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!
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.
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?
Spätzle is a simple, fresh 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 pastas, 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 an scrambled egg cracked over the top, for a crispy delicious breakfast. They are popular served with carmelized onions and cheese, or with a 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
How to make it
- Measure dry ingredients.
- Whisk eggs.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
- Stir together. Mix well, to a thick dough. Let dough rest for 1 hour.
- 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.
- Cook noodles until they float. Scoop out as they rise with a slotted spoon. Place in colander to drain.
- When dough is all gone and spaetzle is cooked. Add butter to a pan and mix with spaetzle.
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.
What to serve with German spaetzle?
- Sauerbraten (German Beef Roast)
- Weiner Schnitzel
- Swedish Meatballs
- Most poultry, beef, pork, veal.
Other delicious pasta recipes
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Tools I use to make this recipe
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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
- 625 g all-purpose flour
- 1/3 l water
- pinch Salt
- 3-4 eggs
- 3 l water
- 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.
- Add butter and fry in non stick frying pan until golden browned.
- Add a pat of butter and microwave.
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Originally published November 8, 2019. Updated March 14, 2022.