German Frikadellen are delicious pan-fried meatballs made with a mixture of ground beef, onions, and seasonings that are perfect for a quick and tasty meal.
For lunch, they are often served with mashed potatoes and red cabbage or simply on a roll with a side of mustard and warm German Potato Salad or Cucumber Salad.
Why This Recipe Works
Frikadellen (also called 'Bouletten' or 'Fleischpflanzerl') are super quick and easy to prepare. Making this recipe comes down to combining and cooking meat, egg, bread, and spices.
QUICK - You can have something new on the table in 30 minutes. And make extra because this is an incredibly versatile recipe that can be served up in lots of fun ways, even as leftovers.
VERSATILE - Frikadellen can be served sandwich-style, served as meatball appetizers, served on a roll with a side of mustard (which is a favorite German way to serve them), and even served as meatballs as part of the main dish.
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
GROUND BEEF - Lean Ground Beef works best. I like 90/10.
BREAD - When it comes to bread, I like to use a Kaiser roll. Because a Kaiser Roll comes close to what we would use in Germany - Brötchen (bread rolls). But you can substitute any bread roll or even slices of white bread.
BREADCRUMBS - After shaping the patties we give them a very light breadcrumb dusting.
WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE - a combination of flavors ranging from vinegar to sugar, tamarind, and garlic
SPICES - Ground mustard, paprika powder, salt, and black pepper create the perfect blend.
BUTTER & OIL - We'll use a combination of vegetable oil (or olive oil) and butter to fry the meat patties.
In another version of this recipe, Frikadellen are made with 50% minced beef and 50% ground pork. And, of course, you can also make this recipe using a pound of ground pork. Another variation of this recipe combines equal amounts of ground meat, pork, and veal.
How To Make German Frikadellen
Please check the printable recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- SOAK & SQUEEZE - Bread in water. Squeeze excess moisture and set aside.
- WHISK - Beat egg, add spices, and stir until well combined.
- MIX - Add bread, ground beef, and onion. Use your hands to combine the mixture.
- SHAPE - Shape the meat into 6-8 patties and dust it quickly in bread crumbs.
- FRY - Heat butter and oil and fry the patties for 10-12 minutes on medium heat.
If desired, garnish with fresh parsley.
More German Recipes You Might Like
Let's talk about Maggi!
If you're talking to a German about how to make Frikadellen, you'll probably hear him or her talk about Maggi.
Maggi is to Germany what HP Sauce is to Ireland, or barbecue sauce is to the American south. It's a staple that's used in a variety of recipes and is deeply intertwined with food culture.
While you can certainly find Maggi in the US, it's not a staple. In my opinion, it's not necessary to make great-tasting Frikadellen. But I wanted to mention it in case you have a bottle of Maggi in your home and always wondered what to do with it. 😉
Using the combination of Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, smoked sweet paprika, and ground mustard will give you similar results.
And you will find the smaller, meatball-sized Frikadellen on many German party buffet tables. And yes, Germans really love their condiments!
So don't be surprised to find a bowl of mustard (and ketchup) right next to the plate of party Frikadellen.
If you ever host a German foreign exchange student and you want to surprise them with some German home-cooked treat. This will Frikadellen are something they will probably like. It's often food that Germans love to eat in bars when they go out partying and spending time with friends and family.
Frikadellen are generally associated with traditional Northern German food. Denmark (which borders Germany to the north) has a similar national recipe called 'Frikadeller'.
But you'll find pork or beef Frikadellen versions served throughout Germany in bars and restaurants.
How To Pronounce Frikadellen
This is an easy one. "Freak-a-dell-en"
You may have noticed that sometimes the word 'Frikadellen' pops up and sometimes 'Frikadellen'.
What's the difference?
Singular and Plural. A single meat patty is a 'Frikadelle'. Two or more patties are 'Frikadellen'.
STORE - You can easily keep a batch of Frikadellen for up to 3 days in the fridge. But you can also easily freeze Frikadellen. Once cooked, be sure to pat dry any excess fat and transfer the frikadellen into a freezer-friendly bag or container.
Ready to reheat? You can certainly reheat them in the microwave, on the stovetop, or even at low temperatures (10-15 minutes at 250° Fahrenheit) in the oven.
While it might not sound appealing to everyone, I should mention that Frikadellen are served hot and cold.
FREEZE - Yes, you can freeze Frikadellen. Once they have cooled completely, transfer the patties into a freezer-safe storage bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More German You Should Try
CHICKEN SCHNITZE - pan-fried chicken goodness.
FLAMMKUCHEN (Flammkuchen) - German-style bacon and onion pizza
GERMAN CHEESECAKE (Käsekuchen) - Classic German cheesecake recipe, but made with Greek Yogurt. It tastes just like the real deal in Germany.
FRIED CABBAGE NOODLES - The German version of Haluski.
Did you try our recipe?
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- 1 bread roll Kaiser roll, soaked
- 1 whole egg lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons butter for frying
Making The Meat Patties
- Use a medium bowl and soak the bread roll in water. Once soaked, squeeze out the excess water.
- Use a separate large bowl and whisk the egg with a fork. Add ground beef, chopped onions, soy sauce, ground mustard, sweet smoked paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Knead the softened bread roll with the meat mixture. If the mixture is too wet, add a few breadcrumbs. Shaped the meat mixture into balls and flatten to get a disc shape.
- Cover the meat patties with the breadcrumbs.
Cooking The Frikadellen
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium non-stick frying pan.
- Brown the meat patties on each side. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10-12 minutes until the meat has cooked through. Remove the meatballs and drain the excess fat on a paper towel.
- See post for serving suggestions.
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