45 Old-World German Recipes Worth Trying Today (2024)

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45 Old-World German Recipes Worth Trying Today (1)Laura DenbyUpdated: Feb. 02, 2024

    It doesn't have to be Oktoberfest to celebrate German cooking. Here are our best German recipes passed down by generations of home cooks.

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    Country Potato Pancakes

    Potato pancakes, or latkes, are really versatile. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, they can be a side dish for just about any meal or the main course for a light meal. We have them often at our house. —Lydia Robotewskyj, Franklin, Wisconsin

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    2/44

    Oma's Apfelkuchen (Grandma's Apple Cake)

    My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to "Grandma’s apple cake." They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio

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    3/44

    German Potato Dumplings

    Potato dumplings (called Kartoffel Kloesse in Germany) are a delightful addition to any German feast. The browned butter sauce is delectable.—Arline Hofland, Deer Lodge, Montana

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    4/44

    Authentic German Potato Salad

    This authentic German potato salad recipe came from Speck’s Restaurant, which was a famous eating establishment in St. Louis from the 1920s through the ‘50s. I ate lunch there almost every day and always ordered the potato salad. When the owner learned I was getting married, he gave me the recipe as a wedding gift! —Violette Klevorn, Washington, Missouri

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    Taste of Home

    Bavarian Pot Roast

    Since all my grandparents were German, it's no wonder that so many Bavarian recipes have been handed down to me. Because the Midwest has such a large German population, I feel this recipe represents the area well. —Susan Robertson, Hamilton, Ohio

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    6/44

    Taste of Home

    Oktoberfest Red Cabbage

    Four generations of our family have made this dish of red cabbage and apples, known as rotkohl ("red cabbage"). We love the tart and sweet flavors. —Diana Likes, Chandler, Arizona

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    7/44

    Almond-Filled Stollen

    I’ve been making this during the holiday season for nearly 50 years. When we flew to Alaska one year to spend Christmas with our daughter’s family, I carried my stollen on the plane!—Rachel Seel, Abbotsford, British Columbia. If you like this, you must try these German Christmas dinner recipes.

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    8/44

    Taste of Home

    Spicy Bavarian Beer Mustard

    Here's a gift that has bite! This spicy beer mustard is great with pretzels or as a condiment for bratwurst. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    9/44

    My family loves pork tenderloin, so I created this hearty meal. The slightly sweet dish is one of our favorites. It's also an impressive dish for company.—Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota.

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    10/44

    Slow-Cooked Sauerkraut Soup

    We live in Lancaster County, which has a rich heritage of German culture. Our dishes often include sauerkraut, potatoes and sausage. We enjoy this recipe on cold winter evenings, along with muffins and fruit. —Linda Lohr, Lititz, Pennsylvania

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    11/44

    Raspberry Custard Kuchen

    Back where I grew up in Wisconsin, people have been baking this German treat for generations. We love it for breakfast or as a special dessert. It's no fuss to fix and impressive to serve. —Virginia Arndt, Sequim, Washington

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    12/44

    Taste of Home

    Tangy Bacon Green Beans

    My grandmother’s Pennsylvania Dutch-style recipe turns plain old green beans into a tangy cross between three-bean and German potato salads. —Sharon Tipton, Casselberry, Florida

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    13/44

    Taste of Home

    Cranberry Conserve

    I'm 95, and I still remember my grandmother from Germany making this lovely, delicious conserve for the holidays. She'd give it to family members and friends. It tastes great served as a relish alongside meat or even spread on biscuits.-Mildred Marsh Banker, Austin, Texas

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    14/44

    Taste of Home

    Potato Kielbasa Skillet

    No need to hunt through kielbasa and potato recipes, this smoky take steals the show as a hearty home-style, all-in-one meal. It's especially perfect on those cold late fall and early winter nights. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    15/44

    German Pancake

    Piping hot and puffy from the oven, this golden pancake made a pretty presentation for a skier's theme breakfast I hosted. Served with homemade buttermilk syrup, it's an eye-opening treat. Make several German pancakes if you're feeding a crowd, and keep in mind that my easy syrup tastes great on waffles and French toast, too. —Renae Moncur, Burley, Idaho

