from the Germanic cuisine to the Italian would be a Vienna Scaloppina (“Scaloppina alla Viennese” in Italian) to specify a Boneless Cutlet.