Königsberger Klopse (German Meatballs with Gravy)

Königsberger Klopse Is An Iconic German Dish!

Searching for a great recipe that incorporates meatballs and a delicious gravy? This Königsberger Klopse recipe is for you!

This classic German dish – also known as meatballs with gravy – is exactly as advertised.

These nicely spiced pork-beef meatballs are made with a creamy, rich caper sauce. When served with potatoes, Königsberger Klopse is a filling dinner dish with unique flavors and textures that leave you wanting more!

german meatball covered in creamy gravy in bowl with potatoes
Königsberger Klopse in all its glory!

Königsberger Klopse is different from regular German meatballs. While we love classic meatballs (Frikadellen) you’d get at a Beer Garden, these meatballs are boiled in broth and served with their gravy.

The gravy just adds a whole other dimension to the experience. If you like capers, you’ll love Königsberger Klopse!

The dish was actually invented in Königsberg (the capital of East Prussia – present day Russia) over two centuries ago, but is still a dish that many Germans love.

Recipe Tips and Substitutions

There are quite a few steps in this Konigsberger Klopse recipe so be sure to read through these recipe tips before starting to cook.

Most of the steps aren’t overly difficult but it may be good to get your head around how the recipe works!

german meatballs in dish with parsley and potatoes on blue towel with pot behind
The best part of Königsberger Klopse is the gravy.

Make sure to use a mix of beef and pork for the meatballs – it just tastes better this way.

Traditionally, the meatball mix is made with a stale crusty roll. We know that in this day and age it’s not that common anymore to just have stale rolls or bread sitting around so feel free to use breadcrumbs instead. Just make sure that they are unseasoned.

You can substitute the beef broth for vegetable broth if you’re not a fan of beef broth. The flavors will change slightly but overall it won’t change the dish too dramatically.

It’s important that the gravy doesn’t come to a boil anymore after you have added the egg yolk – just something to keep in mind.

Feel free to adjust the number of capers as well as the amount of caper and lemon juice in the gravy to suit your preferences. The sauce is supposed to have a little bit of a sour taste though, so don’t skip them completely.

How to Make Königsberger Klopse – Step by Step Instructions

If you want to make these German meatballs in cream sauce, you can follow the recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact measurements.

For those wanting to follow recipe process steps visually, you can find the step-by-step process photo in this section.

This way, if you have any questions, you can check out the photos to see if you’re on the right track with this recipe!

dry bun held down in water bowl on counter by glass cup
Soak the stale bun.

If you’re using a stale crusty roll, soak it in some water.

It will try to float to the top so you might have to put something on top of the bun so it actually stays in the water. Let it soak until it is soft.

chopped onions on white cutting board
Chop the onions

In the meantime, peel and finely chop the onion.

Ideally, you chop them even smaller that we did in the photo above – this way they won’t be so visible in the meatballs later.

ingredients in silver mixing bowl for german meatballs
Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl.

Place the ground pork and the ground beef in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Also add the chopped onion, egg, salt, and pepper.

Squeeze the excess water out of the soaking bun, rip it into smaller pieces, and add it to the bowl as well. Alternatively (if you’re not using a stale bun), add the unseasoned breadcrumbs.

minced meat in silver bowl pressed by hand
Mix everything.

Mix everything together using your clean hands until it is well mixed.

If the consistency is overly sticky, feel free to add a few (more) breadcrumbs.

raw german meatball formed in hand
Form the meatballs.

Now form 6-8 meatballs in the palms of your hands. Alternatively, you can also make a few more, smaller ones.

raw german meatballs on plate on counter
Raw meatballs on a plate.

Set the meatballs aside on a plate and prepare the broth for them to boil in.

onions and bay leaf floating in pot of beef broth
Add beef broth, onion and a bay leaf to a pot.

Add approximately 8 cups of beef broth to a large pot and bring it to a boil. Depending on the exact size of your pot, you can also use slightly more or less.

While the broth is heating up, peel an onion and cut it into quarters. Then add the onion pieces as well as a bay leaf to the broth. This will give it additional flavor.

pot with beef broth and cut up onion chunks floating on stove
Add the meatballs to the broth.

When the broth is boiling, turn down the heat so that the liquid is just lightly simmering and add the meatballs.

Let them sit in the simmering (not vigorously boiling!) water for around 20 minutes until cooked.

If you made your meatballs smaller, then they might be done slightly earlier.

german meatball on straining spoon lifted from boiling pot on stove
Remove the meatballs once they are cooked.

Once cooked and floating, remove the meatballs from the pot and set them aside on a plate.

cooked german meatballs on plate on counter
Set the meatballs aside for now.

For it’s time for the sauce.

beef broth spooned through strainer into cup below
Pour the broth through a sifter.

Take 3 cups of broth from the pot and pour them through a sifter to capture any big pieces. Then set the sifted broth aside.

melted butter in large sauce pan on stove top
Melt the butter.

Take a large saucepan and melt the butter.

flour sitting in melted butter in large black sauce pan
Add the flour.

Once melted and hot, sprinkle in the flour.

flour and butter in sauce pan mixing with wooden spoon
Mix well.

Mix well with a wooden spoon or whisk so that there are no lumps.

broth pouring into flour roux in large black sauce pan
Add the broth.

