If you’re wanting to bring back the German recipes you grew up on as a kid, this list has it all.
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German food makes good use of brats (sausages) and potatoes, but there is much more to traditional German cuisine. For one thing, veggies play a huge role in German food, and the cuisine is famous for veggies that last for a long time in cold storage, such as cabbage and potatoes.
In October, many families of German descent celebrate Oktoberfest, the traditional German festival. Even if you’re not German, you can still enjoy the fun, delicious food, and beer that makes Oktoberfest a beloved community tradition. German food is much more than beer and brats, though, and these recipes prove that.
You’ll find classic traditional German dishes from savory to sweet so you can bust one out for any occasion.
German food is known for being on the heavier side but you’ll be surprised at all the different spices and flavors packed in each recipe.
You won’t even have to spend all night in the kitchen with these traditional German food recipes either. You’ll have them finished in time to enjoy your afternoon with the family.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first time cooking popular German food or it’s been in your family for generations, these recipes are easy to follow and taste just like the real thing.
Pick out your favorite German meals from below and get started cooking your family a hearty meal that is sure to please their palate.
1. German Soft Pretzel
What else would you dip into your cheese spread than a soft German pretzel?
It’s amazing what you can do with just a little bit of flour and yeast, and this recipe from Germany really gives you the complete authentic experience.
You’ll realize why taking the time to make your own pretzel is better than anything you’ve ever bought in a store.
You might think you’ve had Quark before because it looks just like yogurt, but this German recipe is much different.
It’s like a non-fermented cheese and goes well with a ton of different recipes or you could even have some of it on its own.
Quark is also known as tvaroh, or tvorog, which means cottage cheese in the Slavic languages.
Quark was first made thousands of years ago but the recipe still holds true today and it’s one of those easy German recipes you can whip up in no time.
You’ll find currywurst on every popular street in Germany and it’s something you need to try out while you’re there.
But if you can’t travel to Germany you can make your own 30-minute version right at home.
The mix of flavors will blow your palate away and you’ll wonder why you ever had regular wurst in the first place.
4. Zurich Ragout
Zurich Ragout is a traditional German dish that is packed with unique flavors that will make you feel like you’re in the home country.
It’s made with ingredients you can find at any grocery store so you won’t have to go looking all over town to get everything.
It’s a great dish to serve guests for dinner because the presentation looks like it came out of a 5-star restaurant.
There’s a combination of textures that helps balance out the meal perfectly with every bite.
5. German Red Cabbage
You’ll find red cabbage in a ton of German recipes but you’re probably not too familiar with this one.
This German braised cabbage is really easy to make and leaves out a lot of unnecessary steps that other recipes use so it’s perfect for us peeps who are low on time.
The great thing about this dish is you can leave it cooking on the stove for an extended period of time which means you’ll have some free time to get some other errands done.
6. Hunter’s Pork Chops
The name for Hunter’s Pork Chops comes from the German word for hunter, Jager. Jager actually refers to a rich sauce that’s made in Germany.
This unique dish has been passed down for generations and tastes just as good now as it did back then.
Give this recipe a try the next time your family asks what’s for dinner because they’ll have no idea this is even a German dish.
There’s no denying the combination of flavors from the rich sauce to the decadent and savory pork chops.
7. German Bread Dumplings
If you’ve ever had regular dumplings then you’re in for a real treat with these German bread dumplings.
The texture is so much softer than regular old dumplings so it really melts in your mouth and covers your palate with flavor.
Traditionally, bread dumplings in Germany are different from region to region so you can really mess with this recipe and make something of your own.
8. German Potato Pancakes
If you’ve never had a potato pancake before they are just like their name says, pancakes made with potatoes.
They are perfect for breakfast but also taste great in the afternoon when you need something savory before or after lunch.
A popular way people eat them is with apple sauce and sour cream on top so be sure to serve them this way if you want to get the entire experience.
These pancakes are super simple to make too, so you can whip up a batch in about 30 minutes and that’s good because they’ll go fast.
When it’s that time of year there’s only one thing you’re going to want: Springle cookies.
These German recipes are a time-honored tradition that has been around for years and there’s a really good reason these are so popular.
Not only do they taste amazing but they also make for great gifts as well so you can always package them up and give them as presents to anyone who needs a sweet pick-me-up.
This is one of those recipes that takes a little while because you have to let the dough rest for about an hour before rolling it out but once you’re done you’ll have some amazing cookies to enjoy.
10. German Pan Fried Potatoes
This is one of those easier German dinner recipes you can make if you don’t want to spend a ton of time cooking.
It’s a quick recipe that doesn’t take much to make but tastes one hundred times better than frozen French fries in the freezer.
Once you get a hang of the recipe you’ll be able to make this side for just about any main entree you serve.
It goes great with meats, fish, vegetables, and more. Just make sure to get the outside crispy while keeping the inside nice and soft.
You can make a ton of these potatoes too and stick the extras in the fridge to have as a snack or as a side for another meal.
If you’re short on time and need a quick dinner recipe, stick with this Spatzle dish.
The noodles get all nice and tender while the sauce makes this a full-blown meal.
This is one of those recipes that you don’t have to worry about being complicated or taking forever. It’s something that will be ready in as little as 15 minutes so you can feed everyone without any issues.
12. Easy German Pancake
You won’t have another pancake that is as easy to make as these German pancakes.
The dish actually looks more like a French toast meal than it does a pancake. It has a slightly crispy outside while the inside remains soft and fluffy.
The best part is you can throw strawberries, blueberries, apples, or any other kind of fruit on top and it will still taste fantastic.
The dish is best served with powdered sugar on top, but that’s completely optional if you don’t want to go through the trouble.
13. Grilled German Pork Chops
When the warm weather starts to permeate the air, it’s time for some grilled German pork chops.
