Are you traveling to the Netherlands, or feel a connection with the country? Whatever your reason is: I’m about to share the best Dutch recipes with you!
What is Dutch food? The Dutch cuisine knows a few classic Dutch dishes, but the problem is that you can’t find this Dutch traditional food in restaurants. These are homemade meals, dishes Dutch people don’t have to visit a restaurant for.
Of course, these are perfect Dutch food recipes to share with you, so you know how to make Dutch food! Dutch cooking isn’t very complicated, that’s good to know in advance.
On the other hand, there are a lot of popular Dutch foods that are special products or snacks that aren’t easily found abroad. But it can be fun to try to make them! Or to look for in a Dutch shop, or to bring with you from a visit to the Netherlands.
Here’s our very elaborate list of typical Dutch food and recipes.
Dutch Homemade Meals
These foods you can rarely find in a restaurant. Traditional Dutch food is homemade, and let’s be honest: it doesn’t look very nice for a restaurant!
Note: these are mostly winter dishes. Dutch cuisine doesn’t have particular summer dishes, but that’s maybe because there barely is summer in the Netherlands.
If you’re visiting the Netherlands and want to try some Dutch recipes for dinner, Restaurant Moeders (moeder = mother) in Amsterdam is the place to go.
- Boerenkool Stamppot: Mashed Kale and Potatoes
While kale is now a ‘superfood’, in the Netherlands it’s the base of the most traditional Dutch recipes in the country: boerenkool stamppot.
The name of the dish is simply ‘mashed kale’ in Dutch. You mash the kale together with potatoes!
It’s best eaten with a smoked Dutch sausage from the Dutch shop HEMA or from the brand Unox. And it’s one of the simple Dutch recipes to try!
- Hutspot: Hotchpotch
If you’re short on kale, do not worry. The Dutch actually have a great variety of ‘stamppots‘ (mashed potato dishes).
This one is called hutspot and is made with onion, potato, and carrot and is officially served with klapstuk (brisket)!
- Snert: Dutch Split Pea Soup
Erwtensoep (pea soup), or also ‘snert‘, is a kind of soup. It’s really thick, though, so it definitely looks more like a purée of some sort.
This dish is perfect after an afternoon of ice skating on the frozen canals!
- Zuurkoolstamppot / Zuurkoolschotel: Mashed Potatoes with Sauerkraut
This dish is served in more European countries, but this Dutch Sauerkraut dish is very yummy and comforting food, one of our favorite Dutch meals recipes.
- Hete Bliksem: Mashed Potatoes, Apple, and Onion
Yes, another mash dish! Hete Bliksem translates as ‘hot lightning’. The dish is really hot due to the liquid of the apples (or pears) in the dish, which is where the name comes from.
The Dutch neighbors know this dish as Himmel und Erde (Sky and earth; apples from the sky, potatoes from the ‘earth’).
In the Netherlands this dish is served with smoked sausage, mettwurst, or klapstuk (brisket).
- AVG’tje: Potato, Meat, and Vegetables
The ultimate Dutch dish essentially exists of three ingredients: potato, meat (or meat substitute) and vegetables. AVG is an abbreviation of these three ingredients (aardappel, vlees, groenten).
This is what a lot of Dutch grandparents eat to this day. The potato can be boiled or fried. The vegetables and meat vary, but the base is the same.
- Nasi Goreng + Bami Goreng: Fried Rice and Noodles
Due to the Netherlands cဝlဝnizing Indonesia for a long time, Indonesian food can be found in the Dutch cuisine recipes. It’s also one of the reasons satay sauce is a big thing in the Netherlands.
You can even order fries with satay sauce, which we highly recommend!
Homemade Dutch Side Dishes
Let’s dive into popular Dutch side dishes! As we mentioned before, Dutch food is focused on potatoes, meat, and vegetables. Some of these side dishes are authentic ways to prepare meat or vegetables.
- Hachee: Braised Beef and Onions
One of the most famous Dutch meat recipes there is! Hachee is officially translated as braised beef and onions. It’s a beef stew traditionally served with potato and red cabbage.
You know it’s a Dutch dish when it has potatoes, meat, and vegetable (we call it AVG: aardappel, vlees, groente). Here’s another example: hachee. A beef stew traditionally served with potato and red cabbage.
- Rodekool met appeltjes: Red Cabbage with Apples
A popular Dutch side dish is red cabbage braised with apples. You can even buy this side dish ready-made in the Dutch supermarkets.
This side dish goes really well with the abovementioned hachee.
