Make German Fried Meat Patties

Frikadellen recipe

The Spruce 

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings

Here is a basic, easy-to-make recipe for German, pan-fried meat patties or frikadellen. Other German names for this dish are buletten or fleischpflanzln.

Whatever the name, these little beauties are quick to make. German recipes for meat patties often contain day-old rolls, chopped bacon, fresh herbs, caraway, and sometimes chopped pickles. Flavorful, fresh marjoram is a component in many variations.

Traditionally made with day-old white bread, you also can substitute 1/2 cup oatmeal microwaved 2 minutes in 1/2 cup milk for added nutrition.

Serve these with your favorite sauce, a side of salad and potatoes. 


  • 1 cup onion (about 1/2 of a large onion, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil
  • 1 (2-ounce) roll (day-old, softened in hot milk or water and squeezed dry)
  • 1 pound ground meat (half pork and half beef)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram (chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Optional: seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Optional: Maggi or Fondor seasonings

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Frikadellen recipe ingredients
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  2. Place chopped onion in a small bowl, drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent. Cool slightly.

    Chopped onions in bowl
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  3. To a medium bowl, add softened and squeezed-dry bread and break it into small pieces.

    bread pieces in bowl
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  4. Add the meat, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, marjoram, and the cooked onion and mix well.

    meat, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, marjoram, and the cooked onion mixed in bowl
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  5. Heat butter and olive oil together in a large skillet.

    Oil in skillet
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  6. Form 4 patties of the meat mixture. You might want to roll your patties in dried, seasoned breadcrumbs before frying for a really nice, crispy exterior.

    4 Frikadellen patties uncooked on plate
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  7. Fry them in the heated skillet over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. 

    Frikadellen patties frying in skillet
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  8. Transfer the patties to a baking sheet and place in a heated 350 F oven for 15 minutes or until done. You also can continue frying them until they are no longer pink inside.

    4 Frikadellen patties on cooking sheet
     The Spruce
  9. Serve on a lettuce leaf with a side of potato salad and some mustard. A cold beer goes well with this small meal.

    Frikadellen patties on lettuce on plate
    The Spruce
  10. Enjoy!


  • If you have German relatives, they might tell you to add some Maggi or Fondor to the meat mixture. These are two related products. One is liquid, the other a powder. They contain salt, gluten, glutamate, starch and a proprietary herb-and-spice mixture, and have a distinct taste of lovage (related to celery). You can add a teaspoon or two to almost any savory dish you make, and some people use Maggi as a tableside condiment, like soy sauce or steak sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • Meat Patties with Caraway: Known as frikadellen mit Kümmel or Berlin-style meat patties, substitute 1 teaspoon caraway and 2 teaspoons prepared mustard for the parsley and marjoram in the above directions. Fry as directed. Serve with bratkartoffeln and mustard or with a hard roll.
  • Meat Patties with Bacon: Add 4 ounces of bauchspeck or bacon that has been put through a meat grinder to the meat mixture before frying.