Königsberger Klopse are a popular traditional German dish of meatballs in creamy white caper sauce – with this vegan recipe, you can easily make a plant-based version that’s just as delicious as grandma’s original!
What are Königsberger Klopse?
Königsberger Klopse, also known as Soßklopse (sauced meatballs) is a traditional German recipe originated in East Prussia and is for the former German city of Königsberg, where my mom was born. Therefore, the dish was very often on our table and now we love to make the vegan version!
The dish consists of cooked meatballs in a white sauce with capers and is usually served with boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes. In some regions, it is also paired with beetroot and some prefer to serve the meatballs with rice instead of potatoes.
German Vegan Meatballs in White Sauce
While the traditional meatballs are made of minced meat with anchovies and egg, I used tofu as a meat alternative. Alternatively, however, you can use store-bought vegan ground beef from the refrigerated section. Since ready-made products are often already seasoned, be sparing with salt and pepper.
The sauce is made from the veggie broth in which the meatballs are cooked. Traditionally, it is thickened with a roux, egg and heavy cream. However, I use vegetable margarine to make the roux, as well as dairy-free cooking cream to finish it off.
Anyway, this vegan dish is so delicious – no one will notice the difference from the traditional! So today I’ll show you how to make the meatless and dairy-free version of the popular German Königsberger Klopse!
Ingredients for this recipe
To make German Königsberger Klopse you basically need to prepare three components: the vegan meatballs, the seasoned broth and the white caper sauce. However, you only need simple ingredients that are easily available everywhere. These are:
- Tofu: a combination of natural firm and smoked tofu give the best texture and flavor. Alternatively, you can use a vegan minced meat alternative from the supermarket.
- Bread rolls: preferably a day-old white roll or leftover baguette or crusty white bread. If needed, you can also use gluten-free white bread.
- Soy milk: for soaking the bread roll.
- Onion: make sure to chop it very finely.
- Chickpea flour: or soy flour as an egg substitute for binding.
- Breadcrumbs: optionally you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Seasonings: fresh parsley, mustard, salt and pepper.
- Vegetable broth
- Bay leaves
- Pimento seeds
White Caper Sauce
- Margarine: or vegan butter.
- Flour: all-purpose, wheat or gluten-free flour.
- White wine: or sub more vegetable broth.
- Vegetable broth.
- Dairy-free cooking cream: e.g. soy or oat cuisine cream or sub canned full-fat coconut milk.
- Lemon juice: for a slightly tangy taste.
- Agave syrup: or any other syrup or sugar.
- Capers: in brine from a jar.
- Spices: Parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
How to make German Königsberger Klopse with Vegan Meatballs
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction first. Then, you can find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Prepare the vegan meatballs.
First, soak the bread roll in lukewarm soy milk for about 5 minutes, then squeeze well. Meanwhile, wrap he tofu in paper towels and press dry. Chop finely in a food processor, then mix with chopped onions, mustard, chickpea flour, breadcrumbs, parsley, some salt, pepper and the soaked roll. When the mixture holds together well, form it into about 14-16 balls, or depending on the size you want.
Note: Make sure to press the Königsberger Klopse firmly when shaping them to ensure they do not fall apart during cooking.
Step 2: Cook meatballs in broth.
At this point, cook the potatoes in their skin (for serving) so that they are done at the same time as the meatballs are ready.
Now add vegetable broth, onion and spices to another pot and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Carefully add the meatballs and let them simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Then carefully remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer.
Step 3: Cook caper sauce
Meanwhile, melt the margarine in a saucepan. Then slowly whisk in the flour and sweat over low heat for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly stir in the wine and 1 cup of the meatball cooking broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until a smooth sauce is formed. Then stir in the dairy-free cooking cream, lemon juice, agave syrup, nutmeg, salt, pepper, capers and parsley. Saste and adjust seasonings, if needed, and add more broth if the sauce is too thick.
Serve the meatballs with the caper sauce and potatoes and garnish with more fresh parsley if desired. Enjoy your meal!
How to store, freeze, reheat and make ahead?
This Königsberger Klopse recipe is perfect to make ahead! You can prepare the vegan German meatballs the day before and cook them the next day. Simply keep them covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook them, or freeze them for another time.
