Fleischsalat Is a Classic German Recipe – Here’s How To Make It!
Looking for a hearty and meaty German lunch option? German meat salad – called Fleischsalat in German – is for you!
Made from fresh wurst and loaded with chopped pickles, this creamy meat salad gets its signature taste from its liberal use of mayonnaise!
Often eaten on bread or a fresh bun, it’s something you’ll find in German supermarkets and especially at the butcher shop!
Aside from being a popular brunch/lunch food, Fleischsalat can also play a role in a German dinner.
Lisa’s family eats Fleischsalat with boiled potatoes for a filling and easy dinner.
On top of that, this Fleischsalat is used as an ingredient in our super creamy German potato salad.
Keep in mind that Fleischsalat is different from Wurstsalat. The main difference is that Fleischsalat is made with mayo to be creamy while Wurstsalat is made with a simple vinaigrette as the dressing.
German Fleischwurst vs North American Bologna
When making this Fleischsalat recipe, the meat you use – and the country you are in – is a big factor in determining the final taste of the meat salad.
This is because different countries will have different versions of similar meats.
If you are in North America, you could use widely available bologna for this recipe. However, German “Fleischwurst” (bologna) tastes different than North American bologna.
To get close to how the original would taste in Germany, we often use Italian Mortadella for this recipe when making it in North America.
North American Bologna and mortadella are similar products by consistency – Mortadella has more pork fat chunked throughout the meat blend – but the taste is a bit different.
If you have a European deli close to where you live, you might be able to get actual German bologna (Fleischwurst). If not, you can try it with mortadella to get a taste similar to German Fleischwurst or with classic North American bologna which will still be tasty.
How to Make German Fleischsalat – Step by Step Instructions
If you want to whip together some tasty Fleischsalat, you can find the recipe card at the bottom of this post with the exact measurement.
And if you’d like to see the recipe process photos so you can follow along step-by-step, you can check them out below.
This way, you can have a look to see if your German meat salad looks like ours did!
First, cut the mortadella or German bologna into slices. Of course, you can also buy already sliced wurst.
Then cut the meat into thin strips. Exactly how thin or thick you cut them depends on your personal preference, but we would recommend not cutting them too thick!
Place the strips of meat into a medium-sized bowl.
Now finely chop the onion if you decide to use one. We like the taste but not that same people don’t like the taste of raw onion. Make sure to chop it very fine so you don’t find large onion chunks in the salad later.
Also chop 4-5 baby dill pickles into small cubes. We use baby dill pickles since they are the closest to pickles you would get in Germany.
Add the chopped pickles and onion to the bowl with the wurst.
Finally, add the pickle juice, mayo, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Mix everything together using two spoons. If the consistency is not creamy enough for you, you can add a little bit more mayo.
Now the important part: Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least one hour.
This will allow the flavors to develop – the meat salad will taste much better after sitting for at least an hour (in our opinion).
Before serving, taste the Fleischsalat again and add more spices to taste.
Serve the meat salad, as a spread on a bun or slice of bread – or as a side to boiled potatoes.
Since this meat salad contains mayonaise, it is important that you store it in an container with a lid in the fridge and use it within 2-3 days.
This salad is eaten cold so you don’t have to worry about reheating it.
We wouldn’t recommend freezing the meat salad as this can greatly alter its taste and texture. Instead, only prepare the amount you plan on consuming.
For more German salad recipes check out these top dishes. Some are served cold, some are served hot, and others are classic tastes you want around the dinner table!
- German Coleslaw – This classic green cold salad makes an amazing side dish
- Authentic German Red Cabbage – Served hot, Rotkraut has a hint of sweetness
- Warm Carrot Salad – Fresh carrots with a few onions go a long way
- German Pasta Salad – Our Nudelsalat is made with bowtie pasta, ham, pickles, and more!
Fleischsalat (German Meat Salad)
- 10 ounces German bologna, (alternatively American bologna, or mortadella)
- 1 small onion, optional
- 4-5 baby dill pickles
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice
- 6 tablespoons mayo
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Cut the bologna or mortadella into slices (if it isn’t already sliced). Then cut the slices into thin strips. Place the cut meat into a medium-sized bowl.
- Finely chop the onion (optional) and the baby dill pickles. Add them to the bowl.
- Finally, add the pickle juice, mayo, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least one hour to allow the flavors to mingle. You can also prepare the Fleischsalat the night before.
- Before serving, taste the meat salad again and add more spices to your liking.
