German Cheesy Fried Hand Made Spaetzle with Bacon and Emmental Cheese
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16 Oktoberfest Dinner Ideas The Whole Family Will Love


Oktoberfest is known as being pretty much the most epic fall drinking holiday, but there are plenty of ways to turn Oktoberfest into a family-friendly (and sober) event. The traditional festival takes place all over the world, but its ties to Germany give you the chance to whip up some epic Oktoberfest dinner ideas for your family. From traditional German Oktoberfest fare like pretzels and Bavarian cheese beer dip to fun recipes like a German pancake or schnitzel, there is so much fun to be had with an Oktoberfest dinner menu.

These dishes may sound complicated, but a lot of them are much easier than you think to pull off. Invite a bunch of people over for your own Oktoberfest celebration with family and friends, or just use this opportunity to discuss Germany with your kids and make your own Oktoberfest dinner. There are so many ways to work in these Oktoberfest dinner ideas, and anybody at your table is going to shout, “Wunderbar!” at every bite. (And then maybe wander... to the bar? OK, not the kids, but feel free to grab a few Oktoberfest brewskis for those of legal drinking age to enjoy with all of the German food.)

German Potato Salad

Who says you can’t make a meal out of a side dish? This recipe for German potato salad is the perfect mixture of creamy and tangy, and goes great with a big plate of bratwursts, or stick to some fan favorites like chicken nuggets.

Obatzda Bavarian Cheese Spread

Obatzda is a classic Bavarian cheese spread that’s usually made by mixing two-thirds of an aged, soft cheese like camembert and one-third butter. There’s also some beer and seasonings mixed in, and it makes for a perfect German appetizer to celebrate Oktoberfest. This Obatzda recipe featured on Yummly includes cream cheese and horseradish, as well as tons of seasonings for a super flavorful dish. You can use anything from bread and pretzels to sliced pears and apples to dip.

Soft Pretzels

I mean, it’s just not Oktoberfest until you’ve had a soft pretzel. Whether you dip it in mustard or the Obatzda cheese spread, these soft pretzels from Pinch of Yum are a must to try. Don’t panic — they’re very basic and a cinch to make, and your friends and family will be so impressed.

German Pancakes

Breakfast for dinner? Yes, please. Celebrate Oktoberfest with this amazing recipe for German pancakes. German pancakes use a lot of eggs to give a texture similar to a popover, and they are absolutely delicious. Powdered sugar and syrup really set them off, and fresh fruit is a great topping.

German Schnitzel

If you want to go super authentic for Oktoberfest, serve up Foodie Crush’s German Schnitzel. Veal is used in a lot of traditional schnitzel recipes, but you can try out just about any thinly pounded meat to make this classic German dish. Serve it up with any of the sides listed here, like spaetzle or red cabbage.

German Spaetzle

Mmm spaetzle. Does it get much better than this classic German meal? Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has a great recipe for homemade German spaetzle, which is basically a perfect, dense, chewy little noodle often covered in cheese or gravy with meatballs. It’s so much fun to make, and the texture is similar to dumplings, but much smaller. So good and comforting.

German Beer Cheese Soup

Love a good beer cheese dip, but want to make it more substantial? Try whipping up this German beer cheese soup, featured on Yummly. It’s thick, it’s gooey, and it even has shredded chicken inside to make for a really hearty, delicious dinner. Top it off with chives and serve it with some soft pretzels on the side for sopping up all that goodness.

Bratwurst & Sauerkraut

It truly does not get more traditional than this bratwurst and sauerkraut recipe from Budget Bytes. With apples and onions mixed in with sauerkraut, this recipe is packed with flavor and so much tangy goodness. Best of all? It’s a pretty budget-friendly dish and kid-friendly (even if you have to leave out the sauerkraut).

Sauerkraut Balls

I am absolutely obsessed with sauerkraut, and this recipe for sauerkraut balls featured on Yummly is just beyond amazing. Made up of mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, the balls are rolled in bread crumbs with plenty of seasoning and fried. Dip them in sour cream or just enjoy them on their own — they’re the perfect bite-sized taste of Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest Ribs With Apple Sauerkraut

Pork spareribs that have been cooking all day in a perfect mixture of apples and sauerkraut? Beyond good. This recipe for Oktoberfest ribs featured on Yummly is so good, and the flavors will just knock you out. It’s the perfect fall recipe, and it’s a one-pot meal, so it can even be a great weeknight dinner to celebrate Oktoberfest.

Potato Pancakes

Like a hasbrown, but better. Try whipping up these German potato pancakes for a perfect Oktoberfest breakfast, a great after-school snack, or a side dish to an epic German-themed dinner. The whole family will love them.

German Red Cabbage

If you need a side dish to go with your schnitzle or brats, you can whip up rotkohl — German red cabbage. This recipe featured on Yummly only has nine ingredients, including all of the seasonings, to make this flavorful veggie dish. It’s tangy, it’s got a kick of sweetness, and it has a great crunch.

German Onion Soup

Tired: French onion soup. Wired: German onion soup. With just 11 ingredients, this German onion soup — Zwiebelsuppe — is a hearty, incredible dish to get on the table for an Oktoberfest celebration or just a random weeknight dinner. So cheesy and savory.

German Rouladen

Authentic German Rouladen includes thin slices of meat wrapped around bacon, onion, and pickles. It’s so good — so much flavor packed into a tightly-rolled piece of meat — and looks really impressive with a side of egg noodles or spaetzle.

Schwabischer Zwiebelkuchen

Say this one three times fast: Schwabischer-Zwiebelkuchen. This traditional German meal is like a savory pie, and this Schwabischer-Zwiebelkuchen recipe featured on Yummly includes crispy bacon and tons of caramelized onion for a stick-to-your-ribs Oktoberfest dinner.

German Apple Kuchen

Kuchen is a classic German dessert, and this recipe for an apple version featured on Yummly has all the great tastes of Oktoberfest. It only has eight ingredients and is actually pretty easy to pull together — and who doesn’t love apple? This would honestly make a great Oktoberfest breakfast and is a definite crowd-pleaser.

Whether you’re hosting an Oktoberfest celebration or just want a fun, themed dinner for your family, these Oktoberfest dinner ideas are a must to try.