The most well-known German Christmas food may be traditional stollen, gingerbread cookies, and glühwein. But you’re missing out on many wonderful treats if you just stick to the classics.
The country that brought us sauerkraut, bratwurst, and pretzels have created unique Christmas delicacies. Now you can enjoy the holidays with your family and friends, so make sure you don’t miss out!
While Christmas isn’t as traditional in Germany as in some other parts of the world, there are still plenty of German holiday traditions and celebrations to enjoy throughout the year, especially during Advent.
German Christmas food can be some of the most delicious and representative of what Christmas and Germany are all about at this time of year.
Whether you’re a fan of mulled wine, lebkuchen, or stollen, here is a German Christmas food list that is worth trying this season or any other!
1. German Potato Pancakes
The first on the German Christmas food list is the Potato pancakes. They are a staple at many Christmastime meals in Germany.
These potato pancakes are made from potatoes, onions, and flour; they’re crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Usually, they’re served with applesauce or sour cream. One of my favorite things about these little cakes is that you can eat them by hand without using utensils- perfect for kids!
2. Wine-braised Seafood Choucroute
Seafood choucroute is a very popular German Christmas food. The dish is also known as Barsch-Zwiebel-Choucroute or Braune Zwiebel-Choucroute.
This dish contains a mixture of smoked fish, sausages, and an abundance of root vegetables such as celery root, turnips, onions, and white cabbage.
In addition, it can be served either warm or cold. The steps are very simple to make this German Christmas food, the Wine-braised Seafood Choucroute (warm version).
First, combine dry white wine with olive oil in a saucepan. Then, add finely sliced garlic cloves and large chopped onion.
3. Durlacher Hof Austrian Ricotta Crêpes
Durlacher Hof Austrian Ricotta Crêpes is also a delicious German Christmas food you need to try. It’s traditionally served during breakfast on December 24th, but it can be eaten anytime.
Moreso, the crêpes are made with ricotta cheese and topped with a lemon glaze. They’re then sprinkled with powdered sugar and garnished with cinnamon sticks.
4. Roasted Grape and Pear Kuchen
Roasted Grape and Pear Kuchen is a traditional German Christmas food that also serves as a dessert. It is made with grape and pear filling, which can be replaced with other fruits, like plums or apricots.
Usually, the dough is made from wheat flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla. Some variations include raisins in the dough or lemon extract in the dough, or both.
5. Spicy Cucumber Relish
Next up from the German Christmas food list is the Spicy Cucumber Relish. Germans love a good cold dish for the warmer holiday season, and this is one of their favorites. The recipe is simple: peel cucumbers and slice them into small pieces.
Then, combine with finely chopped onions, vinegar, sugar, oil, salt, and pepper. Put in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.
If you want to take it up a notch and make it more authentic, add some dill or chives at the end before putting it in the fridge
6. Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cabbage
It is no secret that Germany has some of the most delicious foods in the world. For example, one of their most famous dishes is roasted pork tenderloin with cabbage, a very nice German Christmas food.
The recipe for this dish includes trimmed pork tenderloin, green cabbage, and sugar. Also, the dish needs salt, pepper, and a little bit of butter or margarine.
To start, you need to cook the pork tenderloin until it reaches an internal temperature between 145°F and 160°F (according to the USDA).
Then you simply cut up the green cabbage into small pieces and add them to a pot with water. Finally, cook them until they are soft enough to be mashed with a fork or spoon.
7. Black Forest Cherry Cake
One very famous German Christmas food is Black Forest Cherry Cake. It’s a rich chocolate cake layered with cherries, whipped cream, and chocolate glaze.
The cake was created in the 1950s by an innkeeper Otto Schnering who served it at his restaurant on the edge of the Black Forest region in Southern Germany.
Though, it’s unclear whether or not he made up the name Black Forest Cherry Cake himself or if he borrowed it from an old recipe.
But one thing is certain: no matter what you call it, this cake will be a winner at your family holiday gathering!
8. Warm Potato-Watercress Salad
Although it’s not a traditional dish, warm potato-watercress salad is a must-try. The recipe calls for potatoes and watercress, which are boiled in salted water until tender.
