Rating: 4.5 stars
20 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 11
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Our traditional holiday meal is sauerbraten and gravy, butter-sauteed homemade egg noodles, potato balls, sweet and sour red cabbage, and freshly cooked apples. A lot of work, but worth it once a year! This is a quick recipe to enjoy the sauerbraten flavor without waiting 5 days for a beef roast to marinate. And you'll have plenty of gravy to spoon over your buttered egg noodles and potatoes.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
30 mins
50 mins
4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top. Spray the rack with cooking spray.

  • Combine ground beef, onion, gingersnap crumbs, water, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Shape into 24 meatballs using a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking rack.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball reads 160 degrees F (71 degrees C), 18 to 20 minutes.

  • While the meatballs are baking, whisk beef broth, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons gingersnap crumbs, vinegar, and sugar together in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until gravy thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Add more gingersnap crumbs for a thicker gravy, or some water for a thinner consistency.

  • Stir cooked meatballs and raisins into the gravy. Cover and simmer until flavors combine, about 10 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

An easy way to make gingersnap crumbs is to break gingersnap cookies into a food processor, and let the cookies blend to a fine texture.

Meatballs can be made in advance and frozen in a zip-top bag. Then all you need to do for a weeknight meal is make the gravy and boil some noodles. I usually double the meatballs so I always have some on hand in the freezer.

Nutrition Facts

418 calories; protein 26.2g; carbohydrates 32.2g; fat 19.6g; cholesterol 77.5mg; sodium 850.5mg. Full Nutrition