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Traditional German Spätzle Recipe

One of my favourite traditional German dishes, spätzle are probably the easiest “noodle” recipe you can make at home. This spätzle recipe takes roughly twenty minutes to prepare and uses everyday ingredients you may already have in the pantry.

A close up of traditional German spätzle in a black bowl

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What Are Spätzle?

Spätzle noodles, are sometimes also called Knöpfle, or Chnöpfle, depending on which region of Germany or Switzerland you are in.

They are a soft egg noodle, (almost like a mini dumpling) that are traditionally found in the south-western region of Swabia (the Bavaria and Baden Wurtemburg region), in Germany and are considered a specialty there.

An Authentic German Spätzle Recipe

There are generally three different ways to cook spätzle noodles at home. Each variation stemming from a different region where they were first made. I am going to focus on only one way to do them here, as it is the easiest to do at home even if you have never made noodles (of any kind) in your life.

One of the reasons that I love spätzle, is that the noodles themselves are so versatile. They can be served on their own, simply pan-fried in butter with a bit of fresh garlic, or turned into a mini casserole and baked in the oven with various ingredients.

A personal favourite of mine is the traditional Swiss spätzle pfanne. Caramelized onions mixed with the pan-fried spätzle noodles, topped with cheese and then baked. What’s not to like!?

How long do cooked spätzle keep?

Spätzle store very well in the fridge in an airtight container for future use, and are ideal for meal prep when cooked in batches.

Spätzle noodles will easily keep for 4-5 days if cooled properly after cooking and kept refrigerated.

Homemade Spätzle Recipe

To make these German spätzle you will need:

  • 250 grams of all purpose flour
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of salt ( I used fresh ground sea salt)
  • 60 ml of water

That’s it! Pretty simple eh!?

1.Measure out your ingredients while bringing a large pot of water to boil on the stovetop. This way you can multi-task and the water will be boiling by the time you finish mixing the dough.

Ingredients for german spaetzle being added to a stainless steel bowl

2. Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and mix them very vigorously with a wooden spoon or spurdle. If you find that the dough is too dry you can add another little splash of water. I’ve added roughly another 30 ml of water to my dough here.

Spaetzle dough being mixed in a steel bowl with a wooden spurdle

Note: Whether you will need to add more water or not can depend on the size of the eggs you used, and the measuring cup you used to measure the water,(not all measuring cups are created equal) as well as the flour itself, which may absorb moisture differently.

The dough is ready to go when it is smooth, and drops of the wooden spoon in large clumps. It is ok if the mixture is a little thicker, (like a very thick pancake batter) this will simply result in a denser and less fluffy noodle. This is something you can adjust in future, depending on your preference.

The proper consistency for german spaetzle dough. Thick yet slightly gloopy

The Easiest Way To Cook German Spätzle

As I mentioned above there are three different methods of cooking spätzle. For two of them, you do not need a “spätzle maker“(affiliate link)!

  • The first method uses a handheld pasta extruder to push the dough through small holes, which will result in longer spaghetti-like noodles.
  • The second method employs a flat cutting board, and a small palate knife, from which you scoopépush small pieces of dough directly into a pot of boiling water.
  • And finally, the third method uses a perforated dish or plate to pass the batter through. You can do it with any pasta colander, (or perforated pan) that has large holes in it.

Traditionally you would use a spätzlehobel(affiliate link) also known as a spaetzle-maker, but lacking that you can improvise as I have with the perforated pan.

This last method is by far the easiest!

Spatzle dough being poured into a perforated pan over a pot of boiling water

Lets Get Cooking!

Once the water is boiling, the spätzle dough is pushed through the colander (or a spätzlehobel) right into the boiling water.  It’s easiest to use a flat plastic scraper for this but a rubber spatula will work as well.

You will know the spaetzle are done cooking when they float to the surface. At this point, you want to take them out of the water either with a slotted spoon or a sieve so that they do not overcook. For this reason, it’s best to boil the noodles in smaller batches.

Spaetzle noodles floating to the surface of a pot of boiling water.

Once the spätzle noodles are cooked, you can serve them right away with whatever toppings you choose, or cool them down and save them for later. If you plan on pan-frying them, cooling the spaetzle first works well, and results in a crispier noodle.

