You may have come across the word “quenelle” when reading about French cuisine, but what is it? A quenelle is a French fish or cream dumpling made with eggs, cream, butter and salt. The mixture is piped through a pastry bag in long straight lines onto an oiled plate. It might be used as a garnish or in soups like Potage Parmentier (which is like buttered cabbage soup). They are typically served on a bed of spinach or sorrel. It’s a good dish for a beginner cook to try as it’s not too difficult, but timing is important. The quenelles can be frozen after cooking, and added later to the soup .Quenelles are a good accompaniment to a roast beef dinner. Quenelles will be a great addition to a summer lunch at home.By extension ,a quenelle may also be another food made into a similar shape for example ice cream,sorbet and mashed potato.



French quenelle (noun) a dumpling made from a stiff paste of meat, fish, or vegetables.

French quenelle (noun) a ball or patty of minced fish, meat, eggs and flavoring served hot or cold.Definition by Wikipedia:A quenelle is a savory dumpling made from ground meat, fish ,vegetables that are bound with gelatin or eggs and cooked in water or broth .


How Do You Make Quenelles?

Quenelles may sound like a complicated dish, but they’re actually very simple to make and don’t require many tools or ingredients. You don’t even need a complicated recipe.


Ingredients [for 2 people]:

*500g of fish [cod, salmon, whiting…]

*150g of butter

*juice of half a lemon (about 10cl) and 2 tbsp of chopped parsley

*salt and pepper

*2 or 3 eggs

*1 tsp of powdered lemon peel (optional)

*the pastry bag for piping quenelles

*2 tbsp of cold water


*a pot

*a large bowl



*frying pan

Garnish: sorrel, chives and green salad leaves .


  1. Put the fish in your pot, season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice and parsley, cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes
  2. Take out the fish and put it in a bowl to cool
  3. When the fish is cold, crush it using a fork to get a fine mash for your quenelle’s paste
  4. Add the 2 eggs , the cold water, grated lemon peel (optional) and salt and pepper
  5. Mix all these ingredients together to make your meat paste
  6. Get your pastry bag fitted with a large nozzle  ( it’s also possible to use a ziplock bag or just put it in a bowl and use the back of your spoon )
  7. Put some oil on an oiled plate [it’s important not to skip this step]
  8. Start piping lines parallel to each other using the pastry bag ( the length should be the size of your quenelle)
  9. Place them in a warm place and let them dry for 1/2 hour
  10. Put boiling water in a pot and make sure your quenelles are not touching the bottom of the pot
  11. Then reduce heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes, then take out your quenelles with a spatula and put them on a dish to cool
  12. Garnish with sorrel, chives and salad leaves


How To Eat Quenelles

Quenelles are typical French food; they are generally served in a soup. It’s also the case that quenelles are eaten with other dishes, like roast beef. The main issue is to eat them just after serving, as they do not keep well after that. The best way to serve quenelles is by layering them on a plate with cold or warm broth. Béarnaise sauce or parsley sauce are also good if you want to make a richer sauce . They could also be served with a salad or garnish.

You can make quenelles out of any kind of meat like pork, chicken, turkey, etc.

Quenelles can be eaten either hot or cold.

Serves 2 to 4 people


Types Of Quenelles

There are 5 kinds of quenelles :-

(1) quenelle de volaille [chicken]

This Kind of quenelle is made of minced chicken with some leek and parsley. With the addition of egg, the chicken becomes a creamy consistency that’s very light and easy to add to soups or sauces.

(2) quenelle de poisson [fish]

Fish quenelles are made from fish such as cod, whiting, salmon… Put it in a pot and add some lemon juice while cooking on medium flame until it’s soft and tender (around 15 minutes or less). Then mash it gently with a fork to get the quenelle’s paste. As for the flavor, use your imagination or find a recipe that you think may work well with this ingredient.

(3) quenelle de légumes [vegetables]

This kind of quenelle is made from meat, fish, vegetables… The same rules apply as for fish quenelles except you can use any combination between meat and vegetable. For example, turkey with spinach or tomatoes may work well.

(4) quenelle de fromage [cheese]

This is the cheese quenelle which is made of mashed potatoes and cheese such as camembert or gruyere. Add some salt and pepper to your mashed potatoes and add the grated cheese to this paste mixture. One of these quenelles can be put in the center of a plate with a sauce around it, then served with green salad. You can also serve it with parsley or lettuce for garnish.

(5) quenelle de crème [cream]

This kind of quenelle is made of cream and eggs. The reason why these two ingredients work well together is because they both contain water; eggs, however, let the quenelle keep its shape while the cream gives it a soft feeling in your mouth.


Where Can You Eat The Best Quenelle in The World?

The best place to eat quenelles is in Paris , France . The best place to eat the most prestigious quenelle in the world is in Le Quenelle. It’s an “A-class” restaurant that makes all kinds of unique food, but it’s also famous for its unique quenelles. Le Quenelle (the French pronunciation of the word “quenelle”) prepares nearly 1,000 different kinds of quenelles every Single day. It has been featured in TV shows and magazines from all over the world. According to as many as nine of the most famous chefs in France, the quenelle that Le Quenelle makes is “the best quenelle in the world “.All of Le Quenelle’s quenelles are made from a mixture of different kinds of fish , poultry, eggs, vegetables.That’s why Le Quenelle’s quenelles have a unique taste and texture.