15 Delicious German Thanksgiving Foods

German Thanksgiving Foods
Image credit: germangirlinamerica.com

We all know Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you’re planning on hosting or attending an American Thanksgiving celebration, then you’ll definitely want to know the top German Thanksgiving foods! 

In this article, we’ll explore some dishes popular with Germans all across Germany. There is one dish that may surprise you and other German Thanksgiving foods that will surely make your stomach growl!

Let’s get started!

1. Bratkartoffeln

Bratkartoffeln are a staple at any German thanksgiving celebration. They’re also called Pommes Frites or fried potatoes.

The most common way to make Bratkartoffeln is to cut potatoes into even-sized cubes. After, place them in a pot of cold water, and bring the pot to a boil for about 20 minutes. 

Then drain the potatoes and fry them in hot oil or butter until they are golden brown. When the potatoes are too hot from frying, sprinkle salt over them and eat them while they’re still piping hot and crispy!

One of my favorite ways to eat one of these German thanksgiving foods, Bratkartoffeln, is with Ketchup.

2. Tomato Soup

Tomato soup may sound different from traditional German Thanksgiving foods. But it’s actually one of the most popular and iconic dishes in Germany.

Tomato soup is called Tomatensuppe or Gemüsesuppe, which translates to tomato soup or vegetable soup. 

A traditional recipe for tomato soup typically includes onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and tomatoes. You can also add potatoes to make it heartier.

The result is a hearty and flavorful dish that really warms up your insides on those cold winter days.

3. German Yeast Dumplings

Yeast dumplings are a great alternative to bread or potatoes. They are typically served as a side dish with gravy. Also, they can be turned into a main dish by adding meat and vegetables. 

Meanwhile, these dumplings are made by mixing flour and yeast and adding warm water and salt. Then knead the dough until it is smooth. After letting the dough rise for about 30 minutes, it’s divided into pieces.

These pieces are rolled out into long ropes before being cut into sections about an inch in diameter. The ends of the ropes are pinched together to form rings before being boiled in salted water for about 20 minutes.

At this point, they’re ready to serve with your favorite dipping sauce or as part of your meal. These are also German Thanksgiving foods.

4. Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is a popular dish for any occasion, but it’s especially associated with the holidays. The shredded cabbage’s bright red color and tart flavor will bring life to your dinner table. Roasting the cabbage gives it a sweeter taste and beautiful golden-brown edges. 

Here are four ways you can prepare this one of the German Thanksgiving foods:

  1. Combine water, finely chopped red cabbage, salt, and sugar in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the liquid simmer. 
  2. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender (the longer it cooks, the more tender it becomes). 
  3. Uncover and continue cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated (this could take up to 40 minutes). 
  4. Serve warm or cold on its own or mix into other dishes.

5. Beef Roast with Gravy

On this list of German thanksgiving foods, this is also a traditional one that is roast beef with gravy. This roast beef dish is usually served with potatoes, rice, carrots, other vegetables, and gravy. 

The gravy is made by browning the meat in a pan before adding flour, salt, and pepper to make a roux sauce.

Once all the ingredients are combined, and the meat has been covered in the sauce for about 30 minutes, it becomes ready to be served.

6. Red Berry Compote with Vanilla sauce

One of the most popular desserts to serve as one of the traditional German Thanksgiving foods is red berry compote with vanilla sauce.

The berries are cooked in sugar and water, then thickened with cornstarch or arrowroot starch. 

It’s traditionally served warm but can also be chilled or frozen. You can add some powdered sugar for a little extra sweetness if you’re serving it as a side dish or dessert.

7. Black Forest Cake

A Black Forest Cake is a common dessert on many tables during the holidays. It’s made of layers of chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, and whipped cream.

Cherry compote, maraschino cherries, and whipped cream are likewise mixed with it, topping it all off. 

Meanwhile, this cake might sound complex, but it is actually quite easy to make at home. The best part is that it’s so good you won’t want to share it with anyone else. We aren’t done with this list of German thanksgiving foods; let’s surge!

