25 Easy Authentic German Food Recipes

Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes)

When you mention traditional German food to a group of people, the first thing that would come to their mind is sauerkraut, beer, and sausage. Sausages and wieners are national symbols, and cabbage is the basis for everything in German cuisine. Tourists from all over the world flock to the annual Oktoberfest beer festival to have a taste of the delicious beer. However, German food contains more than just these few things.

German food recipes has advanced over the years as a national cuisine through centuries of political and social change. It is essential to note that each region in Germany has its own traditional foods that will excite gourmets with their variety, consistency, and deliciousness.

For example, Hamburg is commonly known for fish dishes while the South is popular for all kinds of foods prepared from pork. These different German dishes share unique heartiness and richness that is difficult to find elsewhere.

The History of German Food

Food has always played an important role in German culture. Between 1712 and 1786, King Frederick introduced potatoes in German meals. The king provided his people with seed potatoes and taught them how to grow the food. Following World War I, an influx of Italian ice cream makers arrived in Germany, bringing dishes such as pizza and pasta, which have since become staples of the German diet. In the 1960s, newcomers from Turkey, China, Vietnam, Greece, and the former Soviet Union began to leave their mark on German cuisine.

After the Second World War, Germany was split into West and East Germany. The division led to the development of different cooking styles. West Germans maintained the traditional German food while East Germany took on the Russian cooking style. Northern and Southern Germany also have different cooking styles.

Germany’s northern and southern cooking styles are close to the United States’ cooking styles. In Berlin and Hamburg, restaurants can serve eel soup (aalsuppe) or eintopf in the North (seafood stew). White bean soup (Weisse bohnensuppe) and other dried bean soups are also common. Cereals and bread made with buckwheat and rye flour are also present on menus around the world. Birnen, Bohnen, and Speck are favorite dishes (bacon, green beans, and pears). Spargel (asparagus), particularly white asparagus, and rich, heavy pumpernickel bread are popular in Wesphalia, a region near the Netherlands in the middle of the world. Westphalian ham, eaten with spicy mustard, is a favorite of Germans all over the world.

Wustchen is a sausage made in Frankfurt, Germany, in the south. The sausage resembles a hot dog in the United States, and people refer to it as a “frankfurter” after the German region. Potatoes, bacon, onions, and apples are combined in a mystical dish known as Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth) in the south. The southern part of Bavaria is home to rugged mountains and the well-known Black Forest.

This region is famous for its Black Forest cherry cake and tortes and a clear cherry brandy called Kirschwasser. Lebkuchen is a spicy cookie served during holidays. In the early 1990s, East and West Germany reunited. Germans still cook differently depending on their area.

Traditional German Food Cooking and Foods

German cuisine was most likely bland during prehistoric times. Unlike in Mediterranean countries, the growing season restricted people to early forms of barley, wheat, and pasture land for livestock. People used cows, goats, and sheep to produce milk, butter, cheese, and meat items during feasts. Parsley, celery, and dill were among the first spices used in German cooking. The Romans introduced grapevines and fruit tree production. As farming practices advanced, they also introduced oats and rye. Because of its position and reputation as a trading city, Cologne’s areas were particularly rich in fragrant spices and food.

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24 Traditional German Recipes

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Modern German Food Cooking and Foods

Germans continue to honor their rich heritage by serving wild game, beef, pork, and lamb, as well as their accompanying side dishes in a variety of old and new ways. Juniper, horseradish, and mustard, and berries, are common spices found in the Luneburg Heath. On the other hand, modern German chefs have begun to develop younger, lighter fare while still integrating traditional foods into their menus.

As mentioned earlier, beer is listed among traditional German food. Locals and tourists agree that German beer is the most popular beverage. Germans drink it out of neat glasses or large one-liter mugs, but most importantly, they savor and appreciate every sip.

More About Traditional German Food

You do not have to look hard in Germany for restaurants that serve traditional German cuisine. Many restaurants and pubs serve it, both in touristy areas and in local neighborhoods. The only difference is in price.

