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Homemade German Spaetzle Recipe | Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


Spaetzle is a delicious, tiny dumpling (or chubby egg noodle). Perfect with stroganoff or with a little butter, this homemade German spaetzle recipe is easy and foolproof!

white plate with homemade German spaetzle noodles and meatballs and fork


Last week I did a little Instagram story while I was making homemade spaetzle for dinner, and whoa, I was totally surprised at how many people responded in crazed excitement asking for a recipe ASAP!

I had no idea so many of you were in love with spaetzle. And the rest of you want to be in love with it, I can feel it. What is spaetzle? It’s a tasty, tiny German noodle or dumpling, and it is so, so easy to make at home. 

And since I’m stuck at home (and I figure you might be stuck at home right now, too) there’s really no better time to learn how to make spaetzle. 

It’s so fast to make, we eat it all the time. My kids go absolutely crazy for it! Today, I’m going to show you how to make homemade German spaetzle, how to cook it (even if you don’t have a spaetzle maker!), and how to eat it (or rather, what to eat it with). 

homemade German spaetzle noodles in white dish

How to pronounce spaetzle

I think there are a million pronunciations and alternate names for spaetzle, but just so you know – and even if you don’t care – I pronounce it spetz-ul.

How to make homemade spaetzle

The beauty of homemade spaetzle is that it is so easy. 

I use a food processor to mix the quick batter together. But you can mix it in a bowl with a whisk, an electric hand mixer, or I bet a blender would work, too.

The spaetzle dough is four simple ingredients:

You can add a pinch of ground nutmeg for a very authentic vibe. We aren’t super authentic, apparently, because my kids and husband prefer it without the nutmeg.  

ingredients for homemade German spaetzle noodles in food processor

Once mixed, the batter should be very smooth and lump-free, and it should run off the spatula or spoon in thick ribbons. 

Pourable but not too runny. 

The reason you want to make sure the consistency is just right is because the spaetzle dumplings are made by pressing the batter through the holes of a spaetzle maker or other contraption (see below!). If it’s too thick or too runny, it won’t cooperate quite as well.

lifting out mixed homemade German spaetzle batter with rubber spatula

My spaetzle maker

I learned to make spaetzle years ago when I lived in Wisconsin. Our friends, Angela and Clint (and their boys), had our family over for dinner one night. 

Angela served us homemade spaetzle and stroganoff. It was amazing, and my entire family was instantly won over by the amazing little German dumplings.

Not only did Angela teach me to how make it, she shared her recipe with me, and when we moved, she gifted me with a spaetzle maker from Germany (where they had lived for several years prior to Wisconsin).

It has become a very treasured part of my kitchen, and my kids have already had lengthy discussions about who gets this handy little thing when I die. 

It’s hard to find this particular spaetzle maker in the US, but here is one that is similar {aff. link}. This is also another similar option {aff. link} with good reviews. (Scroll down for how to make spaetzle without a spaetzle maker.)

tupperware spaetzle maker

How to make homemade spaetzle

Here’s a quick 1-minute video showing you how to make homemade spaetzle. 

Angela taught me to make homemade spaetzle in boiling broth. It adds a lot of flavor! Usually I use about half chicken broth and half water. 

If you are using water, lightly salt it before cooking the spaetzle. 

I place my spaetzle maker directly on the edge of the pot and pour in a healthy little scoop of batter. 

pouring spaetzle batter onto spaetzle maker over pan of hot broth

Taking the scraper, I press and scrape back and forth so the batter drops into the boiling water below. 

cooking homemade spaetzle

If the consistency of the batter is just right, there isn’t any need to scrape the bottom of the spaetzle maker – the batter breaks off and drops right into the water or broth.

I lightly tap the spaetzle maker on the pot to release any bits of dough hanging on, and then I take the spaetzle maker off completely while the noodles cook. 

Once the spaetzle boils for a few minutes, the noodles will puff up a bit and rise to the surface of the pot.

cooking homemade spaetzle in broth

They cook quickly! Anywhere from 3-5 minutes, and they’re good to go. 

I use a fine mesh strainer to scoop them out of the pot (that way the water or broth can be used for subsequent batches). 

You can see how cute and irregular they look. That’s the beauty of spaetzle! They are wondrously imperfect.

lifting out cooked spaetzle with strainer

How to make spaetzle without a spaetzle maker

What if you don’t have a spaetzle maker? Well, you can still make homemade spaetzle! Hallelujah. 

There are several different ways you can do this. 

The easiest way is to use a colander with holes (or in this case little strips). Hold it above the pot. Don’t set it on the edges of the pot like a flat spaetzle maker – the bottom of the colander will reach down further in the pot and clog up with cooked dough. 

Use a spatula to press the spaetzle batter through the colander and into the boiling water. 

I’ve also heard a potato ricer works amazingly well. And if you’re brave you should try this cutting board technique. Holy wow. 

using colander and spatula to make homemade spaetzle

How to serve spaetzle

There are a lot of strong opinions circling the globe about how to serve spaetzle or what it should be served with. 

In my world? There are no wrong answers. 

  • toss the cooked spaetzle with browned butter 
  • saute the cooked spaetzle in a skillet with butter (and then add cheese!)
  • layer the hot, cooked spaetzle with cheese (Gouda is a favorite) – eat plain or with your favorite stroganoff
  • serve the spaetzle with Swedish meatballs or beef stroganoff or whatever your heart desires!

pouring browned butter over homemade German spaetzle

I know homemade German spaetzle may not be an every day type of thing, but I have a feeling once you try it, it will become a beloved favorite for you, too. 

And do I even have to say it? Yes, yes I do. Major rock star points for making homemade spaetzle at least once in your life. 

If you are already a spaetzle maker and lover, tell me how you make it and how you serve it! I’m just going to sit back and wait for the spaetzle reports to come in. Don’t let me down. You can do this!

And I think you will be surprised at how easy it is to make…and how crazy delicious those little chubby dumplings are in real life. 

white plate with homemade German spaetzle noodles and meatballs

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Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Homemade German Spaetzle Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together until very smooth. I use a food processor but a whisk, blender, or hand mixer will work well, too. The consistency of the batter should be pourable but not super runny (it should drop off a spatula or spoon in thick ribbons).
  2. Bring a pot of lightly salted water or broth (about 2 to 3 quarts total) to a boil. Press the batter through a spaetzle maker in batches (see notes for alternate methods). Cook each batch of spaetzle for 4-6 minutes until it is puffy and rises to the top of the water/broth.
  3. Lift the spaetzle out with a fine mesh strainer or slotted spoon (so the water/broth can be used for subsequent batches).
  4. Saute cooked spaetzle in butter (or browned butter!) or serve plain spaetzle with stroganoff or other favorite gravy/sauce. It’s also delicious tossed with butter and cheese.

Notes

Spaetzle Maker: the spaetzle maker I have is from Germany (my friend who taught me to make spaetzle gave it to me). It is similar to this one. This is another good option. If you don’t have a spaetzle maker, the batter can be pressed through the holes of a colander with a spatula (just make sure to lift the colander above the boiling water so it doesn’t get clogged with cooked dough). I’ve heard a potato ricer works well, too.

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Recipe Source: slightly adapted from a recipe my friend, Angela R., gave me when she taught me to make spaetzle (I’ve adapted it a little over the years to use milk, one more egg, and a bit more salt)

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Posted on March 25, 2020 by Mel



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