O’zapft Is! 17 Homemade German Recipes to Celebrate Oktoberfest

It is the same every year – and we love it!

Millions of visitors, locals and tourists alike, make their way to Munich each year to celebrate one of Germany’s biggest festivals…

It’s time for Oktoberfest!

It is a great feast, and this prestigious fall event has become a celebration enjoyed throughout the globe – stores, cafes, bars, and restaurants offer typical Oktoberfest foods, decorations, brews, and entertainment.

Vertical image of a collage of German-inspired recipes, with a label in the center.

Of course, there are many traditions around this celebration. Malty lagers are served in large steins, while dirndl dresses dominate the scene.

And where there is beer, food is not far away.

The most popular Schmankerl, or delicacies, at Oktoberfest are all hearty and hefty: grilled chicken, large soft pretzels, sausages, cheesy dips, pork knuckle, onion tart, coleslaw, potato salad, and bread dumplings are all favorites.

But most of us are celebrating this momentous festival far, far away from Munich.

In order to bring the Oktoberfest fun this year into your own home kitchens, I put together a Foodal collection of 17 popular German recipes – that way, we all can enjoy a little Bavarian coziness no matter where we are!

1. Alsatian White Pizza (Flammenkeuche)

Here’s your chance to enjoy pizza during Oktoberfest!

Horizontal image of a whole pizza topped with shingled thinly sliced potatoes.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

This is a recipe white pizza lovers in particular will enjoy, and you might even be able to convince some red sauce enthusiasts to switch sides – at least for Oktoberfest!

Flammenkeuche is an Alsatian version, a tasty combination of French and German cuisine.

The pizza dough base is generously layered with ricotta and creme fraiche, meaty bacon, thin and tender slices of red potatoes, and caramelized onions.

You can use a premade pizza dough, or try our recipes for classic, honey whole wheat, or kefir-soaked spelt pizza dough.

Read more now.

2. Apple Riesling Cake

Set aside the lager, and reach for Riesling!

A beautiful German specialty made with fresh apples and Riesling wine, our homemade cake will be the sweetest ending to any fall festival.

Horizontal closeup image of a Riesling apple cake on a white plate next to a fork.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

It will also become your go-to solution for using up a bumper crop of harvested fall apples!

Two hefty pounds of juicy apples drizzled with a sweet wine glaze cover a buttery pastry base. Baked for one hour, the dessert comes out of the oven with a glorious golden-brown color and heavenly aroma.

Learn how to make the recipe here.

3. Bavarian Cabbage Salad with Bacon

A savory bacon-enhanced white cabbage salad is another typical recipe to make your Bavarian experience more special.

Horizontal image of a plate of cabbage slaw in front of dumplings next to a stein of beer.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

Try this delicious German version of a classic coleslaw. Topped with crispy oven-roasted bacon, it will be everyone’s favorite side dish at the party.

The dish is made of only a few ingredients, mixed with a subtle marinade of just salt, pepper, oil and vinegar.

But don’t forget about the caraway seeds!

They provide a distinct flavor of anise that pairs well with the meaty bacon and crisp shredded cabbage.

Read more for the recipe here.

4. Bread Dumplings

These easy southern German dumplings are a popular side dish to serve with savory meat dishes and crunchy salads.

Vertical image of a large bowlful of bread dumplings next to a bowl of cabbage slaw.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

The dumplings are easy to prepare, and provide a tasty excuse to use up older buns or slices of white bread.

You know all those end pieces on your loaves of bread you tend to avoid? Here’s an opportunity to get rid of them, so you can repurpose your food scraps in a nifty way.

After soaking the bread in milk and lightly cooking the onions, combine everything together with flour, eggs, salt, and parsley.

Form the dough into small dumplings, and cook them in gently simmering water.

Find detailed instructions here.

5. Creamy Bavarian Cheese Dip (Obatzda)

Obatzda is a classic Bavarian dish, often served as a light snack in between meals.

A bowl of German Bavarian Obatzda cheese dip in the center front and two plates with large lye pretzels in the rear. On a blue tablecloth.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

It also makes for a perfect party food option!

It is a savory, creamy cheese dip that is usually eaten with a slice of dark rye bread or pretzels and a cold beer.

Originally, the dish was developed to use up leftover cheese. Although this is not the main reason for its preparation today, the recipe hasn’t changed too much.

It’s the ideal casual dip to round out your own Oktoberfest celebration of fun finger food.

Get the recipe now.

