Get a taste of Germany with these authentic Oktoberfest recipes!
As much as those of us celebrating Oktoberfest may enjoy the beer-themed activities of the celebration, food, as it always does, also plays a significant role in the festivities.
And while these 20 Oktoberfest recipes are only a small sampling of the many German recipes enjoyed at the event, they’re some of the most popular and well-loved options.
You’ll see a few sweet treats on the list, but mainly, I focused on the more savory recipes.
If you’re looking for the finishing touch, check out this roundup of Oktoberfest desserts!
I’ve tried to include a wide variety of all Oktoberfest has to offer – from brats and schnitzel to soft pretzels and black forest cake.
Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s sure to be something here to suit your tastes.
1. Homemade German Pretzels
More properly known as laugenbrezel, German soft pretzels are a staple of Oktoberfest (and almost every German holiday).
They have lightly crispy outsides, soft, warm insides, and enough pretzel salt and brown sugar to provide you with a perfectly balanced sweet and salty treat.
Whether you eat them by themselves or dip them in mustard, beer cheese, or something else, they’re sure to delight every one of your tastebuds.
2. Obatzda Recipe (German Beer Cheese Dip)
Speaking of beer cheese, this recipe for Obatzda is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
You’ll mix your favorite spreadable cheese with brie (or Camembert), butter, and wheat beer.
Then, you’ll add your caraway, paprika, salt, and pepper, and fluff the mixture until it’s thick and velvety smooth.
Let it chill overnight before adding the chives and onions.
The result is a cool, creamy dip with an ale-and-cheese flavor that tastes great on just about anything.
3. Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Mustard Dip
These are pretty much just soft pretzels, only in miniature. The real star of this recipe is the spicy mustard dip. It’s tangy, slightly sweet, and full of heat.
4. Potato Pancakes (German Kartoffelpuffer)
You can whip up eight of these thin, super crispy potato pancakes in just under 30 minutes.
They have a relatively mild taste, allowing you to serve them with various toppings to make them sweet or savory.
Looking for a slightly sweet breakfast idea? Top them with syrup, applesauce, or sugar.
Want a more savory option? Pair them with yogurt, cream cheese, or gravy instead.
5. Air Fryer Brats
All you’ll need to make brats are… well… brats! And if you’re not in the mood for putting in a lot of work, you’ll also need an air fryer.
Cooking brats in the air fryer gives them the same wonderfully smoky taste as the grill, but it cuts out most of the hands-on work for you, and they’ll be ready in 15 minutes.
6. Traditional German Rotkohl (Sweet/Sour Red Cabbage)
If cabbage isn’t your thing, then this isn’t the side dish for you.
But as nearly anyone celebrating Oktoberfest will tell you: There’s nothing better with a juicy brat than sweet and sour cabbage.
It takes only 15 minutes to prepare, but you’ll cook it for about 2 hours.
It’s sour and a bit bitter, as most cabbage is, but there’s also a slight sweetness to it that makes it hard to resist.
7. German Cucumber Salad
Despite its popularity at Oktoberfest, this refreshing, tart, and sour salad is a well-known summer treat.
It features impossibly thin cucumbers, sour cream, white vinegar, dill, salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of sugar to help cut down on some of the sourness.
It takes only 15 minutes to make, but you’ll need to let it chill for at least 4 hours before serving it.
Keep in mind that its unique taste isn’t for everyone, but it, too, complements brats and schnitzel particularly well.
8. Bratwurst and Sauerkraut with Apples and Onions
It doesn’t get much more authentically German than fat, juicy bratwursts lying on a bed of sauerkraut.
The bratwursts are brown and buttery; the sauerkraut is sour, and the addition of apple juice, apples, onions, and potatoes add a light sweetness and an earthy heartiness.
Your stomach won’t be growling anytime soon after eating this filling meal.
9. Sauerkraut & Bratwurst Balls
If you’re really into bratwurst and sauerkraut but are looking for a new way to appreciate the traditional dish, try these sauerkraut and bratwurst balls.
They’re everything you love about the two German staples, only stuffed inside a crispy, perfectly golden-brown ball of yumminess.
10. Bavarian Apple-Sausage Hash
After a long night of Oktoberfest beer drinking, you’ll need something greasy, hearty, and comforting to help take care of the hangover.
Bavarian apple-sausage hash is ideal for this.
You’ll make it with everything except the kitchen sink – onions, apple chicken sausages, Brussels sprouts, apples, caraway seeds, walnuts, brown sugar, mustard, and more!
