17 Best German Side Dishes

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Having a German-themed party? Throwing your own Oktoberfest? German-themed food will help make your celebration authentic and give your guests a taste of Germany.

Your main course may be the star of the show, but the side dishes are where the authenticity is. We all know about soft pretzels and schnitzel.

But what about bratkartoffeln and kartoffelbrei? Side dishes will aid your main courses and give your German-themed party variety that your guests won’t soon forget.


17 Best German Side Dishes

Here you’ll find the best German side dishes, and we’ll even provide a tasty recipe to make your celebration easy to prepare!

1. Knödel

Knödel is a German dumpling side dish that is best served with the main course of meat or soup. It is made with flour, potatoes, or bread.

Knödel can also be made with fruit fillings such as plums. This adds a layer of sweet flavoring to your side. You can find the recipe here.

2. Spaetzle

This German side dish is an egg noodle. It is served as a side dish to meals that have gravy or sauce that the noodles can soak up.

Spaetzle is also used in many main course dishes such as käsespätzle. Alternatively, you can simply serve them with butter as a side dish. Here’s a simple recipe.

3. Kroketten

Sometimes spelled Croquette, Kroketten is a dutch form of mashed potatoes, but with a special twist: they are coated in breadcrumbs and then deep-fried.

These delicious little balls of goodness can be made with leftover potatoes, vegetables, and meat, so nothing goes to waste! Check out the recipe here.

4. Leipziger Allerlei

Originating in Leipzig, Germany, Leipziger Allerlei is a side dish comprised of mixed vegetables, and dumplings, and then topped with a butter sauce and fresh parsley.

Allerlei can be served as a side dish with fish or meat meals. There are plenty of different recipes, but here is a simple one.

5. Salzkartoffeln

Potatoes are a huge part of German culture. They’re served with practically any meal and can be made in a variety of different ways.

Salzkartoffeln is boiled potatoes and is cooked with the skin off, as opposed to keeping the skin on (Pellkartoffel). Find the recipe for them here.

6. Pretzels

This side dish is popular almost everywhere in the world. From baseball games to the street vendors in Belgium, soft pretzels are a delicious choice.

They originated in Germany and can be hard-baked or soft. Soft pretzels are meant to be eaten right away. The recipe is easier than you think.

7. Pommes Frites

Pommes Frites is the equivalent of French fries. They can be made with several different herbs and seasonings, and are best served as a side with sandwiches.

To make Pommes Frites you will need to fry the potatoes twice, so it’s a good idea to have an oil thermometer handy. You can find the recipe here.

8. Bratkartoffeln

The German culture really loves their potatoes. Bratkartoffeln is a classic side dish consisting of fried potatoes. They taste similar to red potatoes as opposed to russet.

Once cooked, this side dish is served with fish, eggs, or meat. It can also be mixed with meats or veggies for the main course. Here’s the recipe.

9. Kartoffelknödel

This German side dish is another variation of the wonderful potato. It is a type of dumpling made from Yukon Gold potatoes or russet potatoes.

This recipe does take a little time, as you have to allow the potatoes to dry out overnight. Try to plan ahead by making these in advance.

10. Cheese Spread

A cheese spread is not necessarily a German-specific side dish, but it pairs great with pretzels and brats, which are famous German dishes themselves.

You can use a variety of cheeses to make your cheese spread, with cheddar being the most commonly used. Here’s a 3-cheese recipe to try.

11. Schupfnudeln

Yep, it’s another potato recipe. These are potato dumplings made with russet potatoes. These fried potato fingers hail from southern Germany and resemble gnocchi pasta.

Schupfnudeln is best served with turkey, pork, sauerkraut, duck, or red cabbage. They are slightly crispy and full of flavor. Find the recipe here.

12. Kartoffelsalat

Kartoffelsalat is similar to potato salad and hails from southern Germany in the Swabia region. If you can’t find German potatoes, you can use Yukon gold.

This isn’t your typical potato salad, using a tangy dressing base instead of mayo. It also leaves the potato skins on. You can find the recipe here.

13. Rotkohl

Similar in texture to sauerkraut, rotkohl is made with German red cabbage, onions, and shredded apples. When all said and done, it turns into a thick sauce.

Rotkohl is best served with sausages, meats, and sometimes with pasta. It’s served in many German restaurants and homes. Here is a tasty recipe.

14. Königsberger Klopse

This savory side dish is similar to meatballs, but instead of a traditional red sauce, they are made with a creamy caper sauce made from onions, lemons, and anchovies.

You can serve these on the side or as an appetizer. They pair best with potatoes, pasta, or a vegetable meal. It takes about 2 hours to make. Find the recipe here.

15. Kartoffelpuffer

Perhaps the most fun word to say in the German language, kartoffelpuffers is potato pancakes. They are popular in German restaurants as well as street vendors.

Kartoffelpuffers are made with russet potatoes, onion, eggs, and flour. If eating for breakfast, it is common practice in Germany to serve them with applesauce.

16. Himmel Und Erde

Since most potato recipes start with ‘Kartoffel,’ this one may throw you off, but it is in fact a potato recipe. Himmel Und Erde resembles mashed potatoes.

Himmel and Erde translate it to ‘heaven and earth.’ This potato side dish is traditionally served with blood sausage. You can find a recipe for it here.

17. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is popular throughout the world but originated in Germany. It’s made with fermented cabbage and has a distinctly pungent flavor that pairs well with sausages.

Sauerkraut can be served with brats, noodles, sandwiches, and even just plain on the side. You can also bake foods in sauerkraut to give them a distinct flavor.

Wrap Up

Some of the foods from Germany have crossed the border, and even oceans, to make them commonplace throughout the world. Sauerkraut, pretzels, and brats come to mind.

Whatever main dish you decide to serve for your German-themed celebration, be sure to pair it with a side dish that complements the meal and keeps it authentic.

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