20 Oktoberfest Food Ideas

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

Easy Oktoberfest food ideas to help you plan a fun celebration with your family and friends this fall. If you can't get to Germany, enjoy the next best thing: traditional German recipes made right at home including pretzels, sausages, and the best sauerbraten with spaetzle ever!

A German woman in traditional dress holds two steins of beer next to 3 photos of traditional German foods including sauerbraten, pretzels, and roasted sausages.

While I've been blessed enough to visit Germany in person twice in my life, both times I missed the chance to celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich.

The next best thing is to plan a night to make some of my favorite German recipes right at home for my family to enjoy.

Last year we had our very own Oktoberfest dinner party on a Sunday night in Oktober, just because. It was so much fun, I think we'll be making it an annual tradition!

So I suggest you invite some friends, bake some pretzels, and enjoy a little Oktoberfest party fun right in your own back yard.

Jump to:

Oktoberfest Music for the Party

Be sure to get in the mood for your Oktoberfest dinner party with a little musical ambiance:

Easy Oktoberfest Party Decorations

While our simple family dinner focused mainly on the German food, if you wanted to go big, you could add some Oktoberfest banners and silly glasses to your party:

Oktoberfest Appetizers

Hosting an Oktoberfest party can be just as easy as serving some German beer and yummy munchies.

Grab yourself a traditional Hofbrauhaus glass boot, fill it with your favorite German lager, and serve up these easy and delicious Oktoberfest appetizers.

German Pretzels

Bake a big batch of these easy pretzels, they are just the right size for a true Oktoberfest party.

You can even hang them on lanyards for your friends to wear around their neck while they nibble.

Easy Pretzels
This easy pretzel dough is perfect for baking with kids. Bake a batch of these delicious soft pretzels for dunking in cheese dip or honey mustard for your next football party or for a fun snack any time of year.
4.67 from 6 votes
A pie plate holds a pile of baked fluffy pretzels with chunks of kosher salt sprinkled over the top.

Seasoned Pretzels

If you're looking for an easier way to incorporate pretzels without needing to roll them by hand, you'll love my easy seasoned pretzels recipe. There are 16 different flavor combos to choose from!

Seasoned Pretzels
Mix and match your favorite spices to make easy homemade seasoned pretzels that your family will love. The only pretzel recipe you need for holiday entertaining all season long!
4.90 from 56 votes
A serving bowl of square pretzels that have been baked and seasoned.

Raspberry Mustard

Set up a mustard sampling station for everyone to dunk their pretzels in. Just head to the store and get a few different bottles of mustard. You'll also want to make my favorite raspberry mustard dip for the buffet.

Raspberry Mustard
This sweet and spicy mustard dip is perfect for dunking homemade seasoned pretzels for an easy party snack.
4.34 from 3 votes
A blue bowl filled with raspberry mustard has a spoon and is surrounded by seasoned pretzels.

Oktoberfest Menu

If you want to serve a heartier meal for your Oktoberfest party, you'll find that traditional German foods are so cozy and delicious.

Simple roasted sausages and potatoes would be an obvious choice but don't miss my favorite German sauerbraten with side dishes.

Roasted Sausages

Pile up these roasted sausages next to platters of roasted potatoes and apples with the jars of mustard and pretzels. This is such a perfect Oktoberfest dinner idea.

Roasted Sausages, Potatoes & Apples
This fall comfort food classic is a hit with kids and parents alike. The easiest weeknight dinner with some fresh apples and spicy sausages from the market.    
5 from 45 votes
A baking dish is filled with roasted sausages, potatoes, and apples. A jar of mustard and a platter of baked pretzels are in the background.

German Sauerbraten

This tender and flavorful German sauerbraten marinates for up to two weeks which makes it the perfect make ahead dinner idea! All the fussy work is done in advance and then you just pop it into the oven or slowcooker.

German Sauerbraten
This traditional German sauerbraten is a sweet and sour beef recipe that is delicious when served with buttery spaetzle, savory mashed potatoes or potato pancakes, or classic German red cabbage. Prep it days in advance for an easy meal that is elegant enough for Christmas dinner!
4.99 from 52 votes
A plate of sauerbraten has homemade spaetzle and red cabbage on the side.

German Spaetzle

If you've never made buttered spaetzle before, my easy recipe will walk you through each step and explain how to get the perfect chewy dumpling noodles.

You can serve them as a side dish or enjoy them like I did in Switzerland, as an entree with melted Swiss cheese over the top!

German Spaetzle in Butter Sauce
This German spaetzle recipe is browned in butter and seasoned perfectly to pair with your favorite dinner dishes. Egg-based dumplings with a bit of herb flavor, they are delicious with schnitzel or sauerbraten.
4.98 from 47 votes
A white bowl filled with homemade spaetzle sprinkled with parsley.

