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Simple Spaetzle recipe

Simple Spaetzle recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish

The traditional German soft, pasta-like morsels. A loose pasta dough is pressed through a spaetzle maker, simmered, drained and sauteed in butter.

552 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 125g plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 litres hot water
  • 30g butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Mix together flour, salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Beat eggs well and add alternately with the milk to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
  2. Press dough through spaetzle maker or a large holed sieve or metal grater.
  3. Drop a few at a time into simmering liquid. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  4. Saute cooked spaetzle in butter. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top and serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(630)

Reviews in English (494)

Really easy to make as a quick side for a goulash-23 May 2016

by Amy S.

Great recipe, the flavor is BETTER! than our favorite authentic German restaurant. The nutmeg makes it so good, my family raved. I served this with pot roast in a red wine, mushroom gravy and roasted asparagus. Thanks for sharing this recipe!! **By the way, a Ziptop bag with 4 or 5 small wholes punched with a skewer was a lot easier to handle than the strainer method. The texture was more authentic as well.-02 Jun 2006

by Paula B

These are wonderful. My kids love them. I do not have a Spaetzle maker, so i use a flat cheese grater. The first few times I made these I burned my hand a few times. *** Last time I used two clothespins to secure the grater to the edge of my pot. It worked perfectly!*** No more burns and the preparation went so much quicker.-22 Jan 2006

Käsespätzle (German Cheese Spaetzle)

Links in this article may earn us a little money if you make a purchase. Read more here.

Our Käsespätzle Recipe is Easy to Follow and Definitely Cheesy!

Have a craving for some “German macaroni and cheese”? You’re looking to make Käsespätzle then!

Also known as German cheese spaetzle, Käsespätzle – literally cheese spaetzle – is a hearty and filling dish that easily pleases the taste buds!

Made from homemade spaetzle and loaded with Emmental cheese, this spaetzle with cheese recipe is topped with crispy onions and serves well with a leafy green salad!

We love this recipe because it’s easy to whip together on a weeknight when craving something “not so healthy”.

Spaetzle is also generally easy to make if you have a good spaetzle maker.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅜ cup 2% milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Emmentaler cheese

Sift together flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Alternately mix in milk and the flour mixture until smooth. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Press batter through a spaetzle press into the water. You may also use a potato ricer, colander, or a cheese grater. When the spaetzle has floated to the top of the water, remove it to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Mix in 1 cup of the cheese.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until golden. Stir in spaetzle and remaining cheese until well blended. Remove from heat, and serve immediately.

Homemade Spaetzle

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4

Special Equipment: Spaetzle maker or colander (not a sieve)

Ingredients US Metric

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, plus more as needed
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pesto or melted butter or brown butter, for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs and then slowly add the milk, whisking all the while or switching to a dough hook on a stand mixer or a wooden spoon. Add the salt and combine. The batter will most likely be thick and sorta sticky.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Carefully hold a spaetzle maker or colander over the boiling water and dump the batter into it. With a spatula, press the batter through the holes in the maker or colander. This will produce little squiggles of pasta, which will float to the top of the water when they are done, which ought to take a couple minutes. (Some may float to the surface right away, but go ahead and let them gently simmer for at least 1 1/2 minutes.)

Scoop out the spaetzle with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.

Toss with the pesto or butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Originally published December 22, 2014.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Helen Doberstein

Spaetzle is a staple in my husband’s German family. Since I'd never made it before, I was really interested in trying this recipe. I was cooking for 15 people at a family dinner, so I doubled the recipe. This recipe doubled easily and worked beautifully. My husband’s family loved them, even my mother-in-law.

The consistency of the batter should be like a really thick pancake batter, too thick to pour off a spoon but thin enough to fall off a spoon. Mixing took about 20 minutes, and the cooking took about 40 minutes. I chose to use a spaetzle maker I had been given instead of a colander. I did try one batch in a small colander but found it to be a little cumbersome.