Traditional German cuisine has a simple appearance and is not overly complicated to prepare. However, some traditional dishes take a long time to prepare, so you can consider yourself fortunate if you get to eat a true home-cooked meal.

The history of German cuisine is extensive and regional. All regions share a passion for meat, and many dishes contain some meat. In German food recipes, potatoes hold a special position, and Germans are masters of various potato preparation techniques. The most common meats are pork, poultry, and beef.

Lunch was traditionally the main meal of the day, with dinner being a smaller meal. This has changed in the past 50 years or so, with dinner and lunch switching places.

Meal Structure in Germany

Breakfast: In Germany, breakfast is known as Frühstück, and it involves a hot beverage such as tea or coffee. Breakfast in Germany is usually hearty, beginning with bread or rolls spread with butter, jelly, or marmalade.

Lunch: Mittagessen is the German word for lunch, and it is usually eaten between 12 and 2 p.m. Lunch, rather than dinner, is the common time for Germans to eat their main cooked meal. After a starter such as a potato salad, lunch is often served.

Dinner: Abendessen or Abendbrot is the name for the evening meal in Germany; the latter is more akin to supper and translates to “evening bread.” Following a hearty lunch, Germans usually have a lighter dinner, including bread, hams, sausages, cheeses, and pickles.

The Village of Schiltach in the Black Forest, Germany
The Village of Schiltach in the Black Forest, Germany

What Are Some Popular Foods In Germany?

1. Königsberger klopse. This tasty dish of meatballs in a creamy white sauce with capers is beloved by families in Germany.

2. Maultaschen. They are a lot like ravioli but bigger. They are typically palm-sized, square pockets of dough with fillings that run the gamut from savory to sweet and meaty to vegetarian.

3. Sausages. There are countless cured, smoked and other varieties available across wurst-loving Germany. Some of the best German street food sausages is bratwurst, or fried sausages.

4. Currywurst. It is commonly attributed to a Berlin woman who in 1949 managed to obtain ketchup and curry powder from British soldiers, mixed them up and served the result over grilled sausage, instantly creating a German street food classic.

5. Döner Kebab. From its humble Berlin beginnings when a döner kebab only contained meat, onions and a bit of salad, it developed into a dish with abundant salad, vegetables (sometimes grilled), and a selection of sauces from which to choose.

6. Schnitzel. The German version is made with tenderized pork or turkey and has become a staple of most traditional restaurants.

7. Käsespätzle. Spätzle is essentially a sort of pasta, the noodles are a simple combination of eggs, flour, salt and often a splash of fizzy water to fluff up the dough. Traditionally served as a side to meat dishes or dropped into soups, it can be spiced up by adding cheese: the käsespätzle variant is an extremely popular dish in southern Germany.

8. Rouladen. It is a delicious blend of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped together in sliced beef or veal. This is a staple of family dinners and special occasions. They are usually served with potato dumplings, mashed potatoes and pickled red cabbage.

9. Sauerbraten. It is regarded as one Germany’s national dishes. This pot roast takes quite a while to prepare, but the results, often served as Sunday family dinner, are truly worth the work.

10. Saumagen. Somewhat resembling Scottish haggis, it is prepared by using the stomach of a pig (or an artificial one) as a casing for the stuffing made from pork, potatoes, carrots, onions, marjoram, nutmeg and white pepper.

11. Spargel. White asparagus that is boiled or steamed and served with hollandaise sauce, melted butter or olive oil. It comes wrapped in bacon or heaped upon schnitzel; as asparagus soup, fried asparagus, pancakes with herbs and asparagus, asparagus with scrambled eggs or asparagus with young potatoes.

12. Kartoffelpuffer. Homemade authentic German potato pancakes. Nutmeg is the secret ingredient, adding a nutty kick to these potato pancakes. Potatoes and onions are grated and mixed with the remaining ingredients before fried until crispy and golden brown.

Fried slices of sausage with Milzwurst served with potato salad and a fresh German pretzel
Fried slices of sausage with Milzwurst served with potato salad and a fresh German pretzel

Are There German Desserts That Are Popular?

