This Homemade German Spaetzle recipe shows you how to make these delicious, German egg noodle dumplings in less than 30 minutes! They are the perfect side dish to go with all your Bavarian favorites!
This Homemade German Spaetzle boasts a dense, chewy texture similar to pasta but more substantial. I love its rich flavor, which is enhanced by the creamy touch of butter and the warm, slightly spicy notes of white pepper and nutmeg.
Table of Contents
What is Spaetzle?
Spaetzle is a traditional German egg noodle dumpling. Made primarily from a simple batter, these dumplings are boiled in water and are then often sautéed in butter or topped with sauces. They serve this as a beloved side dish in Germany and other Central European countries and can accompany a wide range of dishes, from stews to meats.
White Pepper: This spice adds a subtle heat and depth of flavor to the spaetzle. White pepper is milder than black pepper and is often used in dishes where a more delicate pepper flavor is desired.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg gives a warm, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor. It’s a classic spice in many German dishes, like my German Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelkloesse).
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Cheese Spaetzle (Käsespätzle): After boiling and sautéing the spaetzle, mix them with caramelized onions and grated cheese, such as Emmental or Gruyère. Place them in a baking dish, top with more cheese, and broil until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
Whole Wheat or Gluten-Free: Substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a nuttier flavor and added fiber. For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free flour blend.
How to Make Spaetzle
Step #1: In a medium bowl add the large eggs, milk, and salt. Then, whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt.
Step #2: Add in the flour. Stir until well combined. Check the consistency of the batter. If it is too runny, then add a little more flour. If it is too thick, then add a little more milk.
Step #3: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Place your spaetzle maker over the top of the rapidly boiling water. Then pour half of the spaetzle batter into the cup of the device.
Step #4: Quickly slide the cup back and forth to allow the batter to drop through to the rapidly boiling water. Repeat with second half of batter, working quickly, until all the batter is cooking in the pot.
Step #5: Set the spaetzle maker aside and give the dumplings a good stir in the pot. Let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until they float to the top.
Step #6: Remove with a slotted spoon and place the cooked spaetzle in a large bowl. You can also use a colander to drain the spaetzle. Add the butter and spices and toss together.
Step #7: Optionally garnish with parsley and then serve warm and enjoy!
Consistency is Crucial: The batter’s consistency should be slightly thicker than pancake batter. If it’s too thick, it won’t press easily through the spaetzle maker; if too thin, the noodles may disintegrate in the water. Before making a full batch, cook a small test portion of the spaetzle. This helps you adjust the batter consistency if needed.
Avoid Overcrowding: Cook the spaetzle in batches to prevent them from sticking together. Overcrowding the pot can reduce the water temperature, leading to uneven cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can boil spaetzle and then quickly cool it in cold water. Store it in the fridge re-boil briefly and then add the butter and spices before serving.
Absolutely! Consider adding finely chopped herbs, spices, or grated cheese to the batter for a twist.
Spaetzle, from southern Germany, is a dough made from eggs, flour, and liquid, resulting in soft, irregularly shaped dumplings when pushed through a spaetzle maker into boiling water. In contrast, pasta, a staple of Italian cuisine, is typically made from durum wheat semolina flour and water, then shaped into various forms from spaghetti to ravioli. While both are dough-based, they differ in ingredients, texture, and culinary traditions.
Spaetzle and pasta, while both being dough-based, have distinct flavors. Spaetzle has a softer, more tender, chewy texture and a richer flavor due to the presence of eggs in its batter. Pasta, especially when made without eggs, has a more neutral taste.
What to Serve with Spaetzle?
This homemade spaetzle is a great dish to include in any German meal or Oktoberfest themed dinner party.
Your German dinner meal could include the following menu items along with the spaetzle:
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Refrigerate your spaetzle leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To freeze your spaetzle, put it in zip-top freezer bags and remove as much air as possible from the bags Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before reheating.
Reheat spaetzle leftovers by melting a tablespoon or so of butter in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the spaetzle and stir until hot. If the spaetzle sticks together, then add a little water while reheating.
More Delicious German Recipes You’ll Love
Homemade German Spaetzle Recipe (German Egg Noodle Dumplings)
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk - (add a little more milk if your batter is too dry)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley - optional for garnish
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt. Add in the flour and stir until well combined. If it is too runny, then add a little more flour. If it is too thick, then add a little more milk.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil over high heat. Place your spaetzle maker over the top, then pour half of the batter into the cup of the device. Quickly slide the cup back and forth to allow the batter to drop through. Repeat with second half of batter, working quickly, until all the batter is cooking in the pot.
- Set the spaetzle maker aside and give the dumplings a good stir in the pot. Let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until floating on the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. Toss with butter and spices. Serve warm.
- Optional: Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top for a garnish
This German pasta, Spätzle, or Knöpfle, is also known as Spätzli or Chnöpfli in Switzerland or Hungarian Nokedli, Csipetke or Galuska.
These German noodles are also spelled: Spätzle or spÃ¤tzle, but often misspelled as: spätzle, spatzel, spatzels, spatzels, spaetzel, spaeztle, spatzles, spetzel, spetzle, spÃ¤tzel and spatezel.