German Spätzle is an easy, hearty egg noodle dumpling dish that warms the tummy and the heart. Homemade Spätzle is one of Germany’s most popular and cherished side dishes.
What is Spätzle?
Spätzle is a widely popular German egg noodle side dish that can be served with a ton of popular German dishes.
You might not know this about us Germans but we love our nutmeg. The dough is then cut into small pieces and briefly cooked in hot water. And then briefly fried in butter.
For a printable detailed ingredient list, please check the recipe card below.
This easy German recipe boils it down: flour, eggs, and water.
FLOUR - bread flour works well but you can also use all-purpose flour
NUTMEG - We Germans love to add nutmeg to all kinds of dishes. But if you don't have any on hand, no problem.
PARSLEY - Technically, it's optional, and mostly used for garnish. But adding parsley also adds a tiny bit of sweetness if you're making this recipe from scratch. I'd definitely recommend adding it. I prefer curly parsley.
Equipment - Do you Need a Spätzle Maker?
Do you need special equipment to make a Spätzle? No. But using a designated Spätzle 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 Spätzle
Making the batter is easy.
- Use a large bowl to combine flour, eggs, nutmeg, and water. 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 Spätzle Maker
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water has reached boiling temperature, add about ½ tablespoon of salt.
- Press the batter through the Spätzle Maker (or potato ricer) straight into the boiling water.
- Cook until the noodles are floating on top of the water. About 2-3 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop the floating Spätzle out of the water.
Cooking Spätzle - 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.
- Use a large, wet knife to 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.
- 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
Once you cooked Spätzle noodles, you have several choices on what to do next. For this recipe, we're going to use the easiest method.
- Use a non-stick frying pan and melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter.
- Add the freshly cooked Spaetzle to the frying pan and sauté in the melted butter for about a minute.
- Season with salt and top with parsley.
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.
Pronunciation - 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
- German Apple Pancakes - Start your breakfast with these yummy pancakes.
- Oma's Cucumber Salad
- German Cheesecake - Deutsche Käsekuchen
- Flammkuchen - Germany's version of flatbread pizza.
- Cherry Crumble - Super simple recipe to treat a crowd.
Making the Batter
- Combine flour, eggs, water, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine ingredients until the batter has a thick and sticky consistency.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Cooking the Spaetzle
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt.
- Wet the Spaetzle maker and hold it over the boiling water. Pour about a ½ cup of batter onto the Spaetzle maker. Use the plastic scraper to push the batter through the holes of the spaetzle maker into the boiling water.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the spaetzle float to the surface. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the cooked Spaeztle onto a plate.
- Use a non-stick frying pan and melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter. Sauté the freshly cooked Spaetzle in the melted butter for about a minute. Season with salt and garnish with parsley.