German “Koenigsberger” Meatballs

Source: Dr. Oetker “German Cooking Today”

  • MODIFIED RECIPE TO MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE, suggestions provided to also make it DAIRY FREE

This recipe is great if you love meatballs and you are having a hard time finding gluten free ones in the store. Making meatballs takes a bit more time but it is totally worth it. Make a big batch and freeze some, so you can just take them out of the freezer if you are pressed for time.

Meatballs make a kid-friendly meal and they are so versatile. Eat the famous “spaghetti and meatballs” or try them with this white sauce with capers, the way we eat it in Germany. Try putting them in the kid’s lunchboxes for a great protein snack at school or use them in your lunch salad as a protein source. Either way, have fun with these delicious meatballs.

This recipe makes 8-10 pieces. Preparation time about 50 minutes.
Increase the quantities for bigger batch cooking.

Ingredients for the meatballs:

2 slices of gluten-free bread (OPTIONAL) (old and dry but not moldy works best)
500g (18 oz) ground beef or pork (half/half for yummiest taste)
1 large egg (substitute with egg white if avoiding egg yolk)
Pinch of salt (pink rock salt or sea salt)
Freshly ground pepper (feel free to use additional spices, see below)
750ml (3 1/2 cups) vegetable stock (or use any stock you have on hand)

Ingredients for the sauce:

2 tbsp. Butter (or ghee) (organic or grass-fed is preferred)
30g (1/4 cup) gluten free flour (I used sorghum flour, feel free to use any mild tasting gluten free flour like rice, tapioca, etc.)
500ml (2 1/2 cups) cooking liquid from the meatballs
1 large egg yolk (OPTIONAL) (omit if avoiding egg yolks)
4 tsp of milk (for dairy-free option use coconut or almond milk)
1 small jar of capers
Pinch of salt (pink rock salt or sea salt)
Freshly ground pepper
Sugar, lemon juice and dill (OPTIONAL) (use as desired for taste)

“Life is like a bowl of spaghetti…
every once in a while, you get a meatball”.

– Sharon Creech


How to prepare the meatballs:

  1. If using the bread, soak the bread in cold water for 10 minutes, then squeeze to drain the liquid
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion
  3. Mix the bread with the ground meat, chopped onion, egg (or egg white) and mustard
  4. Season with salt and pepper (or add additional spices like tumeric, paprika, garlic, nutmeg)
  5. Use your hands to blend all ingredients together into a nice “dough-like” texture
  6. Form meatballs with your wet hands by grabbing some “dough” with three fingers and rolling it into shape with the palms of your hands. That makes a good amount for a firm meatball. Continue until all the mixture is used up
  7. Put the meatballs into the boiling vegetable stock (or other stock), bring to a boil again, simmer uncovered over low heat for about 15 minutes
  8. Take the meatballs out with a slotted spoon or drain, while preserving 500 ml of the cooking liquid


Ok, you are halfway there! Your meatballs are ready… hurray. If you are not using them right away, let them cool and put them in a sealable container in the freezer. If you are making dinner and you are now getting hungry, keep reading (and cooking).


How to prepare the sauce:

  1. Melt the butter (or ghee) in a pan
  2. Add the flour while stirring and cook until it is heated through and bright yellow. Don’t let it get too brown, it doesn’t take long. Lower the heat if it starts to brown
  3. Gradually whisk in the hot stock (cooking liquid from the meatballs), making sure to avoid lumps from forming. Whisk vigorously
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil and gently cook uncovered over LOW heat for about 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it, so it doesn’t burn. Stir frequently
  5. Take the pan off the heat
  6. Mix the egg yolk (if using) with the milk (or dairy-free alternative) and stir into the sauce
  7. Add the capers with the liquid they came in, season with salt, pepper, sugar and lemon juice to taste (or go crazy with herbs and other spices to make it your own)
  8. Put the meatballs in the sauce and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or if you are hungry by now (I certainly was) just pour the sauce over the meatballs

This is a very delicious dinner when you have some time for the preparation. Serve it with steamed vegetables, on a bed of rice (so yummy with the sauce) or steamed potatoes.


Don’t forget to post your pictures on my facebook page on how they turned out or let me know if you tried them how you liked them. I’d love to hear from you!

In good health, sincerely,

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