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Easy Spaetzle Recipe

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Spaetzle are tender, plump, eggy noodles that are far easier to make than fussy Italian pasta, and this easy Spaetzle recipe is about as good as it gets! My family devours these noodles, and they’re even better the next day when fried with bacon and onions. Authentically German and oh-so delicious, it doesn’t get much better than spaetzle!

easy spaeztle recipe on a black plate

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The perfect side dish to stews, roasts, and even grilled meats and seafood, Spaetzle are a tasty side dish not only to German recipes but to lots of different recipes. I’ve been making these FOREVER, way back when my Oma taught me how to make them. She made them the hard way, on the back of a sheet pan, but now there are fancy gadgets to help you make these tiny eggy noodles more easily than ever before.

What you’ll love about this recipe


  • Spaetzle are fun and easy to make!
  • Everybody loves them!
  • They’re so versatile, and even better the next day!

Tools You’ll Need to Make This Easy Spaetzle Recipe

Ingredients to Make German Spaetzle

  • All purpose flour – I have not tried making spaetzle with other types of flour
  • Salt – fine table salt or kosher salt works well
  • Eggs – use fresh large eggs
  • Milk – whole milk is my pick for this recipe but any milk will work
  • Butter – salted or unsalted – it’s your choice

How Do you Make Spaetzle?

For a full list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the bottom of the page to the recipe card.

Technique and timing is everything when making spaetzle. Once you’ve mastered the dough, the hardest part about making these is just getting the timing right. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Make the batter. I find it likes to rest a bit to let the gluten relax, which makes for a more tender noodle. Working with a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together until frothy. Add the flour and salt, using a hefty wooden spoon to really blend all the flour in.
  2. Really work that dough, mixing for 2-3 minutes (sometimes I have to enlist my husband’s help.) The dough should be thick, glossy, and elastic and should sort of ooze off the wooden spoon.
  3. If it clings to the wooden spoon, add 1/4 of milk and work it into the batter. If it runs off the spoon quickly, work in 1/4 cup of flour. Other than that, the dough is pretty forgiving.
  4. The dough can rest on the counter for an hour or so.
  5. When you’re ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water as you would for regular pasta.
  6. Grab your spaetzle maker. It looks kind of like a cheese grater with a hopper on it. Position it over the top of the simmering water and fill the hopper with batter. The batter should start to ooze out the bottom of the spaetzel maker.
  7. Slowly move the hopper back and forth, cutting the spaezle and letting them fall into the salted water.
  8. I do about a third of the batter at a time. Let the spaetzle come to a simmer for a minute or two or until they float to the top. Scoop them out with the spider or another strainer, and pop them into a bowl with butter. Mix them around in the butter so they don’t stick, and repeat.
easy spaetzle recipe on a blue plate

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Have everything at hand and ready to go. The batter can rest while you boil the water, and have about 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a bowl to help the spaetzle not stick once cooked.
  • The batter should ooze through the holes of the spaetzle maker. If it isn’t oozing, thin the batter with a few tablespoons of milk and try again.
  • Cook just a few spaetzle at first to make sure they’ve got enough salt in them. You can add more salt to the batter if you like them saltier.
  • I almost always at least double this recipe – sometimes triple. If I’m going to go to the work of making them, I want to have at least enough for another meal! Plus, they freeze just fine. See my storage tips below.

What To Serve With Spaetzle

I looove spaetzle with so many dishes. Some of my favorites include Hungarian Goulash, Chicken Paprikash, this skillet sausage, potatoes, green beans recipe or this German Pork Loin. Add a side of sauerkraut for an authentic Oktoberfest meal to make any German proud.

Variations

I make spaetzle with a spaetzle maker and sometimes with a potato ricer! The widest holes in the ricer will let me create long, thin noodles instead of short pudgy ones.

Make this spaetzle recipe with sour cream. A spoonful of sour cream added to the batter transforms the spaetzle into something special.

Instead of serving them just tossed in butter, top them with melted Gruyere cheese, serve them with fried bacon and onions, or top them with smoked paprika and chopped parsley.

Storage Instructions

Spaetzle are totally freezer-friendly! I often have some in the freezer waiting for my next stew or something with delicious gravy to smother them in. I use a vacuum sealer and they keep in the freezer for months and months.

If you’re not freezing them, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

To reheat this German side dish, heat the spaetzle in a skillet with butter or go all out with garlic, bacon, and onion. Yum!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are spaetzle easy to make?

They’re not hard! The trickiest part is getting the batter to the right thickness, and then managing the cooking. But with a handful of ingredients, they’re so very worth it.

Can you make spaetzle ahead of time?

Absoultely! I make them ahead of time all the time. I even freeze them. Make them a few days in advance even, then just chill them. Heat them in a skillet on the stove with a few tablespoons of butter and they’ll be as good as if you just made them!

Is this spaetzle recipe vegetarian?

It sure is! I haven’t tried to make it vegan, but with eggs, milk, and butter, it is a safe vegetarian side dish.

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Step By Step Process

easy spaetzle recipe on a blue plate
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Easy Spaetzle Recipe

These Spaetzle are light, pudgy, and perfect pillows of egg pasta. They're the perfect side dish to so many recipes – pass the gravy and dig in!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine European
Keyword baked pasta, easy side dish, german noodles, german pasta, spaetzle, spaetzle recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 328kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Spaetzle maker
  • 1 Wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  • Make the batter. I find it likes to rest a bit, to let the gluten relax, which makes for a more tender noodle. Working with a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together until frothy. Add the flour and salt, using a hefty wooden spoon to really blend all the flour in.
  • Really work that dough, mixing for 2-3 minutes (sometimes I have to enlist my husband's help.) The dough should be thick, glossy, and elastic and should sort of ooze off the wooden spoon.
  • If it clings to the wooden spoon or you can still see flour in the mixture, add 1/4 of milk and work it into the batter. If it runs off the spoon quickly, work in 1/4 cup of flour. Other than that, the dough is pretty forgiving.
  • Rest the dough on the counter, covered with plastic wrap, for an hour or so.
  • When you're ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water as you would for regular pasta.
  • Grab your spaetzle maker. It looks kind of like a cheese grater with a hopper on it. Position it over the top of the simmering water and fill the hopper with batter. The batter should start to ooze out the bottom of the spaetzle maker.
  • Slowly move the hopper back and forth, cutting the spaetzle and letting them fall into the salted water.
  • I do about a third of the batter at a time. Let the spaetzle come to a simmer for a minute or two or until they float to the top. Scoop them out with the spider or another strainer, and pop them into a bowl with butter. Mix them around in the butter so they don't stick, and repeat.

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • Have everything at hand and ready to go. The batter can rest while you boil the water, and have about 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a bowl to help the spaetzle not stick once cooked.
  • The batter should ooze through the holes of the spaetzle maker. If it isn’t oozing, thin the batter with a few tablespoons of milk and try again.
  • Cook just a few spaetzle at first to make sure they’ve got enough salt in them. You can add more salt to the batter if you like them saltier.
  • I almost always at least double this recipe – sometimes triple. If I’m going to go to the work of making them, I want to have at least enough for another meal! Plus, they freeze just fine. See my storage tips below.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 677mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 343IU | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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By Chef Jenn

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