If you’re in the mood for something different, why not try German Side Dishes? We’ve got 25 of them here, so dig in!
German side dishes are a lot like German cars: they’re engineered to perform at their highest level.
If you’ve ever driven a BMW, Mercedes, or Porsche, you know what we mean.
German side dishes will do the same for your meal.
Still, German food is some of the most underrated in the world.
Many people have this idea that it’s all meat, potatoes, and cabbage, and don’t get us wrong, it does include those things, but it also has so much more.
From the humble hot dog to the elegant bratwurst, Germany provides a variety of food that can satisfy even the most particular palates.
They are also known for serving up different types of bread, potatoes, and fermented vegetables alongside their meat-heavy meals.
Start with the Kartoffelklösse, Spaetzle, and Bauernbrot, if you can’t decide which recipe to go with first.
And while the main course is usually the star of the show, it’s the side dishes that really bring a German meal to life.
So, when you’re putting together a traditional German dinner, it’s important to add these incredible accompaniments to make it even better and make your guests’ taste buds dance.
But before we get started on these 25 German side dish recipes themselves, let’s talk about #23.
It’s so flavorful! Once you taste it, you’ll be hooked.
1. Kartoffelsalat (German Potato Salad)
Ok, so we all know that German potato salad is basically the best thing ever.
But why is it so good?
The potatoes themselves are flavorful but not too heavy or watery—they’re just right.
The dressing has just enough vinegar to make it tangy without being overpowering.
And the bacon?
Well, there’s just something about bacon that makes everything better overall.
Kartoffelsalat has a lot of different tastes and aromas with hints of sweetness, sourness, and saltiness that all work together to make something truly unique.
If you love the combination of garlic and bacon, you’re going to be a fan of Roasted Garlic & Bacon Mashed Potatoes.
The first thing you’ll notice is the strong flavor of garlic, which is mellowed out by the addition of heavy cream.
But, the flavor of the cream really makes this dish what it is, and it provides a great consistency that’s thick enough for mashing but not so thick that it feels like eating paste.
German Red Cabbage is a treat for the eyes and the palate.
The color of this vegetable is a vibrant, deep purple that almost seems to glow from within.
It’s so beautiful; you might want to just admire it on your countertop before eating it!
But don’t worry, because the taste is just as delicious as the appearance.
And the flavor is subtle but complex, with notes of sweetness, earthiness, and spice blending together in a way that keeps your mouth happy long after you’ve eaten every last bite.
German Potato Dumplings are a classic side dish that you should know how to make.
We’re not sure what it is about them—maybe it’s the soft, fluffy texture of a good dumpling, or perhaps it’s the earthy flavor of the potatoes.
But one thing we do know: when potato dumplings are on your plate, it means you’re in for a good meal.
Sauerkraut is a crunchy, tangy delight that’s packed with flavor.
It tastes great alone or with other foods like sausage and cheese.
You can use it in salads, sandwiches, soups, stews, and more!
And the best part about sauerkraut is that it can be eaten raw or cooked, so you can have it as a side dish or use it as an ingredient in other German side dishes, like soup or stew.
It’s super versatile!
Wurstsalat (Sausage Salad) is a unique German dish that blends the two most wonderful things: sausage and salad.
The combination of meats and vegetables in this dish is truly unmatched by anything else you’ve ever tasted.
The flavors harmonize together perfectly, and there’s something about the crispness of the lettuce with all those soft, juicy chunks of meat that just makes your mouth water for more.
However, the taste of this dish depends on the variety of sausages used, but it is generally a spicy combination that includes a variety of flavors, from salty to sweet.
German Style Mushrooms with Garlic Sauce taste like a dream.
The mushrooms are soft and tender, but they have a little bite to them—just right to make you know that they are, in fact, a mushroom.
The garlic sauce is rich and creamy, and it coats your mouth in what can only be described as pure bliss.
You should try German Style Mushrooms with Garlic Sauce if you ever have the chance.
You won’t regret it!
You’ll love these German Potato Pancakes!
They’re like pancakes, but they’re made with potatoes and served with gravy.
They also have a very different flavor than regular pancakes.
The taste is rich and savory, thanks to the gravy poured over the top before serving (and there’s usually lots!).
But don’t worry: even though they’re savory, these pancakes still have some sweetness (if you serve them with an apple sauce) to satisfy your sweet tooth!
German Cucumber Salad is the kind of salad right for your next picnic.
