German Frikadellen are delicious and fluffy meat patties that are loved by everyone! They are flavorful, soft, and pair perfectly with potato salads or pasta salads. Plus, they are super easy to make!
If you’ve tried German Frikadellen before, then you’ll know how soft and delicious they are. The secret to making tender Frikadellen is using stale bread that is soaked in milk or water. Other ingredients like onions, parsley, and various spices add flavor and make these meat patties taste incredibly delicious!
Another great thing is that Frikadellen go really well with super tasty side dishes like German potato salad or creamy mashed potatoes. Frikadellen, mashed potatoes, carrots, and green peas used to be one of my favorite meals when I was younger. And it still is today.
So if this sounds like something you’d enjoy, then I highly recommend trying this German Frikadellen recipe!
To make German Frikadellen, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Ground beef and ground pork: Frikadellen are traditionally made with a combination of ground beef and ground pork. I’d recommend sticking with a combination and going with only ground beef if you don’t eat pork.
- Stale bread: In Germany, we use stale „Brötchen“ to make Frikadellen. But other types of bread work, too! So just use whatever leftover stale bread you have on hand to make these soft meat patties.
- Milk: Milk is used for soaking the bread. If you want to keep the Frikadellen dairy-free, you can use water instead.
- Onion and garlic: Onions are an absolute must when you make Frikadellen. Garlic is great for adding some extra flavor but can be skipped. I would still recommend using it.
- Parsley: Parsley is another key ingredient. So definitely make sure you use it!
- Egg: You’ll need one egg to create a meat mixture that doesn’t fall apart.
- Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard or other types of mustard are commonly used to make Frikadellen. It’s great for adding flavor and making them taste extra delicious!
- Seasonings: Except for salt and pepper, Frikadellen don’t necessarily need a lot of seasonings. I’d still recommend using paprika powder and dried marjoram since they taste great. But if you don’t have them on hand, you can skip them.
- Butter: Butter is used to sauté the onion. If you want to keep this recipe dairy-free, you can use vegan butter or some oil as a replacement.
How to make Frikadellen
Making Frikadellen is super simple! Just follow these steps:
- Soak: Add the bread and milk to a bowl. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.
- Sauté: In the meantime, add some butter to a pan and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onion is soft.
- Knead: Now drain the milk and remove the moisture from the bread using a fine-mesh strainer or nut milk bag. Add all ingredients, except for the oil, to a large bowl and thoroughly knead everything with your hands.
- Shape: Next, roll the meat into balls and flatten them.
- Sear: It’s time to cook your Frikadellen! Preheat some oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Sear the patties from both sides and let them cook for around 15 minutes over medium heat until they are done. Serve and enjoy!
Tips & Notes
Here are a few notes to read through before you try this recipe for the first time.
- Don’t skip the bread. The bread is necessary to make the meat patties soft and fluffy. If you don’t use it, the final result will be tougher. So be sure to use some stale bread.
- Knead everything thoroughly. Really take your time when you knead the meat mixture. You want everything well-combined so the meat patties turn out tender!
- Make sure the Frikadellen are cooked through. Since they are a little thicker, it takes some time until they are cooked through. So make sure you let them cook for at least 12-15 minutes. And don’t worry too much about overcooking them, it’s probably not going to happen. In case you are unsure if they are done, you can cut one Frikadelle open and check the color.
- Turn them into Frikadellenbällchen: Frikadellenbällchen are almost the same as Frikadellen. The meat is shaped into small balls and then seared or baked in the oven. They are a fun way to switch things up and make for the perfect party or picnic food!
How to serve German Frikadellen
There are many different ways to serve these German meat patties. Here are some of my favorite side dishes:
- Potato salad: Potato salad is a common side dish for serving Frikadellen. I love to make this German potato salad that is super simple to make and really delicious!
- Pasta salad: Another option is making pasta salad. I don’t have a German pasta salad recipe on the website yet. But you could try this Italian-inspired pasta salad that tastes great!
- Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes are another classic German side dish! It’s one of my favorite comfort foods, especially when it’s served with Frikadellen.
- Bread: You could also use these meat patties to make a sandwich. It tastes great and is a quick way to make your meal more satiating.
- Green peas: Green peas are super nutritious and go really well with Frikadellen. So feel free to add some to your meal!
- Carrots: Carrots are another great vegetable option.
- Salad: Or maybe you want to make a side salad. I love to combine some leafy greens with tomatoes and cucumber dill salad. It’s super quick to make and tastes really delicious!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, this recipe is how Frikadellen are typically prepared in Germany. They are also enjoyed in other European countries, but the ingredients may differ from the ones I used in this recipe. So if you’re looking for an authentic German version, you can use this recipe.
If you have the extra time, I’d highly recommend taking the extra step and sautéing them first! They are a lot softer and combine much better with the meat when they are sautéed first.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze and thaw them when you want to enjoy them.
More simple and delicious German recipes
German foods are always pure comfort! Here are some of my favorite recipes that are super simple and delicious.
- German Potato Salad
- White Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
- German Potato Soup
- Chicken Fricassee
- Fried Potatoes and Onions (Bratkartoffeln)
- 1 ½ cup chopped stale bread
- ½ cup milk or water
- 1 tablespoon butter or vegan/dairy-free butter
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion finely diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork or ground beef for a pork-free option
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ - 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram optional, recommended
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or avocado oil for cooking
- Add the milk and chopped bread to a bowl. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, add some butter to a pan and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onion is soft.
- Now drain the milk and remove excess moisture from the bread using a fine-mesh strainer or nut milk bag. Add all ingredients, except for the vegetable oil, to a mixing bowl and thoroughly knead everything with your hands.
- Roll the meat mixture into balls and flatten them with your hands.
- Preheat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Then sear and cook the Frikadellen from both sides for around 15 minutes (7-8 minutes for each side) over medium heat until they are cooked through. Adjust the heat as needed so the Frikadellen don't burn. Enjoy!