Obatzda (German Cheese Dip) Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
You don't need to wait for Oktoberfest to enjoy a big bowl of Obatzda, the German beer cheese dip. Have some soft (or hard) pretzels ready!

Updated: Apr. 17, 2024

If I see beer cheese on a menu, you can safely bet I’m going to order it—and I won’t want to share! Thankfully, anyone can satisfy their cheesy craving with our homemade Obatzda recipe. Make extra so there’s enough to go around.

What is Obatzda?

Bright orange Obatzda is a Bavarian beer cheese that’s served and sold in supermarkets and beer gardens throughout Germany. There’s some debate over the origins of Obatzda, but we do know that the Bavarian innkeeper Katharina Eisenreich popularized the recipe in the 1920s as a way to turn remnants of leftover cheese and butter into a spread for rye bread and pretzels.

Obatzda is traditionally made with Camembert cheese and butter, plus beer, paprika and often caraway. We add cream cheese for extra spreadability. And like all of our best dip recipes, Obatzda is easy to make from ingredients you can find at any grocery store. Just don’t forget the chewy soft pretzels and a big glass of beer to serve with it.

Obatzda Ingredients

  • Camembert: This French staple provides a luscious base for this German beer cheese recipe. Be sure to use the rind, which provides texture and flavor.
  • Cream cheese: The cream cheese provides a thick, creamy texture for this dip. Let it soften beforehand so it mixes easily with the Camembert.
  • Wheat beer: While the recipe doesn’t call for much beer, it’s certainly a key ingredient for German beer cheese. The liquid helps to smooth out the texture of the dip, but it also adds a delicious wheaty, malty flavor. If you’re avoiding booze, feel free to leave it out or use a nonalcoholic beer. You can also try other types of craft beer for different flavors.
  • Caraway seed: You might know this seed from caraway seed rye bread; it’s a very traditional ingredient for Obatzda and other German recipes. We like to use whole caraway seeds in this recipe for the flavor and extra texture, but you can grind them with a mortar and pestle for a smoother texture.
  • Paprika: It’s necessary for extra flavor and that great color. Use sweet paprika, not hot or smoked paprika.

Directions

Step 1: Mash the cheese

Mashing Camembert cheese with a forkTMB Studio

In a small bowl, mash the sliced Camembert cheese with a fork to your desired consistency.

Step 2: Mix the ingredients

Whisking ingredients in large bowlTMB Studio

Beat in the cream cheese, chopped onion, beer, paprika, caraway, salt and pepper. Mix everything well and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the beer cheese as-is, or with an additional sprinkle of caraway seeds.

Obatzda Variations

  • Add different seasonings: As with pimento cheese, there are many ways to put your personal touch on Obatzda. Try adding different seasonings like horseradish or garlic, or smoked paprika in place of regular paprika.
  • Make it sweet: Add a drizzle of honey for that sweet-savory combo.
  • Add some fresh herbs: Herbs are always a welcome addition. Try Obatzda with dill, parsley, or even cilantro.

How to Store Obatzda

Store your beer cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. It’s a great dip to make ahead of time because the flavors meld as it sits.

Obatzda Tips

Obatzda served in bowl with vegetables on the sideTMB Studio

Should the Camembert be cold or room temperature?

For easy mixing, allow your Camembert to come to room temperature before mixing it. You can also use a potato masher instead of a fork if it feels easier to mix that way.

What can you serve with Obatzda?

Obatzda is the classic companion to a soft giant pretzel. But anything that you’d serve with other dip recipes will work well here—some crusty bread or vegetables like radishes or celery. And don’t forget that chilled glass of beer!

Watch how to Make Obatzda (German Cheese Dip)

Obatzda (German Cheese Dip)

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 3-1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 rounds (8 ounces each) Camembert cheese, rind on, sliced
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons wheat beer
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mash Camembert cheese with a fork to desired consistency. Beat in cream cheese, onion, beer and seasonings. If desired, sprinkle with additional caraway seeds.

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoons: 79 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 183mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.

Obatzda, otherwise known as German beer cheese dip, is so delicious and creamy. It's the perfect dip to make the night before a get-together. —Beate Trinkl, Einsbach, Germany
Recipe Creator