- There is a difference between German "Fleischwurst" and North American bologna. If you have a European deli close by or a well-stocked international section at your grocery store, try buying German bologna. Of course, you can also make this recipe with classic North American bologna. Mortadella also works well – just keep in mind that the taste will be slightly different but still tasty when using something other than German bologna!
- This recipe makes approximately 3 1/2 cups of meat salad.
- Fleischsalat is often eaten on a fresh bun for brunch or lunch. In Lisa’s family, Fleischsalat is also sometimes eaten with boiled potatoes for a simple but filling meal.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.
19 thoughts on “Fleischsalat (German Meat Salad)”
I just made your recipe for the first time. It tastes just great. Of course where I live I don’t have access to anything better than bologna. I just used thick sliced bologna. Tried to find a ring of bologna but could not. So, we take what we have available. Don’t put down a country for not having what you want. Make adjustments. I have done it for years. Do miss my authentic Llyoner or Fleischkäse at times, but quickly re-adjust and enjoy what I do have. Greetings 🙂
Thanks for sharing Irene! Exactly, use what you have available – that’s what I do as well. Viele Grüße /Lisa
I’ve been eating this since I was little, one of my favorite dishes besides Schaschlik. I do not use American bologna or pickles. It gives this salad a totally different flavor. I usually buy my sausage at a Russian or Polish Deli. One of the brands they carry is Schaller. I usually buy a mix of Lyoner, Baby bologna, Jagd Wurst and Gelb Wurst if they have it. The pickles I buy are Hengstenberg , they carry these and also Sauerkraut at Big Lots. Much cheaper than ordering from Amazon.
Thanks for your comment Roswitha! It’s awesome that you have a European deli with such a good selection close to you. We used to have one as well but unfortunately it closed so now we use what we have available. /Lisa
Here is an awesome recipe: make the Fleischsalat with Leberkäse. Let it sit in the fridge.
Now make a delicious schnitzel, chicken or pork schnitzel, and spread the Fleischsalat on top. Goes really well with a cool german beer. Guten Appetit
Hi Jurgen, thanks for sharing – sounds interesting! I really like eating Fleischsalat with boiled potatoes (Pellkartoffeln) but I’ve never tried it with Schnitzel. /Lisa
I been using crackle bologna for my fleischsalat it has a good taste to it
Has anybody ever added sour cream and Mayo together delicious
Nextime you make German potatoes salat ate some fleischsalat to it
Thanks for sharing Erika! I always make extra Fleischsalat, too, just so I can add some to potato salad (that’s how my mom’s side of the family always makes their potato salad). I’ve never tried adding sour cream in addition to mayo though – sounds interesting, I might try it next time!
Yum! If you’re in Australia you can buy Parisa at any continental deli instead of Fleischwurst, it’s pretty close. Our family add boiled egg as well! Delicious in a crusty roll.
Thanks for sharing, Karina – that might be helpful for some people! Glad you liked it.
I can’t wait to make this, had it nearly 30 years ago in Germany and still fondly remember it. Is there a particular Mayo you use in Australia that compares?
Mortadella is never used to make Fleischsalat…..get to a German deli if you could and buy Leberkaese…..I make this all year long, both Fleischwurst and Wurstsalat…..in a pinch, buy bologna, but remember, German bologna is quite different from the garbage you get here in the USA…
Thanks for your comment, Karen! I would also never use Mortadella to make Fleischsalat or Wurstsalat in Germany. However, here in North America it can be quite difficult to find authentic German Fleischwurst for some people since not everyone has access to a European deli. So, we wanted to give people options. As you mentioned, North American bologna tastes quite different from German bologna and if we had to choose between Mortadella and North American bologna, we would choose Mortadella (since it’s less processed) if we didn’t have access to authentic options. We mention most of this in the post – but Leberkäse might be a good alternative for some people as well so thanks for that!
Personally I love making it I’m sure it’s fresh that way. Experimenting with different choices is fabulous and creates wonderful alternatives.
I just finished making some I used Boar’s Head Baloney, Mayo, Plain whole milk yoghurt, onion, salt and white pepper and Kühne Barrel Pickles, Big Lots here in Texas carries them
Thanks for sharing Heike, that sounds tasty! I can buy Kühne Sauerkraut at my local store but unfortunately haven’t been able to find Kühne pickles anywhere. /Lisa
There is nothing in the states like Fleischwurst/Leberkäse or Lyon. Here in Germany they use either Fleischwurt or Lyon.. Have lived here for 24+ yrs and married to a Germany for 23.. Machts gut
Boar’s Head bologna is pretty close – but I get leberkäse at my German butcher – still warm!
Yes that’s what my mom would get i love this meat salad