At first sight, this traditional German dish is probably not the most appealing. Admittedly, the light grey is a rather odd color for food. However, if you are a fan of liver, you will definitely be convinced. Leberknödel are German dumplings made from beef or pork liver. The traditional specialty is mainly eaten in the regions of Palatinate, Bavaria and Swabia in the south of Germany. Apart from that, certain variations also exist in Austria, the Czech Republic as well as Northern Italy or Slovenia.

Leberknödel come in the shape and size of traditional German dumplings made from potatoes or bread crumbs. Due to the liver as the main ingredient, Leberknödel get their distinct grey color. Thus, depending on the amount of liver used, the dumplings vary in color and taste. Leberknödel are definitely not everybody’s favorite dish. Already the smell that reach your nostrils when cutting the balls into pieces rather takes getting used to. But don’t write them off just yet! Together with mashed potatoes, Sauerkraut and gravy, they do make a delicious dish. Or if you don’t like this combo, try it the Bavarian way. In the southernmost part of Germany, it is common to eat the dumplings in a beef stock as Leberknödelsuppe.

Are you intrigued by this traditional German dish? Give the liver balls a try with our simple and authentic recipe:



Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

German Leberknödel with Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes


  • 250 grams of beef or pork liver, ground
  • 5 dry white bread rolls
  • 1 large onion
  • 0.5 bunch of parsley
  • 1 table spoon of oil
  • 250 ml warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tea spoon freshly ground black petter
  • 2 tea spoon salt
  • 1 table spoon majoram
  • some semolina or breadcrumbs


  1. Cut the dry bread rolls in thin slices
  2. Warm up the milk, pour it over the bread rolls and let it rest for half an hour.
  3. Chop the parsley, peel the onions and cut them in small cubes.
  4. Heat up some oil in a pan to roast the onions and add the parsley for a short time.
  5. Now create a dough by mixing the soaked bread rolls, the parsley-onions, the ground liver, an egg and some spices (use your hands to mix all ingredients evenly)
  6. Let this dough rest for half an hour before seasoning it with salt and pepper.
  7. Use your wet hands to form dumplings of the size of a plum.
  8. Tipp: Cook one dumpling first to test if the dough is good and does not fall apart. You may add some semolina or breadcrumbs to make the dumplings more solid
  9. Finally boil all dumplings in water for approx. 20 minutes.


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Photos by SunnySideCircus

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