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Frikadellen are tasty, hearty burger-like patties often served on a roll with a side of mustard and Potato or Cucumber Salad.

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.

A plate of freshly cooked Frikadellen

You can have something new on the table in thirty minutes. And make extra because this is an incredibly versatile recipe that can be served up in lots of fun ways even as leftovers.

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.

They are a super-popular staple for German foodie culture. And this is an incredibly versatile recipe.


When it comes to the breading, I like to use a Kaiser roll. But you can substitute any bread roll or even slices of white bread.

Ingredients Needed To Make German Frikadellen
  • WET INGREDIENTS: ground beef, egg, soy sauce, mustard, onions, soaked bread roll
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: smoked sweet paprika, parsley, salt, pepper
  • FRYING – butter, vegetable oil or olive oil (not shown)

How To Make Frikadellen

  1. Start by soaking the bread rolls.
Left: Add Ground Meat - Right: Combine Ingredients
  1. Combine the ground meat, chopped onions, egg, soy sauce, paprika, mustard, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  2. Squeeze the bread to eliminate excess water.
Left: Add Moistened bread roll to the meat mixture - Right: Form Meat Patties.
  1. Add the moist bread roll to the minced meat mixture and combine well. The soaked bread acts as a binder.
  2. Shape the meat into burger-sized patties (or into bite-sized pieces if you’re planning to use them as meatballs).
  3. Dust the meat patties finely chopped breadcrumbs before frying.
Left: Shallow Bowl of Breadcrumbs - Right: Frikadellen cooking in a frying pan
  1. Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan.
  2. To get a good crust on both sides, brown the meat patties (or meatballs) on both sides.
  3. Reduce to medium heat and cook the Frikadellen for 10-12 minutes.

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 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 soy sauce, salt, pepper, and smoked sweet paprika 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.

How To Keep and Store Frikadellen

You can easily keep a batch of Frikadellen for 3-4 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 temperature (10-15 minutes at 250° Fahrenheit) in the oven.

While it might not sound appealing to everyone, I should mention that Frikadellen are served both hot and cold.

Recipe Variations

In another version of this recipe, Frikadellen are made with 50% minced beef and 50% ground pork. Another variation of this recipe combines equal amounts of ground meat, pork, and veal.

Food Culture

Although they are generally associated with traditional Northern German food. Denmark (which borders Germany to the north) has a very 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’.

Craving More Easy German Recipes?

A plate of freshly cooked Frikadellen


Frikadellen are a popular German appetizer or sandwich.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: German
Keyword: meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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  • 1 pounds ground beef
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 bread roll Kaiser roll
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cup vegetable oil 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.


Nutrional information are based on larger shaped patties. If you decide to serve Frikadellen as bite-sized appetizers, you will get easily get 12-18 sized meatballs. 


Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 989mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 687IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg
Frikadellen - German Meatballs
Updated: May 26, 2020

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Hi, friends. My name is Maike. Nice to meet you. I am the blogger behind the Cheerful Cook. A Comfort Food blog where we celebrate easy German American recipes all year long
About the AuthorMaike
Hi There, I'm Maike. Welcome to the Cheerful Cook, where we celebrate easy German and American comfort food all year long.
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