This easy German Meatballs recipe is made with a savory mustard gravy sauce. Made with beef, pork and bacon, these meatballs are served on bacon sauerkraut. Pure comfort food!
If you’re looking for a more classic meatball recipe, try my Baked Meatballs!
Easy Homemade German Meatballs
These meatballs are easy to cook on the stove in under 30 minutes, and the simple mustard gravy makes them even more irresistable. This dish packs a ton of flavor for a quick weeknight meal, and the meatballs are super fun to make!
I make my meatballs with ground pork and ground beef, but you can use any ground meat of your choice. I love adding bacon and sauerkraut into my German meatballs to give them extra flavor.
What Makes these Meatballs German?
This isn’t your typical, run-of-the-mill meatballs recipe. German meatballs are browned to perfection and smothered in a creamy gravy sauce. They’re filled with fresh ground meat and yummy seasonings. Traditionally, German meatballs are made with veal or pork, but I like to make mine with a combination of pork and beef.
This meatball recipe may sound fancy, but the ingredients couldn’t be more down to earth! The addition of sauerkraut adds a depth of flavor that makes these meatballs are real show stopper.
For the Meatballs
- Finely Chopped Onion
- Lean Ground Beef
- Ground Pork
- Plain Breadcrumbs
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Pepper
- Chopped Fresh Parsley
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Egg: Whisk your egg in a bowl before making your meatballs.
- Olive Oil
- Chopped Bacon
- Sauerkraut: There’s no need to drain your sauerkraut for this recipe.
For the Mustard Gravy
- Minced Garlic
- Chicken Broth
- German Mustard: You could also use Dijon mustard, if desired.
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make German Meatballs
Here’s how to make this old-fashioned German recipe:
- Cook Onion: Place the chopped onion in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Heat it in the microwave on high power for 1 minute. Remove, stir, and cook for another minute, or until the onions have softened.
- Make Meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the onions, ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, egg and milk. Form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. Set aside.
- Brown Meatballs: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the meatballs on each side and remove them from the pan.
- Cook Bacon: Drain the oil and add the bacon to the skillet. Cook the bacon until crisp and drain most of the grease.
- Add Sauerkraut & Return Meatballs: Add the sauerkraut into the pan with the bacon and stir to combine. Add the meatballs back to the pan and cover. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Combine Milk & Broth: In a small bowl, combine the milk and chicken broth. Set aside.
- Heat Butter & Garlic: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the garlic for 2 minutes, until softened.
- Add Flour: Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture and whisk until smooth, cooking until the mixture just comes to a boil and thickens, whisking constantly.
- Add Mustard & Season: Whisk in the mustard and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour Gravy Over Meatballs: Drizzle the mustard gravy on top of your meatballs, serve, and enjoy!
What is the Secret to Moist Meatballs?
There are a few ways to make sure your meatballs come out perfectly moist and tender. Here are my top secrets for the best textured meatballs:
- Combine Ingredients Well: When making your meatballs, it’s important to combine your ingredients thoroughly so everything distributes evenly. Using your hands can help with this and prevent overmixing. Once everything is evenly incorporated, start forming your meatballs.
- Don’t Drain the Sauerkraut: The moisture in the sauerkraut will really help your meatballs stay nice and moist, so don’t worry about draining it.
- Use Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is more coarse than regular table salt, and you’ll be able to taste the difference in your meatballs. Table salt may make them too salty or cause them to dry out a little.
Tips for the Best Meatballs
- Keep Your Ingredients Cool: I recommend letting your onions cool down completely before combining your meatball ingredients. By keeping your ingredients cool and your meat chilled, you’re preventing the fats from melting too early and setting yourself up for success when you start cooking.
- Adjust to Taste: Before you form your meatballs, check to see if you’re happy with how they taste. Cook a small piece of the mixture and do a taste test to make sure you’re satisfied with the seasonings you added.
- Don’t Pack the Meatballs too Tightly: Be gentle when forming your meatballs. If you pack them too tightly, they could become tough or dry.
- Add a Garnish: To give your meatballs a nice finishing touch, garnish them with an extra sprinkle of chopped parsley.
- Serve Over Rice: These savory meatballs taste so good served over white or brown rice! The sauce soaks into the rice so every bite is pure deliciousness.
- Pair with Potatoes: I love serving my German meatballs with a side of Loaded Baked Potato Salad!
- Serve Over Egg Noodles: Turn your meatballs into the ultimate pasta topping by serving them over these easy Homemade Egg Noodles.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Keep leftover meatballs stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll stay fresh for up to 3 days. You can also store them airtight in the freezer for up to 1 month.
I recommend reheating your meatballs, covered, over low heat. This way, they’ll retain their moisture and everything will heat up in the same pan.