Oma's German Cheese Spätzle - Käsespätzle (German Mac and Cheese!) 

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

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Cheese Spaetzle ~ Käsespätzle ~ is a traditional German way of serving homemade German egg noodles. Layered with Emmentaler cheese, topped with caramelized onions, and baked in the oven, this is so delicious as a main dish served with a beautiful green salad.

You could say it's the German version of Mac and Cheese, only better! Really. It is a true comfort food to enjoy anytime!

It’s also a perfect side dish that fits to almost anything! Here, I served it with a pork roast and gravy and roasted baby carrots. So good!

German Cheese Spätzle with caramelized onions. 'Mac & cheese' like no other, Oma-style.

Whether you use homemade Spätzle just like Oma, or use store-bought Spätzle noodles to really make it a quick German recipe, the end result is a delicious dinner that everyone will love.

Kaffeeklatsch Trivia with a cup of coffee and steam rising
  • The origin of the word Spätzle comes from Swabian meaning little sparrows
  • These noodles are traditional in Germany, especially in Baden-Württemberg, and in other European countries such as Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary
  • This type of soft egg noodle is also called Nokedli in Hungary.
  • When the noodles are button-shaped, they are called by their Swiss name, Knöpfle, which means small buttons
  • Traditionally, thin strips of dough were scraped off a wooden cutting board into boiling salted water
  • Today, there are many devices that can be used ranging from an actual Spätzle maker to regular kitchen equipment such as a colander with large holes, potato ricer, food mill, or cheese grater

Try this easy Käsespätzle recipe and delight your family with this very traditional German mac and cheese casserole dish.

German Cheese Spätzle with caramelized onions. 'Mac & cheese' like no other, Oma-style.

Not Italian ... it's German!

I used to think that whenever Mutti made a noodle dish that we were eating Italian-style.

It was only when I started this website and started researching German recipes and origins that I realized that noodles are VERY German.

This is especially true of Southern Germany. Because my Mutti and Papa came from the Berlin area, this was not part of our culture.

Here, the cheesy Spaetzle are covered with a scattering of caramelized onions and served with a ground beef sauce.

German Cheese Spätzle made just like Oma. A cheesy delicacy. A great dinner choice for any occasion.

When it's time for dinner, get traditional with Oma's favorite combinations. Get her collection in Oma's German Dinners, which include salads, soups, entrees, and desserts!

Oma's German Dinners eCookbook

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

Here, I made the Spätzle dough thicker than normal, resulting in a different look (aka Knöpfle in Switzerland). Delicious when turned into a cheese Spaetzle casserole.

Delicious German Cheese Spätzle

Lydia Remembers...

I have so many wunderbar memories in the kitchen with my Oma, and have had MANY of her most popular and traditional recipes, like this cheese Spätzle!

This recipe has impeccable flavor and given how much I love cheese, that just makes it even better! 

I've made spätzle with Oma a couple of times and I remember how tough it was the first time making it. Let's just say I had never seen a Spätzle press before, and I definitely underestimated the muscle it takes to push the dough through the tiny holes, especially since my dough was a bit too thick. It was tricky at first but after making it again and again, I became a pro! Especially with Oma by my side giving me little hints along the way.

I'm not always one to enjoy sliced onions in my dishes, at least not when it's super overpowering. But once you taste Oma's caramelized onions mixed in with that stretchy melted cheesy goodness...YUM. Even the non-onion eaters will make an exception for this one!

Kaese Spaetzle really is just a fancy German Mac and Cheese that is so comforting and even more delicious, that can be made so easy! You know it's got to be great if I say it's better than Mac & Cheese... did I mention how much I LOVE cheese!? 

Learn a little bit about me, Lydia, and my kitchen adventures with Oma!

Look at this deliciousness that Hilde Lumm, one of our German Foodie Fans, made. WUNDERBAR!

Hilde's German Cheese Spätzle!

Spätzle can have all sorts of random shapes and sizes. That's because there are so many different ways of making them, resulting in noodles that are either long and skinny, or short and fat.

The end result, though, are German noodles that are so delicious!

Oma Says:

Covering the top of the Cheese Spaetzle with caramelized onions is the icing on the cake. Not what I would have considered myself, but seeing that is how they serve it in Germany, I had to give it a try.

Oh, my. Delicious.

A meat sauce on the side, if you really think you need a side. Perhaps a green salad as well. Nothing else needed.

How to make Homemade Spaetzle

You can certainly use Spaetzle from the grocery store to make this Kaesespaetzle recipe, but making your own Spätzle from scratch is quite easy, especially once you get the hang of it.

Start by mixing some all-purpose flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add a couple eggs and mix well. Then gradually add just enough water to make a smooth, light, and firm pasta dough.

Then, push the dough through a Spaetzle maker directly into a large pot of salted boiling water. They are done cooking once the Spätzle rise to the surface of the water. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain excess water. That's it!

You can now proceed and make this delicious cheese recipe right away, or you can store your fresh Spätzle in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 or 3 days, or even freeze it, and make this Kaesespaetzle recipe at a later date.

To thaw, place frozen Spaetzle in hot water. Drain and proceed with recipe.

Check out Oma's homemade German Spaetzle recipe for more detailed instructions and other tips and tricks on how to make you own noodles.

Ready to make Oma's Cheese Spaetzle?

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Oma Gerhild

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Oma's Kaesespaetzle Recipe

Käsespätzle (Cheese Spätzle) is Germany's version of mac and cheese. Layered with Emmental cheese, topped with caramelized onions, and baked in the oven, this is so delicious as a main dish served with a beautiful green salad.

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

40 minutes

Total Time

50 minutes


Makes 4 - 6 servings


  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter
  • 4 cups (360 grams) cooked spätzle, room temperature (12 ounces dry spätzle, cooked)
  • 2 to 3 cups (226 to 339 grams) shredded Emmental cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Sauté onions in butter until tender and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 10 minutes, setting some aside for garnish.
  3. Layer half the spätzle, half the onions, and half the cheese in a greased 9×13-inch casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining spätzle, onions, and cheese.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and lightly browned. 
  5. Garnish with reserved caramelized onion slices.


  • Try this with Jarlsberg cheese or Swiss cheese, or a combination of the two.
  • Either use purchased noodles for this or make your own Spätzle from scratch ... so easy to do! 

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05.13.2023 revision update

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German Cheese Spätzle with caramelized onions. 'Mac & cheese' like no other, made just like Oma.

Oma's German Cheese Spätzle - Käsespätzle

Oma's German Cheese Spätzle made Just like Oma
Cheese Spätzle is a traditional German noodle dish. A sort of Germanized version of 'Mac & Cheese', only better!

Ingredients: cheese, cooked spätzle, butter, onion, seasonings,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

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