Once the water is boiling, the potatoes are put back into the pan with the dressing. The dressing is uniquely made of olive oil, vinegar, or lemon juice.
This dish is best served warm and makes for a great side. You can consider this dish if you want to avoid a flop regarding your German Christmas food.
9. Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Kaiserschmarrn
If you’re a fan of pancakes but are looking for something different this holiday season, try these raspberry-chocolate chip kaiserschmarrn.
It’s perfect for the whole family and easy enough to make with your kids. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat to get started.
Next, mix flour, sugar, and salt; then add in large eggs and milk until well combined. The batter should be thin.
Add melted butter, vanilla extract, and fresh or frozen raspberries, then stir until well combined. There you go, with very fulfilling German Christmas food!
10. Mushroom Stew with Spaetzle
Mushroom Stew with Spaetzle is a hearty dish that is perfect for winter. It’s typically made with beef, onions, mushrooms, and other vegetables. The sauce is finished with cream and then served over spaetzle pasta.
This German Christmas food is also known as Erbsensuppe or Biersuppe. One of the most popular types of this soup is cooked with beer, which adds an extra depth of flavor.
Traditionally, the soup was eaten on December 24th but can be enjoyed anytime during the holiday season.
11. Austrian Cheese Spread with Pumpkin Seed Oil
Austrian Cheese Spread with Pumpkin Seed Oil is a lighter option than typical German fare. It combines traditional ingredients like pumpkin seeds and cheese into an appetizer that’s perfect for entertaining during the holiday season.
Pumpkin seed oil, or Hanfsamenöl, is made from roasted pumpkin seeds.
In addition, the color ranges from light yellow to dark brown depending on the type of seeds used and how long they’re roasted.
The flavor is nutty, earthy, and slightly sweet with a distinctive bitterness. Some people find it overpowering, but others enjoy it as part of the full flavor profile.
The base of this appetizer consists of cream cheese whipped until fluffy with sour cream, salt, and pepper. After which, it is combined with crumbled feta cheese and chopped parsley.
The best German Christmas food list is impossible without the Austrian Cheese Spread with Pumpkin Seed Oil!
12. Strawberry Kuchen
Strawberry Kuchen is a popular dessert that is served on many tables during the holidays. The cake consists of two layers of sweetened whipped cream and a layer of chocolate between them.
It is traditionally topped with whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate sprinkles. Strawberry Kuchen, a great German Christmas food, is typically served in slices. Above all, it can be found at most bakeries during the holiday season.
13. Brown Beer Rye Bread
Brown Beer Rye Bread is a traditional German Christmas food. It is often served with applesauce and pairs well with other dishes such as smoked ham, sausages, or red cabbage.
Meanwhile, the bread is made by kneading rye flour dough with brown beer, yeast, and salt. Brown Beer Rye Bread can be purchased in most grocery stores during the holiday season. Moreso, it’s a great way to get into the festive spirit.
14. Roasted Sausages with Beer-braised Onions
The traditional German dish of roasted sausages with beer-braised onions is often served as a main course for the main meal on Christmas Eve.
The dish is typically made by simmering the onions in beer. And then, brown the sausages in butter before adding them to the onion mixture.
At the same time, a sprig of parsley is usually added at this point. The dish can be served with boiled potatoes, red cabbage, rye bread, or pretzels as accompaniments.
With plenty of delicious options for every palate, this is a German Christmas food you can make on this festive occasion.
15. Hot German Potato Salad as German Christmas Food
Hot German Potato Salad is a staple of German Christmas food. Potatoes are boiled, cooled, peeled, and mixed with butter, bacon or ham, onion, parsley, and salt.
Furthermore, the mix is heated until the butter melts and everything begins to simmer. Finally, it is served warm with a sprinkling of chives for color!
16. Sausage, Apple, and Sauerkraut Skillet Supper
Sausage, Apple, and Sauerkraut Skillet Supper are traditional German Christmas food. It’s an easy recipe that can be served as a main dish with mashed potatoes or rice.