Related:  Hearty German Goulash

Related Recipes

Wondering what to serve these spätzle noodles with or as? We have some suggestions for you!

Serve spätzle with:

Or turn the spätzle into a casserole:

Made the recipe? Comment & Rate it below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

Close up of German spätzle noodles served in a black bowl

Traditional German Spaetzle Recipe

Chef Markus Mueller
This German Käsespätzle recipe takes just 20 minutes to prepare and is a great beginner noodle recipe. Make them from scratch and enjoy authentic German food at home any day of the week!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Servings 4 servings
Calories 1124.5 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 250 grams of all purpose flour
  • 3 whole whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of salt I used fresh ground sea salt
  • 60 ml of water

Instructions
 

  • Begin by measuring out all your ingredients, and putting a pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
    3 eggs, flour salt and water in a stainless steel bowl with a wooden spoon
  • Sift the flour, and mix in the salt. Add the eggs and then add all 60ml of the water. Mix really well with a wooden spoon until the dough reaches a smooth, yet slightly runny consistency. If the dough is too dry add slightly more water until the dough reaches a thick batter-like consistency.
    Spätzle dough dripping of a wooden spoon over a stainless steel bowl.
  • Using a perforated pan or spätzlehobel, push the dough into the boiling water, creating mini Käsespätzle. The noodles are done when they float to the surface.
    Passing spätzle dough through a stainless steel perforated pan over boiling water
  • Serve the spätzle noodles with other traditional German foods such as pork schnitzel or German style goulash!
    Close up of German spätzle noodles served in a black bowl
Keyword noodles, spaetzle, traditional german recipes

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20 Comments

  1. Carol CAMERON

    I love making special I make a triple batch spread it out on a cookie sheet let it cool and then freeze it for later use I also like to use it in soup chicken pepper cosh Ville pepper cosh and all by itself with some purple cabbage or sauerkraut and some smoke sausage

  2. I’ve see someone use a cheese grater before, the large shredding side. I guess it’s the same idea. Since I’ve checked off home made gnocchi off my ‘food’ bucket list, I’ll have to replace it with spatzle! ????

  3. I’ve never had spaetzal (I also can’t really name any traditional German recipes) but I need to try! I am knee deep in planning a trip to Eirope with friends which includes an entire week in Germany! I want to be able to REALLY appreciate the yummy food!

  4. 5 stars
    Markus, this is a great tutorial! Spaetzle is one of my all time favourite comfort foods. I like it simple sauted in butter with salt and pepper. Yum.

  5. Nice to see your spaetzle. My mom makes the best spaetzle and when I asked for the recipe, I thought it was going to be a family heirloom. Turned out it was from the Joy of Cooking. Gotta spread the spaetzle love. 🙂

    • The first time I made spaetzle at home I was very surprised to see how simple the recipe was, I had always thought it was this complicated process!

    • 5 stars
      Great and easy recipe! I didn’t have anything like the pan you used so I just put the mixture in a ziploc bag, cut a hole in the corner, and squeezed it out, using a spoon to cut it into pieces. It worked pretty well although it probably took me a bit longer. End result tasted great and was a big hit with my family.

      • Hi Haley! Thanks for the review! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe despite not having a perforated pan. If you have a perforated strainer (metal strainer with holes) that works well too! Happy cooking! Chef Markus

  6. Love spaetzle!!! I have not attempted to make my own before, but your recipe has inspired me to try 🙂

  7. Love spaetzle!! I lived in Germany as a child for 3 years and lived on it!! Have never tried to make it so will give this one a go.

  8. Spatzle is one of my all time faves – it’s so easy to make. I love it with some garlic and butter and served with rouladen.

  9. Christiane

    5 stars
    Hallo,Markus,das ist der erste Mal,dass ich einen Blog lese! Er gefällt mir,wenn ich auch deinen heutigen Text nur schwer verstehe – zu viel Fachchinesisch☺

  10. Hi Markus,
    You are great . I like this.
    Keep on going this way.

  11. Matthias Volkers

    Super Blog. Macht Spaß zum Lesen und tolle Bilder. Gruß aus der Schweiz

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