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Easy Homemade German Spaetzle Recipe – Oma's Egg Noodles

Oma Gerhild

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

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This easy German Spaetzle recipe, aka German egg noodles, makes a great side dish alongside many traditional German recipes: Sauerbraten, Rouladen, Goulash, and Schnitzel, to name a few.

This easy homemade Spaetzle recipe lets you enjoy Spätzle (occasionally referred to as German dumplings, even though it is a term more commonly used for potato dumplings) wherever you are in the world, even if you don't have access to a German deli.

You may even want to make an extra batch of these tiny dumplings; they taste even better the next day reheated in some melted butter.

So, go ahead. Make this authentic German Spaetzle! This delicious side dish is German food at its best!

Oma's German Spätzle recipe, homemade and delicious.

Kaffeeklatsch Trivia with a cup of coffee and steam rising
  • Spätzle are a very classic dish for Swabians living in the Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria states in the southern region of Germany
  • The origin of the word Spätzle comes from Swabian meaning little sparrows
  • Not only are Spätzle noodles one of Germany's most beloved foods, they are also traditional in Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary
  • This type of pasta 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 salt water
  • Today, there are many a metal kitchen device that can be used to make Spaetzle: a colander with large holes, potato ricer, food mill, or cheese grater, and of course, all the different kinds of Spätzle makers available on the market today

In modern German cookbooks and magazines, whenever recipes call for Spätzle (or Schwabian noodles), they are usually cooked from a package - a convenience food.

However, Spätzle aren't always available to buy pre-made in my part of Canada.

So, if I want to enjoy them, I need to make them from scratch. You can, too!

Pictured below are Käsespätzle I made using the German Spaetzle dumplings recipe below. I guess this delicious recipe could be called a totally upscale version of the American macaroni and cheese. Kids love it. And why not? It is so good, so rich, so YUMMY!

German Noodles?

Whenever we had noodles of any kind when I was growing up, I always thought we were eating Italian-style.

I didn't know that the Swabia region of Southern Germany has its own traditional noodle dishes that aren't Italian at all. One of my favorites now being Schupfnudeln

Oma says,

You may have noticed the different spelling variations for these delicious little German egg noodle dumplings. In German, they are called Spätzle, which is spelled with the German Umlaut (ä) which does not exist in English.

When words with Umlauts are anglicized, the Umlaut is replaced with an e, and so the anglicized version of Spätzle is spelled Spaetzle.

Since the ae combo looks a bit awkward, some people just drop the e and that's why you'll sometimes see it spelled Spatzle.

Is Spätzle similar to Gnocchi?

Yes, there are similarities between Spaetzle and gnocchi since they do taste similar and can act as great substitutes for each other. However, there are a few differences as well.

Spätzle are made smaller, and are more of a squiggly shape, while gnocchi tends to be more circular and pocket-like, almost resembling mini ravioli.

Gnocchi is also made with potatoes, and the German way of making Spätzle does not include potato in its recipe. It would often be served in a meal that has some other side that would have potato incorporated.

For example, your plate can have Spätzle, goulash, and mashed potatoes! Or classic potato dumplings, though some even use Spaetzle to substitute dumplings, seeing as their textures and taste are quite similar.

When making gnocchi, it can be fairly time consuming, while homemade Spätzle is meant to be a quick side dish to whip up fast. Kind of like your "emergency food" that you can make in a flash when unexpected company drops in.

Need that “all’s good with the world” feeling? Comfort food will do that. Get your copy of Oma's German favorites in her Comfort Foods e-Cookbook.

Take a look at Oma’s Comfort Foods eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine!

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

Is special equipment required to make homemade Spaetzle? 

Below is the stainless steel Lid and Scraper combo that I brought back from Germany on one of my recent trips there. It works great and has made the Spätzle-making process a lot easier than using the traditional method to make these small dumplings by scraping the dough off a wooden board with a long knife… just like Oma used to do!

The easiest way to make Spätzle is with a Spaetzle maker, such as a Spaetzle press.

If you plan on making Spaetzle often, it might be worth the investment.

However, there are different ways to make these delicious tiny dumplings using standard kitchen equipment.

You can use a potato ricer or food mill, or simply use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to push the Spätzle dough through the large holes of a colander or cheese grater.

Spätzle Press perfect for making spaetzle!

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 lecker German Spaetzle recipe! 

My favorite way to serve these fun little noodles is with red cabbage! They complement each other so well, especially when the Spätzle starts to soak up the juice from the cabbage… oh-so delicious.

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! It's hard work! That is, until I learned to make the dough thin enough to push through easily. 

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

How to make my homemade German Spaetzle recipe

In a large bowl, mix all-purpose flour with a pinch of salt using a wooden spoon.

