German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelkloesse)

Experience the hearty comfort of traditional German Potato Dumplings. They are perfectly thick and starchy spheres of delight. This dish complements any main course with its easy-to-prepare simplicity.

Potato dumplings on a plate.

Potatoes are one of my favorite starches to add to my meals. A few other delicious potato side dishes I recommend are my Easy Roasted Bombay Potatoes, German Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer), or Patatas Bravas.

These delicious potato dumplings are a common side dish for any German recipe served with gravy! I mean, potatoes and gravy, is there a more perfect pair? This is a very traditional German recipe served at Thanksgiving or Christmas that you can incorporate into your holidays as well! Traditionally, people serve this dish with German Braised Red Cabbage (Rotkohl) or any dish that includes homemade gravy!

What Are German Potato Dumplings?

German Potato Dumplings, known as “Kartoffelklöße” in some parts of Germany and “Kartoffelknödel” in others, have a rich history in German cuisine. Originating from Germany’s diverse culinary regions, these dumplings became a staple, especially in areas where potatoes were abundant. Traditionally made with a potato masher, they embody the simplicity and heartiness of German cooking.

Reasons to Love These Dumplings

  • German Potato Dumplings offer a cozy, heartwarming taste that’s perfect for comfort food.
  • Their neutral yet delightful flavor complements a wide range of main dishes.
  • Made with basic, readily available ingredients, these dumplings are a go-to for an easy yet delicious dish.
  • The unique, soft, and slightly chewy texture of these dumplings provides a pleasing mouthfeel.
  • Enjoying German Potato Dumplings is a way to experience and appreciate a staple of German cuisine.

Recipe Ingredients

German potato dumplings ingredients on a table.
  • Starchy Potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes): These are the base of the dumplings and provide the necessary texture and flavor.
  • Corn Starch: Used to bind the potatoes together and give the dumplings their structure.
  • Salt: Essential for seasoning and enhancing the overall flavor of the dumplings.
  • Nutmeg: Adds a subtle, warm spice that complements the potato flavor.
  • Eggs: Act as a binding agent that helps keep the dumpling mixture cohesive during cooking.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Sweet Potato Variation: Replace starchy potatoes with sweet potatoes for a sweeter, more colorful dumpling, adding a unique twist to the traditional flavor profile.
  • Vegan Adaptation: Use flaxseed or chia seed eggs (made by mixing ground seeds with water) instead of regular eggs, and substitute butter with a plant-based alternative.
  • Hearty Meal: Enhance your German Potato Dumplings by using Russet potatoes and mixing fresh herbs like chives directly into the dough. Serve with a rich, creamy mushroom sauce and a side of succulent pork roast for a hearty and aromatic meal.

How to Make German Potato Dumplings

Step #1: Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks.

Step #2: Place the raw potatoes in a large pot, cover them with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Potatoes boiling in a pot.

Step #3: Drain the potatoes and roughly mash them, taking care not to over-mash.

Step #4: Spread out the potatoes on wax paper to cool for about 15 minutes, until they are comfortable to handle.

Mashed potatoes on a baking sheet.

Step #5: While the potatoes are cooling, bring a pot of water to a boil.

Step #6: After the potatoes have cooled, add them to a large bowl along with the cornstarch, salt, and nutmeg, and lightly mix.

Mashed potatoes in a bowl with cornstarch, salt, and nutmeg added on top.

Step #7: Next, add two beaten eggs to the bowl with the potato mixture and fold to form the dough.

Eggs added to potato dough mixture.

Step #8: Then, shape the dough into about 2-inch round dumplings; this should yield about 12 dumplings. Using a slotted spoon, lower each dumpling into the boiling water.

German potato dumplings cooking in water in a pan.

Step #9: Once the dumplings begin floating to the top, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot, and let the dumplings cook for about 20 minutes.

Step #10: After cooking, transfer the dumplings to a large serving bowl. Drizzle with melted butter, add salt to taste, top with buttered breadcrumbs and fresh parsley, and enjoy!

Potato dumplings on a white plate with a fork and knife.