- Bruinebonensoep: Brown Bean Soup
Okay, this can be a whole meal, but it can also be a side dish. This dish is not for everyone, with its mushy bean texture. It’s maybe more a stew than a soup.
But it’s very comforting on dark and cold days. Note: it does take patience to make!
- Huzarensalade: Dutch Potato Salad
This might be the only traditional summer dish we have in the Netherlands. It’s also a perfect side dish at a barbecue or with a snack. Or even served with Christmas food in the Netherlands.
The base of this salad is potato, meat, vegetables, and pickles (yes, it’s basically the AVG again!). And it’s made creamy with a dressing with mayonnaise. Dutchies are big on mayonnaise.
The salad is similar to a Russian salad, but it’s not the same. Huzarensalade is served cold.
- Mosterdsoep: Mustard Soup
This soup is originally from Groningen, one of the Netherlands’ most northern provinces.
It’s one of the old Dutch recipes, made with leek and—you guessed it—mustard. Usually, bacon is added to the soup, but you can also make a veggie version.
- Asperges: Dutch White Asparagus Hollandaise
White asparagus is considered ‘white gold’ in the Netherlands. Hollandaise sauce is famous in French cuisine, but it was allegedly invented in the Netherlands.
It’s a spring dish, as the vegetable is only available from March to June in the Netherlands. Which makes it taste even better; it’s not every day you eat this Dutch dish.
- Stoofpeertjes: Stewed Pears
Technically, this is one of the best Netherlands dessert recipes, but since it’s a classic homemade dessert, I wanted to include it here.
These pears are soaked in red wine and taste like Christmas, it comes very close to mulled wine. The pears are very sweet and soft, but be aware: this recipe takes some time to make!
Surprisingly, we probably have much more ‘signature’ snacks than dishes.
There’s also a very funny concept you can find only in the Netherlands: eating out of the wall (vending machine style). Try it out in any FEBO snack bar in the Netherlands!
- Kroket: Croquettes
We actually never tried making these, but this snack is probably the most famous Dutch snack. It’s a deep-fried, breaded snack with a soft beef ragout filling. Best eaten with mustard!
And the vegetarian version of it is very delicious too!
Bitterballen are basically the same as Kroket, but ball-sized!
- Patatje 00rl0g: Fries with Mayonnaise and Peanut Butter
Translated to English, this is called ‘Battle Fries’. It’s a combination of fries, mayo (Dutchies eat more mayo than ketchup), raw onions, and satay sauce.
Let us assure you: you want to try this!
- Frikandel: Dutch Sausage
Do not try to look up what’s in a frikandel. There are many horror stories about the leftovers of animals that go in here. So no recipe for this one, but you should totally try it!
- Kibbeling: Dutch Deep Fried Fish
Deep-fried fish: yummy! Since the Netherlands is so close to the sea, you can find many fish shops (Maartje used to work in one of them!).
Kibbeling is definitely our favorite fish snack.
- Haring: Dutch Herring
A must eat in the Netherlands: herring with onions and pickles. Either on a sandwich or just like this (eat it like a roman eating grape!).
We think it’s gross by the way haha, but we know many people that like it!
- Kaas: Dutch Cheese
Everyone knows Gouda cheese, right?! Make sure to visit one of the Dutch cheese cities and experience a traditional cheese market.
Maartje is actually from a town near Alkmaar, and they have a great cheese market every Friday morning!
One of the typical Dutch lunch recipes is to eat cheese on a slice of bread (Dutch people eat bread for breakfast and lunch!).
Okay, you can also eat these things for lunch or even dinner. These Dutch food recipes are simply delicious.
- Poffertjes: Dutch Mini Pancakes
This is the best EVER. It’s like pancakes, but small and fluffy—like a pillow. With lots of butter and powdered sugar, definitely not the most healthy, but it’s heaven so who cares?
Want to try the best ones in the Netherlands? Go to Poffertjeskraam de Haan in Laren, in the middle of the Netherlands.
- Pannenkoeken: Dutch Pancakes
Okay, while creating this article we found out Norway also has these, but these pancakes are pretty Dutch.
Not as thin as French crêpe, not as thick as American pancakes: right in the middle & so perfect. Best to eat with Dutch ‘stroop‘ (the much better version of maple syrup).
- Wentelteefjes: Dutch French Toast
You probably think: wait, isn’t that French toast? And, well, yeah kinda! Our name is much better, though: it’s translated as ‘turnaround bitches’!