It’s light and refreshing, but it’s got a little zing.
The flavor of this salad is reminiscent of the cucumbers you might find in a dill pickle, but it’s sweeter than that.
The yellow onion adds a hint of sharpness to counteract the cucumber’s sweetness, and if you want, you can add some dill to make it pop.
You will enjoy this salad because it goes great with so many things: sandwiches, burgers, or even fried chicken!
German Green Beans are a classic, and for a good reason.
They’re crunchy, sweet, and full of flavor.
They pair well with just about anything, and they’re the perfect side dish for everything from pancakes to burgers to roast chicken.
But what makes German Green Beans so special? We’ll tell ya!
First off, they’ve got a great balance of sweetness and bitterness.
That means they’re never too sweet or too sour.
They’re excellent served hot or cold too—just try them with some olive oil drizzled over top before serving cold.
The German Bread Dumpling tastes like a delicious and fluffy cloud of doughy goodness.
It has a light flavor that’s not too sweet, and the texture is just right—not too doughy, not too light.
They’re delicious served with a sauce made from brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and ground cloves, or just eaten plain with gravy!
So, if you’re searching for something that will make your mouth water, this is it!
Kaisergemüse, or Emperor Vegetables, is a German vegetable dish served in many homes throughout the world.
This vegetable dish has a very mild flavor which allows it to be enjoyed by everyone, even those who don’t usually like eating vegetables.
It has a mild sweetness from the sugar and butter, and its color is bright yellow-orange, which makes it very appealing to children.
You can eat them as part of a meal or use them as a topping for your favorite German side dishes.
German Spaetzle, also known as “little sparrow” in German, is a type of pasta shaped like little dumplings.
The taste of this dish is very similar to the American version of macaroni and cheese—it’s creamy and cheesy.
And the texture is soft and pillowy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
But if you’re looking for something spicy, this isn’t it—it’s very mild in flavor with just a hint of nutmeg to give it some extra flavor.
German Split Pea Soup is the perfect soup for a cold winter day.
It’s warm and slow-burning, with the kind of heat that makes you want to curl up under a blanket and read a book.
It also has an earthy flavor that lingers on your tongue long after the meal has ended.
And the soup itself is thick enough to stand up on its own without being eaten with bread or crackers.
But if you want something crunchy on the top, try croutons instead of bread crumbs!
If you like potatoes, you’ll be so into these.
Because who doesn’t?
The German Pan Fried Potatoes is a dish that combines the flavors of bacon, onion, and potato.
It is a favorite in Germany, especially in Bavaria.
The potatoes are sliced thin and fried with small bacon pieces until they are crispy on the outside and tender inside.
And the bacon adds a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the onions and potatoes, giving you an extra kick of flavor that makes these potatoes stand out from all others.
Pomme Frites are made from 100% real potatoes, and they’re hand-cut—no machines or robots involved.
But what makes Pomme Frites so great is their taste and flavor.
As you take your first bite, you’ll find that they’re crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.
They have a subtle saltiness and starchiness that lingers on your tongue after each bite.
And they’re just big enough to fill your mouth but small enough not to overwhelm you with potato flavor.
The German Brussels Sprout Salad is the perfect dish for anyone who doesn’t love vegetables.
It’s sweet and savory but also has that bitter earthiness that makes you feel like you’re getting something nourishing when you eat it.
It’s also super versatile!
You can cook these bad boys until they’re crispy and brown on the outside and tender on the inside, or you can sauté them in olive oil with some garlic and herbs to make them taste like heaven.
Bauernbrot is a type of bread baked in a wood-fired oven, and it’s one of the oldest types of leavened bread in Germany.
It’s one of the most delicious too!
Bauernbrot is made with bread flour, rye flour, water, and other ingredients you would usually find on a regular type of bread.
It has a dense, chewy texture and an earthy taste with hints of brown sugar and molasses.
And when you bite into Bauernbrot, you’ll be greeted with a warm interior and crispy crust—pure bliss!
German Pretzels are a classic snack.
And the first thing you’ll notice when you bite into one of these pretzels is how soft and chewy it is—it’s like biting into the clouds, but better!
The softness comes from a special process of boiling and baking that makes them extra light and fluffy.
The second thing you’ll notice is the taste.
Imagine eating a cloud made out of pure deliciousness, then adding some salt and butter on top just for funsies.
That’s what German Pretzels taste like, but don’t take our word for it: try some yourself!
