Kroketten, also known as German croquettes, are a popular side dish in Germany that goes well with almost any traditional German meal. Kroketten are a real treat, which is why they are a staple at Sunday lunches and celebration menus.
This side dish is easy to make, but I must admit, there is a bit of work involved. This is why people in Germany like to use premade kroketten that they buy in the frozen department next to the french fries. But like most things, the homemade variation is much better. If you ever tried homemade German croquettes in Germany, you will appreciate this recipe to make them from scratch.
What are Kroketten?
If you've never had Kroketten, think about the marriage between creamy, buttery mashed potatoes and French fries. They look a bit like tater tots but are so much better. They are a real treat, which is why they are a staple at Sunday lunches and celebration menus.
How to pronounce "Kroketten" the correct way in German?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Kroketten" the right way.
Ingredients & Substitutes
The ingredients for this tasty side dish are very simple but create an amazing treat.
Potatoes: In Germany, we usually use floury potatoes for Kroketten, but American floury potatoes like russets are not as suitable in my opinion. I prefer all-rounders like Yukon Gold for Kroketten, but you might want to try which potato you like best.
Potato Starch: as this is a potato based recipe, potato starch is the best option for binding the dough. You could substitute corn starch, but I would recommend potato starch. If you can't find potato starch in your local supermarket, you'll most likely find it in an Asian market.
Eggs: the yolks of the eggs are used to bind the dough and the egg whites plus a whole egg are used for the breading.
Butter: I only use real butter for this recipe; I use unsalted, but you can substitute salted butter if you prefer. I would not recommend margarine, but you can use whatever you prefer.
Seasoning: the dough does not need much seasoning, it only takes a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg to make the taste perfect. Use white pepper if you don´t like it showing in the dough.
Breading: the breading of Kroketten is the same as breading a schnitzel. Some people omit the flour coating to save one step, but I think it makes the croquettes crispier.
See recipe card for quantities.
Making Kroketten from scratch involves a little bit of time but is easy to make and can be a fun activity for the whole family.
Step1: I prefer to boil the unpeeled potatoes the day before I want to make kroketten and leave them to cool overnight. If you want to make the German croquettes the same day, you need to prep the potatoes a bit differently, and you can find this procedure in the recipe card.
Step 2: start by peeling the potatoes and press them through a potato press. Alternatively, mash them finely with a potato masher or a fork.
Step 3: Then add the potato starch, egg yolks, melted butter, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg to the potatoes.
Mix well but be careful not to overwork the mixture.
Step 4: Take a handful of dough and shape it into about a 1-inch-diameter rope. If the dough is too sticky or doesn’t allow you to shape a rope, add a little bit more potato starch to the dough.
Cut the rope into 2-inch-long pieces and place the pieces into a lightly greased casserole pan. Repeat until all potato dough is gone.
Step 4: Place the kroketten in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will make breading so much easier.
Step 5: In the meantime, add the egg whites plus one whole egg to a deep plate and whisk well.
Add flour to another deep plate and breadcrumbs to a third deep plate.
Step 6: The kroketten will be breaded like a schnitzel. Add the krokette first into the flour, then into the egg mixture, and lastly into the breadcrumbs. The tried-and-true "dry-hand-wet-hand" technique, which I detail in this German schnitzel recipe, is your best bet.
You will these following kitchen utensils:
- large pot
- large mixing bowl
- potato ricer or potato masher or fork
- large tray or casserole pan
- slotted spoon
- small pot or deep fryer
- paper towels
You can place a small cube of the cheese of your choice in the middle of the potato dough or fill them like the Dutch do with some meat, veggie, or fish ragout.
Kroketten are best served immediately after frying. Leftovers are best reheated in hot oil or in the air fryer. Heating them up in a Microwave makes them soggy.
Kroketten can be frozen, but they must first be deep fried. Fry them a bit less than you might want them to brown, then allow them to cool on a paper towel and freeze them flat on a tray before placing them into an airtight container.
My Top Tips
- Moisten your hands with water once in a while during the shaping process. This will make shaping the dough much easier, and the dough will stick less to your hands.
- Instead of shaping the dough, you can fill the dough into a piping bag or freezer bag and pipe the mass into a large rope, and then you just need to cut the ropes into 2-inch logs.
- Shaping the Kroketten into little balls instead of little logs makes the shaping process easier and quicker.
How to Serve
- 3 pounds potatoes
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tbsp. potato starch alternatively corn starch or more depending on the kind of potato you are using
- 3 tbsp. butter melted
- 2 tsp. coarse Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. ground white pepper optional
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
- 2 quarts frying oil
- Boil the unpeeled potatoes and leave them to cool overnight. If you want to prepare the kroketten the same day, you can peel the potatoes, boil them, drain them, place them back into the pot. Then place the pot back on the shut-off cooking plate to evaporate the excess moisture.
- Peel the potatoes and press them through a potato press. Alternatively, mash them finely with a potato masher.
- Separate the eggs, add the egg yolks to the potatoes, and place the egg whites into an airtight container.
- Mix in the potato starch, melted butter, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg to the potatoes, being careful not to overwork the mixture.
- Take a handful of dough and shape it into about a 1-inch-diameter rope. If the dough is too sticky or doesn’t allow you to shape a roll, add more potato starch to the dough.
- Cut the rope into 2-inch-long pieces and place the pieces into a lightly greased casserole pan. Alternatively, you can add the potato dough to a large piping bag and cut the tip of the piping bag so you can pipe a 1-inch-diameter rope. Instead of these little logs, you can also shape small balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
- Place the kroketten in the freezer for about 15–20 minutes. This will make breading much easier.
- In the meantime, add the egg whites plus one whole egg to a deep plate, flour to another deep plate, and breadcrumbs to a third deep plate.
- The kroketten will be breaded like a schnitzel. Add the krokette first into the flour, then into the egg mixture, and lastly into the breadcrumbs. This works best if you use the old trusty "dry-hand–wet-hand" method that I explain in this German schnitzel recipe.
- After all of the kroketten have been breaded, return them to the freezer while heating the oil to around 350 °F.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the kroketten into the oil and fry until golden brown. If you don´t have a thermometer to test the temperature of the oil, you can use a wooden skewer or cooking spoon to test the temperature. Stick the end of the skewer or spoon into the oil; if you can see small bubbles around the shaft, the oil is ready to fry your food. (See the video for reference.)
- Then remove them with the slotted spoon and place them onto a plate lined with paper kitchen towels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kroketten are a German side dish made from potatoes, butter, potato starch, egg yolks and spices. The dough is shaped into little logs that are deep fried. Dutch Kroket are a Dutch snack that consists of a deep-fried, breaded ragout filled croquette. They are typically served with mustard. The Dutch version of a Krokette is very popular in the Netherlands and commonly found in fast food restaurants.
The word is derived from the French culinary word croquette, which means "(deep) fried".