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    16/44

    TMB Studio

    Mulled Wine

    This mulled wine is soothing and satisfying with a delightful blend of spices warmed to perfection. Refrigerating the wine mixture overnight allows the flavors to blend, so don't omit this essential step. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    17/44

    Slow-Cooker German Potato Salad

    Here's the dish everyone looks for at our parties, so we always double the recipe. It was handed down from my mother-in-law and has been a family favorite for years. —Stacy Novak, Stafford, Virginia

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    18/44

    Contest-Winning Bavarian Meatball Hoagies

    When my husband is not manning the grill, I count on my slow cooker. These meatballs are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser when I serve them as a party appetizer or spooned over crusty rolls and topped with cheese for irresistible sandwiches. —Peggy Rios, Mechanicsville, Virginia

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    19/44

    Pork Schnitzel with Dill Sauce

    Schnitzel is one of my husband’s favorites because it reminds him of his German roots. An appealing dish for guests, it’s ready in a jiffy. Pop it on buns for a fun handheld option. —Joyce Folker, Paraowan, Utah

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    20/44

    Pronto Potato Pancakes

    Pancake lovers know these fluffy delights are not just for breakfast. Try serving these savory ones as a side dish with any main, or enjoy them solo topped with some homemade applesauce. They will not disappoint. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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    21/44

    Taste of Home

    Oktoberfest Strudels

    My husband, being born and raised in Wisconsin, loves bratwurst sausages. So I tweaked this strudel recipe to include some of his favorite filling ingredients and it was an instant hit. Serve with extra mustard for dipping. —Cleo Gonske, Redding, California

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    22/44

    TMB studio

    Lebkuchen

    It's tradition for my family to make these German treats together. The recipe came from my great-grandmother's cookbook, and judging from the amount of requests I get, it has certainly stood the test of time. —Esther Kempker, Jefferson City, Missouri

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    23/44

    Taste of Home

    German Beer Cheese Spread

    We love recipes inspired by our German heritage. This tangy spread is fantastic served alongside everything, including pretzels and pumpernickel or crackers and sausage. Choose your favorite beer—the flavor really comes through. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida

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    24/44

    Taste of Home

    German Plum Tart

    The buttery crust of this fruit-filled treat melts in your mouth. You can substitute sliced apples or peaches for the plums with great results. I've used this crust with blueberries, too. —Helga Schlape, Florham Park, New Jersey

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    25/44

    Potluck German Potato Salad

    This is a big hit at church potlucks. One man says he comes only so that he can eat my potato salad! —Kathleen Rabe, Kiel, Wisconsin

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    26/44

    Pfeffernuesse Cookies

    A German holiday tradition, these fragrant pfeffernuesse cookies pack a warm rush of spices in every bite. Also called peppernuts, they go wonderfully with coffee or tea.—Joanne Nelson, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

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    27/44

    28/44

    Slow-Cooked Reuben Brats

    Sauerkraut gives these beer-simmered brats a big flavor boost, but it’s the special chili sauce and melted cheese that put them over the top. Top your favorite burger with some of the chili sauce; you won't be sorry. —Alana Simmons, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

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    29/44

    Pickled Beets

    The pickled beets my mother made came from our garden and were canned for the winter months. Even as a child I loved beets because they brought so much color to our table. —Sara Lindler, Irmo, South Carolina

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    30/44

    Easy Potato Rolls

    After I discovered this recipe, it became a mainstay for me. I make the dough ahead of time when company is coming, and I try to keep some in the refrigerator to bake for our ranch hands. Leftover mashed potatoes are almost sure to go into these rolls. —Jeanette McKinney, Belleview, Missouri

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    31/44

    Bratwurst Supper

    After trying a few bratwurst recipes, I've found this meal-in-one is ideal for camping since it grills to perfection in a heavy-duty foil bag. Loaded with chunks of bratwurst, red potatoes, mushrooms and carrots, it's easy to season with onion soup mix and a little soy sauce. —Janice Meyer, Medford, Wisconsin

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    32/44

    German Apple Strudel

    This gorgeous strudel has just what you crave this time of year: thin layers of flaky crust and lots of juicy apples. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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    Taste of Home

