Klöße // Knödel // German Potato Dumplings

Country of Origin: Germany (also Central Europe)


  • 6 Potatoes
  • 2 Eggs
  • ~1/2 Cup of Flour
  • Special Equipment:
  • Grater
  • Makes 12-15 medium-sized dumplings.


Klöße (pronounced similar to close-uh) or knödeln (kuh-nodeln) are often considered the same thing and it usually depends on where you are in the German-speaking world. Northern and western Germany tend to use klöße (or kloesse if you don’t have the special characters*) and southern and eastern German and Austria use Knödel!

I need to note immediately before any Czechs/Hungarians/Ukrainians/anybody from Central Europe is mad at me, I only list them as a German food because that’s where I learned about them and am using the German name. Technically they’re a Central European dish and can be found all over the place. I mean, it’s made from incredibly simple ingredients, so naturally multiple groups of people use them!

Sometimes they’re made with meat, fruit, or vegetables within so there’s plenty of ways to spice up your potato dumplings. We’re keeping it simple here for now but feel free to play around with the recipe and make it your own! Now it’s time to make some delicious peasant food!


 German Vegetable Broth - Normal Stock Works Perfectly

German Vegetable Broth - Normal Stock Works Perfectly

These potato dumplings can be used as a main dish, a side dish, or in a soup like the traditional dumplings you’ve probably heard of. Using this recipe, you can go in really any direction you want. I made them as a main dish but they really needed the broth that I added in the video because they lack flavor by themselves.



You can watch the video for a full breakdown but here is how you make them:

1.      Boil your 6 potatoes. It takes between 10 and 20 minutes to boil the potatoes. You want them soft but not mush!

2.      Let the potatoes cool so that you can grab them with your hand comfortably.

3.      Grate the potatoes into small shreds. This gives it a nice texture instead of just mashed potato balls. I used a tall grater because I happened to have one but your standard cheese grater works perfectly as well.

4.      Mix the grated potatoes in with the flour, 2 eggs, and add salt to taste if you would like.

5.      You want them a consistency that you can mold with your hands but not be dry rocks, add flour tablespoon by tablespoon until you get the right balance. If it gets too dry, add an extra egg.

6.      Begin boiling a fresh pot of water.

7.      Form the potato mix with your hands into small dumplings.

8.      Boil the dumplings for about 10 minutes until they’re a bit firmer than when you started.

9.      Take them out, add any sauce you wish, and enjoy!

 The dumplings expand a bit in the water so don't dump them all in together.

The dumplings expand a bit in the water so don't dump them all in together.

It’s okay if your dumplings break on your first attempt, it’s good to test the waters with one before dumping them all in. I just took a risk and it worked out in my favor but if you don’t want a mess on your hands, I recommend playing it safe.

Finally, if you don’t feel like cooking all of the dumplings immediately, the balls (flattened out a bit) made halfway-decent potato pancakes for me the next morning!

As the Germans would say Guten Appetit!

Instructions and video by Ian Magnuson

*The little dots above the vowels are called umlauts and a are pronounced by shaping your mouth like the written letter and trying to say an “e” through it, as that was what umlauts originally were, little “e”s above the letter.

The “B” looking thing is called an esset and is actually pronounced like two of the letter “S”. Germany has gone through two spelling reforms (Rechtschreibreform) recently to decide whether or not to use them still as they’re technically unnecessary. Now it’s mostly just down to a matter of preference from the writer.

**Apparently I made a cardinal sin by using papyrus font in the video. I apologize and will do better next time! I thought comic sans was the only true enemy of design...