Want to start your meal with something different? These German appetizers will make your dinner extra appetizing and exciting!
This round-up of recipes will introduce you to a whole new world of outstanding hors d’oeuvres.
From soups and salads to pretzels and pies, we have a wide array of German starters to knock your socks off.
Whether you’re celebrating Oktoberfest with friends or having a quiet evening with a family, these dishes will not disappoint.
Give your taste buds something new to look forward to with these gastronomic German appetizers. Guten Appetit!
1. German Beer Cheese Spread
Tired of your usual bread spread? Give your bread a German flair!
This sinful cheese spread is perfect with breads, crackers, and pretzels!
The combination of sharp cheddar cheese, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings gives it a medley of rich, salty, tangy, umami, and earthy flavors.
If you’re serving this to guests, I highly suggest you triple the recipe. This spread will be gone in no time.
2. Bavarian Cheese Board
Brie, Camembert, blue, Gruyere, and Swiss cheeses with grapes, butter, radishes, pretzels, rolls, and bread – this board is a smorgasbord of appetizers!
Each element in this German cheese board is guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds. They’re great either on their own or eaten together.
3. Limburger Cheese Salad
Limburger is a polarizing cheese that smells funky but tastes like heaven.
This semi-soft cheese may smell like feet, but its flavor is wonderfully one-of-a-kind.
Try this stinky cheese with onion rings and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
Trust me, you’ll never want to live without it again… if you can get past the smell, that is.
4. Beer Radish
Beer radish is a crisp, crunchy, and tangy starter that pairs great with beer. All you’ll need for this dish is a piece of Daikon radish, some salt, and pepper!
Just sprinkle the radish with salt and pepper, let it marinate for 30 minutes, and it’s good to go. It couldn’t get any simpler than that.
The juicy radish soaks up the flavors from the salt and pepper, giving you a perfectly-flavored beer pairing.
5. German Red Herring Salad
This salad features pickled red herring, apples, onions, beets, and pickles in a rich and creamy sauce.
Apart from the flavor, what makes it stand out is its color. Thanks to the red beets, this salad has a pretty pink hue.
This appetizer is traditionally eaten during New Year’s Eve.
The herring’s scales are said to look like silver coins, which is why they are believed to bring fortune and prosperity in the new year.
6. Smoked Trout Dip
Here’s another fishy dish that will fascinate your palate: trout dip. The name may not be appetizing, but it truly is a must-try!
A mixture of cream cheese, paprika, capers, dill weed, chives, lemon, and smoked trout, this dip is seriously addictive!
Serve it with toasted baguette slices or your favorite crackers and believe me, it will disappear in minutes.
7. German Pickled Eggs
Pickled hard-boiled eggs are a popular beer pairing in Europe. Pickling was a common method used during the pre-refrigerator era to preserve food.
Now, it’s used to give food an epic flavor. These pickled eggs have the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and sour.
It’s fun to eat, too. Here’s how: slice it in half and remove the egg yolk. Add a dash of mustard, oil, vinegar, and pepper to the hollowed egg white.
Eat the egg yolk first followed right away with the egg white. Yum!
8. Bavarian Wurst Salad
Bavarian Wurst salad is one of the best. Serve it during the summer for a light and refreshing starter.
The combination of bologna, Emmental, cheese, and pickles gives an interesting flavor and texture.
Finished off with a tangy and briny dressing, it’s a great way to start your meal. It’s everything you can ask for in a salad: rich, savory, tangy, and crunchy.
9. German Coleslaw
German coleslaw is just as bright and crisp as ours, but its dressing is made with vinegar, not mayo. That’s why it’s so much more refreshing!
The acidity of the vinegar pairs beautifully with the raw cabbage. It also softens the vegetable while keeping it crunchy at the same time.
You can use regular green cabbage, but you can also use some purple for a pop of color.
10. German Fries
These pan-fried potatoes with bacon, onions, and fresh herbs tastes just like our fries, only 10 times better.
I mean, hello? It’s bacon, fries, and onions in one dish! These three ingredients make this starter three times more addictive.
