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Traditional Polish Pork Cutlets Schabowy Recipe

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Polish pork cutlets schnitzel with mashed potatoes and lemons on a plate.

This authentic Polish pork cutlets recipe produces some really tender and juicy meat that you will love! Serve the schabowy breaded pork cutlets for dinner with mizeria and boiled potatoes!

When you ask any Pole about the traditional dinner, the first dish that pops into anyone’s head is rosol and schabowy with mashed potatoes. While you can find my chicken soup recipe on the blog, I haven’t shared here the authentic Polish pork cutlets recipe yet!

Traditionally, rosol and kotlety schabowe with mashed potatoes are served for a Sunday dinner. The family gathers together after the mass to celebrate this free day.

During the communist times in Poland, meat was not so easily found on the market. It required some good connections,  butchers and tellers were the people holding the real power over communities. Some luck was also needed, because “first come – first served” was on a completely different level back then.

So every Saturday evening and Sunday morning the sound of pounding cutlets were coming from all around the neighborhood,  to show who was lucky this time, or who knows the right people in town. Believe it or not, the sound of pounding the cutlets with a meat mallet is what you can still hear in the block of flats every weekend.

What Are Polish Pork Cutlets?

Schabowy is Polish-style pork chops that are made by pounding a piece of pork till tender, coating it with breadcrumbs and frying it till it’s deliciously crispy. The easiest cut of meat for home use are center-cut boneless pork chops.

Even though most Poles considered schabowe as the national Polish, they are in fact very similar to German or Austrian schnitzels. The difference is in the type of meat: in Poland, cutlets are made of pork, in Austria, they are made of veal.

Who Invented The Polish Pork Schnitzel Breaded Cutlets?

The breaded pork cutlets called schabowy have been part of Polish culture since the 19th century. It was most probably created as a Polish version of the popular Austrian wiener schnitzel made of veal.

Schabowy is mentioned in 365 obiadów za pięć złotych (365 Dinners for Five Zloty), a cookbook written by Lucyna Ćwierczakiewiczowa in 1860. She says it was served with butter-fried shallots and mustard at the time.

Although it wasn’t very popular with the nobility in the 19th century, the dish became popular in the 20th century during the Communist movement. Schabowy was lighter on the pocket and thus Polish pork chops are found in homes almost every week now.

Tender lion is by look similar to our Polish Schabowy, however, while the tender lion is deep fried, schabowy comes fried pan.

How To Make Schabowy – Polish Pork Cutlets?

Step I – Tenderize the Polish Pork Chops

Start by cutting the pork chops into 1/2 inch thick cutlets. You can ask the butcher to do this for you if you want.

Pound the cutlets with a meat mallet till they’re about 1/8th inch thick. You can put the meat in a plastic bag to prevent splattering.

Half inch thick pork cutlets
Pounding the pork meat with a mallet.
Pounding the pork meat with a mallet

Put the meat in a large bowl with milk and onions and refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of two hours.

Discard the milk and onions and dry the cutlets with paper towels.

Pork cutlets soaking in milk and onions.
Tip: Soak the pork meat in milk to tenderize it!

Step II – Crumb And Fry The Polish Pork Cutlets

Take 3 different bowls or deep plates. Add flour to the first, beaten eggs in the second, and breadcrumbs in the third.

Coat the pork cutlets first with flour, then with egg, and finally with breadcrumbs. Fry in lard or oil. Serve with sides or toppings of your choice!

Breaded pork cutlets in a steel pot.
Breaded pork cutlets ready to fry
Breaded pork cutlets in a white plate.
Coat the pork cutlets with flour, egg and breadcrumbs
Polish pork cutlet on a blue plate.
Breaded Polish pork cutlet is called schabowy

What To Serve Breaded Pork Cutlets With?

Traditionally, kotlety schabowe are served with boiled potatoes. Alternatively, you may use french fries, any kind of groats, or rice. 

When it comes to the salad, serve it with:

You can also garnish the cutlets with chopped dill or caramelized onions, and serve it with apple sauce or sour cream.

And whenever it is schabowy on the table, kompot would make a great choice to serve it as a drink. See my recipe for a homemadePolish fruit drink- kompot.

Tips For Making and Cooking Polish Pork Cutlets

Pork cutlets on a white plate.
Polish pork cutlets are very similar to wiener schnitzel

1. You can skip marinating in milk and onion.

Although placing the pork chop in the milk and onion is not necessary, I strongly recommend it! After a few hours in the marinade, the meat will be soft, tender, and aromatic.

2. You can use poultry if you don’t like pork.

The recipe is pretty much the same but marinating won’t be necessary.

3. Schabowy storage tips.

  • in the fridge-> 3-5 days
  • in the freezer-> 4-6 months

To freeze cutlets it is best to follow the same rule that applies when freezing pierogi ruskie. Lay the cutlets separately on a baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other, freeze them for about an hour, and then transfer them to a plastic bag. This way you can also prepare ready portions for your next serving.  Cutlets can be frozen raw and fired, however, the raw will go a longer period of time. 