The recipe is below:
- Unsalted butter
- Onion, chopped
- Red pepper, chopped
- Cloves garlic, minced
- Worcestershire sauce
- All-purpose flour
- Chicken broth (or more if needed)
- Apples, peeled and chopped into small cubes
- Sausage (I used spicy kielbasa), casing removed and crumbled.
Speaking of Sauerbraten as a German Christmas food, this is a traditional dish from the south of Germany.
It is typically served with boiled potatoes and red cabbage. The meat takes about five hours to cook, but it’s worth the wait.
Additionally, the gravy is made from beef stock and wine, combined with brown sugar and vinegar. The result is a sweet-and-sour flavor that compliments the richly flavored beef.
18. Potato, Turnip, and Spinach Baeckeoffe
One of Germany’s most traditional and beloved dishes is Potato, Turnip, and Spinach Baeckeoffe. Baeckeoffe is a type of oven-baked casserole dish that originated in Germany.
It consists of beef, onions, bacon, butter, flour, salt, and pepper baked in a clay pot with potatoes (or other root vegetables) on the bottom.
Usually, German Christmas food includes some type of green vegetable, such as spinach or kale, for color. This hearty meal can be eaten on its own or as a side dish with bread.
Baeckeoffe is traditionally served during winter months, as it can take up to three hours to cook properly over an open flame or in an oven.
19. Grandma Zerr’s Apricot Kuchen
Make Grandma Zerr’s apricot kuchen if you’re in the mood for a sweet dessert this holiday season. The dough comprises flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and yeast.
It has a mixture of apricot jam and chopped nuts as well. The result is a spongy cake with the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.
If you’re looking for something that will remind you of home this season, try a perfect German Christmas food, Grandma Zerr’s Apricot Kuchen!
20. Pork Loin Braised with Cabbage
Pork loin braised with cabbage is a traditional German dish that is typically served for the holidays. It’s a really simple recipe, and it can be made using items you have on hand.
So let’s get to the procedure of making this German Christmas food: First, the pork loin should be sliced into about 1/2-inch thick pieces.
Then, mix brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the meat pieces and add them to a large skillet or Dutch oven.
Next, add cabbage, onion, and carrots to the pan around the meat and pour water over everything until it covers the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, so it simmers gently for an hour or two until everything is very tender.
21. Bavarian Sauerkraut Bread
Bavarian Sauerkraut Bread is a traditional bread-like dish that is popular during the holiday season. It originated in Bavaria, Germany, and was introduced to the rest of Europe when Napoleon’s troops invaded.
This delicious snack can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and even between meals. Traditionally, this dish is made by spreading butter on a slice of bread and topping it with sauerkraut.
And then covering it with another slice of bread. The result is an amazing taste sensation that will make you want more!
22. Dried-Cherry Streusel Kuchen
Christmas is a time for indulging, and what better way to do that than with some delicious dessert? A streusel is a good option because it’s typically less sweet than other desserts.
This recipe includes dried cherries and almonds, which gives the kuchen an extra depth of flavor. It also has cinnamon, which is important in any baked goods at Christmas.
Pfeffernüsse is the next German Christmas food to be discussed. It is a traditional German cookie that tastes just as good as it sounds. These delicious treats contain butter, flour, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon.
Then, they are shaped into balls and dusted with confectioners’ sugar before being baked in the oven for about 15 minutes. Finally, they’re ready to be eaten!
24. Rubbed Pork Loin with Apricot Glaze and Sauerkraut
German culture is much more diverse than traditional pretzels, sausages, and beer. In fact, several dishes are just as traditional but need to be more well-known.
One of these foods is a Rubbed Pork Loin with Apricot Glaze and Sauerkraut. This German Christmas food can be served at room temperature or hot with mashed potatoes or spaetzle.
25. Grilled Beer-cooked Sausages
On our German Christmas food list, we have Grilled Beer-cooked Sausages. They are a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for the winter holidays.
These sausages are prepared by boiling them in beer before grilling them over the fire. In particular, the result is a flavorful, juicy sausage infused with the beer’s flavor.
Grilled Beer-cooked Sausages are served with mustard and fried onions or sauerkraut. These add to the wonderful flavors and give this dish an authentic German flair.
