Spaetzle is a traditional German dumpling dish that’s easy to make and is delicious when served with a classic mushroom sauce. If you’re new to cooking or find it hard to follow a recipe, this is the perfect recipe to learn!
This is a guest post by my sister and friend, Laura, who is an avid traveler. I am always drawn to her blog, tintorera, because it is extremely well-written and informative.
Spätzle (pronounced ‘spoetz-lee’), or grated wheat pasta, are a traditional German dish that’s made from grated wheat flour, salt, and egg. The dough is then boiled and served with a variety of additives (think onions, bacon, and cheese) and toppings.
Here’s How to Make Perfect Little Egg Noodles With German Spaetzle!
You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re searching for a tried-and-true German spaetzle recipe.
Homemade German egg noodles, formed from eggs, flour, salt, and water, are multipurpose tiny dumplings that are also very simple to prepare.
The greatest thing about German spaetzle noodles is that they pair well with a variety of delicious German and Hungarian meals… Alternatively, you can just eat them pan-fried in butter (and cheese)!
Our handmade German spaetzle was delicious!
What exactly is Spaetzle?
Spätzle (spelled without the umlaut) is the German word for a little egg noodle. Because it’s cooked in boiling water, it’s officially an egg dumpling. It cooks fast, is very soft, and may be rather satisfying if eaten in large quantities!
In Central and Eastern Europe, the idea of a small egg dumpling is popular. It is popular in Austria and Switzerland, and has German origins (described below).
Aside from serving as a side dish to meat meals like Rouladen or German goulash, cheese may also be added to spaetzle to make Kaesespaetzle, a delectable variant!
Nokedli is another name for it in Hungarian. Egg dumplings may be made a bit bigger here, although they’re typically the same size as spaetzle.
They’re often accompanied with chicken paprikash, Marhapörkölt (beef stew), and even goulash. Eric grew up eating Nokedli and had no idea it was the same thing as spaetzle.
Spaetzle may now be found all over the place. We’ve had spaetzle in Berlin and the south of Germany, but we’ve also had it in Budapest (as Nokedli) and cooked it several times at home in Canada!
Spaetzle’s background covers the continent of Asia (where dumplings are very popular). Around two thousand years ago, the idea was introduced to Europe.
In the boiling water, the characteristic tiny shape of German spaetzle develops…
Spaetzle is now widely recognized as having originated in the cultural/historical region of Swabia.
This is an area of Europe that currently includes portions of south-western Germany (parts of Baden-Württemberg and parts of Bavaria) as well as a small portion of modern-day Switzerland.
Lisa was raised in the south of Germany and has relatives in Swabia, so spaetzle has always been a favorite of hers.
Purchasing and Operating a Spaetzle Maker
The best method to create homemade Spaetzle is using a good Spaetzle machine.
There are various methods to create Spaetzle without one, but believe us when we say that having one makes things a lot simpler.
We studied a lot of internet reviews before purchasing this Spätzle Maker, and we are really happy with it. It’s simple to use, clean, and store, and it doesn’t take up much space.
With tiny under grooves, the Fackelmann’s white plastic base rests firmly on the pot…
Our Spätzle Maker is unique in that it does not cover the whole pot, as some other (mostly steel) spaetzle makers do.
This allows the steam to escape and reduces the chances of the batter cooking or hardening before it falls into the saucepan. As a consequence, the batter has a better probability of landing precisely in the water each time.
Of course, this is just our opinion, and other individuals swear by their stainless steel Spaetzle makers. It’s up to you to figure out what works best for you.
If you don’t have a Spaetzle machine, you can always use a colander with bigger holes to force the batter through. The “Spoon Drop Method” is another option. This is when you grab a bigger spoon and heap batter upon it.
Then, using a smaller spoon, carefully drop tiny batter droplets from the large spoon into the steaming/boiling pot of water.
Eric’s mother has been making Hungarian Nokedli this way for years, and it’s a pain. Also, since the batter quantity is difficult to regulate, you end up with dumplings of various sizes.
Simply get a Spaetzle maker; you will not be disappointed!
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Homemade German Spaetzle
If you’re interested in making your own spaetzle, check out the spaetzle recipe card at the bottom of this page.
You may also look at the recipe process pictures below to learn how we create spaetzle.
This way, you can check whether you’re on the correct track at home by comparing your spaetzle batter to the final egg noodle size.
In a mixing dish, combine flour, eggs, and salt.
To begin, sift the flour into a medium mixing basin. Create a little well in the center for the egg (and try to do a better job than we did in the photo above, haha).
Then, using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, combine the flour, eggs, and salt.
(If you’re preparing spinach spaetzle, this is about where you’d put the fresh spinach.)
Continue to mix in the water!
Now add a little amount of water at a time while aggressively mixing. Continue to work the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
See the small air holes in the batter’s upper left corner?
When you’re through mixing, you should be able to see air bubbles in the batter when you move your spoon through it. This is a method of determining if the dough is of the proper consistency.
