from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A ball or dumpling of finely chopped meat or seafood bound with eggs and poached in stock or water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A light dumpling made of lightly spiced minced meat or fish bound with egg and poached.
  • n. An elliptical shape moulded by chefs from soft foods using two spoons.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of delicate forcemeat, commonly poached and used as a dish by itself or for garnishing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In cookery, a forcemeat ball made of a rich and delicately seasoned paste of chicken, veal, or the like. Quenelles are usually served as entrées.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from German Knödel, from Middle High German, diminutive of knode, knot, knob, from Old High German knodo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French, from German Knödel


  • The term quenelle is also used to describe the decorative shape of the portions - a neat, three-sided oval a bit like a mini rugby ball! formed by smoothing the mixture between two dessertspoons.

    The Red Deer

  • There were very good breads with a killer quenelle of smoked butter crusted with walnuts.

    Restaurant review: Viajante

  • Serve a quenelle of the parfait atop a board, sprinkled with Maldon sea salt and alongside brioche toast.

    Holiday Showdown: U.S. vs. U.K.

  • Ferran and Oriol had already shaped a purée of the stuff into a small quenelle that looked exactly like the edible part of a sea urchin, but they had a harder time with a dumpling-ish item they were trying to make.

    The Sorcerer’s Apprentices

  • For a few services, the sweet potato went out like that: a large, single quenelle on the plate.

    The Sorcerer’s Apprentices

  • Try the chicken liver cake or quenelle, ground fish dumplings, at Le Poêlon d'Or, formerly owned by Marie-Danielle.

    Top 10 things to do in Lyon

  • And I just had to try the quenelle de brochet, a classic bouchon dish and traditional food of this gastronomic city.

    Jamie Schler: A Side Trip to Lyons: Le Bouchon

  • The quenelle de brochet, pike dumpling, served here in a langoustine cream sauce was as big as my head, light and fluffy like a soufflé though denser and tasting delicately of fish.

    Jamie Schler: A Side Trip to Lyons: Le Bouchon

  • Carefully scooping a portion into a torpedo shape, Mr. Stupak aimed his blow torch at the quenelle and browned it.

    The Secrets Behind Edible Irony

  • This recipe will make an enormous number of quenelle-shaped meatballs.

    Archive 2009-04-01


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  • "Forcemeat balls became quenelles -- melting meat pastes mixed with cream, shaped into ovals and poached in clear broths -- or, alternatively, forcemeat sausages called 'boudins'."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 246

    January 18, 2017


    "The quenelle is a rude gesture Dieudonné invented in 2005. The right hand is held straight out, pointing downward, with the palm open; the left arm folds across the chest, with the hand touching the right arm."

    January 15, 2015