The spaetzle must be cooked in smaller batches so as not to crowd the pot, and the pot should be kept at a slow boil. This keeps them separate, allowing them to be removed from the pot easily when done. Doubling this recipe easily made enough for 15 people and there was even a little left over. Some of the spaetzle are done almost immediately, floating to the surface within 30 seconds of going into the boiling water, but for the most part, it takes a couple of minutes for the all the dumplings to rise to the top. I placed them on a towel-lined baking sheet to absorb any excess water and tossed them with brown butter, salt, and pepper, as is traditional.

Because this is so easy to make that you'll be making this dish on a regular basis, I would recommend investing the $20 or $30 for a spaetzle maker. It really does make the process go faster.

Michelle P.

I love spaetzle. I'm from a Bavarian family and have had it both at home and in Germany. It's definitely a comfort food. Sprinkle it with a little cheese, and it's hard to go wrong. This recipe came together very easily and of course uses kitchen staples.

The dough was thick and sticky—getting a smooth dough was not going to happen. I don't have a special spaetzle maker, so I used my colander. I didn't think about the fact that it had graduated size holes that made cooking slightly challenging. In the past, my dad made homemade makers by poking uniform holes in the bottom of a plastic milk jug. My colander was awkward to hold, and it was hard to get the thick, sticky dough through. The more I pressed the dough and worked it, the thicker and stickier it got. So after the first batch, I ended up adding about 1/4 cup more milk. This helped just enough to allow the dough to pass through the holes.

The mini dumplings cooked very quickly once in the water. It only took 30 seconds or so. I stopped every couple minutes to scoop. There didn't seem to be any adverse affect to the consistency by leaving them in for a minute past initial float.

Once I had cooked the entire batch, I browned some butter in my Dutch oven and tossed the spaetzle back in. I seasoned with salt and pepper and served with a bit of grated Romano on top. My family all devoured it!

Tomorrow these will be the "noodle" in my chicken noodle soup. Love that!

Joel Jenkins

I've been making spaetzle since the mid '90s and this recipe is fairly simple. For many years I rolled and punched each one by hand, but thought I'd try the colander method, which is a vast improvement. Place the colander over the water and quickly add the batter otherwise, you may end up with a huge mess. Do this in batches don't dump all your batter in at once or it will crowd the pot, and some of your noodles will overcook.

You may have to rinse the noodles with cool water to keep them from sticking together as you cook the other batches. I made brown butter with sage and put just a slight crisp on the noodles in the butter, as I don't like to just pour the melted butter over the noodles, but that's my preference.

Robert McCune

I've long had a spaetzle "lid" that fits over a pan, but I'd never got around to using it. When this recipe showed up, I decided it was about time that I put it to use. This is an easy spaetzle recipe with great results!

The batter is quick to put together. The result is a very light pasta dumpling that can be used in many ways. I tried using it in a couple different dishes. First, I tossed it with some warm sage-infused olive oil and sprinkled it with grated Parmesan cheese. Second, I tried it with leftover pork tenderloin and the luscious pan juices from the pork. These would be great tossed with pasta sauce, added to soups, even incorporated into a pasta salad. They'd be great browned in a little butter and served as a side instead of potatoes or rice.

Lila Ferrari

I just found my spaetzle maker, so it was a treat to make this recipe. It was difficult to whisk the milk into the flour and eggs I think a spatula would have worked better.

These were light. We settled for butter, salt, and pepper on the finished spaetzle—a hardship for sure! Next time I would add a little nutmeg, which amps up the flavor.

Mackenzie Campbell

I could not believe how simple this recipe was to make! I've always loved spaetzle, ever since gorging on it almost continuously while traveling through Germany for a week. It's been popping up on a lot of hip menus lately, which has just fueled my love for the squiggly little noodles.

The dough came together in 5 minutes, and I let it sit for about 30 minutes while I prepped the other ingredients. The dough was incredibly sticky, like glue. I used a large-holed grater to drizzle the dough into the water. From what I've seen, a spaetzle maker is just that with a feeder tube on top of it. Smearing the dough over the holes with a spatula did the trick perfectly.

