German BBQ recipes

Photo by Alexander Raths /

Germans love a good summer barbecue as much as Americans do. What they put on their plates doesn’t exactly resemble hot dogs, burgers and co. These recipes can easily be prepared in advance and modified for individual tastes without losing any of its traditional deliciousness for your next German BBQ.

Hessian potato salad


Every German will tell you how you’re preparing your potato salad is wrong. It’s not personal. It’s regional. Using mayonnaise is a classic way to go but not summer-friendly so here’s the Hessian way: simple, hearty and safe to sit in the sun.

Start to finish: 15 minutes (+30 to boil potatoes)

Servings: 4

Photo by Alessio Orru /
  • 1kg potatoes (any waxy kind will do)
  • 1 cup vegetable or beef broth
  • 7 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (optional)
  • chives, parsley, salt, pepper

Boil the potatoes (a day in advance, if possible) and store at room temperature. Sauté the finely chopped onions and bacon (if using bacon; see “Tip” below). Dissolve the mustard in broth; let cool. Thinly slice the potatoes. Fold the potatoes into the dressing mixture before adding onions, chives and parsley.

Tip: My grandma serves it with crispy strips of bacon and cherry tomatoes on top.

Stuffed bell pepper


A staple on German dinner tables that is often made in the oven but works perfectly on a grill as well. Try to look for symmetric bell peppers when shopping to make sure they don’t fall over.

Start to finish: 15 minutes (+25 on grill)

Servings: 6

Photo by stockcreations /
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 10 ounces feta cheese
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 4 ounces spring onions
  • 1 ounce chives
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • half a clove of garlic, crushed
  • salt, pepper, chili flakes
  • shredded cheese of choice

Preheat grill to lowest flame. Cube feta, tomatoes, onions and put them in a bowl. Season with soy sauce, olive oil and spices. Mix well. Scoop out the washed and halved bell peppers’ insides. Stuff them and sprinkle cheese on top. Put on an aluminum tray and close the grill’s lid. Broil for 20-25 minutes. Check frequently.

Tip: Add minced meat to use it as a main dish.

Arugula and pasta salad


Pasta salad can probably be found at every single BBQ buffet in Germany. Why? Because it’s delicious, nutritious and quick to make. Experiment with different vegetables, meats, cheeses and more to find your personal favorite.

Start to finish: 20 minutes (+10 to boil pasta)

Servings: 6

Photo by VeronikaSmirnaya /
  • 10 ounces pasta
  • 10 ounces arugula (rocket leaves)
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 15 dried tomatoes
  • 1.5 bell pepper
  • 3 ounces nuts or seeds of choice
  • 7 ounces soft goat’s cheese or feta cheese
  • 8 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt, pepper, chili flakes, cumin, turmeric

Boil the pasta according to package instructions and let cool. Dice the vegetables. Roast the nuts in a hot, oil-free pan. This only takes a few seconds, so don’t take your eyes off it. Mix the dressing (season to liking) and pour over the noodles and vegetables. Sprinkle cheese and seeds on top.

Tip: Perfect to take on the go. Store it in a food container and off you go to picnics, parties, school or work.

Chicken kabobs


Voilà, another easy dish that bursts with flavor, protein and vitamins. Children can help with the assembly and choose their favorite vegetables to make sure everyone is happy.

Start to finish: 15 minutes (+ time on grill)

Photo by Brent Hofacker /

Servings: 4

  • 18 ounces chicken
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 10 mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 eggplant
  • 5 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, thyme, turmeric to taste
  • 15 kabob sticks

Wash, dry and cube or slice the chicken and vegetables. Alternate between meat and vegetables when assembling your masterpiece on the sticks. Mix olive oil and spices in a bowl before coating the chicken. Grill on all sides until well done.



The idea of turning sausages into a salad might just be the most German one yet. Yup, no green stuff, just sausage. This can serve as a main dish or sandwich topping. Popular sides include fried potatoes, fries and black bread.

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Photo by beats1 /

Servings: 4

  • 9 ounces Bologna (preferably thinly sliced)
  • 7 ounces Gouda (or any other kind of hard cheese)
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 5 pickled gherkins
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 tablespoon mustard, chives and radishes

Cut everything into very thin strips. Mix with the vinegar, oil and mustard. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

Tip: Serve it on a toasted or grilled slice of bread with plenty of garlic or herb butter.

Infused Water


Fruity water is the perfect alternative to soda since it is just as tasty, less sticky and a lot healthier. Here are six super easy, yet exotic, ways to stay hydrated this summer without sacrificing any of the flavor you’re used to.

Start to finish: 5-10 minutes

Photo by theyummylife /

Servings: 4

  • Combo 1: 1 lime, 1 lemon, 1 orange
  • Combo 2: 2 cups blackberries, 1 sprig of sage
  • Combo 3: 2 cups watermelon, 1 sprig of rosemary
  • Combo 4: 2 cups pineapple, 1 sprig of mint
  • Combo 5: 2 cups raspberries, 1 lime
  • Combo 6: 1/3 cucumber, 3 sprigs of lavender and 2 sprigs of mint

Mix/mash a sliced or cubed selection of these ingredients in a jar or pitcher and add 32 ounces of flat or sparkling water. Let it sit in the fridge for at least one hour. Finish the look with some ice cubes. Almost all fruits, vegetables and herbs (fresh and frozen) can be used, so get creative!

Some combinations may seem odd at first but don’t hesitate to try your way through them.

Tip: If you want it to be sweeter, you can add a little honey or agave syrup.

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