26. Goat Cheese Mousse
A mousse is a light, airy dessert perfect for the holidays. It’s also a delicious way to serve goat cheese, which can be hard for some people to stomach. This recipe makes a rather large quantity, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers for the whole family.
However, if you’re not into goat cheese, feel free to substitute it with something else. —For example, if you prefer blue cheese, you could use bleu instead.
The more adventurous cook might even want to try it with one of the many other soft cheese varieties. With this German Christmas food, the possibilities are endless!
27. German Spaghetti
Traditional German Christmas fare mixes rich meats, carbohydrates, and desserts. One such dish is Spätzle (German for little sparrow) which are small noodles that are often served as an appetizer with butter and parsley.
The noodles are made by beating eggs in a large bowl with flour, then salt and water until they form a dough that can be shaped by hand into thin strings.
Afterward, the dough is pressed through a garlic press to create long spaghetti-like strands. These strands are boiled in salted water until they float to the top.
This makes them ready to serve on their own or mixed with butter, herbs, and cheese. It’s customary to eat this dish on December 24th before going to church for midnight mass.
28. Individual Apple Strudels
Apple Strudels are a traditional dessert in Germany and a quintessential part of the holiday season. They’re often served as an accompaniment to coffee, tea, or as a snack with butter.
And they’re delicious! At least, it is German Christmas food; what more do you expect? Proceeding the dough is made from flour, eggs, sugar, milk, and butter.
It is then topped with apples that have been stewed in sugar and lemon juice. Other ingredients include cinnamon, raisins, and almonds.
Meanwhile, rolling out the dough is the most difficult part of making Apple Strudels. This is because it needs to be thin enough to cook evenly on both sides but not so thin that it breaks when handled. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to make your apple strudel with little effort!
29. German-Style Potato Salad
In Germany, potato salad is a common dish served as an accompaniment to meat dishes. It’s typically made by boiling potatoes and then adding hard-boiled eggs, pickles, onions, and mayonnaise or mustard.
However, some regions will use vinegar instead of mayonnaise or mustard in the dressing. A variation on this dish, known as Alsatian potato salad, comes with bacon and cornichons. This particular German Christmas food will wow your guests!
30. Chicken Soup with Cabbage and Apple
Believe it or not, traditional German Christmas food does not consist entirely of sausages and beer. Other dishes can be enjoyed during the Christmas season.
One is this recipe for chicken soup with cabbage and apple:
- Finely chopped onion
- Whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts, boiled in salted water for 15 minutes, then cut into small pieces.
- Potatoes, peeled and cubed
- Large carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
31. Glühwein (Mulled Wine)
Christmas is a time for friends and family to get together, share stories and enjoy delicious food. Glühwein (mulled wine) is one of the most popular drinks of the season and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Additionally, mulling spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are added to red wine. This is to create a warming drink that’s perfect for chilly evenings by the fire.
Sip it from a mug as you listen to carols or play board games with your loved ones. You are definitely going to enjoy every bit of this German Christmas food.
32. Apple-Stuffed Pork Chops
Apple-stuffed Pork Chops are German Christmas food too. This dish combines two classic German foods: pork chops and sauerkraut. The preparation starts by seasoning the chop with salt, pepper, and thyme leaves.
Then, apple sauce and brown sugar are spread over the pork chops. Further, the sauerkraut is mixed with white wine vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, and paprika.
Finally, the meat is covered in the sauerkraut mixture before being baked for 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
33. Poppy-Seed Braid (Mohnzopf)
A poppy-seed braid (Mohnzopf) is a sweet, dense bread that’s traditionally eaten in Germany during the winter holidays.
It’s made with yeast, eggs, butter, milk, and flour. The dough is mixed with chopped poppy seeds and soaked overnight.
In the morning, it’s baked with raisins and almonds. Icing is not necessary because the braid tastes so good already! Some people also call this bread Leipzig Lebkuchen.
Seeing this German Christmas food will surely get you salivating; imagine you have a bite; just imagine!