I sautéed it ll with caramelized onions, kale, whole grain mustard, butter, and chicken and it was probably one of the tastiest and easiest meals I've made lately. Once everything else was good to go, the only step needed to elevate this to a heavenly dish was to brown them up in plenty of butter and toss with the rest of my accoutrements. All in all, the whole meal probably took about 40 minutes, prep time included. I would log this in my weeknight meals folder and continue to experiment with the endless possibilities for serving spaetzle.

Had I not selfishly eaten more than my share of this recipe, I believe this would have been the perfect amount for 4 people as a side to a main or incorporated into the main dish.

Linda Pacchiano

It really helps when you make this recipe to have a spaetzle maker, but it can be done in a colander with fairly large holes. If you're making these without a maker, then it helps to have another person assisting you when you scrape the dough into the boiling water.

The recipe can be assembled and mixed in about 5 minutes. The batter is fairly hard to mix with a standard whisk once the milk is added, so I would use either a dough whisk or simply a wooden spoon. The batter had the appearance of a thick, lumpy cake batter. The scraping and cooking took about 8 minutes for a total time of about 13 minutes.

Just like when you cook pasta, the only way to know if the spaetzle are done is to taste them. After they were cooked through, I tossed them in a couple of tablespoons of butter and seasoned them with pepper. The water I cooked them in had been thoroughly salted, so no additional salt was needed.


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Sounds wonderful!! Has anyone made this with Gluten Free flour just asking. Tell us your experience.

Suzi, none of our staff has, but perhaps some of our readers have! Readers? Can anyone help out Suzi?

Use cold water to rinse off batters and Sourdough Starters instead of hot. With hot water you are cooking the batter onto your dish. After a cold rinse, then wash as usual. Also my colander fits perfectly over my stock pot so I just pour the batter and stir with two chopsticks held in one hand. Be quick or you’ll steam the batter in the colander!

Brilliant, Andi. Always greatly appreciate you sharing all your insights, tricks and wisdoms!

Storage Tips

If you have any leftover spaetzle, you can store them in an airtight container with a lid in the fridge for a few days.

Before consumption, you can either reheat them with some butter in a frying pan or drop them into hot water for a couple of minutes before straining them.

Alternatively, you can also freeze egg noodles in a freezer container. For this make sure that you shocked your boiled spaetzle in cold water first (if they are still hot).

To reheat from frozen, drop the frozen spaetzle into a pot of boiling, lightly salted water, or reheat them with some butter in a frying pan. If the egg noodles got stuck together in the freezer, we’d recommend the boiling method.

– Mix the flour with half of the salt and the nutmeg.
– Add eggs, mix them in with a fork.
– Pour in water while stirring constantly with a large spoon until dough is smooth.
– Bring water to a boil in a big pot, add remaining salt.
– Set the Spaetzle maker over the boiling water and by going back and forward with the machine, press the dough through the wholes, a few tablespoons at a time, directly into the boiling water.
– Stir the Spaetzle gently to prevent them from sticking together.
– Boil them briskly for 5-8 minutes or when they are floating on the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon.
– Keep them in a bowl until all are done. Never do them all at one time.

That’s all, it is not that complicated. But you can buy them also online, see below

Ingredients you’ll need

Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the recipe at the bottom for quantities.

Ingredient notes

For the spaetzle

  • Flour: The spaetzle work great with regular all-purpose flour. If you want to go super authentic, substitute ½ cup of semolina for ½ cup of flour. This adds more bite to the spaetzle.
  • Milk: I use 2% milk. Any fat content can work, although skim milk may make the batter more difficult to work with.
  • Water: Use all milk for richer spaetzle. I prefer using half milk and half water though, because all milk can make them a little sweet.

For the gravy

  • Mushrooms: White or brown button mushrooms are my favorite for the gravy.
  • Broth: I very strongly recommend using beef broth for the best look/flavor of the gravy. Chicken can be used as a substitute. If you’re making this vegetarian and use vegetable broth, the gravy may need an extra tablespoon of flour to thicken (due to the collagen in animal-based broth).
  • Cream: This is optional for a richer taste.
  • White wine: I recommend a dry white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay. Please do not use white wine vinegar in place of the white wine. Red wine can work, but alters the taste. You can also just use another ¼ cup of broth.