German Style Creamed Spinach is a perfect side dish for any occasion.
It’s an easy recipe, and it only takes about 15 minutes to make!
And it has a very mild flavor too.
But the main flavor comes from the spinach itself.
The cream sauce gives it a subtle richness, but it’s not too heavy or overpowering.
Plus, it goes great with roast chicken or pork chops, and it would also be nice alongside some baked potatoes or mashed potatoes if you’re looking for something hearty but the light at the same time!
These cabbage rolls are a classic German dish that will bring your family to the dinner table.
The rolls themselves are made from ground beef, and rice rolled into a cabbage leaf and then cooked in a rich tomato cream sauce.
The flavor is rich but not heavy.
But the tomatoes add a lightness to the dish that doesn’t weigh you down while you eat it.
The filling itself is full of flavor, too, with just enough kicks to add depth without being overpowering.
The German Cauliflower Salad is a dish that is served in most German restaurants, and it is also quite popular there.
There is a little sweetness and a little tartness to it, and it’s absolutely delicious!
It has the perfect amount of vinegar to keep things interesting without overpowering the cauliflower or other flavors in the dish.
And the sweetness is brought by both sugar and lemon juice, which helps balance out the vinegar, so it doesn’t taste too strong or sour.
It’s really tasty!
The German Potato Gratin is one of those German side dishes that take you on a trip through Germany.
The creamy and cheesy potato and bacon gratin is topped with a layer of crispy onion rings, which gives it a crunchy texture and a sweet flavor.
And the potatoes are cooked in a rich broth, which gives them an earthy overtone that complements perfectly the saltiness of the bacon.
This dish is best served with red wine or beer because it’s hearty enough to stand up to their bolder flavors without overpowering them.
It’s also great for sharing—and if you’re not sharing with anyone, that’s okay too!
German Potato Noodles are a delicious treat that you’ll want to eat over and over again!
They’re made with real potatoes, so they’ve got that nice, hearty taste you crave.
And they’re perfect for a late-night snack—just add some hot sauce and enjoy!
These noodles have a little bit of everything: they’re chewy, salty, sweet, and savory all at once.
You can use them in salads or just by themselves.
Plus, they’re so versatile that you’ll never get bored with them!
The German White Asparagus has a subtle, sweet flavor that’s very different from the asparagus you find in the US or other parts of the world.
Its flavor is mild and slightly sweet, and the texture is firm and crisp but not tough or chewy like some other types of asparagus can be.
You can serve it with butter and lemon juice or salt, pepper, and oil.
But you can also mix it with soups, stir-fries, or even roasted veggies to make a tasty side dish for any meal!
The bottom line
German food is just as delicious as it is hearty, and the best part is that you don’t have to be in Germany to enjoy it.
The German side dishes we’ve listed here are easy to make, but they pack a lot of flavor and comfort into one dish.
They’re also great when trying to find a new twist on an old favorite.
So, the next time you’re cooking at home, try out some of these fantastic dishes.
You’ll be glad you did!
Looking for more German food options, we’ve compiled lists of 25 German Appetizers and 25 German Cookies that you should definitely check out.
Top 25 Best German Side Dishes 🥨
The German side dishes we've listed here are easy to make; they pack a lot of flavor and comfort into one dish.
- Kartoffelsalat (German Potato Salad)
- Roasted Garlic & Bacon Mashed Potatoes
- Rotkohl (German Red Cabbage)
- Kartoffelklösse (German Potato Dumplings)
- Wurstsalat (Sausage Salad)
- German Style Mushrooms With Garlic Sauce
- Kartoffelpuffer (German Potato Pancakes)
- Gurkensalat (German Cucumber Salad)
- Grüne Bohnen (German Green Beans)
- Semmelknödel (German Bread Dumplings)
- Kaisergemüse (Emperor vegetables)
- Spaetzle (German Egg Noodle Pasta)
- Erbsensuppe (German Split Pea Soup)
- Bratkartoffeln (German Pan Fried Potatoes)
- German Pommes Frittes (Fried Fries)
- German Brussels Sprout Salad
- Bauernbrot (German Farmer’s Bread)
- German Style Creamed Spinach
- Kohlrouladen (German Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
- German Cauliflower Salad
- Kartoffelgratin (German Potato Gratin)
- Schupfnudeln (German Potato Noodles)
- Spargelzeit (German White Asparagus)
- Take a look at our German Side Dishes list!
- Bring the ingredients to create a new favorite dish.
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