    Dijon Grilled Pork Chops

    My mom gave me the recipe for these savory chops with a sweet and tangy marinade. The apple juice and Dijon mustard complement the pork nicely. With a vegetable and some rice or pasta, you have a meal. —Babette Watterson, Atglen, Pennsylvania

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    Taste of Home

    Caraway Seed Rye Bread

    My parents were immigrants from Czechoslovakia and my mother would pull out this rye bread recipe when guests came over for dinner. Every time I bake it, I get nostalgic for those days. —Millie Feather, Baroda, Michigan

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    Taste of Home

    Garlic-Dill Deviled Eggs

    In my family, Easter isn't complete without deviled eggs. Fresh dill and garlic perk up the flavor of these irresistible appetizers that you'll want to eat on every occasion. —Kami Horch, Calais, Maine

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    36/44

    Taste of Home

    Pressure-Cooker Cheddar Bacon Ale Dip

    My tangy, smoky dip won the top prize at our office party recipe contest. Use whatever beer you like, but steer clear of dark varieties. —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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    37/44

    Almond Spritz Cookies

    This almond spritz cookies recipe can be left plain or decorated with colored sugar and frosting. In our house, it just wouldn't be Christmas without some cookie press recipes.—Tanya Hart, Muncie, Indiana

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    38/44

    Slow-Cooker Sauerbraten

    My family is of German Lutheran descent, and although we enjoy this traditional beef roast, I never liked the amount of time and fuss it takes to make it. This recipe is so good and oh-so-easy. It's great served with dumplings, spaetzle, veggies or a salad. —Norma English, Baden, Pennsylvania

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    39/44

    Chocolate Lebkuchen

    Having lived in Germany, I try to keep my German cooking as authentic as possible. This lovely lebkuchen recipe is a culinary Christmas custom. —Cathy Lemmon, Quinlan, Texas

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    40/44

    Apple-Roasted Pork with Cherry Balsamic Glaze

    I added roasted apples, cherries and onions to turn ordinary pork into an impressive dish. There is a short time span between caramelized onions and burned ones, so pay close attention once they start cooking. —Josh Downey, McHenry, Illinois

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    41/44

    Taste of Home

    Sausage Lentil Soup

    I first tasted this wonderful soup at a friend's house. Now it's my favorite, especially on a cool, crisp night. —Catherine Rowe, Berthoud, Colorado

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    42/44

    Rustic Caramel Apple Tart

    Like an apple pie without the pan, this scrumptious tart has a crispy crust that cuts nicely and a yummy caramel topping. —Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas

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    43/44

    Standing Rib Roast

    This standing rib roast recipe is practically foolproof. Treat your family to tender slices of standing rib roast or use the seasoning blend on a different beef roast for a hearty, delicious main dish. I love to prepare this recipe for special occasions. —Lucy Meyring, Walden, Colorado

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    44/44

    Taste of Home

    Rich Fruit Kuchens

    This German classic is such a part of our reunions, we designate a special place to serve it. Five generations flock to the "Kuchen Room" for this coffee cake. —Stephanie Schentzel, Northville, South Dakota

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    Originally Published: January 31, 2019

    45 Old-World German Recipes Worth Trying Today (44)

    Laura Denby

    Cooking and writing have been Laura’s passion for 10 years. In addition to Taste of Home, Laura writes about food and culinary arts on sites like Food & Wine, Food Network and Delish. Though she’s a trained professional chef, Laura has branched into the wine and spirits space too. She has worked in multiple vineyards and earned a WSET Level 2 award in wine and spirits. Her work in professional kitchens, love of organizing and eye for the best kitchen products gives her a range of writing experience from cooking techniques to product testing. Outside of work, Laura loves wine tasting, traveling and hanging out with her dog and family.

    45 Old-World German Recipes Worth Trying Today (2024)

    FAQs

    What is Germany's most famous dish? ›

    Of all these regional and national dishes, Germany is most famous for Currywurst, sausages, pretzels and Black Forest Gateau, but as you can see, there is plenty more to German cuisine than just these.

    Which of the top 5 German foods is considered to be the national dish of Germany? ›

    Sauerbraten (pronounced [ˈzaʊ̯ɐˌbʁaːtn̩]) is a traditional German roast of heavily marinated meat. It is regarded as a national dish of Germany, and is frequently served in German-style restaurants internationally.