Expert Tips

  • Potato Selection: Use starchy potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold for the best texture. These varieties have the ideal starch content to hold the dumplings together without becoming too dense.
  • Avoid Over-Mashing: Mash the potatoes gently; over-mashing can make the dough gummy. Aim for a texture that’s smooth but still has some body.
  • Dough Consistency: If the dough feels too sticky, add a little more cornstarch. The right consistency is crucial – it should be firm enough to hold its shape but not too dry.
  • Test Dumpling: Before cooking all the dumplings, boil a test dumpling first. This helps you adjust the dough’s consistency if needed, ensuring the rest cook perfectly.
  • Prevent Sticking During Shaping: German Potato Dumplings can be sticky. To avoid this, wet your hands with water or lightly dust them with flour when forming the dumplings into balls.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know when German Potato Dumplings are cooked?

They are done when you simmer them for 20 minutes after they float to the surface of the boiling water.

Are German Potato Dumplings gluten-free?

Traditional recipes use wheat flour or breadcrumbs, so they aren’t gluten-free. However, you can make them gluten-free by using appropriate substitutes.

Do German Potato Dumplings have to be round?

While traditionally round, you can shape them as you like. However, keep the size consistent for even cooking.

What dishes pair well with German Potato Dumplings?

German Potato Dumplings pair well with hearty meat dishes, stews, and gravies. They complement dishes like German Pork Schnitzel and Homemade German Goulash.

Are potato gnocchi the same as German potato dumplings?

No, potato gnocchi and German potato dumplings are different. Potato gnocchi, an Italian dish, is smaller, lighter, and typically made with a combination of mashed potatoes, flour, and egg. German potato dumplings are larger, denser, and often made with a mix of cooked and raw grated potatoes.

German potato dumplings on a blue plate on a table.

Storage Info

To store German potato dumplings, place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. They also freeze well; place on a baking sheet to freeze individually, then transfer to a freezer bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator if frozen, then warm in a steamer or microwave until heated through. Alternatively, pan-fry them in a bit of butter for a crispy exterior, adding a delightful texture.

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German potato dumplings on a blue plate on a table.

Easy Potato Dumplings Recipe

Experience the hearty comfort of traditional German Potato Dumplings. They are perfectly thick and starchy spheres of delight. This dish complements any main course with its easy-to-prepare simplicity.
4.6 from 19 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 dumplings
Calories: 139kcal
Author: Linda
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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Starchy Potatoes - Russet or Yukon Gold
  • 1 Cup corn starch
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 6-8 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs - optional garnish
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley - optional garnish
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Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks.
  • Place the potatoes in a pot, cover them with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  • Drain the potatoes and roughly mash them, taking care not to over-mash.
  • Spread out the potatoes on wax paper to cool for about 15 minutes, until they are comfortable to handle.
  • While the potatoes are cooling, bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • After the potatoes have cooled, add them to a large mixing bowl along with the cornstarch, salt, and nutmeg, and lightly mix.
  • Next, add two beaten eggs to the bowl with the potato mixture and fold to form the dough.
  • Then, shape the dough into about 2-inch round dumplings; this should yield about 12 dumplings. Using a slotted spoon, lower each dumpling into the boiling water.
  • Once the dumplings begin floating to the top, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot, and let the dumplings cook for about 20 minutes.
  • After cooking, transfer the dumplings to a large serving bowl. Drizzle with melted butter, add salt to taste, top with buttered breadcrumbs and fresh parsley, and enjoy!

VIDEO

NOTES

Storage Info:
To store German Potato Dumplings, place them in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days in an airtight container. They also freeze well; place on a baking sheet to freeze individually, then transfer to a freezer bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator if frozen, then warm in a steamer or microwave until heated through. Alternatively, pan-fry them in a bit of butter for a crispy exterior, adding a delightful texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1dumpling | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 347mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 81IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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Comments:

  1. Hi, Linda! I have a question, and it’s purely for my own curious mind! I learned lefse from my Norwegian/German mother-in-law, and the “dough” was kindof similar to this, but used AP flour and no eggs. But, potatoes, butter, salt, and a “flour” component. Why cornstarch? What about it, over AP flour, makes for a superior dumpling??? I LOVE the science of cooking, and seeing cornstarch, not flour, got this inquiring mind wanting to know! lol

    Love your blog, refer to it often; your picadillo recipe is my go-to – SOOOOO delicious!!! Everyone loves it! 🙂

    1. Hi Chrissie, thanks for the love and your question. Adding cornstarch makes the dough firmer and chewier. – Linda