38 German Christmas Recipes (2024)

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38 German Christmas Recipes (1)Caroline StankoUpdated: Feb. 21, 2023

    Bring home your favorite Christkindlmarket flavors with these German Christmas mains, sides and desserts!


    Pork Schnitzel with Sauce

    I make big fans whenever I serve this German-style schnitzel pork schnitzel recipe. It’s a Christmastime favorite —Diane Katzmark, Metamora, Michigan. Looking for more? Check out these German Christmas dinner recipes.

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    Almond Spritz Cookies

    This almond spritz cookies recipe can be left plain or decorated with colored sugar and frosting. In our house, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without some cookie press recipes.—Tanya Hart, Muncie, Indiana

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    Slow-Cooker Sauerbraten

    My family is of German Lutheran descent, and although we enjoy this traditional beef roast, I never liked the amount of time and fuss it takes to make it. This recipe is so good and oh-so-easy. It's great served with dumplings, spaetzle, veggies or a salad. —Norma English, Baden, Pennsylvania

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    Find more Christmas dinners from around the world.


    Taste of Home

    Old-Fashioned Stollen

    Stollen is a Christmas tradition in Germany. The fruit-filled yeast bread is topped with icing, candied fruit and almonds. Its shape resembles a giant Parker House roll. —Linda Hinners, Brookfield, Wisconsin

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    Check out our traditional French Christmas recipes.


    Savory Sausage Stuffing

    I used to make the same old dressing every year. About 10 years ago, I decided to jazz up my recipe by adding pork sausage. Now everyone requests this dish for all our holiday meals. —Ursula Hernandez, Waltham, Minnesota

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    Mulled Wine

    Called gluhwein in German, this mulled wine is soothing and satisfying with a delightful blend of spices warmed to perfection. Refrigerating the wine mixture overnight allows the flavors to blend, so don’t omit this essential step. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Apricot Almond Torte

    This pretty cake takes a bit of time, so I like to make the layers ahead of time and assemble the day of serving, making it an easier option for Christmas entertaining. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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    Bratwurst Supper

    Loaded with chunks of bratwurst, red potatoes, mushrooms and carrots, this one-dish meal makes an easy German-inspired Christmas dinner. —Janice Meyer, Medford, Wisconsin

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    Old-Fashioned Molasses Cake

    This old-world spice cake is lower in fat but big on flavor. Serve it warm for breakfast on a frosty morning or have a square with hot cider on a snowy afternoon. It’s a great Christmas treat. —Deanne Bagley, Bath, New York


    Slow-Cooked Sauerkraut Soup

    We live in Lancaster County, which has a rich heritage of German culture. Our dishes often include sauerkraut, potatoes and sausage. We enjoy this recipe on cold winter evenings, along with muffins and fruit. —Linda Lohr, Lititz, Pennsylvania

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    German Potato Dumplings

    Potato dumplings (called Kartoffel Kloesse in Germany) are a delightful addition to any German feast. The browned butter sauce is delectable.—Arline Hofland, Deer Lodge, Montana

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    Smoked Honey-Peppercorn Salmon

    I found this recipe in an Alaska fishing guide. Now it's the only way we do salmon. The brine gives it a sweet caramelized coating, and the hickory wood chips give it a distinct smoky flavor. —Judy Ashby, Jamestown, Tennessee

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    Chewy German Chocolate Cookies

    When I want a cookie that’s as chewy as a brownie, this is the recipe I reach for. Coffee granules add the right amount of mocha flavor. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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    Taste of Home

    Country Potato Pancakes

    These potato pancakes are really versatile. They can be a side dish for just about any meal or the main course for a light meal. Potato pancakes go particularly well with pork. We have them often at our house. —Lydia Robotewskyj, Franklin, Wisconsin

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    Oma's Apfelkuchen (Grandma's Apple Cake)

    My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to "Grandma’s apple cake." They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio

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    Taste of Home

    Duck Breasts with Apricot Chutney

    When it comes to holiday main dishes, duck is an unsung hero. When serving this entree as part of a buffet, try using chafing dish to keep it warm. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Chocolate Lebkuchen

    Having lived in Germany, I try to keep my German cooking as authentic as possible. This lovely lebkuchen recipe is a culinary Christmas custom. —Cathy Lemmon, Quinlan, Texas

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    Aunt Grace's Eggnog

    When I was growing up, I couldn't get enough of the nonalcoholic eggnog my aunt always prepared for us kids. Now I enjoy this adult version. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin

