Sometimes, a smell will trigger memories or initiate thoughts of a particular season: the air will smell like "fall" or "summer", a plate of steaming mussels may remind you of a holiday at the coast, and the aroma of roast turkey will take you back to Thanksgiving.

The smell of worstenbroodjes, baking in the oven, remind me of Christmas. My grandparents would always serve worstenbroodjes on Christmas Eve, and it's a smell and a taste that I will forever associate with that particular holiday.

You can eat these meat-filled rolls all year, but they seem to be favored during the colder months. They are perfect to hold you over from dinner to midnight on New Year's Eve, to give you a little something to eat after First Christmas Day's hefty lunch if you are too full for dinner but still want to eat something....And they're traditionally served on Koppermaandag, the Monday after Three Kings Day on January 6th, which was the day that the guilds celebrated. They would go door to door to visit their customers and bid them a happy new year. Often, they were welcomed with worstenbroodjes and beer (or coffee) to warm up, and given a small monetary contribution that the guild members would then spend at the end of the day, at the local drinking establishments.

Traditionally, worstenbroodjes are typical from Brabant, a southern province in the Netherlands. Both Brabant and Limburg are the more gastronomically exciting provinces in Holland. Brabant is proud of its koffietafel, a lunch or brunch served with a large variety of rolls, breads, toppings, meats, cheeses and jams and copious amounts of coffee, and the Limburgers can boast about their many pies, the so called vlaaien. Brabant is from old also the province that excelled in raising large amounts of pork, hence anything made with pork often received the adjective Brabants, meaning "from Brabant", even if the product was not traditionally from that region.

In this case, Brabantse worstenbroodjes are indeed traditional from the area. In other parts of the country, the saucijzenbroodje is favored, but worstenbroodjes fit in perfectly with the koffietafel and aren't as rich. Makes ten worstenbroodjes.

For the rolls
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup (175 ml) warm milk
2 cups (250 gr.) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter
1 egg

For the filling
1 lb (500 grams) ground beef (preferably half-om-half i.e. half beef, half pork)
1/2 cup (25 grams) panko or dried breadcrumbs
1 egg
4 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)

For egg-wash
1 egg
2 tablespoons water

Activate the yeast by stirring it into the warm milk. In the meantime, mix the flour with the salt and the sugar. When the yeast has proofed which takes about five minutes (it's now all bubbly and smells great), add it to the flour and mix it in. Drizzle the melted butter on top, continue to mix and finally add in the egg. Mix briefly until it all comes together, then take it out of the bowl, and knead for about five to ten minutes by hand. Grease the bowl, add the dough, turn it over so it's coated, and cover. Let rise for approximately thirty minutes or until 2/3s larger in size.

In the meantime, mix the ground meat with the spices, the breadcrumbs, the egg and the milk. Cut off 2 oz (55 gr) portions and roll into a small ball. Set aside while you do the rest. When they're all divided into portions, carefully roll each ball out into a sausage shape, about five inches long. Cover.

Carefully punch down the dough. Divide into 2 oz (55 gr) pieces and also roll each piece into a ball. While you work on the rest, keep each one covered underneath a tea towel or plastic wrap, you don't want them to dry out.

Now, with a rolling pin, roll the dough into an elongated oval, slightly larger than five inches long. Place one sausage on top, fold over the short edges, pull over the long edge and carefully roll the sausage into the dough, pinching the seam.

Place each sausage roll on parchment paper or a silicone mat on a baking sheet. Cover and let them rise, at room temperature, for about thirty minutes until they're nice and puffy, and the dough doesn't spring back when you poke it.

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Brush the sausage rolls with the egg wash and bake for approximately twenty to thirty minutes, or until golden.

Don't stick with just the traditional salt, pepper, nutmeg combo. Have fun with it and add some paprika, some all-spice, you may even add some small chopped onion or garlic. As with everything, recipes are just a guideline!


  1. PS, where are you from in Idaho? I'm in Boise, also just moved here.

  2. What in the world?! What a fun blog! I just found you via Mika's Pantry and am a new follower!

  3. Hi Candace,
    Welcome to the blog, I am so glad you enjoy it!

  4. You need to think about making this with goat meat.. when I actually get some goat meat to you. I think this will work well with the goat.. though goat is quite lean. Certainly I intend to try doing it that way.

  5. o ja altijd lekker worstebroodjes! goede tip hoe je die zijkanten dichtvouwt, moet ik onthouden.

  6. Hi Nicole, I am from Alabama, but I am currently living in Eindhoven. My husband works at DAF. I have been here for a month and I have fallen in love with the food! I have been using google translater to decipher the language and understand the foods I'm buying. I was googling brabant egg cake to see what the Dutch eat with it or how they prefer to eat it when I stumbled upon your blog. I am SO EXCITED to find your blog because I love to cook and eat:) I can't wait to try some of your recipes!!!! Thank you for sharing all your food knowledge with us!

  7. Hi Carmen,
    Welcome to the blog and welcome to Holland! Brabantse eierkoeken, or egg cakes, are fluffy, sweet and best eaten as a large cookie. Some people will spread butter on it and have it with a cup of coffee for breakfast. I'll put them on the list to bake, thanks for the tip! Hope you enjoy the blog and your stay in Holland, keep in touch!

  8. Hello Nicole,

    I've lived in California for many years and finally have found all the food recipes I grew up on in Eindhoven. Have an old Margriet Cookbook but trying to convert ingredients....never comes out the same way. Thank you so much and Happy Haolidays, here come the worstenbroodjes ;-)

  9. Oops meaning Happy Holidays

  10. Nice! I've been told I have Dutch heritage. I am going to try my hand at making worstenbroodjes this Christmas. Thank you for the recipe. Happy Holidays!

  11. Tried this one out on my boyfriend ( he's from the North Brabant area) and he said it was perfect on the first try. I found a 2:1 pork to beef ratio worked well. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. I LOVE your blog and I've shared it with friends & relatives. My grandparents moved to the US from Tilburg in the early 1900s. My mother had 13 siblings so family gatherings were a very big event. Worstenbroodjes were a holiday favorite among the Schoenmakers family. In fact, anybody who arrived late to the gathering probably missed out on this treat! Our family recipe is a little bit different but like you say...recipies are just a guideline. Thank you so much & HAPPY holidays to you & yours.


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