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German Meatballs with Gingersnap Gravy

This recipe was one of my mother's favorites, and now my family enjoys it as well. The beauty of this recipe is that the meatballs need not be browned. The gingersnaps are what gives the gravy its rich taste. I have, at times, substituted fresh ground turkey for the beef, and it works just as well.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1-3/4 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed gingersnaps (about 10 cookies)
  • Cooked noodles


  • Combine the egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup water, onion, salt and pepper; crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 2-1/2-in. balls.
  • In a large skillet, bring remaining water to a boil. Add bouillon, brown sugar, raisins, lemon juice and gingersnaps. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add meatballs to skillet. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Stir occasionally. Serve with noodles.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 387 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 109mg cholesterol, 985mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 1g fiber), 26g protein.

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  • Jo
    May 7, 2019

    I have this original recipe from the 1950s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook in the section "Hamburger fix-ups". The only difference is that my recipe calls for 2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice and it is suggested to serve over rice and the meatballs are one one inch. This has been a favorite of mine for those 65 years. Cooking time and everything is the same. I am making this for my daughter's birthday celebration and making spaetzel as well. The raisins are a must, and the ginger snap gravy is absolutely to die for. I've also had this for a quick and easy buffet dinner that everyone raved over.

  • joycerm53
    Jan 22, 2017

    Very good! I did not have raisins so I omitted them. A quick dinner when you are hungry for "comfort food"! I served these meatballs with spaetzel.

  • dancingfool
    Jun 12, 2014

    Excellent!!! Wonderful different tasting gravy!

  • Anonymous
    Dec 14, 2010

    No comment left

  • 44dolly
    May 1, 2008

    No comment left