These easy Vegan German Bread Dumplings (Semmelknoedel) make the perfect quick and satisfying side dish to complete your favorite hearty meal. You can pair them with creamy sauces, and any vegan meat, mushroom, or lentil dishes. Try this delicious comfort food recipe to serve for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or any other day!
German bread dumplings or what we call “Semmelknödel” is a favorite dish that we traditionally enjoy with meatloaf, gravy or mushroom sauce and red cabbage or sauerkraut for Christmas dinner or any other festive days. However, you can also enjoy them with a lot of other dishes, and they’re so easy to make! Not to mention, it’s a great way to use up leftover or older rolls. So if you’re looking for a simple yet delicious side dish, this definitely a must-try!
What are German Bread Dumplings?
These simple Bread dumplings or “Semmelknoedel” are a beloved and popular specialty here in Germany. The name derived from Southern Germany where “Semmel” means bread rolls and “knödel” pertaining to something has been kneaded. Traditionally they’re made of leftover rolls or any white bread, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, onion, butter, and herbs, but they can be easily made vegan, too! And the best – they’re just as good as the traditional German bread dumplings or even be better!
I simply skipped the eggs and dairy butter in the traditional recipe and used soy milk and a bit of vegetable oil instead. Soy milk has a binding property, so it works well as an egg substitute here. I do not recommend using other dairy-free milk, or they may fall apart during cooking. However, feel free to experiment with other milk varieties and egg replacements to create your own vegan bread dumplings version.
How to Make Vegan German Bread Dumplings
Ready to turn your leftover bread into delicious bread dumplings? Here’s how.
- Prep your leftover bread – Start by cutting your leftover bread or rolls into small pieces. Then put them in a large bowl and pour in soy milk (preferably lukewarm). Stir briefly to coat the bread and set aside.
- Make the bread dumpling mixture – In a small pan, heat oil and sauté the diced onion for about 3 minutes or until translucent and slightly browned. Add in your parsley and sauté for another 1 minute. After that, add the mixture into the bowl of the soaked rolls. Season with some salt and nutmeg, then knead everything into a mixture.
- Form the dumplings – Using wet hands (this will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands), and form the mixture into 8 large dumplings (however, you can also make smaller mini dumplings if you wish), then place them on a plate.
- Cook the bread dumplings – Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer (make sure the water does not boil rapidly, or your dumplings may fall apart during cooking!). Then, carefully drop in the dumplings and let them simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until they float to the surface.
- Final step – Once they’re done cooking, remove them with a slotted spoon or skimmer. Transfer onto a wire rack to drain and allow excess water to drip off. Serve them immediately with creamy mushroom sauce or vegan gravy and any dishes you like (see suggestions below). Enjoy!
How to store leftovers
Leftover bread dumplings can be kept covered in the refrigerator after draining for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, cut them into bite-sized pieces and fry them in a pan or skillet with some hot oil or vegan butter until golden-brown and crispy on the outside and warmed through – It’s so delicious!
Tips for making the best German bread dumplings
- Add your favorite herbs and spices – make this recipe your own by adding your favorite herbs and different spices. You can even add some curry powder if you’d like to serve these with curry sauce. Or make them spicy by adding black pepper, chili flakes, or chili powder if you want a bit of an extra kick.
- Pan-fry them – made too much? Refrigerate the bread dumplings, and when you’re ready to serve them, cut them into smaller pieces and fry them until golden-brown and crispy on the outside (see “how to store leftovers” above).
- Use egg substitute – since soy milk has a binding property, there’s no additional egg substitute needed. However, if you’d like to try this recipe with other plant milk, I recommend using 2 tbsp less milk and adding an extra egg substitute to ensure the dumplings will hold together. As an egg substitute, you can try 1 tbsp of potato flour or tapioca starch mixed with 3 tsp of water or any store-bought egg replacement powder. If you’re not vegan, you could also add a regular egg as traditional recipes call for.
These German Bread Dumplings are:
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Easy to make
- Simple yet delicious!
- A great way to use up leftover bread rolls
- The perfect side dish for your vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas menue!
You can practically pair these easy bread dumplings with any of your favorite sauce or eat them as they are. Here are some of my personal favorites I love serving these Semmelknoedel with:
- Vegan Lentil Meatloaf
- No Meat Balls and Vegan Gravy
- Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff
- Swedish Vegan Meatballs
- Vegan Cevapcici
- Mushroom and Lentil Ragu Sauce
- Lentil Balls in Indian Curry Sauce
- Vegan Cauliflower Sauce
If you try these German Bread Dumplings, please leave me a comment and star rating below, sharing how you liked this easy recipe! And if you take a picture of your vegan side dish and share it on Instagram, please make sure to tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka, so I won’t miss your post! Enjoy your meal!
Vegan German Bread DumplingsAuthor:
- 10 bread rolls from the previous day 420 g
- 300 ml soy milk unsweetened
- 2 tsp vegetable oil e.g. canola, avocado, or sunflower oil
- 1 onion diced
- ⅔ cup parsley chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp nutmeg ground
*Note: Be sure to check out the step-by-step photos above!
- Cut the rolls into small pieces and put them in a large bowl. Pour over the soy milk (preferably lukewarm), toss briefly to combine, and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a small pan and sauté the diced onion for about 3 minutes until translucent and slightly browned. Add parsley and sauté for a further minute. Then add the mixture into the bowl of the rolls along with the salt and nutmeg and knead everything into a mixture.
- Form 8 dumplings from the mixture with wet hands and place them on a plate (you can even make smaller mini dumplings if you like).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Now carefully add the dumplings and let them simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until they float to the top. (Please make sure the water does not boil rapidly, or your dumplings may fall apart during cooking!)
- Remove them with a slotted spoon or skimmer and transfer them onto a wire rack to drain. Serve immediately when they’re still warm with creamy mushroom sauce or vegan gravy and vegan Swedish meatballs, vegan meatloaf, braised red cabbage, or any dishes you like (see serving suggestions above).
- Storage: Leftover bread dumplings can be stored covered in the refrigerator after draining. When ready to serve, cut them into pieces and fry them in the pan with some hot oil until slightly crispy on the outside and warmed through - It’s so delicious!
- Soy milk has a binding property, so there’s no egg substitute needed in this recipe. If you’d like to try this recipe with other plant milk, I recommend using 2 tbsp less milk and adding an egg substitute instead (e.g. 1 tbsp of potato flour or tapioca starch mixed with 3 tsp of water, or use a store-bought egg replacement powder and prepare that according to the package instructions). If you’re not vegan, you could also add a regular egg as traditional recipes call for.
- Please read my blog post for helpful tips, serving suggestions, and further information on this recipe.
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