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How to Make Spaetzle | German Egg Noodles

Updated on March 11, 2016
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Glimmer has been writing recipes online for almost 5 years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.

Homemade Spaetzle (German Egg Noodle) Recipe and Photo Tutorial.
Homemade Spaetzle (German Egg Noodle) Recipe and Photo Tutorial. | Source

What do you think about this recipe?

4.4 stars from 25 ratings of Homemade Spaetzle

A favorite in Germany, as well as in German restaurants around the world, spaetzle are egg noodles.

They are surprisingly simple to make and, depending on the preparation once the noodles are done, can be served as a side dish or as a hearty main course.

Among the various preparations, they can be heaped high on a platter, crispy after having been fried in butter and sprinkled with chopped parsley, or they can be baked into a rich, cheesy casserole that, served with a side salad, is the ultimate comfort food.

For me, these noodles bring back memories of summer visits to my grandparents in Germany. We'd head off on a sunny afternoon to a local restaurant in the beautiful German countryside and, no matter what I ordered, I'd ask for the side to be spaetzle. For me, there are few dishes that compare.

You can buy prepared spaetzle on grocery store shelves, but they aren't cheap and they aren't nearly as good as freshly made ones. Give these noodles a try the next time you want to make a new side dish or add a little European flair to your dinner.

Basic Spaetzle Recipe

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 3 min
  • Ready in: 8 min
  • Yields: Six 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, optional

Serving suggestions

Spaetzle is delicious when served...
Pan fried with butter and parsley
Baked with cheese
Plain, as a side dish to a meal
With a brown butter sauce
Pan fried with bacon bits and drippings
With gravy
Pan fried with mushrooms and sauce
  1. Mix together the flour, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  2. Add water and beaten eggs.
  3. Mix together until well blended, about the consistency of thick pancake batter. Don't overmix.
  4. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. I use about 2 teaspoons of salt for a gallon of water.
  5. Using the spaetzle making tool of your choice (see descriptions near end of article) add batter to the boiling water a little at a time. Use care not put too many noodles in the water at once or they'll clump together and won't turn out.
  6. The noodles are done after about 2 - 3 minutes. They will float to the top of the boiling water quickly. Don't let them cook too long or they will get too soft.
  7. Place cooked noodles in a sieve and run them quickly under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside and continue process until all noodles are cooked.
  8. Serve as desired (see the chart of serving suggestions provided above).

Step by step photo instructions:

Ingredients

Ingredients needed to make spaetzle
Ingredients needed to make spaetzle | Source

Prepare the batter

Using a fork, blend the flour, salt and nutmeg.
Using a fork, blend the flour, salt and nutmeg. | Source
Add the water and mix lightly.
Add the water and mix lightly. | Source
Add the beaten eggs and mix well.
Add the beaten eggs and mix well. | Source
Mix batter well, until it resembles a thick pancake batter.
Mix batter well, until it resembles a thick pancake batter. | Source

Cook the noodles

Place some of the batter in your spaetzle maker and add it to the boiling water.
Place some of the batter in your spaetzle maker and add it to the boiling water. | Source
The batter drops from the bottom of the maker into the water and the noodles start to float to the top quickly.
The batter drops from the bottom of the maker into the water and the noodles start to float to the top quickly. | Source
Once all the noodles have come to the top, they are ready to be removed from the boiling water.
Once all the noodles have come to the top, they are ready to be removed from the boiling water. | Source
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked noodles.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked noodles. | Source
Place the cooked noodle in a sieve and quickly run cold water over them to stop the cooking.  This will help them keep their firm texture.  Set them aside and repeat the process.
Place the cooked noodle in a sieve and quickly run cold water over them to stop the cooking. This will help them keep their firm texture. Set them aside and repeat the process. | Source
Just some of the kitchen gadgets you can use to make spaetzle.
Just some of the kitchen gadgets you can use to make spaetzle. | Source

Types of Spaetzle Makers

The three common spaetzle makers available in the market today are:

  • Lid style - Fits on top of a pot and the batter gets pushed through into the boiling water below.
  • Grater style - Acts like a cheese grater with an attached scraper.
  • Ricer style - Just like a ricer except that there are only holes on the bottom of the cup. The batter goes into the cup and is pushed through with the top part of the gadget. This is the type I have and it works quite well.

If you don't have a spaetzle maker, there's no need to worry. As you can see by the photo (above right), there are many tools you can use instead. They all work differently, with some working better than others.

  • Colander and spatula - Use a colander with larger holes and a spatula or pastry scraper to push the batter through the holes. This method gets messy and the colander can get really hot.
  • Ricer - I don't see many ricers anymore, but they work for spaetzle making. They are messy since the batter comes out of the side as well as the bottom.
  • Cheese grater - Tough to use, and a little dangerous because of the sharp edges, the grater works, but isn't the best method. Use a spatula to press the batter through the holes.
  • Plastic bag - Just poke a few holes in one corner and squeeze the batter through. It works fairly well, but a lot of batter gets wasted in the bag.

Important suggestion: No matter what method you use, don't wait long to clean up. Once the batter has dried it is very difficult to clean off.

