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Basic Frikadellen

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Frikadellen mit Schafskäse
Katrin Morenz/Flickr

Here is a basic recipe for German, pan-fried, meat patties. Frikadellen, Buletten, Fleischpflanzln. Whatever the name, these little beauties are quick to make, take a sauce well, or come to you with mustard and sides of potato and lettuce salads in a pub. Make sure you have majoram on hand, a component in many variations.

Traditionally made with day-old white bread, you can substitute 1/2 cup oatmeal microwaved 2 minutes in 1/2 cup milk, for added nutrition.

Makes 4 patties.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 c. chopped onion (about 1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 day-old roll (about 2 oz.), softened in hot milk or water and squeezed dry.
  • 1 lb. ground meat (half and half; pork and beef)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 T. chopped, fresh parsley or 1 T. dried parsley
  • 1 T. chopped, fresh marjoram or 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 T. olive oil


Place chopped onion in a small bowl, drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. Cool slightly.

Break softened roll into little pieces in a bowl, add meat and the rest of the ingredients and the cooked onion and mix well.

Heat butter and olive oil together in a frying pan. Form 4 patties and fry over medium high heat until browned on both sides. Place the patties on a baking sheet and place in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes, or until done. You may also continue frying them until they are no longer pink inside.

Serve on a lettuce leaf with a side of potato salad and some mustard. A cold beer goes well with this small meal.

Tip 1: You may want to roll your patties in dried, seasoned bread crumbs before frying for a really nice, crispy exterior.

Tip 2: If you have German relatives, they might tell you to add some Maggi or Fondor to the meat mixture. These are two, related products. One is liquid, the other a powder. They contain salt, gluten, glutamate, starch and a proprietary herb and spice mixture, and have a distinct taste of lovage (related to celery). You can add a teaspoon or two to almost any savory dish you make, and some people use Maggi as a table side condiment, like soy sauce or steak sauce.

Flavor Variation 1: Frikadellen mit Kümmel (Meat Patties with caraway), Berlin-Style. Substitute 1 teaspoon caraway and 2 teaspoons prepared mustard for the parsley and marjoram. Fry as directed. Serve with Bratkartoffeln and mustard, or with a hard roll.

Flavor Variation 2: Add 4 ounces of Bauchspeck or bacon that has been put through a meat grinder to the meat mixture before frying.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
basic frikadellen, Member mal2kath

brill just like my german mum and gran used to make

4 out of 4 people found this helpful.

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