8. Roasted Turkey

One of the most popular German  Thanksgiving foods is roasted turkey. If you don’t want to order one, you can use your roasted turkey or buy a packaged one. Serve it with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and green beans. 

9. Stuffing

Stuffing is a dish of seasoned bread cubes or crumbs, often with onions and various flavorings. These are moistened by liquid (usually stock) to form a thick paste. The stuffing is then used to fill the cavity in a large bird. 

Stuffed poultry can be roasted in ovens or cooked on the stovetop. Stuffing is typically made from bread cubes or crumbs.

Moreso, it could be based on rice, pasta, herbs, vegetables, cheese…and more! Don’t you wish to treat your taste buds to these sumptuous German Thanksgiving foods?

10. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a traditional dish served as a side to roasted meats. So it’s only natural that it would make an appearance at the German Thanksgiving table. The Germans call mashed potatoes Kartoffelpüree. 

Furthermore, they season them with butter or cream, salt, pepper, and sometimes some fresh herbs like parsley or chives. The best part about mashed potatoes? They’re so easy to make from scratch. 

Here’s the recipe to make this specialty of the German thanksgiving foods for you to try this holiday season: In a pot, cover peeled and diced potato in water and bring to a boil.

Then, lower the heat until the water is barely simmering. Finally, cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced by a knife when pierced with a fork.

11. Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a staple at most American thanksgiving celebrations, but what about Germany? The Germans have their version of cranberry sauce that is a bit different from the one we’re used to.

It’s called Rosenkohl, and it’s made with red cabbage, apple cider vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, and salt. 

What’s more? The dish gets its red color from the cabbage and has a more tart flavor than traditional cranberries. This dish can be served as an appetizer or added to dishes such as turkey or mashed potatoes.

This cranberry sauce, one of the German thanksgiving foods, is used for a flavorful twist on your traditional thanksgiving plate.

12. Forked Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Forked Oven-Roasted Potatoes are the perfect German thanksgiving foods to serve at your dinner. They have a rich, buttery flavor and crispy edges that contrast nicely with the soft, creamy centers. Plus, they’re really easy to make – you need three ingredients: potatoes, butter, and salt. 

First, boil the potatoes until tender but not mushy; peel them while still warm. Then, slice them in half lengthwise; put them on a baking sheet, and cut side up.

Next, dot with chunks of cold unsalted butter; sprinkle with kosher or sea salt. Lastly, bake in a preheated oven set to 425°F for about 30 minutes or until crusty and brown on top.

13. Baked Gingerbread Apples

A popular dessert at the traditional German dinner is Baked Gingerbread Apples. The apples are peeled, cored, and cut in half.

They are then dipped in a batter of flour, brown sugar, butter, and eggs. Further, they are baked in a hot oven until golden brown on top.

These treats can be served with either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an extra special touch. They aren’t left out of this list of German Thanksgiving foods.

14. Pfeffernüsse Cookies

Traditional German thanksgiving foods include Pfeffernüsse Cookies. The recipe includes ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and peppermint extract. 

This comes with confectioners’ sugar and flour to form a dough shaped into balls. These are then rolled in additional confectioners’ sugar.

15. Herrings with Cream Cheese Sauce

Herrings with Cream Cheese Sauce are one of the most popular traditional German Thanksgiving foods. The dish is made with herrings, cream cheese, sour cream, and chives. It’s often served on bread or a rye crisp cracker. 

To begin with: Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Next, add sour cream and heavy whipping cream and cook until the mixture becomes thick and creamy (about 4 minutes).

Turn off the heat and mix in finely chopped chives or parsley. Finally, season to taste with salt and pepper. This winds up our German thanksgiving foods!


Yes, Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in Germany as much as it is in the US and Canada. However, that doesn’t mean German people don’t eat delicious food on Thanksgiving!  

This list of German Thanksgiving foods will have you craving traditional German dishes to pair with your turkey and stuffing.

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