Eggs, flour, and salt in a bowl ready to make spätzle

Mix eggs into flour mixture until well combined.

You can certainly use an electric mixer, if you prefer, as I do here. I've used my dough hook, but a regular beater would work as well.

Eggs, flour, and salt in a mixer bowl ready to make spätzle

Add just enough water (or milk) to make a nice smooth, light, and firm Spaetzle dough. You don't want to add too much water, so the best way is to start with just a little bit and work your way up as needed.

The consistency of the dough will be dependent upon which method you use to form your noodles. How thin or thick the dough needs to be is something that will be ascertained through experience. Once it has reached the right consistency, let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a big pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Using an assembly line makes it easy to cook spätzleUsing an assembly line makes it easy to cook spätzle

Using a Spaetzle maker, push the dough through directly into the pot of boiling water.

Use a Spätzle maker, sort of like a food ricer with bigger holes.Use a Spätzle maker, sort of like a food ricer with bigger holes.

If you don't have a Spätzle maker, or the Spätzle lid and scraper below, please see above for other options.

Use a Spätzle lid and scrapper to push dough through holesUse a Spätzle lid and scrapper to push dough through holes

The tiny noodles will float to the top of the water once they are done. 

The finishes spätzle will float on the top when they are finished cookingThe finishes spätzle will float on the top when they are finished cooking

Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain excess water.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the spätzle out of the water

If you are making your Spaetzle ahead of time, stir in a little butter to keep them from sticking together and store in an airtight container. They'll keep in the fridge for a few days. They also freeze really well.

To reheat, melt some butter in a large skillet or frying pan and add the cooked Spaetzle (or frozen Spaetzle) to heat through. This will crisp them up a little and add a buttery flavor. Yum!!

How to serve Spätzle

They are often served with deep-fried onions and bacon, but they are also delicious served with sauces and gravies, like this Jägerschnitzelsosse, a traditional German sauce with a heavenly combination of bacon and mushrooms.

Or try using this versatile little dumpling instead of regular pasta in your favorite noodle soup.

Another fabulous way to serve these is to turn them into Cheese Spaetzle.


Did you know ...

 ... that this simple side dish is one of the TOP 10 traditional side dishes to serve with Rouladen? Really.


Ready to make this easy German Spaetzle recipe?

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Oma's German Spaetzle Recipe – Easy Homemade Noodles

This easy German Spaetzle recipe is the perfect side dish for many German meals. Try serving it with pork chops and red cabbage for utter deliciousness. Fry in a bit of butter, season with your favorite herbs and garnish with parsley for an extra special side dish.

Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

5 minutes

Total Time

30 minutes

Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • about ½ - 1 cup water
  • parsley to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add eggs and mix well.
  3. Gradually add just enough water to make a smooth, light, and firm Spaetzle dough. The amount will depend on how 'dry' your flour is.
  4. Let the Spaetzle batter stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  5. Push batter through a Spätzle maker, directly into the boiling water. 
  6. Spaetzle noodles will float to the top of the pot when they are done (will take a few minutes). Remove with slotted spoon to a colander to drain excess water.
  7. These are often served with lightly sautéed diced bacon or crispy fried onions. Or, fry in a bit of butter, season with your favorite herbs and garnish with parsley for an extra special side dish.

Notes/Hints:

  • Although not the traditional method, you can make the Spätzle batter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • You can subtitute ½ - 1 cup milk for the water.
  • If you don't have a Spaetzle maker, you can use another kitchen tool such as a potato ricer or food mill, or simply use a spatula or wooden spoon to push the Spätzle dough through the large holes of a colander or cheese grater. Or, you can make these small dumplings the traditional way by scraping the dough off a wooden board with a long knife… just like Oma used to do!
  • If you are making your Spaetzle ahead of time, stir in a little butter to keep them from sticking together and store in an airtight container. They'll keep in the fridge for a few days. They also freeze really well.
  • To reheat, melt some butter in a large skillet and add the cooked Spätzle (or frozen Spaetzle) to heat through. This will crisp them up a little and add a buttery flavor. Yum!! Season with your favorite herbs and garnish with parsley.
  • Another fabulous way to serve these is to turn them into Cheese Spätzle.

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Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma | www.quick-german-recipes.com

04.21.2023 revision update

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Oma's German Spätzle recipe, homemade and delicious

Oma's German Spätzle Recipe ~ Homemade Noodles

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Oma's German Spätzle Recipe ~ Homemade Noodles
A German Spätzle recipe can be tricky to make. Here's Oma's easy version of this traditional favorite German egg noodle. Delicious when paired with caramelized onions!

Ingredients: flour, salt, eggs,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

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