Rouladen are thin slices of meat wrapped around a filling and rolled up.
The outside is egg washed and coated in breadcrumbs, and fried.
Rouladen is a traditional German dish found all over Germany and neighboring countries like Austria, Hungary, and Switzerland.
It has been invented by French cooks who once worked in Germany, but this has not been proven yet.
Rouladen are usually made of beef or veal, but chicken, pork, and mutton can be used for Rouladen.
What kind of meat you use does not matter because all kinds work well with the breadcrumb coating.
As a filling, you traditionally use pickles and mustard or even apple sauce.
The breadcrumbs are either saltless or contain thyme and onion.
Salt is not needed since the meat usually has enough salt on its own.
Rouladen is best served with potato dumplings, noodles, or boiled potatoes.
A nice cranberry sauce can be a great side dish as well.
But the list of side dishes for Rouladen is as endless as there are cooks.
So in this article, I am giving you seven very good ideas for side dishes for rouladen.
Hopefully, this list will help you pick an excellent side dish the next time you make Rouladen.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Rouladen?
First, think of the meat.
Generally, Rouladen is thicker than other kinds of meat, but it can be as thin as you want it to be, and different recipes exist that advocate either a thick or thin one.
Its size will give you some idea of how many side dishes you need per person; however, my preference is to serve rouladen with two side dishes per person.
Rouladen is a stick-to-your-ribs meal, and you definitely won’t need a large amount of food as an accompaniment.
Keep in mind, though, that rouladen can be reheated without any problems.
So when you make it ahead of time (more than one day), you can eat the meal several days later, but you still get that same great taste.
When thinking of side dishes for rouladen, you need to consider first and foremost what kind of meat it is.
Generally speaking, beef or veal rouladen will go better with potatoes than a chicken or pork one.
This does not apply to Rouladen Rohkost or rouladen with apple sauce, though, because those can go with anything.
So, the beef and veal will be more hearty than a chicken or pork rouladen.
Potato dumplings, noodles, or boiled potatoes are perfect for this kind of Rouladen.
The same applies to pickled vegetables like sauerkraut or cucumber salad.
Once again, Sauerkraut-Nockerl is absolutely perfect for Rouladen.
The filling of rouladen is usually a pickle and mustard or apple sauce.
So you should keep that in mind when choosing side dishes.
For example, if you have rouladen with pickles as a filling, cucumber salad will be ideal.
If you have rouladen with apple sauce as a filling, then try pickled cabbage or red beets.
What to Serve with Rouladen? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Rouladen is famous all over Germany, but you can find different styles in every German state.
Despite the difference in styles, the side dishes are pretty similar.
So it’s not that difficult to find a good style and stick with that.
1 – Potato Dumplings
Potato dumplings are a classic side dish for Rouladen, and this is not surprising because they go great with any meat.
The breadcrumbs in the coating don’t affect them, so potatoes dumplings will be just fine to serve with Rouladen no matter what kind of meat you have.
Potato dumplings are a lot of work to do, but you can also buy them ready-made in the refrigerated section of your local supermarket.
All you need to do is add some butter, and they are ready to eat.
Be sure not to put in too much salt when making them because you will have enough salty food with Rouladen.
And make sure that there are no lumps in the potato dough; this can happen very quickly, mainly if you use a mixer instead of a hand blender.
2 – Sauerkraut-Nockerl
Sauerkraut is a classic side dish for Rouladen, and it goes with both beef and veal and pork or chicken rouladen equally well.
The only thing is that you should avoid making it too sweet because pickle and mustard are typically sweeter.
A classic side dish for rouladen is Sauerkraut-Nockerl, or dumplings with sauerkraut.
To make these, you add some flour and eggs to the sauerkraut to create a dough that you can boil like regular dumplings.
Roll the dough into small balls and boil them in a pot of water until they are done.
3 – Rotkohl
Rotkohl, or red cabbage, is a versatile side dish that can go with pork and chicken rouladen equally well.
The sweet and sour taste of it will make an excellent companion to the pickle in the meat.
You might face the problem that pork Rouladen is much more likely to have an apple filling than a pickle one.
So for these, you will want to make Rotkohl mit Apfel or red cabbage with apples.
In this case, add some vinegar and delicious golden apples to the red cabbage while cooking to form an apple sauce.
4 – Sauerkraut-Gröstl
Sauerkraut-Gröstl is not a side dish for rouladen, even though it’s an often-used accompaniment.
It’s more of a simple meal that comes together very quickly.
There are two ways to make it:
With leftover sauerkraut or with fresh cabbage and bacon.
If you want fresh cabbage and bacon, fry the bacon first until crisp; add the cabbage and some salt.
After about 10 minutes, when all of the liquid has disappeared, you are ready to eat—many people like this with a fried egg on top.
If you want to make Sauerkraut-Gröstl from leftovers, put some butter in a pan, heat it, and add the leftover sauerkraut.
You can also add some onions to give it more flavor.
This is another popular meal you would make for breakfast in Germany, especially if you made too much kraut during one of your visits to the local beer hall.
5 – Kartoffelpuffer
Kartoffelpuffer is a fried potato cake that you can serve with rouladen, but they are just as famous served on their own.
You mix some potatoes and eggs and add onions if you like them or want more flavor.
Then fry small patties of the mixture in a pan, and you are ready to eat.
Some people like to add fried bacon on top for extra flavor, and it also makes an excellent presentation.
You can also make Kartoffelpuffer with sweet potatoes, which will give them an orange color and a new taste.
You need about half as many sweet potatoes as regular ones, so this is not a dish for leftover potatoes.
It would be too much work to make, mainly just for Kartoffelpuffer.
6 – Spätzle mit Soße
Spätzle are small egg noodles that are very popular in Germany, but they can be used as a side dish for many meat dishes.
The most common way to serve them is with a gravy or sauce poured over the top, which works very well with rouladen.
These noodles can be made from scratch, which always tastes best in my opinion, but you can also buy them ready-made from the supermarket if you prefer.
Spätzle are very simple to make by adding flour, egg, and salt to a bowl and mixing it.
Then you add the mixture in small amounts into boiling water until each little dumpling floats on top of the water.
When they are finished cooking, you can drain them and serve them with your sauce or gravy.
7 – Kartoffelklöße
Kartoffelklöße is small potato dumplings that go very well with rouladen, especially if they have an apple filling.
This side dish is similar to Rotkohl mit Apfel in that it combines a sweet and sour taste with the meat.
They also make good use of leftover potatoes and are easy to make.
To make Kartoffelklöße, you have to mash up the cooked potato and mix it with onion, egg, flour, and salt until a dough forms.
Then take balls of about an inch in width and roll them out while adding more flour, so they don’t stick to the counter.
When rolled out, place them on top of the rouladen or cut them into smaller pieces and put in the gravy.
They will rise to the surface when they have cooked for about 10 minutes, so remove them at that point and fry until golden brown if you like them crispier.
Rouladen is a great way to prepare beef, but it’s not the only choice.
You can serve many other meat dishes with seven side dishes and still have enough options for everyone.
These seven side dishes will also go well with pork or chicken, but they might need some adjustments as far as ingredients go if you want to get the same flavors.
It’s up to you and your guests’ preferences to make the necessary changes or choose a different side dish altogether.