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How to Make Spaetzle (German Egg Noodles)

Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.

Learn how to make homemade spaetzle (German egg noodles) with this recipe and photo tutorial.

Learn how to make homemade spaetzle (German egg noodles) with this recipe and photo tutorial.

Spaetzle: The Ultimate Comfort Food

A favorite in Germany, as well as in German restaurants around the world, spaetzle are egg noodles. They are surprisingly simple to make and can be served as a side dish or as a hearty main course, depending on the preparation once the noodles are done.

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. Served with a side salad, this 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. 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.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

3 min

8 min

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

Instructions

  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 the end of the article), add batter to the boiling water a little at a time. Use care not to 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 to 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 the process until all noodles are cooked.
  8. Serve as desired (see the chart of serving suggestions provided below).

Photo Tutorial

Ingredients needed to make spaetzle.

Ingredients needed to make spaetzle.

Prepare the batter: Using a fork, blend the flour, salt, and nutmeg.

Prepare the batter: Using a fork, blend the flour, salt, and nutmeg.

Add the water and mix lightly.

Add the water and mix lightly.

Add the beaten eggs and mix well.

Add the beaten eggs and mix well.

Mix batter well, until it resembles a thick pancake batter.

Mix batter well, until it resembles a thick pancake batter.

Cook the noodles: Place some of the batter in your spaetzle-maker and add it to the boiling water.

Cook the noodles: Place some of the batter in your spaetzle-maker and add it to the boiling water.

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.

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.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked noodles.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked noodles.

Place the cooked noodles 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 noodles 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.

What Do You Think About This Recipe?

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

Spaetzle Fried With Butter and Parsley

Here's just one way to prepare cooked spaetzle. Not many noodle dishes can beat this simple, yet delicious preparation.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cooked spaetzle
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Instructions

  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.
Just some of the kitchen gadgets you can use to make spaetzle.

Just some of the kitchen gadgets you can use to make spaetzle.

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.

Other Kitchen Tools You Can Use

If you don't have a spaetzle-maker, there's no need to worry. As you can see by the photo above, 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 it 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 Note

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.

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

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

© 2014 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Debbie on May 10, 2020:

Make this all the time, I make a big batch and freeze it for latter use.

Vicki on December 15, 2019:

My husband and I make this and decided to change it up a little so added garlic powder to it and it was good!

Aly on July 26, 2019:

Try substituting 1/3rd semolina flour for a third of the AP flour. Gives the spaetzle a nice chew.

Ada on April 29, 2019:

You can purchase a spaetzle hobel from Lehman’s Hardware in Ohio. Got mine from Germany but purchased them for my grown children at Lehman’s. Pour batter in the top and slide it. Makes it perfect and so easy. I don’t use nutmeg and I drop the batter in chicken broth. Very tasty!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 03, 2018:

I love the idea of the pizza pan. How great. Give the nutmeg a try if you like that flavor. It adds just a little something to the taste.

Barbara J on July 27, 2018:

I make it all the time, at least once a week. Same recipe as posted except for the nutmeg. I use a pizza pan that has holes in it and push the dough through it. Turns out great every time.

Rita on January 19, 2018:

Mom used to make spaetzle for us years ago when we were growing up. She never had a spaetzle maker - she put dough on a cutting board and just sliced slivers of it off in to the pot of boiling water. If I make them today, it's still the way she made them.

Reg on July 30, 2017:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 16, 2015:

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!

cheryl on January 16, 2015:

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!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 13, 2014:

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 from Oklahoma on May 13, 2014:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 24, 2014:

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

Susan Britton from Ontario, Canada on April 22, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 22, 2014:

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!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on April 17, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 09, 2014:

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.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 08, 2014:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 21, 2014:

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.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on March 21, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 16, 2014:

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

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 15, 2014:

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!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 15, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 15, 2014:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 15, 2014:

Thanks Eddy! Glad you enjoyed it.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on March 15, 2014:

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 from India on March 15, 2014:

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

Eiddwen from Wales on March 15, 2014:

Interesting and useful.

Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

Eddy.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 15, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 15, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 14, 2014:

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

anglnwu on March 14, 2014:

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

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on March 14, 2014:

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.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 14, 2014:

Looks like something I'd really enjoy.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 14, 2014:

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

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 14, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 14, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 14, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 14, 2014:

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.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 14, 2014:

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

Audrey Howitt from California on March 14, 2014:

Oh yum!! This looks wonderful!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 14, 2014:

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

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 14, 2014:

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

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 14, 2014:

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 from the beautiful south on March 14, 2014:

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 from Australia on March 14, 2014:

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!