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.
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!
17 Homemade German Recipes to Celebrate Oktoberfest
- Alsatian White Pizza (Flammenkeuche)
- Apple Riesling Cake
- Bavarian Cabbage Salad with Bacon
- Bread Dumplings
- Creamy Bavarian Cheese Dip (Obatzda)
- German Potato Salad
- German Pretzels
- Hard Cider Punch (Mulled Apfelwein Bowle)
- Potato Dumplings (Schupfnudeln)
- Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer)
- Savory German Potato Cake (Potthucke)
- Savory Onion Tart (Zwiebelkuchen)
- Slow Cooker Oktoberfest Stew
- Swabian Ravioli (Maultaschen)
- Swabian Spaetzle
- Sweet German Pastries (Puddingbrezel)
- Yeast Dumplings (Dampfnudel)
1. Alsatian White Pizza (Flammenkeuche)
Here’s your chance to enjoy pizza during Oktoberfest!
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.
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.
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.
3. Bavarian Cabbage Salad with Bacon
A savory bacon-enhanced white cabbage salad is another typical recipe to make your Bavarian experience more special.
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.
4. Bread Dumplings
These easy southern German dumplings are a popular side dish to serve with savory meat dishes and crunchy salads.
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.
5. Creamy Bavarian Cheese Dip (Obatzda)
Obatzda is a classic Bavarian dish, often served as a light snack in between meals.
It also makes for a perfect party food option!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
8. Hard Cider Punch (Mulled Apfelwein Bowle)
Already experiencing some chilly weather in September?
Cozy up this Oktoberfest with a warm mug of our Mulled Apfelwein Bowle!
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.
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.
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.
10. Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer)
Oktoberfest is the time of year to raise a glass of beer…
And chow down on carbs like Kartoffelpuffer!
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.
11. Savory German Potato Cake (Potthucke)
Can’t get enough potatoes? Neither can the Oktoberfest food table!
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.
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.
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.
13. Slow Cooker Oktoberfest Stew
Beer can be used for more than just drinking at your autumnal party!
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
Learn how to make this sweet variation now.
There’s Always More to Learn
What a feast!
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.