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A traditional German side dish, Spaetzle is a simple homemade pasta that’s perfect for topping with all of your favorite sauces! It takes less than 30 minutes to whip up and is so soft and delicious!

German food is so hearty and comforting, I can never get enough. A few more great recipes to try if you love it as much as I do: schnitzel, German potato salad, or stollen bread!

Spaetzle served with fresh herbs in a black bowl.

Easy German Spaetzle

If you’ve ever been eating at a German restaurant, chances are your entree was served with a side of small, knot-shaped noodles. These are called spaetzle, or spätzle! They’re simple yet delicious and a great way to make any dish a little more filling.

You can serve spaetzle plain with some herbs and salt and pepper, or coat in butter or your favorite sauce. Gravy, specifically mushroom or onion gravy, is a pretty common thing to serve it with. This is called jagerspatzle! No matter how you choose to serve your spaetzle, one thing is for sure. It’s super easy and will have everyone hooked with its dumpling-like texture!

Spaetzle Ingredients

The best thing about spaetzle is that you can make it with ingredients you already have on hand. Just a couple eggs, some flour, salt, and milk! See the recipe card below for measurements.

  • All-Purpose Flour: The main dry ingredient that gives our spaetzle a solid structure and also a satisfying chewy texture.
  • Salt: Just a pinch of salt will boost the spaetzle’s favor.
  • Large Eggs: Help bind everything together, so your spaetzle dough holds up like a champ.
  • Whole Milk or Water: This is going to add some moisture to the spaetzle mix. Using milk will give your spaetzle a creamy and tasty twist. (That’s what I used!)

Let’s Make Spätzle!

Making homemade pasta is actually a lot easier than you’d think. Follow these simple instructions and you’ll end up with the perfect German side dish!

  1. Dough Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together your flour and salt. Then add in your eggs and mix well.
  2. Add Milk: Starting with 2/3 cup milk or water, begin to add your liquid stirring constantly until you have a smooth, not too thick, not too thin dough.
  3. Rest: Allow the batter to sit, covered for about 10 minutes.
  4. Check Consistency: The dough should stay together well but not be solid. It needs to be able to squeeze through the spaetzle maker smoothly, not run through it to take too much effort to get it through the holes.
  5. Boil Water: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. Cut Noodles: Press the spaetzle dough through the spaetzle maker straight into the boiling water, you may want to work in batches to cook the noodles evenly.
  7. Cook: Cook the noodles until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Remove the cooked noodles with a skimmer spoon and keep working with the remaining dough.
  8. Serve: Once the noodles are done cooking you can serve them immediately with your sauce of choice, plain with some parsley, or fry them up a bit in a skillet with butter, until they have begun to crisp.
Preparing pasta dough and cutting it into small pieces.

Cooking Tips

A few extra tips to keep in mind so your spaetzle turns out perfectly:

  • Flour Consistency: Make sure to have a smooth and lump-free spaetzle dough. Mix the flour and other ingredients gradually, adjusting the liquid as needed, until you get a thick, but still pourable consistency.
  • Boiling Water: When boiling the spaetzle, use a large pot of generously salted water. This helps prevent the spaetzle from sticking together and enhances their flavor.
  • Spaetzle Maker or Grater: If you have a spaetzle maker, great! Otherwise, you can use a coarse box grater or a slotted spoon to push the dough through into the boiling water. This creates those charming little dumplings.
  • Don’t Overcook: Keep an eye on the spaetzle while boiling, as they cook quickly. As soon as they float to the surface, give them a minute or two more and then scoop them out. Overcooking can make them mushy.
  • Rinse and Oil: After scooping them out, give them a quick rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent sticking. Drizzle a little oil to keep them from clumping together.
  • Toppings and Sauces: These simple German egg noodles are an amazing base for any of your favorite sauces. Experiment with different sauces, gravies, herbs, or toppings like cheese, caramelized onions, or sautéed mushrooms to make your dish extra flavorful. You can even have them plain with a little olive oil and some seasoning!
  • Toast: You can fry them up a bit in a skillet with butter, until they have begun to crisp. Once they are cooked to your liking, you can serve just as you would mentioned above.
Top-down view of a bowl of spaetzle with a spoon in it.

How Long Does Spätzle Last?

As long as it’s in an airtight container, spaetzle will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It’s great because you can enjoy it straight from the fridge! You can also heat it up on a skillet and serve it warm if you prefer.

Picking up a spoonful of spätzle.

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Spaetzle

5 from 2 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
A traditional German side dish, Spaetzle is a simple homemade pasta that's perfect for topping with all of your favorite sauces! It takes less than 30 minutes to whip up and is so soft and delicious!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together your flour and salt. Add in your eggs and mix well.
  • Starting with 2/3 cup milk or water, begin to add your liquid stirring constantly until you have a smooth, not too thick, not too thin dough.
  • Allow the batter to sit, covered for about 10 minutes.
  • The dough should stay together well but not be solid. It needs to be able to squeeze through the spaetzle maker smoothly, not run through it to take too much effort to get it through the holes.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Press the spaetzle dough through the spaetzle maker straight into the boiling water, you may want to work in batches to cook the noodles evenly.
  • Cook the noodles until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Remove the cooked noodles with a skimmer spoon and keep working with the remaining dough.
  • Once the noodles are done cooking you can serve them immediately with your sauce of choice, plain with some parsley, or fry them up a bit in a skillet with butter, until they have begun to crisp.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 6gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 409mgPotassium: 65mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 79IUCalcium: 15mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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6 Comments

  1. If you do not have a spaetzle maker. You can always use a colander to push dough through, then trim the little pieces that push through over the pot.

  2. Love Spaetzle and have a Spaetzle maker but prefer them cut off the edge of a board the way my Grandma made them. I use similar amounts with only one egg but may try two next time.

  3. 5 stars
    These small dumplings are common in Eastern half of Europe, including all the German speaking people and Hungarian and Balkan countries. The spaetzl maker is not common in every household, since you can use a teaspoon to scoop batter and drop it in boiling water. Makes larger and more palatable dumplings. A pinch of baking powder added to the flour makes the dumplings fluffier. I believe one egg would suffice to prevent over hardening of boiled dumplings.