Here you’re getting a recipe that is going to make everyone in the family happy because it’s something you can prepare indoors with the grill pan and also outdoors when you have a bunch of friends over.
You’ll want to let these marinade for a little while before popping them on the grill so all the flavors come together and make your mouth water.
The great thing about this dish is it’s perfect for summer picnics too because you can bring the ingredients with you to grill right on site. They’re also easy to transport which means they’re perfect for potlucks too.
14. German Semolina Pudding
If you’ve never had semolina pudding before it’s like a silkier version of rice pudding.
The best part is, it doesn’t matter if the semolina mixture overcooks, because that just gives it a more gooey texture that most people love for this German dessert.
You can choose to add different toppings like sliced almonds, raisins, or cranberries but keep in mind they’ll all add their own unique twist.
This is German cooking you can make in no time and it’s just as good as grandma used to make.
15. German Onion Pie
Forget what you know about pie, this German onion pie is here to change the game up.
The filling in this German recipe has so many different ingredients you’ll never guess what they all are, but once you take one bite of this decadent dish you won’t care.
There’s so much cheesy goodness in here that even if you’re not a fan of onions you’ll still want to dig in and see what’s going on.
There are lots of savory bacon pieces too so this dish will fill everyone up and make them feel satisfied when the forks are on the table.
16. German Potato Salad
You might have thought you knew about potato salad but you haven’t had German potato salad before.
The dish is creamy with a little bit of crunch and the ingredients give it that nice, sweet-savory flavor you won’t find in any other version.
Potato salad goes great if you have it as a snack but it’s best served as an appetizer or side to go with some of your favorite German dishes.
Do yourself a big favor and make a big old batch so you can keep some in the fridge for the next few days.
17. German Chocolate Pie
German desserts are well known and when you’re in the mood for something sweet, this German chocolate pie is going to be your new go-to recipe.
Not only does it have that delicious German chocolate flavor but it also has a layer of coconut right on top that ties everything together perfectly.
The crust gets all nice and flaky while the filling provides a really smooth texture that will have everyone asking for an extra slice, or two.
You can also experiment with different toppings to mix things up a little bit. Chocolate chips are always a good idea but you could try out some other fun flavors as well.
18. Sauerkraut Soup
Even if you have had sauerkraut before, you’ve never had this delicious German cuisine soup before.
All the ingredients that make this soup fill it up with flavors that will tickle those taste buds.
You can choose to serve the soup with bacon or sausage on top but be sure not to use too much salt because the sauerkraut already has enough to give the soup a perfect balance.
It’s the perfect one to make when the weather starts getting chilly outside and you want something to warm you up.
Having one bite of this rouladen recipe is going to make you want to rush right back into the kitchen and cook up another round.
This one is a German recipe with lots of history behind it. During the First World War, soldiers used this as their meal before heading out for battle.
Of course, all that stress isn’t why we love this today but rather because it’s just so good.
You’ll have to spend some extra time getting the meat ready but it’s all for a great cause because once that’s done you can just throw them into the crockpot until they’re tender.
There are tons of ways you can customize this recipe with different toppings and sides so experiment a little and find your favorite.
20. German Muesli
If you’ve never had Muesli for breakfast before you don’t know what you’re missing.
The dish is perfect for those people who like something light to help them get ready for the day ahead.
Most muesli recipes are authentic German food that only takes about 15 minutes or so to whip up and they can last in your fridge for quite a while.
You could make this a sweeter dish by adding some fruits to it or different kinds of nuts.
The kids will love this one but adults will even find it tasty so don’t be afraid to make a little more than what you think you’ll need.
Nothing comforts the soul more than having some warm pot roast on a cold winter day and this sauerbraten is exactly that.
This one deserves some mashed potatoes on the side so you can get the entire experience.
Once the German recipe has been cooking for hours you’ll find the beef melts right in your mouth, especially with some delicious gravy on top.
The only difference with sauerbraten is you can leave this marinating for days before cooking the dish for your family.
if you really want to keep this recipe authentic, try out some potato pancakes on the side.
22. German Mulled Wine
There’s no better way to impress guests during those winter months than to make your own German mulled wine.
The best part is you can make a nice big batch so no one has to go without any and everyone can have as much as they want.
This German mulled wine is the perfect start to your next holiday party or dinner party because it will get everyone in the spirit.
You can mix the ingredients endlessly so you’ll always have a way to keep this recipe new and fun.
23. Pickled Beets
Germans, like many other cultures, realized the importance of pickling food and this recipe really gives you a technique you can use for lots of different veggies.
Now you can make your own pickled beets to add to a number of different foods, like sandwiches, salads, or even as a side to some protein.
It doesn’t hurt that beets are great for your health and eating them can actually help to lower your blood pressure.
24. German Schnitzel
The classic German cooking recipe, schnitzel, is a staple in most German homes.
Most of the time you’ll find it served with a side of mashed potato and some vegetables on the side but it can also be accompanied by noodles or even rice.
It won’t take you much time to make this classic either, you’ll have the dish ready in 30 minutes and still have time for dessert.
25. German Cheese Spread
There is nothing better on game day than having a warm pretzel dipped in this German cheese spread.
As long as you have a food processor this recipe is only going to take you a matter of minutes before you’re ready to chow down.
The spread is creamy and smooth with a strong cheesy flavor that’s certain to add some excitement to any gathering or get-together.
25+ Traditional German Recipes (+German Pan-Fried Potatoes)
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes boiled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 1/2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp. mustard
- 6 chopped green onions
- 3 slices crispy cooked bacon
- Cook potatoes in olive oil for 7 minutes.
- Mix the liquids and coat potatoes.
- Crumble green onions and bacon, cooking 1 more minute.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.
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