6. German Potato Salad

Don’t blame us if your company requests you make this German potato salad for all other events and get-togethers outside of just Oktoberfest!

Close up of white porcelain bowl full of German potato salad garnished with parsley with raw potatoes in the background.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

Tender waxy potatoes are mixed with a creamy dressing of mayonnaise and plain yogurt. Gherkins and some of the pickling juice provide boosts of acidic, tangy flavor.

If you don’t like gherkins, substitute them with our homemade dilly green beans instead.

And for herbal freshness, handfuls of chopped chives and parsley are vibrant finishing touches.

Here’s the recipe for you.

7. German Pretzels

Homemade pretzels are a versatile treat that can be made to suit different tastes, from sweet and lovely to strong and salty.

A batch of homemade soft pretzels set up like a still life with a lump of butter, cherry tomatoes, table knife and a white and brown porcelain bowl.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

Learn how to make them with our base dough for German-Style soft pretzels!

We’ll teach you all the tricks of the trade for making soft and fluffy pretzels, and you’ll also learn how to make the characteristic twisted shape.

For our own savory interpretation, we sprinkle the tops with coarse salt and caraway seeds before baking, and love serving them hot out of the oven with stone-ground mustard and our homemade Obatzda cheese dip.

Learn more now.

8. Hard Cider Punch (Mulled Apfelwein Bowle)

Already experiencing some chilly weather in September?

Two glass mugs of hard cider punch, with sliced apples and cinnamon sticks, on a gathered blue cloth with white flecks, in front of two orange plastic pumpkins.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Cozy up this Oktoberfest with a warm mug of our Mulled Apfelwein Bowle!

This aromatic punch is a comforting mix of hard cider, spiced apple cider, and warming spices.

Our version is warmed in the slow cooker – it’s so easy to make!

We serve the punch with sliced apples that are soaked in brandy overnight, and garnish each mug with a cinnamon stick.

Check out the recipe here.

9. Potato Dumplings (Schupfnudeln)

Homemade Swabian potato dumplings, called Schupfnudeln, are handmade individual pieces of dough that can be paired with a range of food items.

Horizontal image of a brown plateful of lightly caramelized potato dumplings with an herb garnish.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

They can be served with any kind of veggie, meat, or fish, but they are also delicious with applesauce or other stewed fruit.

We like them best when they are first boiled, then briefly sauteed in a skillet with butter and sage leaves.

This technique develops a crispy, golden crust on the exterior of each dumpling, while keeping the interior soft and chewy.

Read more now.

10. Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer)

Oktoberfest is the time of year to raise a glass of beer…

And chow down on carbs like Kartoffelpuffer!

Horizontal overhead image of German potato pancakes on a white serving dish and two small, square black plates, with two forks, and small dishes of sour cream and applesauce, on a black, gray, and white striped cloth.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Also known as German potato pancakes, Kartoffelpuffer are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Pair them with sour cream and chives or applesauce for the best carb-loaded dish the fall season has ever offered.

Get the recipe now.

11. Savory German Potato Cake (Potthucke)

Can’t get enough potatoes? Neither can the Oktoberfest food table!

Vertical image of fried eggs on top of pan-seared slices of Potthucke on brown plates.
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

Get more use out of your loaf pan than just sweet quick breads like banana bread or zucchini bread – and make this savory German potato cake.

Potthucke is an appetizing combination of mashed and shredded russet potatoes mixed with chopped crispy bacon, lightly sauteed onions, eggs, and cream.

After it’s baked into a solid loaf, cut it into thick slices and serve. You can also lightly pan sear the slices in lots of butter for a browned, crispy crust.

Perfect with a side salad to eat during your evening festivities, you can also enjoy leftovers the next morning with fried eggs.

Here’s the recipe for you.

12. Savory Onion Tart (Zwiebelkuchen)

Showcase your savory pastry skills by putting together a homemade Zwiebelkuchen, an oven-baked German onion tart featuring a made-from-scratch crust.

Horizontal image of a slice of savory pie on a plate next to salad greens.
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

Everyone will go crazy over the perfect balance between the hearty filling and the delicate, buttery pastry crust.

The onions in the filling are lightly caramelized with rendered bacon fat, and then mixed with chopped bacon, eggs, and creme fraiche.

Learn how to make it now.

13. Slow Cooker Oktoberfest Stew

Beer can be used for more than just drinking at your autumnal party!

