A lot of typical German food is simple, comforting, and easy to make. If you are hosting a German-themed lunch or dinner party, or just want some international inspiration, look no further. This simple German menu is based on one that you may easily find at lunchtime in a restaurant, a cafeteria, or at home. Lunch is typically a heartier meal, with a smaller meal for dinner. Use this menu for whatever time of day works best for you.
These recipes should be very familiar to your German friends or any German visitors. They are easy to make and not exotic but will give you a good feeling for the different tastes in this cuisine. All the ingredients should be available at any local grocery store.
One Simple, Everyday Menu
If you're feeling ambitious, make this whole menu for a full German meal. Otherwise, pick and choose what you want to make from this menu below.
- Koenigsberger Klopse: These are meatballs in a white sauce flavored with lemon juice and capers. This style of sauce originated in Königsberg (now in Poland) but are now found all over the country. Note that ground meat recipes usually have at least two different meats. Most often it is pork and beef, but it may include ground veal or lamb, or sometimes fish. A white sauce on meatballs may be new to American palates. It's a rich dish, but very tasty.
- Boiled potatoes: Although not a “recipe,” follow these instructions to make Dampfkartoffeln. These boiled potatoes are a very traditional German side dish.
- Green beans: Gruene Bohnen is a regular side dish for the typical German lunch plate. You can start with a basic recipe, but know there are variations including adding cream, sour cream, bacon, and onions. There are also many casseroles that include green beans.
- Cucumber salad is made with a sugar/vinegar dressing. Known as Gurkensalat, it's another well-known side dish that is also low in calories and tastes great. Add it to your repertoire and make this classic salad for picnic lunches or barbeque dinners.
- Quark pudding is a traditional dessert. A simple fresh-cheese dish, Quarkspeise, is slightly sweetened and served with fresh fruit. Germans do not use as much sugar in their sweet dishes as Americans typically do so you may need to add sugar to taste.
Once you've made your German lunch fest, try to expand out and add some more German dishes to your meal plans. Germany is known for its sausages. You can host an Octoberfest party and have a wide variety of German sausages, beers, and pretzels. There are also lots of cozy holiday traditions. German sweets including gingerbread, cookies, and streusel-topped treats are another way to eat your way through the holiday season. Enjoy the cuisine and all the fun that cooking new flavors brings to you and your eaters.