Breaded pork cutlets and lime wedges in a white plate.
Suggestion: Serve the breaded pork cutlets with wedges of lime!

More Tips For Making Polish Pork Schnitzel

  • Remove all the leftover breadcrumbs from the pan after every set of pork cutlets and use new lard for each set, leftovers of breadcrumbs burn easily.
  • Add any other spices or seasonings that you prefer to the beaten egg. Usually, salt and pepper are used to season the cutlets.
  • Fry the cutlets evenly until golden-brown, and maintain the heat so they don’t burn on the edges. 
  • Serve with salatka jarzynowa and lemon wedges.
  • The next day, you can my tasty leftover cutlets salad recipe.

FAQs About Polish Breaded Pork Chops

Why Soak Pork Meat In Milk?

Soaking meat in milk tenderizes it. How? The lactic acid in the milk breaks down the collagen in the pork meat to gelatin and softens the flesh. It has the same effect as marinating it in yogurt, but works a lot faster.

Why Add Onions When You Soak The Pork Meat In Milk?

The onions are added to the milk while marinating to add flavor to the meat. 

Which Milk Should I Use? 

You can use any milk, but whole milk is more effective. 

Which Pork Chops Should I Use?

You can use any pork chops. But if you can get grass-fed or pasture-raised pork, that’s great!

Do I Have To Use Pork Meat Only?

If you don’t like pork, you can use poultry such as chicken or turkey. If you use turkey, the dish is called kotlet z indyka

How To Reheat The Schabowy Pork Cutlets?

Place the pork schabowy cutlets in a baking tray and reheat in the oven at 175 Celsius or 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat in them in a frying pan with lard or oil for 5 to 7 minutes.

To reheat frozen schabowy, transfer them out directly from the freezer to the baking pan laid out with a baking sheet and give it about 15 minutes in the oven. After this time, schabowy will be hot and tasty.

Are There Any Other Polish Cutlet Recipes?

Yes! The most popular are:

Traditional Polish Pork Cutlets Schabowy Recipe

Yield: 6

Traditional Polish Pork Cutlets Schabowy Recipe

A piece of fried chicken on a red plate, accompanied by polish pork cutlets.

This authentic Polish pork cutlets recipe produces some really tender and juicy meat that you will love! Serve the schabowy breaded pork cutlets for dinner with mizeria and rosol! 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes


  • 1.5 lbs boneless pork chops
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 big onion
  • 3 eggs
  • flour
  • breadcrumbs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil


One day/ at least 2 hours before:

  1. Wash the pork chops, trim them of fat, and slice into 1/2″ thick cutlets (you will get about 5-6 from 1.5 lbs of pork chops).
  2. Pound the cutlets with a meat mallet until they are about 1/8″ thick. If you want to prevent splattering, put the cutlets in the plastic bag before pounding. Pounding the pork meat with a mallet.
  3. Peel and slice an onion.
  4. Put the cutlets, onion, and the milk into the bowl, cover with foil or plate and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours (ideally overnight). Pork cutlets soaking in milk and onions.

The next day or after at least 2 hours:

  1. Dry the cutlets using paper towels. Throw away the onion and the milk, you won't need them anymore.
  2. Rub the cutlets with a bit of salt and pepper, each side. Alternatively, season the eggs with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare 3 bowls (or the deep plates): beat and whisk the eggs (using the fork) in the first one. Place the flour in the second. The third bowl is for the breadcrumbs.
  4. Coat each cutlet in the flour. Next, dip it in the egg mixture. Finally, coat it in the breadcrumbs. Breaded pork cutlets in a white plate.
  5. Fry on the hot oil or lard, 3-4 minutes each side.
  6. If you cook more cutlets, be sure to use new fat every time (clean the pan after each frying).
  7. After frying, place the cutlets briefly on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess fat.


If you are in a hurry, you don't need to marinate the meat in the milk and onion, you can jump into step 2 straight away.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 459Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 304mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 39g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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Did you enjoy this Polish Pork Cutlets Schabowy recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Responses

    1. Both are right 🙂
      You can either coat schabowy with flour, then dip in eggs, finally coat with breadcrumbs.
      Alternatively, you may dip schabowy in eggs straightaway, skipping the first step (coating with flour).

  1. I make breaded pork tenderloins. Our local Fareway grocery store often offers whole pork tenderloins on sale at less than $2.00 per pound. They will cut and freezer wrap any way you want–roasts, boneless chops or tenderized slices. I’ll have a whole tenderloin sliced, tenderized and packaged and put in my freezer. Whenever I need a package, I defrost, then dip in beaten egg and coat with coarsely crushed crackers, pan fry until golden. I like the texture of cracker over bread crumbs, These are absolutely delicious! I didn’t know this is a Polish specialty–I make golumpki, kapusta, and pierogi. My mother-in-law did not make this, breaded pork tenderloin sandwich is an IOWA specialty!

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