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German meatballs with Capers are one of those staple dishes from the North that everybody in Germany knows. Unlike the traditional German meatballs, those little balls are cooked in the broth and served with delicious and creamy sweet-sour sauce. If you are looking for an easy and unusual recipe to make, please keep on reading!

If you know me, you also know that I travel for food. It is my biggest hobby and my job for that matter. But when it is about this particular dish, it took me a while to convince myself to try it. I have seen the grandmother eating this dish many, many times, and each time I promised myself that next time I would order it, what never happened.

German Meatballs with Capers
German Meatballs with Capers

The situation changed when we visited the North of Germany. In 2019 me and my husband we took our grandma to the island where she was born called Rügen. And that time I felt that this is the right time to try this particular dish. Now I am not sure what was always holding me back. It could be the fact that I am not such a big fan of capers nor cooked meat. After trying it, though, I understood that there is something unique and unusual about this dish. This something made me fall in love with this dish ever since.

After coming back to Frankfurt, I have decided to test some of the recipes available online and adapted them, so the meatballs taste as good as those that I had in hunting Lodge called Jagdschloß on the island Rügen. And although my husband doesn’t like them, I still make them for myself from time to time:)

German Meatballs with Capers – History, Ingredients, Taste

German Meatballs with Capers
German Meatballs with Capers

The name of the dish comes from the historic Prussian city called Königsberg, today’s Kaliningrad, where the recipe was developed. Traditionally the main ingredients of those particular meatballs were ground veal or ground beef and pork as well as chopped anchovies. Every good German meat dumpling also contains stale bread roll that makes them fluffy and egg that keep the ingredients together. Onion, as well as other seasonings, complete those tiny pieces of heaven truly.

To enhance the taste of the meatballs traditionally we cook them in salty water mixed with onions, bay leaves, allspice, pepper seeds. But what truly stands out in this dish is for sure the sauce which main ingredients are roux, meatball broth, cream, egg yolk, capers, lemon juice and sugar.

I need to admit that the dish is very particular and you’re not going to find anything else similar to it. The meat was tender and soft and unusually seasoned. The sauce was sweet and sour, which has surprised me a bit. The taste of the capers it’s not overwhelming, and I think that this dish is more about the meatballs and creamy sauce then the capers.

German Meatballs with Capers
German Meatballs with Capers

If you are going to the North of Germany, I would love to encourage you to try it and taste for yourself. I hope that you’re going to be braver than I was And that you’re going to do it sooner not later.

How to serve German Meatballs with Capers?

Königsberger Klopse – German Meatballs with Capers go well with hard-boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes and cooked beetroots.

Why I love it so much?

  • the meatballs are incredibly tender!
  • it takes 30 minutes to make them!

More Traditional German Recipes:
Traditional German Meatballs
Steak Flambe with Peppercorn Sauce and Spätzle

Traditional German Meatballs with Caper Sauce – Königsberger Klopse Recipe

German meatballs with caper sauce is a very unusual and easy recipe. Königgsberger Klopse is a staple dish from the North that everybody in Germany knows. Unlike the traditional German meatballs, those small balls are cooked in the broth and served with delicious and creamy sweet-sour sauce with capers.

Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Keyword german meatballs with caper sauce
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people


For the meatballs

  • 250 g minced beef
  • 250 g minced pork
  • 1 onion large
  • 1 bread roll stale
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs

For the broth

  • 1,5 l beef broth
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 corns allspice


  • 3 tbsp flour all-purpose
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 400 ml broth from the meatballs
  • 125 ml cream
  • 70 g capers drained
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon juice
  • sugar


Prepare the meatballs

  1. Soak the bread roll in a cold water for 10 minutes.

  2. Peel and dice the onion.

  3. Squeeze the bread roll to remove excess water. 

  4. In a mixing bowl combine meat, bread roll, and onion.

  5. And salt and pepper and correct seasoning.

  6. Add eggs and bread crumbs. Make sure that the mixture is not too sticky.

  7. Form around 36 small balls from the mixture. One ball should be made with 1 tbsp of mixture.

Cook the meatballs

  1. Peel and slice the onion. 

  2. Bring the beef broth to boil.

  3. Add sliced onion, bay leaf and allspice to the broth as well as the meatballs. I use my slotted spoon for that. Before I leave them to cook for a while I am making sure that they don't stick to the bottom of the pot by stirring them.

  4. Let them simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, take out the bay leaf and allspice, and let them rest in the broth for another 10 minutes.

  5. Remove them from the broth and keep them warm in the pot or aluminium foil.

Prepare the sauce

  1. Preheat the sauce-pan to medium heat, add the butter and let it melt.

  2. Add the flour and let it simmer for 3 minutes.

  3. After the flour and butter combined add the broth at once and stir vigorously. Add cream and capers and turn off the heat.

  4. Season the sauce with a bit of lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. The sauce should have a sweet and sour taste.

Recipe Notes

The German meatballs – Königsberger Klopse go well with hard-boiled potatoes!

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