German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelknödel)

Here in Germany, we love our dumplings! Served alongside a roast with plenty of gravy, German Potato Dumplings or Kartoffelknödel are an absolute must. Don’t worry if you have leftovers; they taste fantastic fried the next day!

Winter is here, and while I’m not a fan of cold weather, I love comfort food… and if there is one thing we do really well here in Germany, it’s big, filling, rib-sticking cold weather meals.

It’s the time of year when we eat lots of roasted meat, and no roast is complete without a big plate of German Potato Dumplings, or Kartoffelknödel served alongside to soak up all the delicious gravy.

German Potato Dumplings with roast pork on the side.

Ingredients

To make classic German Potato Dumplings, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Potatoes: Of course! Using floury or mashing potatoes (mehligkochend) is essential to make dumplings. Waxy potatoes are not suitable. 
  • Starch: There are multiple ways to bind Kartoffelknödel together, but the simplest way is to use potato starch and flour.   If you can’t track down potato starch, use rice flour instead.
  • Egg: Egg also helps to stick everything together and prevent your dumplings from falling apart.
  • Salt and Nutmeg: To season the dumplings. You’ll also need plenty of salt for the cooking water.
A bowl of floury potatoes.

The complete ingredient list and detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Instructions

Potato dumplings are super simple to make. In fact, the hardest part is peeling the potatoes!

  1. First, wash your potatoes and then cut a shallow ring around the circumference with a small knife. This makes them much easier to peel later.
  2. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, salt generously and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until easily pierced with a knife.
  3. Drain the potatoes and allow them to steam off until the skin is dry. Peel off the skin while hot. (I hold the potato with a paper towel or a cloth) then rice or mash the potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool completely.
  4. When the potatoes have cooled, season with salt and nutmeg, then sprinkle over the potato starch and flour. Stir to combine, then add the beaten egg and knead to a smooth dough with your hands.
  5. Divide the dough into 8-10 even pieces and roll into balls. It’s common to insert a couple of bread croutons into the middle of each dumpling, but this is an optional extra.
  6. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, then lower the dumplings in one by one. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, keeping an eye that the saucepan doesn’t boil over. Serve hot.
Rolled uncooked German Potato Dumplings showing croutons in the middle.
Rolled uncooked German Potato Dumplings showing croutons in the middle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make Kartoffelknödel in advance?

Yes! Make the dough and chill it. Roll the dumplings when you are ready to cook.

How to stop dumplings from falling apart?

If you are having trouble with dumplings falling apart, it’s usually because the water was simmering or boiling. Dumplings are quite fragile during the cooking process. I’d recommend chilling the dough before rolling and also kneading it very well to activate a little bit of the gluten in the flour.

Recipes to serve with Dumplings

Dumplings are a classic side for a Bavarian Pork Roast with Dark Beer Sauce. They also taste lovely with a traditional German Sauerbraten.

German Potato Dumplings Recipe

German Potato Dumplings with roast pork on the side.

German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelknödel)

Jay Wadams
Here in Germany, we love our dumplings! Served alongside a roast with plenty of gravy, German Potato Dumplings or Kartoffelknödel are an absolute must.
Don’t worry if you have leftovers; they taste fantastic fried the next day!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serves 8 dumplings

Ingredients
 

  • 800 g floury potatoes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 100 g potato flour or rice flour
  • 50 g plain or all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions
 

  • PREPARE: Wash the potatoes, then cut a shallow line through the skin all the way around the circumference of each. Put all the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cool water, add a generous amount of salt and bring to the boil, covered. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, until soft.
  • PEEL AND MASH: When the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, drain the potatoes. Allow to sit for a minute or two, then peel away the skin. Use a potato ricer to press the potatoes into a mixing bowl and allow to cool. (See note)
  • SHAPE DUMPLINGS: When the potatoes have cooled, season with salt and nutmeg, then add the potato flour and plain flour. Use your hands to combine, then add the egg and knead the mixture to a smooth dough. If the mixture is very wet, add a little more starch. Divide the dough into 8-10 equal parts and roll into smooth balls. (See variation)
  • COOK DUMPLINGS: Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Use a slotted spoon to lift the dumplings into the pot, immediately reduce the heat to very low, cover partially with the lid and cook for 20 minutes. The dumplings poach, not boil, so you should barely see any bubbls in the water.
  • SERVE: When the dumplings are cooked (they’ll be floating), transfer to a serving platter and serve alongside your meal.

Notes

MASHING vs. RICING: Using a potato ricer will give you lovely smooth dumplings, but mashing the potatoes will also work perfectly. Just be thorough so you don’t end up with any lumps.
VARIATION: It’s common to add a small crouton into the middle of each dough ball, but this is a matter of personal preference. If you like, add a small toasted crouton to the centre of each dumpling as you roll them.
SIZE: I have found that people prefer smaller Kartoffelknödel, so I roll this amount of potato dough into 10 balls, which cook in around 15 minutes. They’ll need a longer cooking time if you make larger dumplings.

Recommended Equipment

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Nutrition

Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 561mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a review or a star rating and let me know how it was! Use the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations.
Course | Light Bites
Cuisine | German
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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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