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German Butterballs

When cold weather hits like it did this last weekend, I pull my big soup pot to make some homemade chicken noodle soup. In our family we add German Butterballs to the soup to make it even heartier. German Butterballs are like dumplings or Jewish Motzo Balls. 

These butterballs have been a staple of our chicken noodle soup for generations. Learning to make these little balls of goodness is a right of passage for most german cooks. I remember learning to make them and going through several containers of bread crumbs in trying to find the right consistency. I finally found the best recipe and I wanted to share it with you today!

The recipe below is an adaptation of recipes from KUCHE KOCHEN , published by The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, first printing 1973.  

(Butterballs) for noodle soup

  • 1 loaf old dry bread (or you may toast it in the oven).  4-5 cups
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 tpsn. allspice
  • 1 tspn. salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 5 beaten eggs


To make bread crumbs put in food processor or do it the old fashioned way.  Place slices between two dishtowels and crush with a rolling pin.  Add salt and allspice to bread crumbs.  

Heat half and half and once simmering break up white bread slices into small pieces and mush into half and half. Add melted butter, and half and half to crumbs.  Mix well.  Let cool and add beaten eggs.  Roll one into a ball.  


Boil a small pot of water to test butterballs for consistency. Try it in boiling water to make sure it doesn’t fall apart.  If you want it firmer, add another egg and more butter. Once consistency is reached, roll all the butterballs out.

Make your chicken soup and put butterballs in hot chicken broth. When they rise to the top they are cooked through, add noodles.

NOTE:  Butterballs may be made ahead.  Store them in the refrigerator until you want to use them.  You can also double the recipe and  freeze for another cold night.

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