Schnitz un Knepp Recipe – Ham and Apple Dumplings

Last Updated on April 5, 2023 by Ellen Christian

You have got to try this Schnitz un Knepp recipe! I know, you’re probably wondering “What the heck is that?” but just keep on reading!

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Years ago, I visited the Pennsylvania Dutch country as a teenager and have been fascinated with the Amish lifestyle and recipes since then.  Schnitz und knepp is one of my favorites.

Schnitz un Knepp Recipe - Ham and Apple Dumplings

Schnitz un Knepp Recipe

This recipe is something I haven’t made since before the kids were born so I decided it was definitely time to make it again.

So, what is it is? I’ll break it down for you Schnitz AND Knepp. Schnitz meaning = dried apples. Knepp meaning = buttons or in this case dumplings.

In PA Dutch Country Schnitz und Knepp or Schnitz Un Knepp is typically ham or pork with dried apples and dumplings.

wicker baskets full of fall apples

The beauty of this recipe is that you can tailor it up or down depending on how many you want to serve. With only Marty and I in the house right now, I used a petite ham.

Marty is not a fan of ham. I used half a container of dried apples and half of the recipe for the dumpling batter. You can find the Schnitz on Amazon.

Or, you can dehydrate the apples yourself in a food dehydrator. Learn how to make dehydrated fruit.

What kind of meat should I use in Schnitz un Knepp?

My personal preference is ham. I just love the way it makes the dish taste. But, you can also use a pork shoulder if you prefer.

If buying a pork shoulder, the best cut to purchase is the smoked picnic shoulder. It’s a different cut of pork than traditional ham is.

But, it tastes like ham because it has been smoked and cured the same way ham is. Either one will work just fine in this recipe.

a silver pot with ham, apple rings, and dumplings cooking

There are so many different recipes from Pennsylvania Dutch Country that I enjoyed including Shoofly Pie. I hope to make it at some point as well.

Now if you have ever wondered how to make Apple Schnitz, it simply means dried apples. You can make them in a dehydrator any time you have extra apples.

Or, you can look for Apple Schnitz in the grocery store where you would find things like banana chips and dried pineapple.

Sauerkraut and “Knepp” would be dumplings made on top of sauerkraut. Just heat the sauerkraut in a pan until it boils. Then, drop the dumplings on top and cook as you did in the recipe above.

paleo apple butter in a jar with apples and cinnamon sticks

What should I serve with Schnitz und Knepp?

Technically, the Schnitz un Knepp is a complete meal with a protein, carb, and a fruit. But, if you feel the need to add a vegetable to your meal, dandelion greens with warm bacon dressing is another regional dish that’s popular.

Or, you could add red beet eggs or pickled beet eggs for another side dish. Or, apple butter is another popular recipe. I have a Paleo apple butter recipe that you can make in your crockpot.

Shoofly pie and Whoopie pies are both popular Pennsylvania Dutch desserts.

Schnitz un knepp recipe - Ham and apple dumplings #hamrecipe #PADutch

How should I serve this?

Traditionally, for a family meal, you would place the dishes in the center of the table and serve from there. So, rather than have people take their food from the pot on the stove, place the Schnitz un Knepp and other side dishes on the table.

Because the Schnitz und Knepp has liquid, you will want to serve it in a large serving bowl. If you’re looking for a side dish, this roasted asparagus lemon recipe is delicious.

How should I store leftovers?

We rarely have leftovers when I serve this for dinner. But, if you do, you can store it in the refrigerator in a tightly covered bowl.

You should use it within three to four days. You can freeze the ham for up to six months if you don’t feel you’ll use it all.

But the dumplings and dried apples will not freeze well. They will turn mushy if you try. So, it’s best to use them up within a few days.

Or, you can check out this leftover ham recipe if you’d rather not freeze the leftover ham. It’s one of our favorite ways to use up leftovers.

So, will you be trying this Schnitz un Knepp recipe?

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Yield: 8

Schnitz un Knepp Recipe

Schnitz un Knepp Recipe

Schnitz un Knepp is a dish of boiled ham with apple dumplings. It's one of my favorite Pennsylvania Dutch recipes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 3 lb. ham
  • 1 qt. dried Schnitz (apples)

Dumpling Batter:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. melted shortening


  1. Boil the ham for two hours.
  2. Soak the dried apples for as long as the ham is boiling.
  3. When the meat is done, add the dried apples and however much water they have been soaking in.
  4. Boil for one more hour.
  5. You can reduce the boiling time if you want to but the flavor is better if you follow these directions.
  6. Prepare the dumpling batter by mixing all of the ingredients.
  7. Drop by tablespoons into the boiling liquid.
  8. Cook COVERED tightly for 15 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2443Total Fat: 74gSaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 258mgSodium: 10874mgCarbohydrates: 282gSugar: 48gProtein: 153g

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this, tag me on Instagram so I can see @ellenblogs

22 thoughts on “Schnitz un Knepp Recipe – Ham and Apple Dumplings”

  1. This is an accurate recipe. NO cinnamon and NO sugar is the PA Dutch way to cook this dish. You need a country smoked ham/BONE IN (this gives the dish delicious flavor). My Mom's Schnitz un Knepp was heavenly. Her dumplings were like pillows on top of the liquid. She dried her own apples in a slow and low oven all day. She used McIntosh apples or Cortland apples.
  2. No canned ham. It's not the same as the salty country ham. I like Sugar cured ham from Godfrey's in South York, PA area. Also I heard some people put a little brow sugar in the broth.
  3. Hi. I also live in York, Pa and will be turning my old lady and the in-laws onto the Schnitz unt Knepp tomorrow. Stay tuned for the love of the Dutch decadence real soon. Thanks for reading. “Dutch”
  4. I grew up and still live in York Co., Pa., next to Lancaster Co., the "Dutch" country. My lineage includes some Dutchified folks (not Amish) and I grew up eating Snitz & Knepp, Hog Maw, Scrapple with apple butter or Maple syrup or just butter. I helped make a big copper kettle over an open fire of Scrapple some yrs. ago. A social gathering with everyone helping to stir the pot. I'm gonna try making S&K for me and the wife.

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