Another method to check is to raise your wooden spoon in the air with batter on it. You can tell whether the batter has a proper consistency when it drops off the spoon slowly yet evenly.
Scrape the batter through the spaetzle machine using a spaetzle scraper!
Bring a big saucepan of salted water to a boil at this point. Once the water has reached a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
Spoon batter into your spaetzle maker and scrape it into the boiling water.
This works best if your back-and-forth scraping motions are fast yet evenly spaced. You’ll get the hang of it very soon.
Just be careful not to pour too much batter in at once, or it will spill down the edges. Most spaetzle makers can be readily attached to or fitted to a variety of pots, so you won’t have to worry about it dropping into the boiling water.
Also, don’t use too much batter at once, and leave enough room in the pot for the dumplings to float to the top when done.
When the spaetzle is done, it floats to the top.
The spaetzle will float to the top after 2-3 minutes in the gently heating water. You know they’re done when they do it.
In the boiling water, if your batter is too thin to begin with, the spaetzle may become runny and extremely mushy.
As a result, we suggest sticking to our recipe and just changing the quantity of salt used (if desired).
Using a straining spoon, remove the egg noodles.
With a straining spoon, remove the completely cooked tiny dumplings and put them in a separate basin.
Then scrape another amount of batter through the spaetzle maker and continue the process until all of the batter has been utilized.
After removing the cooked Spaetzle noodles from the saucepan, shock them in cold water and reheat them in a frying pan with a little butter.
This prevents them from sticking together, helps them maintain their form, and stops them from cooking any further when you take them from the boiling water. We don’t typically do this since we are lazy and eat the spaetzle straight away.
Also, if you want to create cheese spaetzle (Kasespaetzle) with your cooked egg noodles, after you remove them from the boiling water, sprinkle some grated Emmental cheese on each batch of spaetzle. The cheese will melt beautifully on the heated dumplings this way.
Spaetzle prepared from scratch in Germany, ready to be added to your favorite meals!
If you have any leftover spaetzle, keep them in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container with a cover.
You may either reheat them in a frying pan with some butter before eating them or soak them in hot water for a few minutes before straining them.
Alternatively, egg noodles may be frozen in a freezer container. Make sure you shock your boiling spaetzle with cold water before doing this (if they are still hot).
To reheat frozen spaetzle, place them in a pot of boiling, gently salted water or reheat them in a frying pan with butter. We suggest cooking the egg noodles if they get stuck together in the freezer.
- 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 4 eggs, medium size
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup of water
- Make a small well (or a tiny volcano) in the center of the flour in a medium-sized mixing basin.
- Toss the flour with the eggs and salt, then whisk everything together with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. Slowly drizzle in the water while aggressively mixing until the dough is lump-free and elastic. Because of the sticky but smooth quality of the batter, you should be able to generate air bubbles while rolling the wooden spoon in it. Another sign that the batter is the proper consistency is if it drops gently from the spoon.
- A big saucepan of salted water should be brought to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer after the water has reached a boil.
- Now pour parts of the Spaetzle batter onto your spaetzle grater/maker and scrape the batter into the boiling water with your spaetzle grater/maker. When the spaetzle is done, it will float to the top. It takes around 2-3 minutes to do this task.
- With a big straining spoon, remove the tiny dumplings and put them in a separate basin. Rep the procedures until all of the batter has been utilized.
- This recipe yields around 4 1/2 to 5 cups egg noodles.
- If you don’t intend on eating the Spaetzle noodles right away, you may shock them in cold water after removing them from the boil and then reheat them in a frying pan with a little butter later.
- If you wish to create cheese spaetzle (Kasespaetzle), grated Emmental cheese may be sprinkled on each batch of spaetzle after they’ve been removed from the boiling water.
- We prefer using a spaetzle grater/maker, but spaetzle may simply be made by dropping batter pieces from a spoon into boiling water with another spoon or knife. It’s time-consuming, but it can be done.
- Spaetzle may be served as a cheese spätzle with a salad on the side or as a side dish to meat meals like goulash or rouladen, as previously stated.
Information about nutrition:
Serving Size: 4 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size 290 calories 5 g total fat 1 gram of saturated fat 0g trans fat 3 g of unsaturated fat 164 milligrams of cholesterol 594mg sodium 48g carbohydrate 2 g fiber 0 g sugar 12 g protein
How did this recipe turn out for you?
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Spaetzle is a popular German dish of finger-shaped noodles that you boil and enjoy with a variety of sauces. Have you ever made spaetzle at home? If not, you’ve got to try it, it’s simple and delicious.. Read more about bechtle traditional german egg noodles recipes and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a German spaetzle without a spaetzle machine?
You can make a German spaetzle with a pot, a colander, and a rolling pin.
What can I use if I dont have a spaetzle maker?
You can use a colander, or even just a bowl.
What is German spaetzle made of?
Spaetzle is a type of German pasta, made from flour and eggs.