Kartoffelknödel, also known as Kartoffelklöße and Kartoffelkloesse are German Potato Dumplings.
Kartoffelknödel are our favourite German side dish, comforting potato dumplings best enjoyed in the cold Fall and Winter months.
Our authentic German Potato Dumpling recipe is quick and easy to make, ready to serve in under an hour.
You’ll love spooning through a bowl of our plump Kartoffelknödel stuffed with bacon sauerkraut and topped with a mushroom cream sauce.
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What Is Kartoffelknödel?
Kartoffelknödel is one of Germany’s most popular side dishes.
The plump dumplings are hand-rolled into the shape of a sphere, the size of a small clenched fist. They can be prepared as a simple traditional recipe, or like our method below, stuffed with a savoury filling.
Kartoffelknödel are prepared with boiled potatoes that are mashed or passed through a ricer until very smooth. The potato is then whipped with butter, spices, egg and a binding agent like bread crumbs, wheat flour, potato starch or cornstarch.
Kartoffelkloesse are typically served alongside meat dishes like rouladen, sauerbraten, pork knuckle or bratwurst.
Our stuffed German Potato Dumplings can be served as an appetizer or side dish. They’re extra special and decadent thanks to a creamy mushroom sauce you pour over them just before serving.
Travel to Germany by Cooking Kartoffelknödel at Home
I love traveling to Europe.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Europe, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Kartoffelknödel recipe. I’ve embarked on culinary adventures at German restaurants throughout Western Europe in Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Austria.
On a road trip of Germany, I’ve slurped through steaming bowls of traditional Kartoffelknödel at restaurants in Freiburg, Berlin, Ahrenshoop, Hamburg, Spreewald, Potsdam, Dresden, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Cochem, Mettlach, Nennig, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich, Koblenz and Rudesheim.
The first time I ever ate Kartoffelknödel was during a memorable first meal in Munich. An oversized plate arrived at my table featuring a massive pork knuckle, fermented pickles and two plump German Potato Dumplings.
I hadn’t seen Kartoffelkloesse on menus in Berlin so was delighted to encounter the classic dumplings popular in Southern Germany. I enjoyed them with a swig of fresh beer and ordered them whenever I could while galavanting through Bavaria.
After you’ve enjoyed your first taste, you’ll realize why Kartoffelknödel is a must-try when visiting Germany!
Where To Eat Authentic Kartoffelknödel
Haven’t traveled to Germany before? It may be helpful to first sample traditional Kartoffelknödel at a local restaurant to better understand how the starchy side dish is served. You’ll get an idea of how large to roll your German Potato Dumplings and what sauces or garnishes to add to the plate.
In Toronto, popular restaurants serving German dishes that may offer Kartoffelknödel include Country Style Hungarian, Wvrst, Otto’s Bierhalle, Little Bavaria, Cafe Polonez and Europe Bar and Restaurant.
My Family Loves German Potato Dumplings
After traveling to Germany, Switzerland and Austria several times I decided to treat my parents to a traditional German feast featuring homemade Kartoffelknödel.
I knew my parents would love the German side dish because they both love mashed potatoes, dumplings, bacon and creamy mushroom sauces.
I like to serve these stuffed German Potato Dumplings during the colder months of the year in the fall and winter. There’s honestly nothing more comforting after shoveling snow during a blizzard then slicing into a plump potato dumpling stuffed with smoky bacon and sauerkraut.
We suggest serving Kartoffelknödel with mushroom cream as a simple lunch with a fresh salad or simple soup. If you’re preparing Kartoffelkloesse as a side dish to pair with a meaty main course, simply top with finely chopped parsley.
Kartoffelknödel Health Benefits
Our German Potato Dumplings recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of leeks can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
An excellent source of vitamins K and C, cabbage helps keep your bones, blood, and immune system healthy.
Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health.
Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Nutmeg is said to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function, detoxify the body, boost skin health, reduce insomnia, increase immune system function and improve blood circulation.
An excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron, parsley helps keep your bones and blood healthy, and protects your skin from damage by free radicals.
Whole wheat flour is rich in vitamins B-1, B-3, and B-5, along with riboflavin and folate. It also has more iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients than white flour.
German Potating Dumpling Tips
This homemade Kartoffelknödel recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips:
- Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
- We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if the sauce needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
- There are many regional variations of German Potato Dumplings. Some include a mixture of raw and cooked potato. They all use binding agents like cornstarch, stale bread or potato starch to hold the dumplings together when boiled in water. Use whatever starch you’ve got in your cupboard.
- These Kartoffelknödel are vegetarian if you omit the bacon and beef stock. Feel free to create your own vegetarian German Potato Dumplings by stuffing them with braised mushrooms or caramelized onions.
- Transform your mushroom cream sauce into something truly decadent by adding a few dabs of your favourite blue cheese like gorgonzola.
What To Serve with Kartoffelknödel
If you prepare our German Potato Dumplings stuffed with bacon sauerkraut and topped with mushroom cream sauce you’ve got a meal all on its own.
We like to serve the dish as a shareable appetizer at German-themed dinner parties as it is very rich. If you’re making simple Kartoffelknödel (without stuffing them or preparing a cream sauce) you can top them with chopped parsley and serve them with hearty German meat dishes like sauerbraten, pork knuckle or bratwurst.
If you’re hosting a German-themed dinner party you might also want to serve Flädlesuppe German Pancake Soup, German Pork Rouladen with Bacon, Apple & Pickles, Semmelknödel German Bread Dumplings and Speckknödel German Bread Bacon Dumplings.
After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe, Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers or Black Forest Pancakes.
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Storing German Potato Dumplings
If you have leftover Kartoffelknödel you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To reheat, simply zap them in the microwave or simmer in a small pot of boiling water.
How To Make Kartoffelknödel German Potato Dumplings
Kartoffelknödel German Potato Dumplings
- Food Mill
- Dutch Oven
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- French knife
- Saute Pan
- Slotted spoon
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- 1 kg Russet Potatoes
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Cornstarch
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp Ground Pepper
- 60 g Bacon sliced
- 1/4 cup Sauerkraut
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 3 cups Cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1 Small onion diced
- 1 Garlic clove minced
- 1/4 cup Beef stock
- 1/4 cup Dry sherry
- 1 cup Table cream
- 1 tsp Honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dill garnish
- Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water. Season with salt and cover. Bring the water to a boil and cook potatoes skin-on for 20 minutes, or until tender. The potatoes are done once they easily slide off when pierced with a sharp paring knife.
- Drain cooked potatoes and peel using a sharp paring knife while still hot. Press the warm potatoes through a ricer or mash with a potato masher until you have a smooth puree. Let cool until warm.
- Stir in butter, egg yolks, flour, cornstarch, salt, nutmeg and pepper until you have created a uniform dough. Use your hands to knead the mixture until it is smooth.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the sliced bacon over medium heat, 4-6 minutes crispy and fully cooked. Remove from heat and stir in sauerkraut.
- Wet your hands with water (this helps stop the dough from sticking to your hands), then divide the dough into 8 portions and shape into balls.
- Using your thumb, press each ball to create a well an add 1 tsp of bacon sauerkraut filling. Close the filling hole with potato mixture and roll with your hands so filling is hidden inside.
- Drop Kartoffelknödel gently into a pot of boiling, salted water. Simmer gently, uncovered, approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the mushroom sauce by adding butter to a frying pan with sliced mushrooms and sauté over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Tend mushrooms by the stove, flipping them with a wooden spoon or spatula to ensure they receive consistent and even browning.
- Add minced garlic and diced onion, cooking for 3-4 more minutes until lightly browned.Add beef stock and sherry before turning the heat to medium low. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes before adding cream and honey. Stir for approximately 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Remove German Potato Dumplings with slotted spoon and serve topped with mushroom sauce and dill.
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