Leftover cooked tofu balls should be stored separately from the sauce. Both components will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator and can also be frozen.
If needed, simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat in the microwave or pot. The sauce will become quite thick as it cools, but it will become smooth again as it is reheated. To thin it, you can add some unsweetened plant milk or water.
If you’re making a larger batch as part of your weekly meal plan, divide the vegan Königsberger Klopse into portions and store in individual freezer-safe containers. Then you can always take out a portion on busy days, and all you need to do is boil some fresh potatoes to serve with it.
This Vegan Königsberger Klopse Recipe is:
- Gluten-free possible
- High in protein
- Easy to make
- Very tasty!
- Perfect for lunch or dinner on cozy Sundays or during the week!
More Vegan German Recipes
- Grandma’s Lentil Soup
- Vegan Cheese Spaetzle
- Bread Dumplings
- Potato Dumplings
- Vegan Meatloaf
- Braised Red Cabbage
- Potato Bake
- Vegan Köttbullar
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Potato Leek Soup
- Potato Croquettes
- Creamy Potato Salad
- Celery Schnitzel
If you try this easy recipe for German vegan meatballs, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you share a photo of your delicious dish on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Happy cooking! 🙂
Vegan Meatballs in White Sauce (German Königsberger Klopse)Author:
- 1 (50 g) bread roll preferably a day-old one or leftover baguette or white bread, sub gluten-free if needed
- approx. ⅓ cup unsweetened soy milk lukewarm for soaking
- 7 oz (200 g) natural tofu
- 7 oz (200 g) smoked tofu
- 1 onion very finely chopped
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 3 tbsp chickpea flour or soy flour
- 3 tbsp breadcrumbs gluten-free, if needed
- 3-4 tbsp parsley chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups (1 l) vegetable broth
- 1 large onion quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 allspice
- 4 black peppercorns
- 3 cloves
White Caper Sauce
- ¼ cup (50 g) margarine or vegan butter
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour* if needed
- ½ cup (100 ml) vegan white wine or more broth
- 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable broth
- 7 oz (200 ml) dairy-free cooking cream e.g. soy or oat cuisine cream or full-fat coconut milk
- juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tsp agave syrup or other syrup oder sugar
- 1 pinch nutmeg ground
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 tbsp pickled capers jarred
- ½ bunch of parsley chopped
- 28.2 oz (800 g) small potatoes
*Note: Feel free to check out the recipe video + step-by-step pictures above!
- Cut the bread roll into chunks and pour lukewarm soy milk over it. Let soak for about 5 minutes, then squeeze well.
- Meanwhile, press both types of tofu with paper towel until dry. Chop finely in a food processor, then place in a bowl. Add chopped onions, mustard, chickpea flour, breadcrumbs, parsley, some salt, pepper and the soaked bread roll. Mix everything together and knead into a dough with your hands until the mixture holds together.
- Form the mixture into about 14-16 meatballs, or depending on the size you want. (Make sure to press the balls firmly when shaping to ensure they do not fall apart during cooking).
- At this point, wash the potatoes (for serving) and put them unpeeled in a pot. Cover with water and boil them so that they are ready at the same time as the meatballs.
- Add vegetable broth, onion and spices in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, then carefully add in the meatballs and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Then carefully lift them out using a slotted spoon or skimmer.
White Caper Sauce
- Meanwhile, for the sauce, melt the margarine in a saucepan. Then slowly whisk in the flour and sweat over low heat for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Slowly whisk in the wine and 1 cup of the meatball cooking broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until a smooth sauce is formed.
- Stir in the dairy-free cooking cream, lemon juice, agave syrup, nutmeg, salt, pepper, capers and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed, and add more broth if the sauce is too thick.
- Serve the meatballs with the white caper sauce and potatoes and garnish with more fresh parsley if desired.
- Enjoy your meal!
- Instead of tofu, you can also use 14 oz (400 g) of store-bought vegan ground meat from the refrigerated section.
- Gluten-free: you can also use a gluten-free breads roll, gluten-free flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Leftover meatballs should be stored separately from the sauce. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days. The meatballs can then be easily reheated briefly in the microwave and the sauce on the stove. If needed, you can add a little water or unsweetened plant milk to thin out.
- More information about the recipe, including instructions for making ahead and freezing, are mentioned in the blog post above!
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