German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelklöße)

German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelklöße) on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Cool Time: 30 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 12 to 14 dumplings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
277 Calories
10g Fat
42g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 277
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 439mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 12mg 59%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 842mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

German potato dumplings, also known as kartoffelklöße or kartoffelknödel, are unique spheres of seasoned potatoes and starch. There are many ways to make classic German potato dumplings, including some using all or part raw potatoes, some using wheat flour, and some using part wheat flour and part starch. This version contains cooked starchy (or floury) potatoes, potato starch, eggs, and simple seasonings.

The texture of the potato dumplings should be firm but not gummy, which is best achieved by ricing the potatoes, letting them cool, and then mixing the ingredients gently. Making the dumplings is very easy, and they are an excellent side to serve with many dishes.

Potato dumplings are old-fashioned German comfort food, often served with a Sunday roast and gravy or classic German rouladen or sauerbraten. They are also excellent served with creamy mushroom sauce or a hearty beef stew.

"A tasty recipe with minimal ingredients! They are mild in flavor and the breadcrumbs bring crunch and a balance to the texture. These dumplings go great with rich sauces such as a gravy or mushroom sauce, or you can serve them as a side dish to a meaty stew." —Tara Omidvar

German Potato dumplings tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds starchy potatoes, such as russets or Idaho

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (172 grams) potato starch, or more as needed

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste, plus more for the cooking water

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, preferably freshly grated

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 4 to 6 tablespoons melted butter

  • Buttered breadcrumbs, freshly ground black pepper, and/or parsley, for garnish, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelklöße) ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks.

    Potato pieces and a knife on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover them with salted water, and bring them to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium; cover the pan and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain well.

    Potatoes in a pot with water, on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Rice the potatoes and spread them out on a large baking sheet or waxed paper; let them cool for about 30 minutes or until completely cooled. You should have about 6 cups (800 grams) of riced potatoes.

    Riced potatoes on a baking sheet, next to a potato ricer

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    Water in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Meanwhile, prepare the potato dumpling dough. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooled riced potatoes with the potato starch, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the nutmeg.

    Riced potatoes with potato starch, salt, and the nutmeg in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Add the beaten eggs to the potato mixture and gently mix with your hands to form the dough. Avoid overmixing.

    Potato dough ball in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Shape the dough into about 12 firm 2-inch dumplings, about 3 ounces each.

    Potato dough balls on a wooden board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. With a slotted spoon, place the dumplings in the boiling water.

    Potato dough balls in pot with water on a burner

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  10. When the dumplings float to the top, turn the heat to low, just enough to maintain a simmer. Cover the pan and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Make sure the water is not at a rolling boil as it could cause the dumplings to fall apart.

    Potato dough balls cooking in a covered pot on a burner

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  11. Remove the dumplings to a bowl; drizzle with melted butter, and sprinkle lightly with salt to taste.

    German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelklöße) in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  12. Serve potato dumplings with buttered breadcrumbs, freshly ground black pepper, and/or parsley, as desired.

    German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelklöße) on a plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tip

  • If you're unsure about the texture of the dumpling dough and whether there is enough starch, cook a small tester dumpling first in the gently simmering water. If it holds together, then proceed with cooking the other dumplings. If not, add more potato starch to the dumpling dough, about 2 tablespoons at a time.
  • A potato ricer is the best choice for mashing the potatoes, but if you use a masher, avoid overworking the potatoes.
  • Starchy—or floury—potatoes, such as russets and Idaho, are ideal, but semi-starchy Yukon Gold potatoes work as well. Floury potatoes from other regions include King Edward, Goldrush, Maris Piper, Vivaldi, mehlig kochende, and Hertha.

Variations

  • Crouton-filled potato dumplings: Cut 2 slices of bread into small cubes and sauté the cubes in 2 tablespoons of butter until lightly browned. Press 2 or 3 of the buttered, toasted croutons into the center of each dumpling when shaping them—cook as directed.
  • Potato dumplings with breadcrumbs: Add about 1/3 cup of fine, dry breadcrumbs to the dumpling mixture along with the starch.
  • Potato dumplings with herbs: Toss the riced potatoes with 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley or chives along with the potato starch and seasonings.
  • Replace the melted butter with brown butter.

How to Store Potato Dumplings

  • Refrigerate leftover potato dumplings in a covered container for up to four days. 
  • To reheat potato dumplings, cook in simmering water until heated through or cut them into slices and fry in butter until hot and lightly browned.
  • To freeze uncooked potato dumplings, mix and shape them as directed, then arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze. When frozen solid, remove the dumplings to freezer bags and freeze for up to three months. Cook in boiling water until they float, then cover and continue cooking over low heat for 20 minutes.

Why are my potato dumplings gummy?

If your potato dumplings are gummy, it is likely the potatoes were overworked, or the dough was overmixed.