German Christmas Goose (We ihnachtsgans)

German Christmas goose recipe weihnachtgans

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
214 Calories
6g Fat
31g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 214
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 1913mg 83%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 8mg 39%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 396mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Weihnachtsgans or German Christmas goose is the preferred fowl choice, along with duck, for festive occasions. Turkey is rarely seen on holiday dinner tables. Goose, for that matter, is rarely seen anymore, as well, which is a shame because it is so simple to prepare. Like other poultry, onions, ​thyme, and fruit are great seasoning choices with goose.


For the Goose:

  • 1 (4 1/2-pound) goose

  • 1 tablespoon salt, more for the bird

  • 1 dash pepper

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • 2 medium apples, cored and quartered

  • 1 small onion, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips

For the Gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons pan drippings

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth

  • Salt, optional

  • Freshly ground black pepper, optional

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, optional

  • Canned peaches, currant jelly, buttered Brussels sprouts, potato croquettes, for serving

Steps to Make It

Make the Goose

  1. Gather the Ingredients.

    Grerman Christmas goose recipe weihnachtgans
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Heat oven to 350 F.

  3. Wash and dry the goose, like you would a chicken or turkey. Sprinkle a dash of salt, the pepper, and thyme inside the cavity and fill with apple quarters and onions. If they don’t all fit, you can cook them alongside the goose in a small, buttered dish.

    Wash and dry the goose
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Mix 1 tablespoon salt with 1 cup of water and pour that into the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the roasting rack on top. Pierce the goose skin in several places to let the fat drip out as it cooks.

    Mix salt
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Put the goose, breast-side down, on the roasting rack and place in oven for 50 minutes. Use the salt water mixture to baste the goose several times during this period. Add more water to drip pan if necessary. Turn the goose over onto its back and cook, basting as needed, for 50 minutes.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Let the goose rest for 5 minutes as you make the gravy.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Gravy

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for seasoning
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  2. Mix 2 tablespoons of the pan drippings with 2 tablespoons flour in a small saucepan and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring well after each addition. Add salt, pepper, and thyme, if using, to taste. Keep warm.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Serve the goose and gravy with canned peach halves decorated with currant jelly (if you don't want to make currant jelly or can't find it prepared. Cranberry sauce is a fine substitute), buttered Brussels sprouts, potato croquettes (or mashed potatoes), and the cooked apples and onions.

    Serve the goose
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 

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