I love when a fusion of two cuisines produces unexpected yet delicious dish such as this Whole30, paleo and gluten-free chicken schnitzel with a Mexican twist. Shallow-fried till crispy and aromatic, my spiced chicken breast schnitzels are drizzled with zesty coriander, lime and garlic sauce. Yum!
Today’s recipe was a total surprise. I didn’t plan it ahead and the idea came up to me maybe 10 minutes before I decided to make it. I wanted to use up a couple of chicken breasts I had in the fridge but I wanted something a little different to what I usually make.
I haven’t had schnitzel for a while, so I settled on the idea of pan-fried, crumbed chicken. Then, I started thinking of what to serve it with, and what I had in the fridge gave me the inspiration to make a Mexican-inspired chicken schnitzel with lovely coriander, and lime sauce.
What Is A Chicken Schnitzel?
If you’re not familiar with the name, a schnitzel is essentially a thin slice of meat (usually chicken or veal) fried in fat. The meat is flattened and pounded with a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin and covered in bread crumb mixture before frying. While it’s a dish associated with Austrian and German cuisines, many other countries enjoy schnitzel-like recipes (e.g. Japanese tonkatsu, Italian Milanesa etc).
Given that the meat is covered in bread and deep-fried, it’s not the healthiest of dishes but I will show you how to make a healthier chicken schnitzel using paleo-friendly, gluten-free ingredients and shallow-frying in avocado oil instead of deep-frying.
How To Make Mexican Chicken Schnitzel (+Video)
This chicken schnitzel recipe is paleo, gluten-free and Whole30-friendly. The meat is dusted in cassava flour and ground flaxseed mixture spiced with cumin, paprika, coriander seed powder and dried oregano (my favourite Mexican spices). I didn’t use any chilli in the crust mixture but the sauce has a little kick to it.
I use avocado oil for shallow-frying but you could use coconut oil or macadamia oil.
If you don’t have cassava flour, replace it with tapioca flour or arrowroot flour. Any other gluten-free flour will also work. Ground flaxseeds add a lovely crunchy texture and nutty flavour but can be replaced with ground linseed or almond meal.
You will find the full list of recipe ingredients, instructions and nutritional breakdown in the recipe below. Here is a quick video to show you how to make it.
Chicken Schnitzel Sauce
Since I am going for a Mexican twist with this recipe, I made a zesty sauce with mayonnaise, fresh coriander (cilantro), garlic, green chilli and lime juice. I use a little almond milk to thin it out but you could also add a little orange juice, coconut milk, or any other dairy-free milk.
More Tasty Chicken Recipes
- Mongolian Chicken Zucchini Noodles (Paleo)
- Greek-style Roasted Half Chicken (Paleo, Whole30)
- Korena Spicy Chicken (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
- Coconut Yoghurt Chicken (Whole30, Paleo)
- Paleo Satay Chicken Skewers
- Baked Chicken Meatballs In Spicy Tomato Sauce (Whole30, Paleo)
- 4 small chicken breasts I made 2 but you will have enough flour mixture and sauce for 4 servings
- A rolling pin or a meat tenderizer
- Parchment paper or Clingwrap
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the breading
- 2 eggs whisked
- 2/3 cup cassava flour 1/4 cup of it for dusting
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder can be omitted
- Avocado oil coconut oil or macadamia oil for cooking
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro
- 3-4 slices of green chilli
- 1 garlic clove
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of almond milk or another dairy-free milk
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of parchment paper (or Clingwrap) and place on a flat surface. Use a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin to pound the breasts until flattened and thin. Pound a little more around the thicker parts to make sure the final schnitzels are even in thickness. Watch the video above!
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Add 1/4 cup of the cassava flour to one plate for dusting. In another larger plate, mix together the remaining cassava flour, ground flaxseeds and spices. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.
- Dust each chicken breast lightly with cassava flour (plate 1), dip in the whisked egg, then cover well in the spiced flour mixture. I like to press the fillets down into the mixture and sprinkle the flour all over to cover them evenly.
- Preheat a large, semi-deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, reduce the heat to medium. Add the oil and allow it to heat up as well. Add the breaded chicken breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Swirl the oil around the breasts a few times. Make sure the heat is high enough for the meat to sizzle while cooking but not to burn too quickly. Turn them over once crispy and golden brown.
- In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a food blender or a food processor and whiz until smooth. You can also chop everything finely and mix it by hand.
- Once cooked, remove the schnitzel to a cutting board and rest for a couple of minutes. Slice and serve with a little sprinkle of dried oregano and sea salt (optional). Drizzle with the sauce and serve with a side of leafy greens, fresh coriander and lime wedges.
- Cassava flour can be replaced with tapioca four or arrowroot flour. Other gluten-free flour can also be used.
- Pork fillets or turkey fillets could be used instead of chicken.