Here Are Some Classic German Side Dishes To Pair With Your Meal!
In the world of classic German cuisine, dishes like Rouladen, Sauerbraten, and Pork Hock often steal the spotlight. But what would these hearty mains be without their side dishes?
Still delicious, but pairing them with the right side dishes can take your meal to a whole new level. Luckily there is no shortage of popular German side dishes that you can make!
From red cabbage to potato dumplings – and everything in between – we love a good side dish.
Interestingly, some side dishes are more regional – like Schupfnudeln – or eaten at different times of the year, while other dishes are eaten all over Germany year round!
So, here is a collection of some of our favorite recipes for German side dishes that you can make at home. It’s a mix of common recipes – and a few that you might not have thought of.
If you are looking for more specific recipes, check out some of our other German recipe roundups:
German Red Cabbage (Rotkraut)
Our recipe for German red cabbage – known as Rotkraut, Rotkohl oder Blaukraut – is made with apples, onion, and a few fragrant spices. It's definitely a popular and colorful side dish that many people love. It goes perfectly with hearty meat dishes, such as Rouladen, Sauerbraten or pork roast.
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Homemade German Spaetzle
Our homemade German Spaetzle recipe is one of the most popular on our website. We love making Spaetzle because it's a versatile side that goes with things like German goulash, schnitzel with jägersauce… anything with gravy really.These classic little dumplings are made from egg, flour, water, and salt – making them an easy and quick German side dish! Having a spaetzle maker makes it very simple.
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German Fried Potatoes
German fried potatoes, or Bratkartoffeln, are a crispy delight on the outside and tender on the inside. They make an excellent accompaniment to a wide range of German dishes, such as schnitzel, creamed spinach, or cucumber salad – or with a fried egg and sausage or bacon as Tiroler Gröstl.
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Fleischsalat (German Meat Salad)
This easy German Meat Salad – known as Fleischsalat – can be a great filling side dish for a simple meal of boiled potatoes. It can also be an ingredient in potato salad or as part of a classic Brotzeit with some slices of crusty bread. It's made with a creamy mixture of wurst, pickles, onions, and more!
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German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelklöße)
If you've spent some time in Germany, you'll know that there are many different versions of potato dumplings – especially in the south of the country. This is a version of the potato dumplings that Lisa grew up with. It pairs really well with meat dishes such as Rouladen, Sauerbraten, Schweinebraten, or any other type of roast with gravy. These dumplings are commonly eaten at lunchtime on Sundays. Leftovers taste delicious when sliced and fried the next day.
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German Cucumber Salad (Gurkensalat)
For a refreshing and creamy side, try German cucumber salad, known as Gurkensalat. Made with cucumbers and fresh dill, it's a crowd-pleaser that adds a touch of freshness to any meal. It's especially a great side dish for meals with potatoes and without gravy since the dressing of the salad adds some creaminess.
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Schupfnudeln (German Potato Noodles)
Similar to Gnocchi, these Schupfnudeln – or German Potato Noodles – are rich, filling, and relatively easy to make. Made with potatoes, flour, and a few other ingredients, they can actually be enjoyed as a side dish to savory dishes, or as a sweet or savory main dish. If you prefer a savory version, you can pan-fry them in butter.
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German Potato Salad (Kartoffelsalat)
No list of classic German side dishes would be complete without at least one potato salad. Our Kartoffelsalat is made with German meat salad (listed above), potatoes, eggs, pickles, and more! It makes a great side dish for anything grilled and is often also enjoyed with Wiener sausages for a simple but filling meal. Of course, there are many different versions of German potato salad – and you can definitely also find non-creamy versions.
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Sauerkraut is a staple of German cuisine, and it can be enjoyed in many ways. One of our favorites is a refreshing sauerkraut salad that pairs well with various main dishes. This sauerkraut salad is easy to make with just a few simple ingredients, such as sauerkraut, apple, and spices. It has a crunchy texture and a tangy-sweet flavor that balances the richness of meats, including Bratwurst or Kassler, but also Schupfnudeln.
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Semmelknödel (German Bread Dumplings)
Another classic German dumpling we love as a side dish are German bread dumplings, called Semmelknödel. They are the perfect way to use up old bread, and they go so well with dishes with lots of gravy, including classic meat dishes such as Rouladen, roast goose, or Sauerbraten. But they also taste delicious as a vegetarian meal with mushroom gravy.
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German Coleslaw – or Krautsalat – is another easy side dish. All you need is raw cabbage and a few spices and you're on your way to having a crunchy, flavorful salad that pairs with many dishes. We love Krautsalat because it's quick and delicious! It's also a great way to use up any cabbage you have in your fridge, and it keeps well for a few days.
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Wurstsalat (Sausage Salad)
Similar to Fleischsalat, but not as creamy, Wurstsalat (Sausage Salad) is a hearty and colorful salad from Switzerland and Germany. If you make it with cheese, it's considered a Swiss Sausage Salad, but you'll find the version without cheese common in Bavaria. It is made with thinly sliced sausage, pickles, onion, and a few other ingredients. Wurstsalat can be enjoyed as a main dish with bread for Brotzeit or as a side dish with other meats or salads. It is a popular salad for barbecues or potlucks.
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Last, but certainly now least, we have Spinach Spaetzle. A fun twist on classic Spaetzle (listed above), this green version is the same recipe – just with the inclusion of raw, blended spinach (but you could also use pesto). It looks beautiful as a side dish and might be a nice change to the other, more classic options!
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