1. Cookies Galore.
– Linzer Cookies – Buttery shortbread and filling with a sweet and tart jam
– Authentic German Lebkuchen – With a high fruit and nut ratio, these cookies are spiced, nutty, and sweet.
– Pfeffernusse – Peppernut Cookies are great when cooled, with a crisp edge and chewy middle.
– Zimtsterne – German Cinnamon Star Cookies is sweetened just a touch with a meringue glaze.

2. Schwarzwälder Kirschtortes. Germany has a vast variety of cakes, but among the most popular is the Schwarzwälder kirschtorte or Black Forest gateau. The cake is named after the speciality liquor of the region distilled from tart cherries.

3. Käsekuchens. German cheesecake does not use fruit, and the base is surely not made from crackers but freshly made dough, or even without a base. The filling is made with low-fat quark instead of cream cheese and egg foam is added to give it more fluff, plus lemon and vanilla for some extra freshness.

4. Spaghettieis. It is an ice cream dish made to look like a plate of spaghetti. Vanilla ice cream is pressed through a modified noodle press or potato ricer, giving it the appearance of spaghetti. It is then placed over whipped cream and topped with strawberry sauce representing the tomato sauce and white chocolate shavings for the parmesan.

5. Apfelstrudel. German Apple Strudel is encased in a thin, hand-stretched dough. This thin dough gets loaded with apple, cinnamon, and golden raisins, before being rolled up into a strudel log.

6. Peach Kuchen. This sweet tart has a wonderful buttery shortbread base. You’ll bake the base with sliced peaches for about 15 minutes. The custard is as simple as whisking egg yolks and cream. This gets poured in the hot tart and baked for 30 minutes until set.

7. German Chocolate Cupcakes. This recipe will give you rich and moist chocolate cupcakes every time. The coconut and pecan topping is out of this world.

8. Kirschmichel – Cherry Dessert. This recipe is a modern twist on the cherry bread classic. Instead of using bread, this recipe calls for semolina. When the cake is mixed, stir through your cherries and bake until golden and puffy.

9. Heidelbeerkuchen. Filled with blueberries then the fruit is topped with a creamy sweet cheesecake filling, and it all fits nicely into a cake crust that’s somewhere between a pie shell and cake.

10. Kokosmakronen. German Coconut Macaroons. These macaroons are super easy to make, using just coconut, egg whites, sugar and some flour.

11. Rumkugeln. German Rum Balls. No-bake rum balls are such a fun and simple way to get your chocolate fix.

12. Streuselkuchen. German Crumb Cake. The base is a fluffy yellow cake that gets topped with apricot jam, which will bubble and seep into the sponge for extra moisture and sweetness. The top is a simple crumble topping made with flour, butter, and sugar.

German Asparagus With Shrimp and Hollandaise

24 Traditional German Food Recipes and German Cuisine

Königsberger Klopse (German Meatballs)

1. Königsberger Klopse (German Meatballs) – German Cuisine

The Königsberger Klopse (German Meatballs) Recipe is a traditional German dish known for its savory meatballs served in a creamy white sauce. These meatballs are typically made from a mixture of ground meat, such as veal, pork, or beef, along with onions, bread or breadcrumbs, eggs, and various seasonings.

They are usually formed into round balls and then gently simmered until cooked through. The distinctive feature of this dish is its delectable sauce, which combines ingredients like capers, lemon juice, and a rich broth, giving it a tangy and flavorful profile.

2. Linzer Cookies – German Food Recipes

Linzer Cookies

The Linzer Cookies Recipe is a popular dessert originating from Germany. These cookies are known for their distinctive appearance, with a top layer that features a decorative cutout revealing a jam or fruit preserve filling. The recipe has been enjoyed for generations and continues to be a favorite treat for many.