    What is the most important meal in German culture? ›

    Breakfast (Frühstück)

    The German proverb: Iss dein Frühstück wie ein Kaiser, Mittagessen wie ein König und Abendessen wie ein Bettler (eat your breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king and dine like a pauper) says it all. Breakfast is one the most important meal in German households.

    What is the quintessential German food? ›

    These German recipes celebrate some of the dishes Germany is most known for: crispy fried schnitzel, robust sausages, chewy pretzels, and all manner of mustard-tinged delights. We've even included a handful of items on the sweeter side, too, like a tangy apricot kuchen and a berry-studded German pancake. Guten appetit!

    What are the three main meals in Germany? ›

    First of all, we'll take a look at Germany's three main meals in the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Additionally, we'll take a look at some of the food themed quirks, zoom in on food at work and talk about some standout dishes.

    What is the largest meal of the day in Germany? ›

    Lunch is commonly the biggest meal of the day. Normally, a meal will include a type of meat served with vegetables or salad and noodles, rice, potatoes, or bread rolls. Some common home-cooked meals that Germans enjoy for lunch include Schnitzel or Wurst.

    What is a typical German menu? ›

    More often than not, classic dishes like Wiener Schnitzel, Würstchen mit Sauerkraut, and, of course, potato-based dishes in various forms, like in Bratkartoffeln (Roasted Potatoes), Pommes Frites (French Fries), or Kartoffelauflauf (potato cassseroles).

    What meat is most common in Germany? ›

    The average annual meat consumption is 59.7 kg (132 lb) per person. The most common varieties are pork, poultry, and beef. Other varieties of meat are widely available, but are considered to be insignificant. Meat is usually braised; fried dishes also exist, but these recipes usually originate from France and Austria.

    What cut of meat is sauerbraten made of? ›

    Sauerbraten is a German roast of marinated meat, traditionally beef. Since it's generally made with tougher cuts (usually the rump roast), the meat is marinated for days at a time. The roast is sliced and served with a gravy. In some recipes, the gravy is made with gingersnaps.

    What time do Germans eat dinner? ›

    But in Germany, the traditional dinner time is much earlier: you'll find many German households having their evening meal between 5 and 7 pm.

    What do Germans eat for lunch? ›

    Lunch foods

    The main meal of the day is das Mittagessen, or lunch. The tradition is to have a hot meal during lunch. Sauerbraten, snitzels, Frikadellen (German meatballs), potatoes (such as Kartoffelsalat), green beans, soups, and stews are frequently served for lunch.

    What time do Germans go to bed? ›

    Most people in Germany start the day at 6–7 and get to sleep around 23. Most people take a shower, breakfast and then go to work / study about 8–10 hours in total (ways to drive included). People normally drive by car or public transportation depending on the situation. (Should be possible and make sense.)

    How many times a day do Germans eat? ›

    Mealtimes: When and what do Germans eat? People in Germany generally have three or four meals a day: breakfast, a midday meal, an evening meal, and possibly Kaffee und Kuchen (we'll get to this in a minute) in the afternoon.

    How do Germans eat boiled eggs? ›

    In Germany, the soft-boiled egg is a requirement at every big Sunday breakfast. Typically, it is not considered a main dish and not eaten with an omnipresent bread roll, but stands alone in a dish of its own, like a work of art adorned only with a dash of salt. Usually the yolk - the "Eigelb" - is left runny.

    What is Germany's national dish made of? ›

    A popular German dish is Sauerbraten which is considered one of the country's national dishes. It is essentially a German pot roast and is made with beef, veal, or venison as the main meat.

    What is Germany's favorite drink? ›

    Mineral water is by far the most purchased and consumed beverage in Germany. Around 86 percent of the population bought it in 2023. Germans are known for their preference of fizzy drinking water.

    What is the most popular meat in Germany? ›

    The average annual meat consumption is 59.7 kg (132 lb) per person. The most common varieties are pork, poultry, and beef. Other varieties of meat are widely available, but are considered to be insignificant. Meat is usually braised; fried dishes also exist, but these recipes usually originate from France and Austria.

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