If anything can help soak up all that beer in your stomach, it’s Bavarian hash.
11. German Potato Salad
I’m a bit of a potato salad connoisseur, so when I say a potato salad is some of the best I’ve ever had, you can take that to the bank.
And this recipe for German potato salad – totally bankable.
With tender potatoes – both red and gold – crunchy bacon, onions, garlic, and more, this stuff is incredible.
You could eat it by itself with nothing else on your plate, and not be disappointed.
It does, however, pair flawlessly with almost any meat.
People describe flammkuchen using a lot of fancy words – tarte flambée, creme fraiche-topped flatbread, etc. Put simply, though, it’s pizza.
Delicious, thin-crust pizza is topped with onions, smoked bacon, creme fraiche, and more. (You can adjust the toppings however you like.)
You won’t cover it in tomato paste and cheese like you would most American pizzas, but it’s super yummy, nonetheless.
Bratkartoffeln literally translates to “fried potatoes,” but most people simply refer to this dish as German cottage fries.
They’re incredibly simple to make, taking only 35 minutes and requiring six simple ingredients: potatoes, onions, bacon, cooking oil, salt, and pepper.
You’ll also want to add whatever fresh herb(s) suits your taste best. (I’m partial to garlic and rosemary.)
They taste a lot like American fried potatoes, but they have a smokier flavor that makes them even better.
If you’ve never had them, pork schnitzels are just breaded pork chops seasoned with garlic, paprika, and pepper.
The breading is crispy and perfectly seasoned, and the chops are tender and succulent. Serve them with lemon wedges for an extra bit of zest.
15. Oktoberfest Casserole
This single-bowl casserole is everything you love about Oktoberfest thrown into one delicious casserole dish.
There’s plenty of cheese and hash browns, some bratwursts and sauerkraut, a little bit of chicken broth, and a generous topping of pretzels and beer cheese.
It’s crunchy, creamy, and supremely cheesy, and it takes only 15 minutes to prepare.
16. Oktoberfest Roast Chicken
When most people picture German meats, they think of sausages, brats, liver, and other beef- and pork-based proteins.
However, roast chicken is also hugely popular throughout the country.
Known in Germany as the wiesn hendl, roast chicken is a frequently spotted main course in homes and restaurants during the Oktoberfest festivities.
And for something with only five ingredients – chicken, Italian parsley, butter, salt, and pepper – it’s unbelievably delectable.
It’s buttery, juicy, and so tender, and every bite is well-seasoned with salt, pepper, and parsley.
And here’s a pro-tip: I don’t care how healthy you’re trying to be, do not waste the scrumptious skin on this chicken. It’s far too delicious not to eat.
This 15-minute side dish is authentic German cooking at its finest.
This slightly crispy, supremely buttery spaetzle isn’t as famous as brats or schnitzel, but anyone from Germany can tell you what it is.
It takes only four ingredients to make – flour, salt, eggs, and milk – and will remind you of gooey macaroni and cheese without the cheese.
There is absolutely no way I would close out an article on Oktoberfest recipes and not include at least one beer-based drink. Enter, Radler.
Made famous in Bavaria, this drink is half light lager, half sparkling lemonade. It’s light, refreshing, and features a maximum amount of citrus ale flavor.
You can find several recipes for Radler online, but I tend to stick with this one because it’s pretty close to perfection.
You’ll need only chilled German lager and sparkling lemonade for the drink.
However, you’ll also want to toss in some ice cubes and garnish the glass with lemon slices and rosemary.
It’s a lovely drink that tastes every bit as good as it looks.
19. Black Forest Cake
Though not as widely praised as combinations like peanut butter and jelly or strawberries and whipped cream, cherries and chocolate are a fantastic pair.
If you think so, too, then you’ll think you’ve died and gone to Heaven after just one bite of this fluffy, moist, and entirely decadent black forest cake.
It features two chocolate cake layers, a sweetly tart cherry filling, whipped cream icing, chocolate shavings (or sprinkles), chocolate syrup, and a cherry (or 12) on top!
20. Oktoberfest Dessert “Beer Mug”
With these adorable “beer mug” Jell-O desserts, you can keep the Oktoberfest party going even into dessert!
Simply combine your favorite yellow Jell-O with gelatine, lemon juice, and sugar; then top off each glass with a mixture of yogurt and whipped cream.
The results are tart Jell-O shots (alcohol-free!) with sweet, creamy toppings that are identical to a frothy glass of good German beer.
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