Historic & Hearty
German cuisine makes use of many hearty ingredients, including wild game, lamb, pork, and beef as well as grains like wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Old World techniques for preserving food are still used widely in German cuisine today. These include salting, smoking, curing, and pickling. In fact, fish, meats, and vegetables prepared using these techniques play a major role in many of the best German recipes! In times long past, German food was often seasoned with parsley, celery, and dill. Today, those ingredients remain popular, but the list of preferred spices has expanded to include mustard, horseradish, and juniper berries. Traditional German recipes made from heavier ingredients like meat and grains are still an important part of German cuisine today, but modern chefs also serve up lighter fare as well. One thing that hasn’t changed at all is the way food is enjoyed: cozy gatherings with plenty of food and drinks are still considered the epitome of German gemütlichkeit, which roughly translates to “comfort and coziness.” Are you interested in creating this atmosphere in your own kitchen? We’ve rounded up a list of the best German recipes to try out at home. Let’s get started!
Spaetzle is warm, comforting, and very filling. The German egg noodle dumplings have a toothy, chewy texture that’s perfect for a pick-me-up meal. Spaetzle can be made with just four ingredients: eggs, milk, flour, and salt. You’ll need a special tool to make this classic German recipe, but it’s well worth it to have fresh, homemade spaetzle whenever you want! Once you’ve cooked the dumplings, toss them with butter, white pepper, and nutmeg before serving. You can certainly enjoy spaetzle on its own, but it also makes a great side dish; you can even use it as a base for serving other German recipes! Ready to learn how to make spaetzle from scratch?
We couldn’t write a list of the best German recipes without laugenbrezel! Laugenbrezel, or German soft pretzels, are crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside, and perfectly chewy. Salted generously and baked to perfection, laugenbrezel are often served with a side of honey mustard and a nice cold beer. Want to know the secret to making laugenbrezel? Boiling them in a baking soda solution! This allows the pretzels to puff up and gives them their characteristic taste and dark brown color. Now that you know what sets this German recipe apart, are you ready to try your hand at making your own laugenbrezel?
Sauerbraten is a traditional German roast. The name translates to “sour roasted meat,” but don’t let that deter you – it is so named because the meat is marinated in a mixture of red wine, vinegar, and spices for anywhere between 2 to 10 days. The marinade tenderizes the meat and gives it a distinctive, irresistible flavor. While this recipe does take some advance planning, the succulent, flavorful results are well worth the effort! We recommend serving sauerbraten alongside spaetzle for an authentic, delicious German feast at home. Ready to try your hand at making sauerbraten?
#4 Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat
Schwäbischer kartoffelsalat, or Swabian-style German potato salad, comes from the Swabia region in southern Germany. Unlike American-style potato salad, there is no mayonnaise involved. Beef broth, German mustard, vinegar, onions, and lots of oil are what give this German potato salad its unique flavor. (If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, feel free to substitute a vegetable bouillon cube for the beef broth.) This creamy, delicious potato salad is one of the best German recipes to try at home. Enjoy a hearty bowl of it on its own, or serve it as a side dish as part of a homemade German feast! Ready to learn how to make this simple, hearty German recipe yourself?
We couldn’t possibly make a list of the best German recipes without including sauerkraut! This famous German staple is crunchy, tart, and sour. It’s also surprisingly easy to make! You only need a few ingredients – cabbage, juniper berries, caraway seeds, mustard seeds, pickling salt, and water – and a large mason jar to make this famous fermented condiment. Interested in learning how to make your own sauerkraut at home?