Willkommen (or welcome) to Oktoberfest!  If you aren’t familiar, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest…or beer festival and traveling funfair, for those of use that don’t speak German.  It’s held in Germany and runs about 2 weeks, typically from mid-Sept to the first Sunday in October.  You can find traditional German food such as sausages, oversized soft pretzels, mustard and curry ketchup, cabbage and radish salads, dumplings, spaetzle, and obviously, plenty of ice-cold beer!  More than 6 million people from around the world attend the event every year.

Unfortunately, the Oktoberfest celebration in German is cancelled again this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy plenty of yummy food.  So, pull out the decorations, get your house in order, invite some friends and family over, and cook up some delicious German food!

I’d like to share with you 5 different ideas to host the perfect Oktoberfest party.  We’ll be hosting a dinner party style event for a few close friends.  The menu will consist of some of our favorite Oktoberfest foods…or festival style foods.

On the menu is:


Pretzel Necklaces are a crowd favorite and something you will see anytime you go to a beer festival.  They are super easy to make and are completely customizable!  Grab some string or ribbon, add as many pretzels as you like, and secure as a necklace around your neck.  Super simple!

If you are feeling ambitious, you could add cheese sticks, meat sticks, candy, or any item you like.  These can also be a fun group activity.  You supply the ingredients and have your guests assemble their own.  Then, wear them around during the party and snack on the contents as you see fit.  You’ll most likely have a beer in hand or be participating in a beer tasting.  The pretzels are a great palate cleanser and will also help soak up some of the alcohol 🙂

German Cheese Spaetzle is a traditional German dish…it’s like the German version of macaroni & cheese.  It’s packed full of tender noodles and ooey gooey cheese.  We are going to change it up slightly and make Bacon & Onion Spaetzle.  The onions add a nice crisp flavor, and the bacon is nice and salty.  Oh, and did I mention that the spaetzle is homemade?

The recipe can be found here.


Start by slicing the bacon (it should be uncooked bacon).  Chop the white onion and green onions and shred the cheese.  I like to use freshly shredded Gruyere cheese because I think it has a bolder flavor, but you can use pre-shredded, or store bought if you prefer.  Set these items aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, eggs, milk, salt, and nutmeg.  The nutmeg gives the noodles a hit of spice.  Set the bowl aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.

Add the bacon to the skillet and heat until the bacon starts to render some fat.  Then, add the white onion.  You’ll continue to cook the bacon and onion, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp, and the onions are slightly caramelized.  You don’t need to rush this step!

While the bacon and onion cook, make the spaetzle.  I bought a handy dandy spaetzle maker, but you can use a colander or large slotted spoon instead.  Place the spaetzle maker over the boiling water.  Add 1-2 heaping scoops of batter into the basket.  Slowly move the basket back and forth over the boiling water to allow the batter to drop through the slots and into the water.  The batter will initially sink and then start to float as it cooks.

If you are using a colander or slotted spoon, slowly move them around over the boiling water to allow the batter to go through the holes and fall into the water.

Let the spaetzle boil for about 30 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to remove the spaetzle to a large heat safe bowl.  Make sure to remove all pieces from the water before moving on to the next batch.  Repeat until all the batter has been used.

Add the spaetzle to the bacon and onion mixture and toss to combine.

Add the shredded gruyere cheese and toss to combine.  Continue to heat through until the cheese has completely melted.  Then, remove the skillet from the heat.

Serve warm and garnish with sliced green onion.  Enjoy!

The recipe can be found here.

Schnitzel is a popular item to eat in Germany and pairs well with the SpaetzleSchnitzel is a thin slice of meat that is usually thinned by pounding it with a meat tenderizer.  It is then breaded and fried.  My recipe for Pan Seared Chicken Schnitzel is a hit and tastes great alongside the Bacon & Onion Spaetzle.  The chicken is tender and has a lovely, crispy breading on the outside.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by preheating the oven to 355 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Slice the chicken in half, lengthwise, so you have 4 thin pieces.  You are essentially going to butterfly the chicken, but instead of leaving the chicken intact, you will slice the whole way through.  Make sense?

Place the chicken on a cutting board and place a piece of plastic wrap on top.  Use a meat hammer or meat tenderizer to pound the chicken until very thin.  Remove the plastic wrap and season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.  Repeat with each piece of chicken.

