Traditional German Meat Dishes for Chicken, Beef, and Pork

Meat in cooking pan
Kay Fochtmann / EyeEm / Getty Images

When you think meat and you think Germany, you probably think bratwurst, frankfurters, or all the other sausages that represent the country so well on a plate. There are also many traditional meat dishes in the country's culinary repertoire.

In fact, Germany does have a meat and potatoes reputation. Schnitzel, sauerbraten, stews, oven and pot roasts, and geschnetzeltes (stir-fries) are all wonderful ways to enjoy German flavors in a meat-packed meal. Even, the ever-popular hamburger is a word that originated in Germany, named after one of the largest cities in Germany, Hamburg.

Try some of these tasty German dishes, and enjoy!

  • 01 of 05

    German Roasts

    Bavarian ham hocks recipe

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

    In German recipes, if you see the word schwein, you are looking at a pork recipe. The English word "swine" is related to the German word. Another word to know is braten, which simply means roast meat. Roasts are easier to make than you might think. Try your hand at one of these beef or pork roasts.

  • 02 of 05

    German Hamburgers


    The Spruce 

    Hamburg, Germany, is the second-largest city in Germany and is believed to be where the popular American dish, hamburgers, originated from. Many references point to the first "Hamburg steak" being served between two pieces of bread on the Hamburg America Line, the transatlantic shipping line between Germany and America.

    Most hamburger recipes usually use a mixture of ground pork and beef. The ground pork adds moistness to the finished dish. You can interchangeably use ground beef, ground veal, or ground turkey as you see fit. Try one these for a twist on a classic burger:

  • 03 of 05

    German Cutlets (Schnitzel)

    Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe

    The Spruce

    Most everyone has heard of wienerschnitzel. But what about hunter's schnitzel or gypsy schnitzel? When you see schnitzel in a recipe, it is usually pounded meat cooked like a cutlet. The word comes from the German sniz meaning "slice."

  • 04 of 05

    German Chicken

    Brathaenchen - East German Recipe for Fried or Grilled Chicken
    Brathaenchen - East German Recipe for Fried or Grilled Chicken. J.McGavin

    Chicken is popular in Germany and they are many tasty ways of preparing it like roasting, grilling, or in a sauce. If you are looking for a traditional roast chicken then you want a brathähnchen or hendel. You can simply season the whole chicken with salt and pepper or spice it up with paprika, coriander, sage, fennel, rosemary, or caraway seeds. After an hour in the oven, your bird is cooked. For a saucier chicken, try Drunken Chicken in Red-Wine Sauce (Beschwipster huhn).

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    German Stir-Fry (Geschnetzeltes)

    Tarragon Ragout - Estragon Geschnetzeltes
    Tarragon Ragout - Estragon Geschnetzeltes. J.McGavin

    German stir-fries or sautés are made with veal, chicken, or thinly cut strips of pork. Usually dressed in a cream sauce, they make a thoroughly delicious comfort food dish when served with spaetzle noodles, rice, or potatoes.

    These stew-like stir-fries are popular throughout Germany and Switzerland, some versions are named Züricher geschnetzeltes for the Swiss capital city. It is ideal for the busy cook since it only takes about 30 minutes to make. Start with this Swiss ragout recipe (Züricher geschnetzeltes) for an introduction into German stir-fries.