German Meat-Filled Dumpling (Maultaschen)

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  • 105 mins
  • Prep: 90 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 24 dumplings (12 servings)
Ratings (28)

Italians and Germans both have meat dumplings like ravioli or maultaschen and potato dumplings like gnocchi or schupfnudeln.

Spinach is added when the maultaschen (literally "feedbags" but probably named after the city of Maulbronn) are eaten on Holy Thursday before Easter. These dumplings are part of many traditional German celebrations. 

The dough for maultaschen is usually egg noodle dough and the filling reflects the German influence of mustard, bacon, and marjoram flavors. It's not exactly easy to make, but with a bit of patience, you'll have a complete German meal. 

What You'll Need

  • 2 2/3 cups/300 g flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 to 3 slices bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • 1/2 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1 ounce/25 g bread (day-old)
  • 5 ounces spinach, frozen, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried  thyme 
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram 
  • 8 ounces beef ground round
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch pepper 
  • 1 to 2 quarts broth (beef or other)
  • Garnish: chopped chives or parsley

How to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. Mix flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, oil and just enough of the 3 tablespoons water to make a smooth dough.
  2. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes, until satiny. Form dough into a ball, oil surface, wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 1 hour.

Make the Filling

  1. Cook bacon and remove from pan. Sauté onions and garlic in bacon drippings until translucent.
  2. Mix together bacon, onions, garlic, bread, spinach, parsley, mustard, thyme, marjoram, beef, 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pinch pepper until well combined. If you want a finer texture, put ingredients through a meat grinder, too.

    Form the Dumplings

    1. Roll out half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness or thinner. You should have a sheet about 12 inches by 18 inches. You also can use a noodle roller to make flat sheets with 1/5 of the dough at a time.
    2. Score the dough with a knife, one time through lengthwise and five perpendicular cuts to make 1 dozen rectangles.
    3. Place 1 tablespoon dough on each rectangle.
    4. Fold rectangle over and pinch sides to close.
    5. Repeat with the other half of dough.

    Cook the Dumplings and Serve

    1. Bring broth to a simmer and place 1/3 of the maultaschen in the broth. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and drain. Keep warm if not serving immediately. Repeat with the rest of the maultaschen.
    2. Serve in a bowl with some broth and sprinkle with chives and/or parsley.

    Germans are known for their dumplings, and maultaschen are second only to the famous spaetzle, which are little egg dumplings traditionally made by hand. Here's a recipe for the time-consuming but traditional way to make spaetzle: Easy Homemade German Spaetzle Recipe.

    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 176
    Total Fat 8 g
    Saturated Fat 3 g
    Unsaturated Fat 3 g
    Cholesterol 169 mg
    Sodium 500 mg
    Carbohydrates 13 g
    Dietary Fiber 1 g
    Protein 14 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)