German Meatballs in Creamy Caper Sauce - Königsberger Klopse |

German Meatballs in Creamy Caper Sauce - Königsberger Klopse

This is my treasured recipe for the classic German meatball dish, aka Königsberger Klopse; meatballs are first cooked in spiced broth, and then finished in a creamy caper sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 703kcal
Author Jas


For the meatballs

  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound mixed ground beef and pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 3 anchovy fillets mashed
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

For the broth

  • 4 cups beef or chicken broth (or salted water)
  • 1 small onion peeled and halved
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon Capers and 1 tablespoon liquid from the glass
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch sugar


  • In a small skillet, fry the onions in butter until glassy.
  • In a bowl, mix onions with ground meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, mustard, anchovy fillets, salt, and pepper into a smooth dough. Using your wet hands, form about 10-12 meatballs.
  • In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, add the broth, onions, white wine, cider vinegar, bay leaves, cloves, allspice, black peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the meatballs, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked meatballs to a serving plate or bowl and keep warm. Reserve 2 cups of the liquid.
  • Meanwhile, in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour. With a wooden spoon or a whisk, continue to stir flour over low heat until flour is golden in color. Do not burn it!
  • Slowly pour in the milk and reserved, strained liquid, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the heavy cream, capers with liquid, and cook on low for 5 more minutes. Season the sauce with nutmeg, lemon juice, salt, and sugar.
  • Pour the sauce over meatballs and serve with boiled potatoes. Enjoy!


  • Use 1 tablespoon of anchovy paste instead of fillets. This will mix better!
  • For the authentic recipe, use a bread roll soaked in two tablespoons of milk and torn into pieces instead of breadcrumbs (see above for gluten-free version).
  • Traditionally, German meatballs are served over boiled small potatoes and sprinkled with parsley, however, you can serve them over your favorite carbs such as mashed potatoes, Spaetzle, or rice.
  • Buy a great loaf of bread to use as a sponge to soak up any leftover sauce! In the unlikely event that you have leftover meatballs, you can use this bread to create a meatball sub.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 703kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.5g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 45.1g | Saturated Fat: 19.2g | Cholesterol: 208mg | Sodium: 783mg | Potassium: 259mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 7.2g | Calcium: 1740mg | Iron: 0.9mg