Easy German Spaetzle Recipe (Spätzle)

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German Spaetzle is an easy, hearty egg noodle dumpling dish that warms the tummy and the heart. Homemade spaetzle is one of Germany’s most popular and cherished side dishes. 

A plate of homemade spaetzle cooked in butter and drizzled with parsley

This authentic german recipe is often served with classics like Schnitzel, Sauerbraten, or Goulash. Let’s dig into this recipe for one of the most iconic German side dishes there is! 

german spaetzle recipe Ingredients

This easy German recipe boils it down: flour, eggs, and water.

Nutmeg is optional but it adds that little bit of extra. But if you don’t have any on hand, no problem.

Ingredients needed to make German spaetzle (egg noodles)

Equipment – Do you Need a Spätzle Maker?

Do you need special equipment to make spaetzle? No. But using a designated spaetzle maker or a potato ricer makes the job A LOT easier.

If you don’t want to buy new equipment, use a regular large holed colander.  But, you only need a flat cutting board and a large knife.  

How To Make Spaetzle

Making the batter is easy.

Left: Whisking the ingredients together with a hand mixer - Right: Chilling the batter for 15 minutes

Use a large bowl to combine flour, eggs, and water. Add nutmeg (optional).

Use a hand mixer and whisk until the batter takes on a sticky consistency. Continue to work the batter for several minutes until you see small bubbles forming.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Using a spaetzle Maker

Left: Scrape dough through spaetzle maker - Right: Scoop cooked spaetzle out of simmering salt water
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water has reached boiling temperature, add about 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
  2. Press the batter through the spaetzle maker (or potato ricer) straight into the boiling water.
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are floating on top of the water.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the floating spaetzle out of the water.

Cooking Spaetzle The Traditional Method

If you don’t have special equipment, use the traditional method. Simply transfer a small amount of the batter onto a small wet wooden chopping board.

  1. Use a large, wet knife scrape small amounts of dough into the boiling water. The noodles won’t have a uniform shape but you’ll get that authentic homemade look. 
  2. Just like before, cook the spaetzle for 2-3 minutes in the boiling salted water. Remove with a slotted spoon once they’re floating on the surface. 

Pan frying the Spaetzle

Sautéing freshly cooked spaetzle (German egg noodles) in a frying pan with butter

Once the spaetzle noodles have cooked, you have several choices on what to do next. For this recipe, we’re going to use the easiest method.

  1. Use a non-stick frying pan and melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter.
  2. Add the freshly cooked spaetzle to the frying pan and sauté in the melted butter for about a minute.
  3. Add salt and freshly chopped parsley. 

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Food Culture

Like so many German recipes, there are regional variations. Sometimes you’ll find spaetzle recipes that include milk instead of water.

This recipe has been around for at least 200 years and is especially popular in the southern regions of Germany.

How Do You Say ‘Spätzle’

As a native German speaker, I’ll be the first one to admit this word is hard to pronounce! The way I would pronounce it is ‘sh-pets-luh’.

Easy German Recipes

A plate of traditional Spaetzle


Spaetzle is a simple hearty egg noodle recipe that's a popular side dish for many recipes.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Keyword: pasta
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
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  • Spaetzle Maker


Spaetzle Batter

  • cups Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • cup Water
  • ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg


Making the Batter

  • Use a large bowl and combine flour, eggs, and water, and a dash of nutmeg (optional).
  • Use a hand mixer to combine ingredients until the dough has a sticky consistency.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.  

Cooking the Spaetzle

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a tablespoon of salt.
  • Press the batter into the spaetzle maker and drop the dough directly into the boiling water
  • Cook for two-three minutes or until the spaetzle floats to the surface of the water. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Drain the spaetzle.


*Note that the step-by-step instructions cover how to make the batter and how to cook the spaetzle. The next steps depend on your preference. In the post you’ll find an easy suggestion to just sauté the spaetzle with butter, season with salt and drizzle them with parsley. 
But you can add a whole variety of ingredients such as cheese, bacon, onions, or ham. The sky’s the limit!  


Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 65mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 238IU | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 3mg
The best Spaetzle recipe (German Egg Noodles)
Updated: May 26, 2020

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Hi, friends. My name is Maike. Nice to meet you. I am the blogger behind the Cheerful Cook. A Comfort Food blog where we celebrate easy German American recipes all year long
About the AuthorMaike
Hi There, I'm Maike. Welcome to the Cheerful Cook, where we celebrate easy German and American comfort food all year long.
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