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Zwiebel Rostbraten – German Onion Steak

Steak dishes can be challenging, and even though they are delicious, they can get boring. Why not try something new and give my Swabian Zwiebel Rostbraten a try? This delicious oven cooked steak is topped with oh-so-lecker onion gravy and is the most popular steak dish in southern Germany!

If you struggle with grilling the perfect juicy steak, this recipe might be the answer to your prayers. Why? Because it can´t fail. You don´t need to babysit it on a grill, as it is cooked on the stove in a rich onion gravy and will be delicious and tender every time.

Zwiebelrostbraten on a white plate with noodles on a wooden board.

This lecker onion steak is probably not the most famous German dish, but it’s something you need to try if you want to explore German cuisine. It´s perfect for nights when you want something comforting and delicious!

German beef dishes offer a unique culinary experience, Sauerbraten, German Gulasch and Rinderrouladen, German beef rouladen are famous around the world. These recipes have been around for centuries in Germany, providing generations with flavorful meals that we all love. If you want to get a taste of classic German cooking, these three recipes are must-tries.

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Cultural Background

The zwiebel rostbraten is a classic Swabian dish from the south of Germany. This southern German specialty is an integral part of the restaurant menus and is traditionally served with handmade spaetzle or fried potatoes. In the original Swabian version, tasty Maultaschen accompanied the delicious beef dish.

How to pronounce “Zwiebelrostbraten” the correct way in German?

Listen to this audio file to hear how to say “Zwiebelrostbraten” in German.

Ingredients & Substitutes

This dish has few ingredients and is easy to put together. Using high-quality ingredients is essential for achieving a outstanding dinner experience. Forget about spending hours in the kitchen. This meal does not need a lot of active working time!

Zwiebel rostbraten ingredients.

Beef – the aroma and tenderness of this Swabian meat dish largely depend on the meat’s quality. Well-marbled meat guarantees a tasty and juicy dish. Best suited for zwiebelrostbraten are well-hung steaks or roast beef with a visible and not too small fat rim. If the meat is too lean, the onion steak dries out during preparation and tastes bland.

Onions – I usually use yellow onions as I love a stronger onion flavor. But you can use white onions or shallots if you prefer a milder flavor.

Beef Stock – a strong, flavorful beef stock is important to give this dish the perfect flavor. If you don´t want to use a convenience product, it is very easy to make your own dark gravy base, which works perfectly not only for this dish.

Red Wine – adds a wonderful, rich flavor to the sauce. But if you don´t want to incorporate wine into the recipe, you can simply omit it and substitute for more beef stock.

Seasoning – the seasonings for this dish are very simple. Salt, pepper, paprika powder, and mustard do the trick. I use regular paprika powder, not the smoked version.

Oil – a use neutral vegetable oil to sear the steaks in the pan.

Butter – frying the onions in butter gives them a wonderful flavor. If you prefer crispy onions, you can deep fry them in oil.

See recipe card for quantities.


Get ready for a super simple, mouth-watering recipe that’s sure to become a favorite in no time! This crowd-pleaser is perfect for a relaxed dinner with friends.

Making zwiebel rostbraten step 1.

Step 1: First things first, peel and slice those onions nice and thin. Combine the flour and paprika powder, then coat your onion rings with this mix.

Making zwiebel rostbraten step 2.

Step 2: Time for some frying action! Cook the onions in a large pan with butter until they’re beautiful golden brown. Then, set them aside for later.

Making zwiebel rostbraten step 3.

Step 3: Add some flavor to those steaks! Season with salt and pepper, and then brush on a generous amount of mustard on both sides for an extra zing.

Making zwiebel rostbraten step 4.

Step 4: Next, make little cuts around the edges to prevent them from curling while cooking.

Making zwiebel rostbraten step 5.

Step 5: Sear the steaks for about one or two minutes on each side, then take them out of the pan and set aside.

Making zwiebel rostbraten step 6.

Step 6: Now, pour the red wine into the pan, followed by the beef stock and half of your onions. The aroma is going to be incredible!

Making zwiebel rostbraten step 7.

Step 7: Bring the mixture to a boil, then pop the steaks back in. Cover the pan, let it simmer on low heat for 60-180 minutes (depending on your meat’s thickness), and watch the flavors meld together beautifully.

Step 8: Take the steaks out of the pan, making sure they stay warm. Optional: If you want a smoother sauce, blend it using an immersion or stand blender. But if you’re a fan of a chunkier gravy, feel free to skip this step.