3. Homemade German Bratwurst – Traditional German Food

Homemade German Bratwurst

The Homemade German Bratwurst Recipe is a traditional German dish that involves the preparation of sausages. These sausages are renowned for their rich, savory flavor and are often enjoyed at gatherings and celebrations. They are typically made using a blend of minced pork or veal mixed with various spices for a unique taste. The sausages are then encased in natural casings, which are usually made from the intestines of animals. The Homemade German Bratwurst Recipe is an essential part of German culinary heritage and has a history dating back centuries.

4. Schwarzwälder Kirschtortes (Black Forest Cake) – German Cuisine

Schwarzwälder Kirschtortes (Black Forest Cake)

Schwarzwälder Kirschtortes (Black Forest Cake) Recipe is a classic German dessert that has a rich history in the country’s culinary traditions. It is a delectable treat known for its layers of chocolate sponge cake, cherries, and whipped cream. This dessert has been enjoyed by generations and is a staple in German cuisine.

5. Beer Glazed Brats and Sauerkraut – German Food Recipes

Beer Glazed Brats and Sauerkraut

The Beer Glazed Brats and Sauerkraut Recipe is a traditional German dish that combines bratwurst sausages, sauerkraut, and beer. This flavorful and hearty dish is a staple of German cuisine and is known for its savory taste. It brings together the rich flavors of bratwurst, the tangy crunch of sauerkraut, and the subtle bitterness of beer. The dish is cooked to perfection, creating a delightful harmony of flavors.

6. Käsekuchens (German Cheesecake) – Traditional German Food

Käsekuchens (German Cheesecake)

The Käsekuchens (German Cheesecake) Recipe is a traditional German dessert that has been cherished for generations. It is characterized by its creamy and rich texture, making it a delightful treat for those with a sweet tooth. This dessert consists of a luscious cheese filling enclosed in a buttery crust. The flavor profile is a lovely blend of mild sweetness and a subtle tanginess, creating a satisfying taste experience.

7. Currywurst – German 

German Currywurst

The German Currywurst Recipe is a popular and iconic dish in Germany. It consists of sliced or diced sausages, typically bratwurst or bockwurst, served with a savory curry ketchup sauce. The sausages are usually grilled or fried before being smothered in the rich, tangy curry sauce. This dish is known for its bold flavors and is often enjoyed as street food, in restaurants, or even made at home.

8. Spaghettiei- German Food Recipes

German Style Spaghettiei

German Style Spaghetti Recipe is a dish that blends elements of Italian pasta with German flavors, resulting in a unique culinary experience. This fusion of cuisines offers a delightful twist on traditional spaghetti, incorporating the culinary heritage of Germany.

9. Döner Kebab – Traditioal German Food

German Style Döner kebab


You know the world-famous döner kebab, the irresistible, juicy enormous kebab cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Here is an easy homemade version of döner kebab that tastes as good as the real thing.
Döner kebabs are especially popular in Germany, which has a significant Turkish population. Although the shaved meat can be served on a platter with rice and cooked vegetables, it’s most popular as a sandwich eaten as street food.
You might find tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, red onion, cucumbers, or pickles inside the pita, and the sauce might be a yogurt-based tzatziki or tahini.

10. Apfelstrudel (German Apple Strudel) – German Cuisine

Apfelstrudel (German Apple Strudel)

Apfelstrudel (German Apple Strudel) Recipe is a traditional pastry dish hailing from Germany. This delectable dessert has a rich history intertwined with German culinary traditions.

Germany, known for its hearty and flavorful cuisine, has a diverse food history. German cuisine has been influenced by various regions and historical periods. It combines elements of both simple, rustic fare and more refined dishes. German food is often characterized by its use of ingredients like pork, beef, potatoes, and various grains.

11. German Schnitzel – German Food Recipes

German Schnitzel

The German Schnitzel Recipe is a traditional dish that features a thin, breaded, and fried piece of meat, typically veal or pork. It’s a beloved classic in German cuisine, known for its simplicity and delicious taste. The key to a good German Schnitzel is achieving a crispy golden-brown crust while keeping the meat tender and juicy on the inside.

This dish is often served with lemon wedges, which add a tangy kick to the flavors. The German Schnitzel Recipe has been enjoyed for generations and continues to be a popular choice in German restaurants and homes.