Oblique shot of two white soup bowls of Oktoberfest stew with sausage and vegetables, a glass of beer, a piece of baguette, and a yellow cloth napkin folded to the left of the frame, with a spoon on top.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Pour your favorite German-style lager or any Oktoberfest-style beer into the base of this slow cooker stew.

The rich flavors and hearty ingredients like bratwurst, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage make it a natural choice for chillier fall weather.

It’s also a smart recipe to make when you’re in a hurry to go from work to celebrating – simply place all of the ingredients in your slow cooker first thing in the morning, turn on the low heat setting, and dinner will be ready when you come back home in the evening.

Don’t stress out – learn how to make this no-frills, easygoing recipe now.

14. Swabian Ravioli (Maultaschen)

Maultaschen, or “pockets,” are a German Swabian specialty with a savory filling of ground beef and spinach.

Horizontal image of a white plateful of Swabian ravioli topped with fried onion rings.

Similar to ravioli, but with some comfort food Bavarian flair, these pockets can be fried, steamed, or boiled.

We like serving them with some sauteed onions, or adding them to a simple warm chicken broth – but you can certainly play with other serving ideas!

Here’s the recipe.

15. Swabian Spaetzle

A little overwhelmed by the responsibilities of making hand-crafted ravioli? Looking for something simpler that you can still make from scratch at home?

Learn how to make an easier and far more forgiving Swabian specialty:

Homemade spaetzle!

Centered and slightly oblique view of German Swabian Spaetzle recipe centered on wooden table top.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

Prepared by hand, the dough is a mix of six basic ingredients. Using a cutting board and a stiff bench scraper or long chef’s knife, simply scrape strips of dough directly into boiling water.

There’s no rolling, no intricate prep steps, and no special pasta tools required!

You shouldn’t worry too much about how these dumplings look, since the individual pieces are meant to be rustic and freeform.

Find the recipe and step-by-step instructions here.

16. Sweet German Pastries (Puddingbrezel)

A perfect union between buttery Danish pastry dough and a sweet vanilla pudding, these little treats are handheld delights you can serve at the end of your Oktoberfest party.

Close up of a single German puddingbrezel pastry.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

These gorgeous goodies are a bakery standard in Germany, but can be made at home with the right techniques.

We’ll teach you how to make both the vanilla pudding and the dough from scratch, as well as the crafty rolling technique to form beautiful shapes.

Read more now.

17. Yeast Dumplings (Dampfnudel)

While there are plenty of savory dumplings to enjoy during the fall celebration, southern Germany does have a sweeter dumpling geared towards dessert:

The sweet Dampfnudel yeast dumpling!

Horizontal image of a bowlful of dampfnudel with vanilla custard sauce and red jam.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

Moist and chewy on the top, and crisp and crunchy on the bottom, these dumplings pair excellently with a creamy vanilla sauce and homemade jam.

Learn how to make this sweet variation now.

There’s Always More to Learn

What a feast!

Horizontal image of a collage of German-inspired recipes, with a label in the center.

Now that you have a collection of sweet and savory recipes to make for your Oktoberfest party, it’s time to study a few traditional German sayings you can exclaim while celebrating the festivities:

  • O’zapft Is!:  a phrase meaning “It is tapped,” a traditional saying during the tapping of the first beer barrel by the mayor of Munich to mark the start of Oktoberfest
  • An Guàdn!:  a phrase to exclaim towards others prior to a meal, wishing them to enjoy the food
  • Prost! or Prosit!:  a word to exclaim towards others prior to drinking, wishing them good health

Or you can simply say “Cheers!” to your friends, family, guests, and fellow drinkers and diners!

Did you enjoy reading through these selections? Even now at the end, we still can’t get enough of the autumnal fun. Take a look at three more Oktoberfest-themed articles to extend your celebration:

About Nina-Kristin Isensee

Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.

3 thoughts on “O’zapft Is! 17 Homemade German Recipes to Celebrate Oktoberfest”

  1. Yum. My husband has been sampling a variety of Oktoberfest beers, so now I’ll have some ideas for what to pair them with as he explores. It’s as good an excuse as any to sample some of these delicious recipes, ha ha. I noticed some of these earlier, and I will be back to make a copy so I can give them a try. Kidding aside, I think this will make a nice surprise for him the next time he wants to try a new variety.

    Great photos and tips, as usual. Thanks for all these great ideas. This is going to be fun.

  2. I am looking for an Oktoberfest mustard recipe. Schneider used to make one that I loved. But no more. Please send me one if you have it. Thks. Karin Ott


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