Potato Pancakes with Applesauce

Any excuse to eat my make ahead potato latkes (or potato pancakes) is a good one in my opinion. Be sure to serve it up with homemade microwave applesauce and sour cream with fresh chives.

Make Ahead Potato Latkes
Golden brown potato latkes can easily be made from scratch at home before your holiday celebration. Mix together the grated potatoes and onions with a simple egg base and fry them in oil. Once cooled, they can be stored for later and just reheated before serving.
4.44 from 46 votes
A platter of homemade potato latkes next to cups of sour cream and applesauce with spoons.

German Red Cabbage

You can make my German red cabbage in advance and get the work out of the way. Then just warm it through before serving as an easy side dish.

German Red Cabbage
Traditional German red cabbage is cooked with red wine vinegar, a touch of mustard, and a sprinkle of caraway seeds. This warm side dish pairs wonderfully with many pork or beef recipes, especially German sauerbraten.
5 from 46 votes
A white bowl filled with shredded cooked red cabbage.

Fried Cabbage with Caraway Seeds

My dad and I both love this fried cabbage with caraway seeds because the edges get so nice and crispy in the melted butter. Serve this with your favorite pork recipe any time during fall, it's a must-try.

Fried Cabbage
Crispy fried cabbage tossed with caraway seeds and a dash of salt and pepper is one of the easiest budget-friendly side dishes ever! Serve with pork, corned beef, or even roast chicken for a quick vegetable side.
5 from 46 votes
A serving of crispy fried cabbage with caraway seeds is in a white serving bowl.

Cabbage Soup

Whether you serve it as a first course or as a side dish or as a cozy entree, this sweet and sour cabbage soup is definitely an Oktoberfest must have. Why not enjoy it along with those homemade pretzels instead of a dinner roll?

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
This easy sweet and sour cabbage soup is a delicious meatless soup made with tons of fresh veggies and a rich and unique beef and tomato based broth. Sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup and balanced with lots of fresh lemon juice for a fantastic sweet and sour flavor you'll love. Serve with warm, fresh bread for a healthy dinner and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal another time.
5 from 45 votes
A white bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon on the side.

German Desserts

Oktoberfest parties are much more about the beer and sausages than they are dessert, but I think there are some incredible German desserts to be had.

Since making a homemade apple strudel might take a bit of time, I recommend you stick with my easier apple desserts.

Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

This freezer friendly apple crisp can be made ahead and then just baked before serving. Don't forget a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Freezer Friendly Apple Crisp
This freezer apple crisp will change your holiday baking forever. Make one big batch but split it into two smaller desserts -- one to bake now and one to stash in your freezer for later. Perfect quick and easy Thanksgiving dessert. 
4.34 from 86 votes
A freezer-friendly metal pan holds an 8x8-inch apple crisp with crumble topping.

Apple Crisp Bars

Want a single-serving style dessert bar for your treat? How about my easy apple crisp bars instead? They have a delicious secret ingredient -- butterscotch chips. YUM.

Apple Crisp Bars
Homemade apple crisp bars with pecans, oats, and the special secret ingredient: butterscotch chips! This delicious dessert bar is the perfect treat for a fall dinner, Halloween, or even an easy Thanksgiving dessert.
5 from 45 votes
Tiered cake plate serves squares of apple crisp bars with an oat crumble topping and butterscotch chips.

Apple Crumble Bars

If you prefer a buttery, flaky crust to your apple desserts, you should definitely try these easy apple crumble bars. They are so good just on their own, but even better with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce over the top.

Apple Crumble Bars
These deliciously easy apple crumble bars have a light and flaky apple crumble topping that comes together with just three ingredients. Bake these with your kids for a simple Thanksgiving dessert.
5 from 42 votes
A square of apple crumble bars is served on a white plate with a drizzle of caramel sauce over the top.

Apple Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

If you want to make a classic German apple kuchen, you could try my fresh apple cake. I love the brown butter frosting it has with chopped pecans on top, but you could also serve it plain with a drizzle of honey if you prefer.

Fresh Apple Cake
This easy apple cake is bursting at the seams with fresh apples. It’s the perfect way to use your orchard haul this fall. Top it with nutty brown butter frosting or easy cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans for an amazing make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert.
5 from 40 votes
A square slice of apple cake topped with soft frosting and pecans sits in front of the metal baking pan it came from. A bite is missing.

More Fall Party Inspiration

There are so many fun ways to celebrate with your family and friends this fall.

Invite everyone over for some football party food and to watch the game together.

Get the best family-friendly Halloween ideas or all the Thanksgiving recipes you need for the feast.

Or keep it casual and start up a monthly book club dinner with your book worm friends.

A German woman in traditional dress holds two steins of beer next to 3 photos of traditional German foods including sauerbraten, pretzels, and roasted sausages.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *