What do Dutch people eat? A guide to Dutch kitchens: part two

What do Dutch people eat? If you’ve already read part one of this series, you know that there are many things to get used to about eating in the Netherlands.

With this complete guide, you will not only Dutchify your kitchen but also learn some of the key elements of the Dutch way of living. After all, they say ”you are what you eat” for a reason.


This tasty sausage is often placed on top of stamppot. Image: M.Minderhoud/Wikkimedia Commons/CC3.0

We start our part two of what Dutch people eat with a classic: rookworst. This is a type of pork-based smoked sausage, enjoyed traditional Dutch dishes such as stamppot and erwtensoep. It’s best to get an authentic Dutch brand like Unox to get the full experience.

Stamppot is a dish made from either one or several different boiled vegetables and mashed with potatoes. Whereas, erwtensoep is a soup made with split peas, celery, onions, leeks, carrots and often potatoes topped with sliced rookworst. Usually served with slices of rye bread and raw spek (smoked bacon).


Not particularly attractive, but Dutchies love it! Image: Kalhh/Pixabay

Speaking of Dutch delicacies, we just can’t skip zuurkool. It’s finely chopped fermented cabbage often mixed in with mash potatoes which goes beautifully with a rookworst. Having this staple in your kitchen won’t only expand your repertoire of Dutch cuisine, but will impress Dutchies when you serve them this traditional dish, with mustard mayo of course. 😉

Appelmoes and Appelstroop

dutch people eat appelmoes
Perfect on top of your morning yoghurt. Image: Tasks/Pixabay

Ever felt confused by people who can combine sweet sides with savoury meals? Yes, I am looking at you, Ikea meatballs and cranberry sauce.

In the Netherlands, especially for kids’ meals, appelmoes is the ultimate side dish – but it is enjoyed by adults as well. Made by boiling apples before turning them into a compote, this little treat is widely enjoyed next to any generic Dutch meal including potatoes, meat and veggies. Just grab the biggest jar of Hak brand.

On the other hand, Appelstroop is a syrup made with apples and sugar and looks a lot like molasses. You can have it with your Dutch pancakes (known as pannenkoeken) or even just on a slice of bread!


“Is it bread or is it a cake?” was the first question that came into my mind when I first saw this breakfast treat. The literal translation for ontbijtkoek is “breakfast cookie”, but before you think the Dutch are crazy for having cake in the morning, it is not as unhealthy as it sounds.

Ontbijtkoek is a type of cake made with rye and spices like cloves, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. You can have it for breakfast with a thick layer of butter, or as a snack throughout the day.

However you like to enjoy it, always keep it in its special tin that you can buy from Blokker.

Gourmetten Set

Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen

What a crowd-pleaser! Want to throw a dinner party but don’t want to the sole responsibility of not ruining the meal? Then you should try gourmetten.

Gourmetten is a shared meal where you combine many different ingredients on a grill or hot plates and cook it yourself with the help of your individual small pan. Not only delicious but also you get the fun of cooking your own dinner.

Even though it is often enjoyed at Christmas, don’t let that stop you from buying one of these bad boys and enjoying this fun way of eating any time of the year!

Bitterballen, Frikandel and Kroketten

You can even get vegetarian Bitterballen nowadays. Image: Takeaway/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

Oh, freezer items, where would we be without you? Dutch people love their fried food. It’s widely enjoyed alongside a biertje, mashed in a bread bun just on its own. No matter how you come across these beauties we’re here to explain to them all:

Bitterballen are a popular Dutch snack made by combining meat, butter, flour to make a thick mix; followed by covering them with bread crumbs and deep fry until they are golden brown. Best enjoyed with mustard and a good drink.

Frikandel is dark, long and deep-fried (did we mention how much the Dutch like to eat fried food?) meat sausage. Generally combined with curry ketchup or mayonnaise and chopped raw onions. Just make sure you have some mints with you for afterwards.

Last but not least, there is the kroket. It is a general name for anything mashed, deep-fried and covered in bread crumbs. Definitely a freezer favourite, easy to whip out for a  get-together with friends.

Now that you are a proud owner of a fully equipped, completely Dutchified kitchen, our job here is done! The next step is to invite some loved ones and enjoy the yummy goodies. Lekker! 

Have we missed anything off the list? Let us know in the comments!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in September 2017, and was fully updated in March 2021 for your reading pleasure.
Feature Image: Becca Tapert/Unsplash

Ceren Spuyman
Ceren Spuyman
Born and raised in Istanbul, Ceren moved when she decided to follow her own Dutchie. Being restless by nature, she is now busy with everything Dutch by majoring in Dutch Studies at Leiden University while living in Delft. Her hobbies are petting as many cats as possible.

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  1. Ja in the winter time is not much to do so plenty time to split all them peas for split pea soup. Also good time to rooking worsten for rookworst.


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