Also, forget about ‘semi-skimmed milk’, in the Netherlands we normally use whole milk.
- Broodje Hagelslag: Bread and Chocolate Sprinkles
In the Netherlands, we don’t use chocolate sprinkles for cupcake decoration only. It’s our very typical bread topping, actually!
Make sure to cover your sandwich with a (thick) layer of butter first—otherwise, the sprinkles fall off your bread.
Also, really tasty with a layer of peanut butter instead of butter.
Coffee Time (a.k.a. Cookie-time) & Dutch Pastries
Dutch people are some of the biggest black coffee drinkers in the world. Of course, you have to eat something sweet with it, much like Swedish Fika!
We actually have so many (especially cookie-things), but we chose our top 7!
- Stroopwafel: Syrup Waffles
A caramel, molasses filling sandwiched between thin, crispy layers of dough that are baked between irons.
The best fresh ones in the Netherlands can be found at the Albert Cuypmarket in Amsterdam!
- Ontbijtkoek: Dutch Spice Cake
This Dutch cake is basically a gingerbread loaf! It’s also called peperkoek or kruidcake. The literal translation of ontbijtkoek is breakfast cookie.
- Space Cake: Special Dutch Cake
We highly recommend not to confuse this one with Dutch spice cake, because this recipe has an ingredient that’s only for adults.
Find the best Dutch space cake in one of the many coffee shops in Amsterdam (no, coffee shops in Amsterdam are not for coffee).
- Appelflap: Apple Turnovers
This is one of the easy Dutch food recipes!
Just mix some diced apple, raisins, sugar, and cinnamon, fold it into puff pastry. Cover the top with some beaten egg and more sugar/cinnamon.
- Appeltaart: Dutch Apple Pie
Dutch traditional apple pie is the best. And it you bake it yourself, your home will smell great too! Serve Dutch apple pie with a lot of whipped cream and—surprise—coffee! Yummy.
The best apple pie in Amsterdam can be found at Winkel 43.
- Vlaai: Dutch tart
A traditional tart from the south of the Netherlands is vlaai. The most common version is the one with cherries, but in the province of Limburg (where it’s from), they make all kinds of vlaai.
- Boterkoek: Dutch Butter Cake with Almond Paste
A traditional Dutch flat cake, made with (you guessed it) a lot of butter. The cake is moist, nearly sticky, and dense.
Most authentic is to make this recipe a day before you plan on eating it.
- Tompouce: Dutch Mille Feuille
This Dutch pastry is really yummy. It’s usually covered with pink glaze, but for King’s Day we eat the orange version in the Netherlands.
If you’re visiting the Netherlands, you can find tompouce in bakeries or at the HEMA.
- Bossche Bol: Dutch Chocolate Profiteroles
When in the Netherlands, do yourself a favor and go to Den Bosch (south of the Netherlands) and go try a Bossche bol at Jan de Groot, near the train station.
If you can’t make it to the south, try a moorkop from a bakery.
- Drop: Dutch Licorice
You can find this in any supermarket and candy store. It’s licorice and in the Netherlands, we have so many options: sweet, salty, hard, soft and much more!
There are some things we eat on special occasions. And although there are many more regional traditional things, we want to share four of our national traditions.
- Beschuit met Muisjes
Literally translated: rusk with little mice. That doesn’t sound very appealing, haha. When a baby is born, everyone who comes to see the newborn is treated on a rusk with butter (again: make it stick).
The “muisjes” in either blue or pink (depending on the baby’s ടex). It’s made of aniseed with a sugared, colored layer.
- Kruidnoten/Pepernoten: Dutch Gingerbread Cookies
You might’ve heard about the Dutch Santa Claus: Sinterklaas. The North American Santa Claus is actually based on the Dutch Santa Claus.
Dutch people in New Amsterdam—NYC—reinvented the Dutch tradition and made it an American one. So in December (and actually months before already), we eat pepernoten, small round Dutch cookies!
- Speculaas: Gingerbread Dutch Cookie
These are also gingerbread cookies, but in a larger size! We also eat these cookies in winter time and for the winter holidays.
- Oliebollen: Dutch Donuts
Oliebollen are our traditional New Year’s Eve specialty! It’s literally translated as ‘oil balls’, and it basically is just that: deep-fried dough balls. Incredibly delicious though (or should I say ‘dough’).
These are the most popular Dutch food recipes! We hope you liked this list.
Did we miss something? Let us know! Have you tried one of these already? Tell us!!
We’d love to hear what you think of ‘our’ food!
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