12. Peach Kuchen (Tart) – Traditional German Food

German Peach Kuchen

The German Peach Kuchen Recipe is a traditional German dessert that features ripe peaches atop a tender, yeasted cake base. This dessert combines the sweetness of peaches with the soft, slightly sweet dough, creating a delightful contrast in flavors and textures. The cake base is typically made with flour, yeast, sugar, and butter, providing a sturdy yet soft foundation for the peaches. The result is a delectable treat that showcases the natural sweetness of the fruit without being overly sugary. German Peach Kuchen is enjoyed as a dessert or a sweet snack, often accompanied by a cup of coffee or tea.

13. Käsespätzle (German Cheese Spaetzel) – German Cuisine

Käsespätzle (German Cheese Spaetzel)

The Käsespätzle (German Cheese Spaetzel) Recipe is a traditional German dish renowned for its simplicity and satisfying flavors. It combines egg noodles, cheese, and onions to create a hearty and flavorful meal. This dish is popular for its comfort food qualities and its role as a staple in German cuisine.

14. Heidelbeerkuchen (Blueberry Cheesecake) – German Food Recipes

Heidelbeerkuchen (Blueberry Cheesecake)

The Heidelbeerkuchen (Blueberry Cheesecake) Recipe is a traditional German dessert that combines the creamy richness of cheesecake with the vibrant flavor of blueberries. This dessert is known for its delightful marriage of sweet and tangy tastes, creating a satisfying treat for those with a sweet tooth.

It typically features a velvety cheesecake filling atop a crumbly crust, topped with a generous layer of blueberry compote. The combination of these elements results in a dessert that is both creamy and fruity, making it a popular choice among dessert enthusiasts.

15. Rouladen – Traditional German Food

German Rouladen

The German Rouladen Recipe is a traditional dish that consists of thinly sliced beef, typically beef round or flank steak, which is rolled up with various fillings. These fillings often include mustard, onions, and pickles. The rolled-up beef is then seared and braised until tender in a rich gravy made from the cooking juices. This dish is known for its savory and hearty flavors, and it is often served with sides like red cabbage and mashed potatoes.

16. Kirschmichel (Cherry Dessert) – German Cuisine

German Kirschmichel

The German Kirschmichel Recipe is a traditional dessert dish that has its roots deeply embedded in German culinary heritage. It is a delightful treat known for its simplicity and delicious flavors. This dish typically consists of ingredients such as bread, cherries, eggs, and sugar.

17. Sauerbraten – German Food Recipes

German Sauerbraten

The German Sauerbraten Recipe is a beloved culinary tradition that hails from Germany, renowned for its distinctive blend of sour and sweet flavors. This flavorful dish centers around marinated and slow-cooked meat, typically beef, although other meats like pork, lamb, or even traditionally horsemeat have been used in various regions of Germany.

At the heart of this dish is the marination process, which gives Sauerbraten its unique taste. The meat is marinated for several days in a mixture of vinegar or wine, water, and a medley of aromatic spices. The marinating period allows the meat to absorb the flavors deeply, resulting in tender, succulent, and flavorful meat.

18. Bienenstich Kuchen (Bee Sting Cake) – Traditional German Food

Bienenstich Kuchen (Bee Sting Cake)

The Bienenstich Kuchen (Bee Sting Cake), is a delightful German pastry that marries the rich, buttery flavors of a tender cake with the sweet allure of honey and caramelized almond topping. This cake is renowned for its enticing aroma and irresistible taste.

The base of this delicacy is a soft, yeasted dough that bakes to perfection, forming a firm yet tender foundation for the cake. However, the true magic of Bienenstich Kuchen lies in its distinctive honey and almond topping. A luscious mixture of honey, sugar, and butter is generously spread over the dough, creating a sweet, sticky layer that caramelizes beautifully during baking. To complete the masterpiece, sliced almonds are sprinkled on top, adding a delightful crunch and a subtle nutty flavor that perfectly complements the sweetness.