Time to serve! Drizzle the scrumptious sauce over your steaks and pile on the remaining fried onions. Dig in and enjoy the compliments!

Zwiebel rostbraten with spaetzle on a white plate with cucumber-tomato garnish.


If you want to make rostbraten for your guests or a large family, prep your spaetzle the day before (or serve with french fries) and peel and slice the onions ahead of time. The time spent cooking will be greatly reduced as a result, allowing you more time to relax and enjoy your lecker meal and good company.

Kitchen Utensils

These are the kitchen tools you need to make this delicious beef dish:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Large frying pan or skillet with a lid
  • Spatula or tongs (for flipping steaks)
  • Slotted spoon or spatula (for removing onions)
  • Pastry brush (for brushing mustard onto steaks)
  • Plate (for setting aside cooked onions and steaks)
  • Immersion blender or stand blender (optional, for blending sauce)
German rostbraten onion steak on a white plate with a side salad.


To store Zwiebel Rostbraten properly, follow these steps:

  • Allow the dish to cool: Let the cooked steaks and onion gravy cool to room temperature. Avoid leaving the dish out for more than two hours, as this can encourage bacterial growth.
  • Separate components: It’s best to store the steaks and onion gravy separately. This prevents the steaks from becoming soggy and helps maintain their texture.
  • Use airtight containers: Transfer the cooled steaks and onion gravy into separate airtight containers. Using airtight containers helps preserve the flavors and prevents the dish from drying out.
  • Refrigerate or freeze: If you plan on eating the leftovers within 3-4 days, store the containers in the refrigerator. For longer storage, place the airtight containers in the freezer. Properly stored, frozen Zwiebelrostbraten can last up to 2-3 months.

When you’re ready to reheat and serve your dish, follow these guidelines:

  • Thawing (if frozen): Move the frozen containers to the refrigerator and allow them to thaw overnight.
  • Reheating the steaks: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the steaks on a baking sheet or oven-safe dish. Cover with aluminum foil to keep them moist and reheat for about 10-15 minutes, or until they reach your desired temperature.
  • Reheating the onion gravy: Pour the gravy into a saucepan and reheat over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s warmed through.
  • Serve: Place the reheated steaks on a plate, pour the warm onion gravy over them, and garnish with the fried onions. Guten Appetit!

How to Serve

Traditionally, Zwiebelrostbraten is served with spaetzle, French fries, kroketten, crispy fried potatoes, or a slice of freshly baked rye bread, or french fries and a tasty variety of German salads.

Some restaurants also serve this onion steak with Maultaschen, which are traditional Swabian-style ravioli.

What to drink with Zwiebel Rostbraten?

Swabian connoisseurs have been debating the same question for generations! Is rostbraten best enjoyed with a glass of wine or a cold beer? Opinions differ when it comes to the right drink, as a Swabian onion steak with beer or a Trolling wine tastes equally delicious.


Zwiebel rostbraten on a plate with noodles and onion gravy.

Zwiebelrostbraten – Swabian Onion Rostbraten

Angela Schofield

Indulge in Zwiebelrostbraten, a succulent Swabian beef dish. Unlock the perfect blend of juicy beef, fragrant onions, and a mouthwatering gravy.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Course Entrees

Cuisine German

Servings 4 servings

Calories 613 kcal


  • 4 large onions
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. paprika powder
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 4 Steaks
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil like avocado, canola
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 ⅔ cups beef stock


  • Peel onions and slice finely.

  • Blend flour with paprika powder and dust onion rings with the flour mixture.

  • Fry the onions in a large pan in butter until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  • Salt and pepper the steaks to taste, and brush with mustard on both sides.

  • Cut small incisions around the sides of the steaks to make sure that the meat will not curl during frying.

  • Sear the steaks on both sides for about 1 minute per side.

  • Then remove the steaks from the pan and set them aside.

  • Add the red wine to the pan. Stir in the beef stock and half of the onions.

  • Bring to a boil and place steaks back into the pan.

  • Cover the pan with a lid and allow to cook on low heat for about 60–180 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat.

  • Remove the steaks from the pan and keep warm.

  • Blend the sauce with an immersion blender or in a stand blender until smooth. (This step is optional; you can serve the sauce as is if you prefer a gravy with more texture.)

  • To serve, place the steaks on a warm plate, drizzle with the sauce, and garnish generously with the remaining fried onions. Serve immediately.


Yield: 1 servingCalories: 613kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 50gFat: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gNet Carbohydrates: 17g



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