Traditional German Christmas food is largely dictated by the season and what is readily available. There is no single German dish that everyone eats on December 25th.
However, there are a few dishes that you’re more likely to find in Germany during December than at any other time of year.
One of these dishes is Lebkuchen, a traditional hard-candy gingerbread cookie that tastes like gingerbread.
It’s believed to be around 400 years old, dating back to the mid-1600s when it was first made for the Lebkuchen-Spenden (Lebkuchen Donation).
That was an annual charitable event where people would donate money and receive cookies in return.
Springerle is a type of cookie that originated in Germany. They’re made from flour, butter, eggs, and sugar and are often decorated to look like gingerbread men or other holiday icons.
The dough is pressed onto a well-greased sheet pan until it forms the desired shape, then baked at high heat for about ten minutes.
Springerles are typically served as snacks during the Advent season and at Christmas time. This is because they can be stored in an airtight container for up to two months without going stale.
36. Spaetzle Baked with Ham and Gruyère
For many people, Spaetzle is a popular dish eaten at the traditional German Christmas feast. The dish is made from egg noodles and flour that are cut into small pieces by pushing them through a sieve with a spoon.
The process of making Spaetzle can be quite tedious and time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort when they are cooked to perfection.
This German Christmas food can be served with toppings, including butter, cheese, or fresh herbs. One of my favorite ways to eat this dish is by baking with ham and gruyère cheese in the oven for about fifteen minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
This tradition originated in Swabia in Germany centuries ago and has been enjoyed ever since as a traditional part of the holiday meal.
37. Herring and Apple Salad
Consider herring and apple salad if you’re looking for a new German Christmas food to try this year. This recipe is a perfect blend of sweet and savory.
It’s made with apples, onions, sour cream, mayonnaise, celery seed, allspice, and salt. In addition, the ingredients are mixed in the dish before being topped with thinly sliced raw herring. And if you’re unsure how to cook herring for this dish – don’t worry!
38. German Roast Pork & Sauerkraut
Many people think the best German Christmas food is the infamous Currywurst, but this couldn’t be more false.
The truth is, the best food in Germany during the holiday season is a roast pork dish with sauerkraut. It’s an old-fashioned dish that has been handed down from generation to generation.
Besides, this meal would traditionally be served at Christmas dinner. And it’s most often eaten cold or warmed up on the stovetop for breakfast.
The dish has all sorts of names: Sauerkraut mit Schinken, Schweinebraten mit Sauerkraut, Schweinshaxe mit Sauerkraut, and many others.
39. Bacon-Roasted Potatoes and Shallots
Bacon-Roasted Potatoes and Shallots are an unusual but delicious side dish. They can be prepared in advance, then popped into the oven during the last hour of cooking time before dinner is served to warm them up.
To make this treat, start by washing and peeling large russet potatoes, then slice them into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.
Next, place them on a sheet pan in a single layer with the shallots on top of one side of the potatoes and salt sprinkled over both sides.
Sprinkle bacon strips over the shallot side of the potatoes, along with a drizzle of olive oil and thyme or rosemary as desired. Bake for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees F until crispy.
40. Christmas Stollen
Christmas Stollen is a traditional German cake that is made of flour, butter, sugar, yeast, and raisins. The dough is mixed with milk, rum or wine, and orange peel.
The dough is kneaded for some time until it becomes elastic and smooth before being put in an oven to bake.
After baking, the dough can be left as it is or covered with powdered sugar and then eaten as a dessert or snack. Many people eat this bread to celebrate the holidays because it tastes delicious! This ends our German Christmas food list!
Christmas is a time of celebration and tradition. When you celebrate with family and friends, it’s important to include food that will make the occasion special.
This year, instead of going for the same old turkey, ham, and mashed potatoes – we created the German Christmas food list above to guide you on what you need to try.
Meanwhile, Christmas time in Germany is full of rich food traditions, like stollen and Weihnachtsgans (Christmas goose).
But it’s also full of foods you may not be familiar with, which makes it so special! These are the best German Christmas foods you’ve never heard of but need to try.
Use this list to plan your German Christmas food shopping, and get ready to enjoy the season!