19. Saumagen – German Cuisine

German Saumagen

The German Saumagen Recipe is a traditional dish with historical significance. It has been a staple of the Palatinate region in Germany for centuries. This dish is known for its unique preparation method, which involves stuffing a pig’s stomach with a mixture of ingredients.

The origins of the German Saumagen Recipe can be traced back to the 18th century when it was first created by local butchers as a way to make use of various parts of the pig, ensuring that nothing went to waste. Over time, it gained popularity and became a beloved dish in the region.

20. Kokosmakronen (German Coconut Macaroons) – German Food Recipes

Kokosmakronen (German Coconut Macaroons)

The Kokosmakronen (German Coconut Macaroons) Recipe is a traditional German dessert that has stood the test of time. These sweet treats are known for their delightful coconut flavor and chewy texture. They are a timeless part of German culinary heritage and are often enjoyed during special occasions and holidays.

These macaroons are created from a few simple ingredients, skillfully combined to produce a delightful treat. The recipe’s simplicity is part of its charm, allowing the natural flavor of coconut to shine through. Kokosmakronen are a testament to the art of creating delicious desserts with minimal fuss.

21. Spargel (White Asparagus) – Traditional German Food

German Spargel (White Asparagus)

Spargel (White Asparagus) is a popular vegetable in Germany and other parts of Europe. It is grown underground to prevent exposure to sunlight, which keeps it from turning green and gives it its distinctive pale color. This vegetable is enjoyed for its mild flavor and tender texture.

White asparagus is a good source of various nutrients, including vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It also provides folate and dietary fiber. Some potential health benefits of consuming white asparagus include supporting healthy digestion due to its fiber content and providing essential vitamins that contribute to overall well-being.

22. Rumkugeln (German Rum Balls) – German Cuisine

Rumkugeln (German Rum Balls)

The Rumkugeln (German Rum Balls) Recipe is a popular German dessert that combines simple ingredients to create delightful treats. These balls are a classic choice for those who enjoy a touch of rum in their sweets.

The process of making Rumkugeln involves combining finely ground cookies with cocoa powder and cocoa butter. The mixture is then enriched with a generous amount of rum, which gives these treats their distinct flavor. Additionally, a sweetener such as powdered sugar is incorporated to achieve the desired level of sweetness.

23. Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes) – German Food Recipes

Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes)

The Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes) Recipe is a classic dish that features grated potatoes as its main ingredient. This culinary delight is prepared by combining these grated potatoes with a selection of key elements. The Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes) Recipe has a rich history and holds a special place in the culinary traditions of various regions.

The process of creating Kartoffelpuffer begins with the careful grating of potatoes, resulting in fine shreds that form the foundation of this dish. These grated potatoes are then mixed with a blend of essential ingredients, which may include but are not limited to eggs, flour, and seasonings.

24. Streuselkuchen (German Crumb Cake) – Traditional German Food

Streuselkuchen (German Crumb Cake)


The Streuselkuchen (German Crumb Cake) Recipe is a classic dessert that originates from Germany. It is a delightful baked treat known for its unique crumbly topping that complements the soft cake beneath it. This traditional recipe has been passed down through generations and remains a favorite in German households.

The Streuselkuchen (German Crumb Cake) Recipe begins with a basic cake batter, which serves as the foundation for this delectable dessert. What sets it apart is the crumbly mixture that adorns the top. These crumbs are made by blending flour, sugar, and butter together until they form a grainy, sandy texture.

25. Maultaschen (German Dumplings) – Traditional German Food

Maultaschen (German Dumplings)


The Maultaschen (German Dumplings) Recipe is a traditional dish originating from the Swabian region of Germany. These dumplings, known for their rich history and unique preparation, have become a staple in German cuisine.

Maultaschen are essentially pockets of dough filled with a flavorful mixture. While the ingredients may vary slightly depending on the region and personal preferences, a typical filling consists of minced meat, such as beef or pork, combined with spinach and onions. The mixture is seasoned with various herbs and spices to enhance its taste.

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