Now, little by little add the broth that you just sifted while mixing constantly to avoid lumps from forming.

pouring milk into brown gravy in sauce pan on stove with whisk
Add the whipping cream.

After you’ve added all the broth and have a uniform consistency, add the whipping cream and bring the mixture to a simmer.

egg yolk in white bowl with milk on counter
Mix the egg yolk with some milk.

In the meantime, separate an egg. Add the egg yolk and one tablespoon of milk to a small bowl and whisk with a fork until uniform in color.

You can use the egg white for another recipe.

egg pouring into brown gravy in large sauce pan with whisk
Add the whisked egg yolk to the sauce.

Remove the pan with the gravy from the heat (the gravy should not boil anymore past this point!) and slowly pour in the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly.

green capers places in brown gravy in large sauce pan
Add the capers.

Now add the capers, caper juice, and lemon juice as well as salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

german meatballs sitting in cream sauce in large black sauce pan
Add the meatballs to the sauce.

Place the meatballs into the pot to warm.

two Konigsberger Klopse in a dish with potatoes and parsley
Our Königsberger Klopse turned out perfectly!

Serve the Königsberger Klopse with Salzkartoffeln (boiled potatoes that are first peeled, then boiled in saltwater until tender) and chopped parsley.

Storage Tips

You can store the meatballs and the gravy in a sealed container in the fridge once cooled.

To reheat just meatballs, remove the meatballs you want to warm from the rest of the gravy. It’s easiest to warm them in the microwave – but don’t do that with the sauce.

Since the sauce contains egg yolk it shouldn’t be brought to a boil again and that can happen very quickly in the microwave. So we would recommend heating the sauce gradually in a small pot on the stove until warm.

Make sure to consume any leftovers within 1-2 days.

FAQ

How to pronounce Königsberger Klopse?

If you’re trying to pronounce Königsberger Klopse, it’s “Kou-nigs-ber-ger Clop-sah”.

What to eat with Königsberger Klopse?

These German meatballs with caper gravy are best served with potatoes known as Salzkartoffeln. They are first peeled, then boiled in salted water.

Related Recipes

For more great German recipes that feature meat, you can try out these tasty creations:

  • German Meatloaf – A yummy meatloaf recipe – with hard-boiled eggs inside.
  • Maultaschen – Delicious German stuffed meat pasta served in broth.
  • German Schnitzel – A classic recipe for authentic breaded pork schnitzel.
two Konigsberger Klopse in a dish with potatoes and parsley

Königsberger Klopse (German Meatballs with Gravy)

Yield: 7
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Konigsberger Klopse are German meatballs in a rich gravy. Made from a blend of spiced beef, pork, and onion, these meatballs are served with potatoes in their deliciously creamy caper sauce!

Ingredients

The Meatballs

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 crusty roll, stale or 3 tablespoons unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1 medium-sized egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

The Broth

  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 bay leaf

The Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups broth from the pot
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon caper juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (more or less to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. If you're using a stale, hard crusty roll, soak it in water in a bowl. You might have to put something on top of it so it actually stays in the water. Let it soak until it is soft.
  2. In the meantime, peel and finely chop the onion.
  3. Add the ground pork and the ground beef to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Also add the chopped onion, egg, salt, and pepper. Squeeze the excess water out of the soaking bun, rip it into smaller pieces, and add it to the bowl as well. Alternatively, add the unseasoned breadcrumbs.
  4. With your clean hands, mix everything together until it is well combined. If the consistency is overly sticky, add a few breadcrumbs.
  5. Form 6-8 meatballs (or more smaller ones - that's up to you) and set them aside on a plate.
  6. Now get the broth started. For that, add approximately 8 cups of beef broth to a large pot, place it on the stove and start bringing it to a boil.
  7. In the meantime, peel an onion and cut it into quarters. Add the cut-up onion and the bay leaf to the broth in the large pot.
  8. When the broth is boiling, turn down the heat so that the liquid is just lightly simmering and add the meatballs. Let them sit in the simmering (not vigorously boiling!) water for around 20 minutes until cooked.
  9. Once cooked, remove the meatballs from the pot and set them aside on a plate. Take 3 cups of broth from the pot and pour them through a sifter to capture any big pieces. Then set the sifted broth aside for now.
  10. Now it's time to make the sauce. Take a large saucepan and melt the butter. Once melted and hot, sprinkle in the flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon or whisk so that there are no lumps. After you've added all the broth and have a uniform consistency, add the whipping cream and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  11. In the meantime, separate an egg. Add the egg yolk and one tablespoon of milk to a small bowl and whisk with a fork until uniform in color. You can use the egg white for another recipe.
  12. Remove the pan with the gravy from the heat (the gravy should not boil anymore past this point!) and slowly pour in the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly.
  13. Now add the capers, caper juice, and lemon juice as well as salt and pepper to taste. Mix well
  14. Place the meatballs into the pot to warm. Serve with Salzkartoffeln (boiled potatoes that are first peeled, then boiled in salted water until tender) and chopped parsley.

Notes

  • You can also use vegetable broth if you prefer it to beef broth
  • It's important to only add a little bit of broth at a time when making the sauce as this makes it easier to avoid any lumps.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 748Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 253mgSodium: 3187mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 46g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

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