Create an assembly line with 3 shallow dishes.  In the first dish, combine the flour, cayenne, and nutmeg.  In the second dish, whisk together the milk and egg.  In the third dish, combine the panko, parsley, and garlic powder.

The flour mixture helps the egg mixture stick to the chicken which helps the breadcrumb mixture stick to the chicken.

Dredge each piece of chicken into the flour mixture, making sure it is fully coated.

Then dredge each piece of chicken into the milk mixture, making sure it is fully coat.

Finally, dredge each piece of chicken into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure it is fully coated.  Set the chicken aside.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  You need a very thin layer of oil on the bottom of the skillet – you aren’t deep frying!

Add the chicken in an even layer and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.  Remove from the skillet and place on the prepared baking sheet.  You are going to finish cooking the chicken in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.

Remove from the oven and serve warm with potato salad, cooked vegetable, or pasta (like spaetzle) on the side.  Garnish with some flat leaf parsley and enjoy!

The recipe can be found here.

No Oktoberfest party is complete without soft pretzels!  You can make traditional soft pretzels, soft pretzel bites, or soft pretzel muffins aka Oktoberfest Pretzel Muffins.  They are warm and soft on the inside with a chewy crust and have the perfect pretzel flavor (like crackers).  I’m opting for making muffins instead of traditional pretzel twists.  They can be served beforehand as an appetizer with some beer cheese dipping sauce or spicy mustard.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by adding the warm water to a bowl.  Add a pinch of sugar (just use whatever amount fits between the pinch of your fingers) and sprinkle the yeast on top.  Let this sit for 4 minutes.

Stir the yeast mixture and set aside for another 5 minutes.

Add the flour to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Make a well in the center.

Slice the butter into 4 pieces and place on the outside edge of the flour.  Sprinkle the salt around the edge of the flour.  Keep the well open.

Pour the yeast mixture into the center of the flour (the well you created).

Use the dough hook to combine and knead the mixture for 10 minutes.  It should pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise.  The dough should double in size, and it will take about 1 hour.  If your house is fairy cool, let the dough rise for longer than an hour, if needed, to double in size.

Divide the dough into 12 equal sized pieces and form each into a ball.

Preheat the oven to 290 degrees F.  Spray the wells of a muffin pan with cooking spray.  You can also use muffin pan liners.  If you choose to do this, I recommend spraying the liners with cooking spray or the dough will stick, and you’ll have a hard time peeling the paper off!

Heat 6-8 cups of water over high heat.  Just before the water comes to a boil, add the baking soda, and wait for the foam to disappear.

Add the dough, 2-3 pieces at a time, and boil for 45 seconds.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place in each muffin cup.  Repeat this step until all the dough has been boiled.


Sprinkle each piece of dough with a little sea salt.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops turn dark brown.  You don’t want burnt muffins, just a dark brown color.  You know…. the color of a traditional soft pretzel.

Serve warm and enjoy!  These are best served the same day.  I can’t imagine why you would have any leftovers, but you never know.

The recipe can be found here.

Last but not least is a little something sweet to snack on or serve for dessert… Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Almonds.  These are best served warm but can be enjoyed cool if you want to prepare them ahead of time.  You could even gift them to your guests in little bags to take home.  They are perfectly sweet and crunchy in every bite.  These are quite simple to make and pretty quick to go so you might want to double the recipe!

The recipe can be found here.

Start by preheating the oven to 250 degrees F.  Grease a baking sheet with shortening (Crisco).  Do not use parchment paper or cooking spray.  You want to bake the almond directly on the baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and cinnamon.  This is the coating and can be aside.

In a large bowl, add the egg white and vanilla.  Use a little arm strength to whisk the egg until frothy.

Add the almonds and toss to coat.

Once the almonds are coated, add the cinnamon/sugar mixture, and toss to coat.  Make sure all almonds are evenly coated.

Pour the almonds onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in a single layer.  Give the baking sheet a little shake to help even things out and shuffle the almonds around.

Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  It is necessary to stir!  This helps the almond bake evenly and get a nice crust.

Remove the almonds from the oven and give them one final stir.  Then, enjoy them warm, right off the baking sheet or let them cool and store in an airtight container on the counter.

The recipe can be found here.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and can find the time to celebrate Oktoberfest.  Don’t forget to head to a local liquor store to pick up some yummy Oktoberfest (or Marzen) style beer.  This is going to be a necessity to celebrate Oktoberfest properly 🙂

Happy Cooking and Próst!

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