German Homemade Spaetzle Recipe

All it takes to make German Homemade Spaetzle is a little practice. Once you have done it a few times, it is fairly easy. The key is to recognize the right consistency of the dough and knowing which tools to use. Spaetzle can be made in three different ways. You can use a paddle board with a specially shaped steelscraper/sharpner , a sliding spaetzle maker which is the easiest way (you can purchase it in the States by just clicking the link) or a potato ricer (potato press, also available in the United States). I mostly use the potato ricer.

Spaetzle made with a sliding Spaetzle Maker:

Ingredients for German Homemade Spaetzle:

  • 8 eggs, Jumbo OR 6 eggs + 1 cup of cold water
  • 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • 450 g (15.8 oz) of all-purpose flour

Preparation of Spaetzle:

Place eggs and salt in a bowl and beat together (if you use smaller eggs you need a little less flour). Add in the flour and mix until the dough is smooth. The dough has to be elastic like chewing gum. You should see some blisters in the dough. If the dough is too tense, add some cold water, and if the dough is too liquid, add some flour.

Spaetzle made with potato ricer:

Bring a big pot of water with about 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Take your potato ricer and submerge it in the water to get it wet. Open the potato ricer and fill it a little more than half full with dough. While dipping the ricer into the water press the Spaetzle dough into the boiling water about 2–3 inches long. If the dough sticks to the ricer when you take it out of the water, just scrape off the bottom with a knife. Repeat the process until you have used all the dough. Turn the heat down and let the Spaetzle simmer until it rises to the surface. It usually takes about 5 minutes. Do not forget to stir the Spaetzle, so that it does not stick together. Make sure your pot is large enough to allow the spaetzle the space to move (swim) in the water. If in doubt, use two pots.

Place the cooked German Homemade Spaetzle in a colander and rinse with cold water. Butter a heat-resistant form (bakeware) and add in the Spaetzle. Spread about a tablespoon of butter on the top. Cover and heat it up for about 5 minutes in the microwave. Loosen the Spaetzle with a fork and you are all done. You can easily prepare the spaetzle ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until you need it. It will keep a couple of days in the refrigerator. Before serving just warm it up in the microwave.

Note: If the Spaetzle has been stored in the fridge, your microwave cooking time should be about 10-15 minutes.

This German Homemade Spaetzle side dish is a delicious complement to Oma’s Goulash, a beef stew your whole family is sure to love. Try it!

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • ⅓ cup fine, dry breadcrumbs

Stir together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together eggs and milk gradually stir into dry ingredients, stirring until moistened. Let stand 10 minutes.

Divide dough into thirds on a heavily floured surface. Flatten each portion to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut with a wet knife into 4- x 1/8-inch pieces.

Bring 2 quarts water and remaining 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a Dutch oven. Drop dough into water, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until dumplings float to surface. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat add dumplings, and sauté 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and serve immediately.

Hungarian Haluski with Spaetzle

We&rsquove been a little busy lately with a birthday, friends visiting and just, you know, life. I finally decided it was time to do a new post. I found some inspiration on Reddit of all places. I&rsquoll admit it was my first time ever exploring that site and got a little lost down the rabbit hole. Somehow I ended up clicking on a thread for &ldquocheap recipe ideas&rdquo and came to a recipe for Hungarian Haluski.

Hungarian Haluski is a hearty little side dish which I think would go great with any kind of pork or kielbasa. I used my dutch oven for this since the recipe I found called for the haluski to be baked for 30 mins at 300˚. However, I didn&rsquot find this necessary since everything was already cooked. It&rsquos up to you but the dutch oven does make it much easier to transition from the stove top right to the over if you wanted to do that.

I ended up making my own noodles only because I thought I had purchased egg noodles&hellip only to find out I didn&rsquot. I think it was a happy accident though because the homemade spaetzle made this dish taste extra yummy and it really only took an extra few minutes.