Grocer to Table | Pasta

German Spaetzle (Spätzle)

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German Spaetzle, or Spätzle, is an easy, homemade egg noodle that is delicious with any German cuisine, or a side for any protein of your choice!

Large bowl with spaetzle topped with butter and parsley.Pin
German Spaetzle

This recipe is from my Grandmother’s cookbook, which was published in 1962. In those days, apparently, they did not have spätzle makers, because the original recipe cuts the noodles into the boiling water with a knife.

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Dough is placed on a cutting board and cut then pushed into the water, with the knife. I did it like this for a very long time. In 2007, when my grandmother passed away, we cleaned out her house in Heidelberg, Germany and low and behold, I found this neat contraption that I had no idea what it was. After some research, I realized that it was a spaetzle machine and boy, does it make this process easier and less messy!

What is German spaetzle?

Bowl of parsleyed spaetzle.Pin

Spätzle is a simple, fresh German egg noodles or dumplings from southern Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The word literally, when translated to English, means “little sparrows.” It is similar to other nationalities’ fresh pasta, such as Greek egg noodles, referred to as hylopites, and Hungarian egg noodles, or tarhonya, according to Cook’s thesaurus.

They can be served as is, with butter and parsley. Make them into Kasespätzle (cheese noodles). They can also be sauteed until they get a bit of color. Spaetzle are great sauteed in some butter the next day, with a scrambled egg cracked over the top, for a crispy, delicious breakfast. They are popularly served with caramelized onions and cheese or with lots of different sauces.

Homemade spätzle are a great alternative for potatoes, egg noodles or rice.

Ingredients you need

  • flour- All-purpose flour is fine
  • salt
  • eggs
  • water
  • optional- A pinch of nutmeg

How to make it

  1. Measure dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk eggs.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
  4. Stir together. Mix well, to a thick dough. Let dough rest for 1 hour.
  5. Bring water to a light boil in a large pot of salted water. After resting, add some dough to spaetzle maker bowl, placed over the pot with the boiling water. Move bowl back and forth on blades and let dough fall into lightly boiling water.
  6. Cook noodles until they float. Scoop out as they rise with a slotted spoon. Place in colander to drain.
  7. When dough is all gone and spaetzle is cooked. Add butter to a pan and mix with spaetzle.
dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Whisked eggs. Spaetzle maker placed over pot of water. Dough added to spaetzle maker. Spaetzle in pot. Spaetzle draining in colander. Butter added to cooked spaetzle.Pin
Spaetzle served with duck and peas on grey plate.Pin

Pro tips for your success

  • If you don’t have a spätzle machine, you can place a cup or so of spaetzle batter on a wooden cutting board with straight sides. Use a knife or bench scraper to cut dough into thin strips while pushing the strip off of the edge of the cutting board into the boiling water.
  • It is said that a potato ricer works well too, but I’ve tried it on several occasions and it does not work as well. If using a potato ricer, make the dough thinner than you would either with the machine or the cutting and slicing method mentioned above.
  • Spätzle can be served hot or made a little bit ahead of time and lightly fried in a large skillet with butter.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container and lightly fry to warm them.

How to store leftovers

Like all fresh pasta and noodles, this spaetzle is best enjoyed fresh. You can store it for a couple of days, but the best way to reheat it is to fry it in butter. Add butter to a skillet. Break up the cooked spaetzle with your hands. Fry it until lightly crisp and serve, or break eggs over top and serve for breakfast, brunch or dinner.

What to serve with German spaetzle?

  • Sauerbraten (German Beef Roast)
  • Weiner Schnitzel
  • Goulash
  • Paprikash
  • Swedish Meatballs
  • Most poultry, beef, pork, veal.

Other delicious pasta recipes

Spaetzle served with duck and peas on grey plate.Pin

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Spaetzle served with peas and duck breast.Pin

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Beige bowl filled with Spaetzle and garnished with fresh parsley.Pin

German Spaetzle

Homemade German Spaetzle is an easy egg noodle that is delicious served with so many foods!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 246kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $2

Ingredients

  • 625 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 liter water
  • pinch Salt
  • 3-4 eggs
  • Butter

For cooking

  • 3 liter water
  • 2 teaspoon Salt

Instructions

  • Measure ingredients. Mix well together.
  • Let dough rest on counter 1 hour before proceeding.
  • Add water to large pot. Salt water as you would for any pasta. Bring to low boil.
  • If you have spaetzle machine, place it over pot of water. Scoop dough into hopper. Move back and forth along base, to drop dough into boiling water. Do just a bit at a time.
  • When spaetzle floats to top of water, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place in strainer.
  • Continue until all dough is cooked.
  • Place spaetzle into a pot and mix with butter, to deter sticking together. Serve as is, or see post above for other suggestions for serving.
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Notes

Notes:
Can be served with caramelized onions and cheese, or with butter and browned breadcrumbs, also delicious served with any gravy.
Refrigerate leftovers up to 4 days. 
To reheat;
  • Add butter and fry in non stick frying pan until golden browned.
  • Add a pat of butter and microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 3mg
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Originally published November 8, 2019. Updated March 14, 2022.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My college roommate (from several decades ago) used to go on about her Mom’s spaetzle. She tried to make it for us once and it was an unmitigated disaster. Clearly, this was what Betsy so desperately wanted to achieve. Beautiful, Beth!

  2. 5 stars
    Be still my tiny beating heart! That is the best spaetzle I have seen in years! Totally delish and so much better than any dried version that Aldis sells. I will be making this again and again.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! Who knew spaetzle was so easy to make?! You’ve made this recipe is super easy and approachable…thanks for sharing!

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