Crispy Pork Schnitzel with Potato Salad

This can be a messy job, so why not get the kids involved and make it fun?

Crispy Pork Schnitzel with Potato Salad from the Hairy Dieters is a substantial meal that you can enjoy for lunch or dinner. I always thought schnitzels – which are traditionally thin, breaded and pan fried cutlets made from veal – originated from Poland, but it turns out they herald from Austria. You learn something new every day…

Schnitzels can be unhealthy as they are typically pan fried in oil, but this lighter version requires them to be baked in the oven. With the whopping side salad of potatoes, onion, celery and apple, the Hairy Dieters’ recipe comes in at only 406 calories per portion. I won’t lie and say you can’t tell the difference between this and having the real thing, but the low-cal alternative still tastes good.

A word of warning. If you can’t stand your kitchen getting messy, then give this meal a wide berth. You’ll have plates, cutlery and messy hands from making the coating for the schnitzels. However, if you’ve got children who are showing an interest in cooking why not get them involved? You could even get them to wash up afterwards for a full 360 degree culinary experience, ha ha!

Recipe: Crispy Pork Schnitzel with Potato Salad

Calories: 416 per portion

Serves: 2

Book: Hairy Dieters – Eat for Life

Prep time: Approx 20 minutes

Cooking time: Approx 15 minutes


  • 2 x 150g pork loin steaks
  • Oil, for spraying
  • 50g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • Finely grated zest of ½ small lemon
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 50g watercress, spinach and rocket salad
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

For the potato, celery & apple salad:

  • 150g baby new potatoes (well scrubbed)
  • 2 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 1 red eating apple (quartered, cored and sliced)
  • 2 celery sticks (trimmed and sliced)
  • ½ small red onion (finely sliced)

Cost per portion: Approx £2.84                                       


To start the potato salad, half fill a small pan with water and bring it to the boil. Add the potatoes, bring the water back to the boil and cook for 15-18 minutes or until they’re just tender. Drain, then plunge the potatoes into a bowl of cold water and leave to cool.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the schnitzels. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / Fan 180 degrees C / Gas 6. Cut any visible fat off the pork steaks and place each one between 2 sheets of cling film. Bash them with a rolling pin, or the side of a meat mallet, until they’re about 1cm thick, trying to keep the shape as even as possible. Remove the cling film and season the pork. Mist a baking tray with oil.

Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl with the lemon zest, thyme, paprika, a good pinch of salt and some black pepper. Mix well, then scatter just a quarter of the flavoured crumbs over  a large plate. Put the yoghurt in a bowl.

Take a pork steak and dip it into the yoghurt until lightly coated on both sides. Then place it flat on the breadcrumbs on the plate and top with a quarter more of the crumbs. Press the crumbs on to the pork until evenly covered on both sides. Put the pork on the greased baking tray and prepare the other schnitzel in the same way. Spray the schnitzels with oil and bake them for 12-15 minutes until golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, finish the salad. Mix the mayonnaise and yoghurt in a medium bowl. Cut each of the potatoes in half and toss with the mayonnaise dressing. Add the apple, celery and onion, then stir well and season with the salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the potato salad between 2 plates – there’s quite a lot, so save some for a packed lunch the next day if you like. Lean a hot pork schnitzel across each heap of potato salad and add the salad leaves. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.


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