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    Taste of Home

    Sausage Lentil Soup

    I first tasted this wonderful soup at a friend's house. Now it's my favorite, especially on a cool, crisp night. —Catherine Rowe, Berthoud, Colorado


    Taste of Home

    Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Vegetables

    I appreciate this recipe because it includes a side dish of roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts and carrots, giving me one less Christmas dish to think about! —Janet Tucker, Bellevue, Ohio

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    Rustic Caramel Apple Tart

    Like an apple pie without the pan, this scrumptious tart has a crispy crust that cuts nicely and a yummy caramel topping. —Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas

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    Standing Rib Roast

    This standing rib roast recipe is practically foolproof. Treat your family to tender slices of standing rib roast or use the seasoning blend on a different beef roast for a hearty, delicious main dish. I love to prepare this recipe for special occasions. —Lucy Meyring, Walden, Colorado

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    It's tradition for my family to make these German treats together. The recipe came from my great-grandmother's cookbook, and judging from the amount of requests I get, it has certainly stood the test of time. —Esther Kempker, Jefferson City, Missouri

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    Taste of Home

    German Red Cabbage

    Sunday afternoons were a time for family gatherings when I was a kid. While the uncles played cards, the aunts made treats such as this traditional German red cabbage recipe. —Jeannette Heim, Dunlap, Tennessee

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    Taste of Home

    Rich Fruit Kuchens

    This German classic is such a part of our reunions, we designate a special place to serve it. Five generations flock to the "Kuchen Room" for this coffee cake. —Stephanie Schentzel, Northville, South Dakota

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    Parmesan Baked Potatoes

    It always amazed me that this simple recipe could make potatoes taste so good. Mom liked to make them for Easter because they were more special than ordinary baked potatoes. —Ruth Seitz, Columbus Junction, Iowa

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    Taste of Home

    Cranberry Conserve

    I'm 95, and I still remember my grandmother from Germany making this lovely, delicious conserve for the holidays. She'd give it to family members and friends. It tastes great served as a relish alongside meat or even spread on biscuits.-Mildred Marsh Banker, Austin, Texas

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    Taste of Home

    Frosted Gingerbread Nut Cookies

    I received the recipe for these soft ginger cookies from a dear friend who has since passed away. A comforting classic like this always satisfies. —Karyn Rogers, Hemet, California

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    Sauerkraut Casserole

    Mom brewed her own sauerkraut and, of course, the cabbage was from our big farm garden! Blending the kraut with spicy sausage and apples was Mom's favorite way to fix it, and I still love this country dish. —Rosemary Pryor, Pasadena, Maryland

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    Taste of Home

    Bavarian Pot Roast

    Since all my grandparents were German, it's no wonder that so many Bavarian recipes have been handed down to me. Because the Midwest has such a large German population, I feel this recipe represents the area well. —Susan Robertson, Hamilton, Ohio

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    The sweetness of the apples and onions nicely complements the roast pork. With its crisp, golden exterior and melt-in-your-mouth flavor, this pork is my family's favorite weekend dinner. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia

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    Pfeffernuesse Cookies

    A German holiday tradition, these fragrant pfeffernuesse cookies pack a warm rush of spices in every bite. Also called peppernuts, they go wonderfully with coffee or tea.—Joanne Nelson, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

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    Taste of Home

    Deluxe German Potato Salad

    I make this for all occasions because it goes well with any kind of meat. When I take the warm salad to bring-a-dish events, there are rarely leftovers! —Betty Perkins, Hot Springs, Arkansas

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    Spiced German Cookies

    These buttery spice cookies are a cross between sugar cookies and gingerbread, creating the best of both worlds. —April Drasin, Van Nuys, California

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    Authentic German Potato Salad

    This authentic German potato salad is a staple on Christmas spreads across the country. I’ve had this recipe for decades. —Violette Klevorn, Washington, Missouri

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    Roast Christmas Goose

    I have such fond childhood memories of Christmas dinner and my mother serving a golden brown Christmas goose. To flavor the meat, Mom stuffed the bird with peeled and quartered fruit that's discarded after baking. —Rosemarie Force, Heathsville, Virginia

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    Gingerbread Men Cookies

    No Christmas treat platter would be complete without gingerbread men cookies! This is a tried-and-true recipe I’m happy to share with you. —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland

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    Apple-Roasted Pork with Cherry Balsamic Glaze

    I added roasted apples, cherries and onions to turn ordinary pork into an impressive dish. There is a short time span between caramelized onions and burned ones, so pay close attention once they start cooking. —Josh Downey, McHenry, Illinois

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    Originally Published: November 02, 2017

    38 German Christmas Recipes (39)

    Caroline Stanko

    Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish.When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer co*cktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.

