Spätzle (German Noodle Dish)

by Kirsten on March 5, 2012 · 20 comments

in German Dishes, Pasta, Savory Dishes, Sides, Starters & Sides, Uncategorized

Spätzle is a noodle dish traditionally  served in the southern parts of Germany (Swabia or Bavaria).

I was first introduced to making Spätzle from scratch through one of my friend’s from school. Her family came from Bavaria and her mom used to prepare homemade Spätzle all the time. There were four kids in the family and they were allowed to bring friends over for lunch after school. Try to image the mountains of Spätzle my friend’s mom prepared to feed all of the hungry teenagers at her table. I remember a lot laughter and great food at this house.

This homemade noodle dish can not be compared to any brand of Spätzle out of a bag. They are light and airy. Serve them as a side dish with Bratwurst, Gulasch or pork tenderloin.

I have made a variation of Spätzle with spinach before. You can find the recipe for spinach Spätzle here.

Special tools I use to prepare this dish with are a Spätzle maker and a large kitchen spider.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Recipe type: Side dish
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 250 g flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 125 ml water (or mineral water)
  • 50 g butter, melted
  1. Preheat your oven to warming. Add a bigger baking dish.
  2. Bring a big pot of salted water to boil while preparing the dough.
  3. Add flour, salt, water and eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, mix the dough on high for 3 to 4 min., until you can see air bubbles in the dough (when the machine is turned off).
  4. Place your Spätzle maker over the boiling pot and add half of the dough into the hopper, dropping the dough through the hopper into the boiling water while moving the attachment. I use a hopper (hobel) style Spätzle maker .
  5. The Spätzle are done when they are rising to the surface of the pot. Take them out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon or a kitchen spider (I love mine).
  6. Place them into a colander to drain the extra water. Add some butter and move to the baking dish in the oven to keep the pasta warm until you are done preparing the whole batch.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. You can also make the Spätzle ahead. Just rinse the hot pasta with cold water, let the extra water drain and keep the spaetzle in the fridge until needed. Reheat with some butter in a pan, oven or microwave.


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Lea Ann March 7, 2012 at 6:11 am

Kirsten, I’ve only had spaetzle once at a restaurant in Solvang, CA. It was delicious and I’ve been afraid to try it at home. And I appreciate you saying that buying it off the shelf isn’t worth the time. I’ve been tempted a couple of times. This looks absolutely delicious.

Kirsten March 7, 2012 at 9:35 am

Lea Ann, you should definitely give it a try. They are very easy to make and just so yummy.

Eha March 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm

OK – try being married to a Hungarian foodie! Spaetzle with every second meal!! SO EASY: you all have an ordinary kitcheen colander, now don’t you? Just hold it over the pot of boiling water, pour the mixture in in batches, keep on sweeping a kitchen knife under, if some of the ‘bits’ come out long, and, as we say in Australia ‘Bob’s your uncle’ 😀 !

Kirsten March 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

Colander, well, that sounds like an interesting technique. I would love to see you in action.

Vivian March 6, 2012 at 11:02 am

Dear Kirsten,

I have another comment/request not related to spaetzle this time, but in looking through your other German recipes I was struck by the scrumptious-looking red cabbage that accompanies the schnitzel! I was hoping to find a recipe for it on your blog but had no luck Would you consider posting one? We used to have it served with melt-in-your-mouth rouladen as well…and a recipe for THAT amazing dish would be most welcome as well.

Kirsten March 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Vivian, no problem. Let me put it on my to cook list. The only problem will be to get the beef cut for the Rouladen, since I purchase all my beef directly from a local farmer and the cuts I wanted are already in my freezer. I will see what I can do. .

Jane March 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

Can I just tell you … your photos are so gorgeous! I love that plate! I know I’ve really improved on my photography in the last few months, but you really are an inspiration to me!

Kirsten March 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thanks, Jane. I am trying.

Toni @ Boulder Locavore March 6, 2012 at 6:07 am

Kirsten I feel I’ve taken a lovely trip to a pasta land never traveled! I don’t know if I’ve had spaetzle, and if so undoubtedly before becoming GF 7 years ago (and then my memory is fuzzy!). It sounds so simple but then I’m sure there is a special touch required from having made it multiple times. Love the spaetzle maker and the story about the voracious teens! I’m imagining a Dr. Suessian pile to the ceiling for multiple teens based on the appetites in my house of not-yet-teens! Very fun post and the spaetzle looks great. Was wondering about making it GF….

Kirsten March 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

Yes, try them GF! I would love your response. I have several German friends that are GF as well. I know they would love that.

Larry March 6, 2012 at 5:03 am

Looks very good. I failed in my first try (http://bigdudesramblings.blogspot.com/2012/02/german-night-again-pork-spaetzle-green.html) by using self-rising flour which made them too light. Next time I’ll try your recipe. We’re going to the local (Knoxville) German restaurant tonight and I plan to try theirs along with getting my schnitzel fix.

Kirsten March 7, 2012 at 9:40 am

Larry, your recipe sounds great. I prefer fresh onions over powdered. You should give it another try! Like your dishes for the German night.

Susan March 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm

The best comfort food! I have a spatzel maker, but my mother made them by “cutting” the batter off a spatula with a knife over the boiling water. I’m making these this week!

Kirsten March 7, 2012 at 9:36 am

Yes, I am not “trained” in cutting them of the wooden board. It looks pretty professional.

Cooking with Michele March 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I’ve made spaetzle a couple of times and for the life of me just can’t get the hang of that hopper on the spaetzle maker! I end up just using my had to push hunks of dough/batter through. Yours are very pretty and I’m sure delicious!

Kirsten March 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Michele, could it be that the batter isn’t runny enough? Try my recipe, it works very well with the hopper.

Vivian March 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

When I make them…haven’t yet… but I think I would like to leave them just a touch longer to saute in the butter so that they get a touch of browned crispness. Their little squiggly shapes are so cute!

Kirsten March 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Vivian, they taste just amazing when browned crisp with some butter.

manu March 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I love them!! The green version with spinach is delicious!!

Kirsten March 7, 2012 at 9:43 am

I love the spinach Spätzle, too.

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