If you’re on a diet, you better stay away from German fries.
11. German Potato Pancakes
German potato pancakes are crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and heavenly all throughout.
This popular German starter is made from shredded potatoes and onions mixed with beaten eggs and flour, and fried until golden.
They can be served savory, with meat or yogurt, or sweet, with powdered sugar or fruit compote. Either way, they taste phenomenal.
12. German Meatballs
German meatballs are not your typical meatballs. A beautiful ball of ground meat and bacon is topped with a mustard gravy sauce and served on bacon sauerkraut.
This appetizer is the quintessential German comfort food.
The meatball in and of itself is already spectacular, but the creamy gravy takes it to another level.
13. German Onion Pie
German onion pie, or Zwiebel kuchen, is a savory dish consisting of a flaky crust, a caramelized onion filling, and bacon bound together by an egg mixture.
It’s sweet, rich, salty, and smoky all at the same time. The caramelized onions work so well with bacon!
If you like sweet and savory quiches, you’ll love German onion pie.
14. Beer Brat Bites
Beer brat bites are made of grilled bratwursts cooked in a beer reduction. The result? Pure perfection.
Bratwurst and beer are a match-made in heaven, so it only makes sense to combine the two to make one epic dish.
If you’re looking for a show-stopping snack at your next movie-viewing party, this is the one to beat.
You can serve this dish as is or with a side of cheese spread for an even richer combo. Delish.
15. Sauerkraut Balls
Sauerkraut balls may not sound that amazing, but they really are! Even non-sauerkraut fans will fall in love with these tasty treats.
Bratwurst, cream cheese, and sauerkraut are coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried to perfection. How can you say no to that?
The stunning combo of smoky sausages, rich cream cheese, and tangy sauerkraut is absolutely divine. Deep-frying them makes it even more impossible to resist.
16. German Sauerkraut Soup
Sauerkraut, as you may have noticed, is a common ingredient in many German dishes.
In this entry, sauerkraut is the star of a hearty and cozy soup that will satisfy your hunger and soothe your soul.
How can it not? The combination of sauerkraut, caramelized onions, bacon, caraway, and paprika is pure genius.
Don’t be surprised to find yourself gobbling up one bowl after another.
17. German Pretzels
These knotted treats are insanely delicious, and yes, you can make them at home.
You won’t need to visit Germany to have a piece (or two, or three) of one of the country’s most famous snacks.
This recipe is all you’ll need. I promise you, it’s not that difficult.
In fact, you’ll only need a few basic ingredients: flour, baking soda, yeast, sugar, salt, and butter.
18. German Tomato Soup
Unlike Italy’s gazpacho, the German tomato soup is loaded with whipped cream for a richer, creamier appetizer.
Sure, it has more calories, but I like this version so much better!
You can eat this soup as-is, but you can make it even more extra with shaved Parmesan and basil.
For a tangier flavor, you can sub out the whipping cream for sour cream.
19. Broiled Grapefruit
It may sound strange to broil grapefruit, but once you’ve tried it, you may never want to eat it fresh again.
All you’ll need is to sprinkle the grapefruit with sugar and broil until the sugar caramelizes. You won’t believe the difference it makes!
The caramelized sugar tones down the bitterness of the grapefruit, making it a hundred times better.
You can enjoy it as-is or topped with honey to sweeten it up some more.
20. German Potato Salad
German potato salad comprises boiled potatoes, bacon, onion, and a vinegar-based dressing. It’s fantastic warm or cold!
Apart from the flavor, what sets this salad apart is its consistency. It’s ridiculously creamy and perfectly moist – not wet.
The vinegar and mustard make a creamy and tangy dressing, while the bacon gives it a wonderful crunch.
The sprinkling of chopped chives and parsley adds a vibrant pop of color.
21. German Cucumber Salad
Made with thin slices of cucumbers and red onions coated with creamy dill dressing, German cucumber salad is wonderfully rich, crunchy, and refreshing.
It’s delicious, nutritious, and easy to make. This appetizer is a triple threat!
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