Here's just one way to prepare cooked spaetzle:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Assemble the ingredients.Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a frying pan.Fry the spaetzle to your taste.  I like mine a little less crispy whereas some people like it brown and crispy.  Toss with desired amount of parsley.
Assemble the ingredients.
Assemble the ingredients. | Source
Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a frying pan.
Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a frying pan. | Source
Fry the spaetzle to your taste.  I like mine a little less crispy whereas some people like it brown and crispy.  Toss with desired amount of parsley.
Fry the spaetzle to your taste. I like mine a little less crispy whereas some people like it brown and crispy. Toss with desired amount of parsley. | Source

Spaetzle fried with butter and parsley

Not many noodle dishes can beat this simple, yet delicious preparation:

  • 3 cups of cooked spaetzle
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  1. Melt the butter in a hot frying pan.
  2. Add the noodles and fry until desired texture is reached.
  3. Add the parsley and mix through.
  4. Serve as a side or main dish.

Pan Fried Spaetzle

Homemade spaetzle fried in butter and sprinkled with parsley.  Delicious!
Homemade spaetzle fried in butter and sprinkled with parsley. Delicious! | Source

© 2014 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • profile image

      Reg 7 weeks ago

      Just made them with a ricer! Super easy and delicious.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      Cheryl - Spaetzle are really good with cheese and the swiss cheese would add a nice tang to them. I'm hungry for some now. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      cheryl 2 years ago

      I layer mine with butter browned with alittle onion, and swiss cheese. My daughters describe it as german mac & cheese. Served with Wurst!!!! so good!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi Larry - I just made these the other day and they turned out well. I hope you enjoy them as well. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sounds wonderful. I'll have to give it a try.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks suzzycue! I hope you enjoy them. It's fun making noodles yourself, at least I think so. Have a great day.

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow I never heard of this but I can tell these noodles would taste great with cheese. I am going to try this one. Thanks. I love pasta dishes and this one is easy. I will see how my noodles turn out LOL.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi vespawoolf - My apologies for not responding sooner, but I took some time off for Easter. I appreciate your kind comments, especially because of the wonderful recipes you write. Hope you get to try this one out soon. Thanks for stopping by!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      I was excited to see you'd done a spaetzle recipe. I haven't had spaetzle in ages! I appreciate the tips for those who don't own a spaetzle maker. I hope to try this someday! Thanks.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi aviannovice - I think the nutmeg is the secret. I've seen other recipes without it, but I really think it makes the taste come through. Thanks for reading.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This looks so good. I'll bet the nutmeg is the secret, eh?

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thank Peg - I appreciate it. The camera kept steaming up when I was trying to take pictures so it was sort of funny. Hope you enjoy your Spaetzle. Thanks for reading.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This recipe is beautifully explained and illustrated. I love the top down pictures of the batter and your careful directions. I'll be on the lookout for a Spaetzle maker now.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks randomcreative. Good luck with the dish. I think you'll like them. Hope you are having a good weekend.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I have had spaetzle in restaurants a number of times but have never made it before. You may inspire me to give it a try. Thanks for the detailed recipe!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi Thelma - I bet Spaetzle are available everywhere in Germany. We can get it here too, but it's really pricey and not all that great. Thanks for the pin and hope you try it and enjoy it. Have a great weekend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thank you Susan Recipes! I appreciate your kind comments and votes.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks Eddy! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      I love eating Spätzle but I have not make myself yet as there are plenty of sold Spätzle in our shops in Germany. I would definitely try this recipe soon as I have not eaten this for months. Thanks for sharing this easy tutorial. Voted up and pin for later use.

    • Susan Recipes profile image

      Susan 3 years ago from India

      Wow... Amazing recipe. Step by step photo is great. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and 5 stars.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and useful.

      Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

      Eddy.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks anglnwu. You can always try one of the alternate methods if you don't want to spend the money on a spaetzle maker yet. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks for reading Bill. I think it's time for you to go to Germany for your next trip. Or just go out to a nice German restaurant next time you go to dinner. These noodles really are good.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Hi Susan - It's definitely one of those yummy comfort foods. Hope you give it a try! Thanks for commenting.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 3 years ago

      This looks amazing. Love your pictures. Would love to try it but I must first get hold of a Spaetzle maker. Rated up.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Glimmer. I've never heard of or had Spaetzle. How is this possible? It certainly looks like something that I would love. I'll have to look for this or better yet give it a try. Thanks for enlightening me. Have a great weekend.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Looks like something I'd really enjoy.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks Audrey. It's close to dinnertime here and I'm getting hungry for some of these now. Have a great weekend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it MsDora - Sometimes I'm surprised at how easy it is to make these and I like making things from scratch. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks Rebecca! Butter and parsley is my favorite way too. Nice and simple, but they are really awesome with sauce from a dish like goulasch too. Enjoy the recipe.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      LOL Bill - You can definitely impress your friends with a good recipe. If you ever have a chance go to a German restaurant. German food is awesome and sometimes gets a bad wrap. I hope you give this one a try.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Jackie - The nice thing about these noodle is that you can add whatever you want. They are a bit like a dumpling too. I bet they'd be good with chicken and veggies. Let me know how they turn out! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks ladyrain - I know your neighbor will love them! Glad you liked the recipe.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Oh yum!! This looks wonderful!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Interesting and fairly easy. Thank you for introducing this German noodle.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I'll bet those are good. I'll have mine with the butter and parsley!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've never heard of it....never had it....see what a sheltered life I live....LOL...but thanks to you and other friends on HP, I can sound worldly in a conversation. :) Thank you for this; Bev and I just might try it.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Does look good. Could you add cooked veggies and chicken to have like pot pie flavor you think? Seems sort of cross between noodles and dumplings. Well I will just try some real soon and see for myself, thanks for sharing!

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 3 years ago from Australia

      I would love to make these noodles, they look so delicious. My German neighbour doesn't know how to cook, and I'm going to make the noodles for her!