    38 German Christmas Recipes (2024)


    What is a traditional German Christmas dinner menu? ›

    Treat guests to a traditional German Christmas dinner with classic dishes like roasted goose legs, braised red cabbage. and dumplings, and don't forget the mulled wine and platter of gorgeous, festive cookies.

    What is the most popular meal to have on Christmas Eve in Germany? ›

    Potato salad with sausages

    This is indeed one of the number one favourite meals for a German Christmas Eve. One-third of the population serves potato salad with sausages. This perfectly demonstrates the saying that less, in this case, really is more.

    What is the most traditional Christmas dessert in Germany? ›

    The traditional German cake for Xmas is called (der) Stollen (Christstollen or Weihnachtsstollen) with Stollen originally meaning pillar. It is made of yeast dough and contains nuts and dried fruit such as raisin.

    What is the most popular Christmas tradition in Germany? ›

    In Germany, people use an Adventskranz, or advent wreath, with four candles on it to celebrate the four advents or the four Sundays before Christmas. On each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas Eve, a candle is lit. After lightning the first candle, the Christmas season officially begins.

    What do Germans drink for Christmas? ›

    Mulled wine is the main drink at the markets. It's so popular that many of the markets have special decorated cups for the wine. You pay a deposit for them and get it back when you return them or just keep the cup as a souvenir of your visit.

    What do they call Santa in Germany? ›

    German children call Santa Claus 'Weihnachtsmann' which translates to Christmas man. The Weihnachtsmann is a recent Christmas tradition which has little if any religious or folkloric background.

    What is Santa called in Germany? ›

    Santa Claus - Der Weihnachtsmann

    The term Weihnachtsmann is a very generic German term for Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus. The German Weihnachtsmann is a fairly recent Christmas tradition having little if any religious or folkloric background.

    What day do Germans eat Christmas dinner? ›

    The Christmas meal in Germany is a very important part of the Christmas celebration. This is usually an extravagant, multi-course meal enjoyed on December 25th. On Christmas Eve, December 24th, a simpler meal is served.

    What is a German cookie called? ›

    Lebkuchen is a traditional German cookie that is usually baked for Christmas. It is most like a soft gingerbread cookie, made with molasses and full of warm spices. The glaze provides the perfect complement, a little sweet and with a hint of lemon.

    What is a unique German Christmas tradition? ›

    The tradition of Advent wreaths was started by German Lutherans in the 16th century, and today the wreath is still an icon of Christmas in Germany. The wreath consists of four candles in a bed of pine cones, berries, dried flowers and Christmas ornaments.

    What is a German fruitcake called? ›

    German Fruitcake

    Stollen: Flattened with a chewy crust, Stollen is often baked more like a traditional loaf of sourdough bread. Stollen also forgoes the usual candied cherries and pineapple in exchange for citrus zest, candied citrus peels, raisins, and almonds.

    What German town is known for Christmas? ›


    Arguably one of the most famous Christmas markets in the world, the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is visited by millions each year.

    How do Germans say Merry Christmas? ›

    In German, the phrase "Frohe Weihnachten!" which translates to "Merry Christmas” is commonly used. If you prefer a more neutral expression, say "Frohes Fest!" ("Happy Celebration!") or "Schöne Feiertage!" ("Beautiful Holidays!").

    How is German Christmas different from American Christmas? ›

    German people celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve - December 24th, and most stores are closed after 2 pm on this day. The following 2 days - 25th and 26th of December are national holidays. Unlike American kids, German kids open their gifts on December 24th (lucky them!).

    What is the most traditional Christmas dinner? ›

    Traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. Other types of poultry, roast beef, or ham, are also used.

    Why do Germans eat goose at Christmas? ›

    One legend has it that Queen Elizabeth I was gobbling up goose when she heard the British had defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, ordering all of England to mimic her dinner at Christmas. The tradition then presumably spread from England to Germany, where it stuck.

    What is a German Christmas tree called? ›

    A Tannenbaum is a fir tree. The lyrics do not actually refer to Christmas, or describe a decorated Christmas tree. Instead, they refer to the fir's evergreen quality as a symbol of constancy and faithfulness. Anschütz based his text on a 16th-century Silesian folk song by Melchior Franck, "Ach Tannenbaum".


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