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Spaetzle viewed from above in a white bowl

Herb-Speckled Spaetzle

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This Herb-Speckled Spaetzle is a hearty, herb-infused German pasta that’s delicious as a stand-alone side dish or as a vehicle to soak up marvelous juices from stews and roasts.

Spaetzle viewed from above in a white bowl

Herb-Speckled Spaetzle

I was excited to try this Herb-Speckled Spaetzle for French Fridays with Dorie this week. When we lived in Iowa, my in-laws would frequently visit (under the guise of taking us impoverished folk out to dinner, but the real draw was getting their hands on the grandchildren) and take us to the nearby Amana Colonies.

This quaint, former communal settlement had a number of restaurants where classic German cuisine was served, and my father-in-law was certain to order something with a side of spaetzle. Years later, when we belonged to a dinner club, our first gathering featured a German menu, and my assignment was spaetzle  I made a  simple noodle dough and squeezed it through a spaetzle press into boiling water.

These delicious threads of pasta were sauteed in butter, then used as a side dish for our sauerbraten. It was a snap to make.

Herbed spaetzle with mushrooms in a white serving dish with a spoon

Dorie’s Spaetzle

Dorie’s recipe adds herbs and a bit of nutmeg to the basic recipe of milk, eggs, and flour. She goes further and has us mix them with a melange of sauteed onions and sliced mushrooms.

I kept some of this herb-speckled spaetzle plain for the family and the jazzed-up version for me. I served ours with a  hearty beef stew full of onions, garlic, carrots, rosemary, and thyme, simmered for hours covered with red wine and broth. It was the perfect topping for our spaetzle  Hubby was not disappointed with this veer to the German side by Dorie. Neither was I.

I splurged on this German-made spaetzle press a few years ago. It works beautifully. If you don’t own this gadget, you can easily substitute a colander.

This delicious recipe can be found on Epicurious.

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44 comments on “Herb-Speckled Spaetzle”

  1. i like trying out new recipes but i haven’t had spaetzle before.
    since it’s packed with herbs, i am 100% sure i would really enjoy it!

  2. Wow! I’m tempted to buy the spaetzel gadget and surprise German cousins on my husband’s side of the family. Great story about your in-laws indoctrinating your children into the foods of the old country…Also, appreciate and enjoyed learning about the Amana Colonies in Iowa.

  3. The jazzed up version sure looks good!

  4. So that’s what spaetzle looks like! I’m jealous of your press, but it makes me wonder if this is something I could pull off using the spaghetti cutter attachment for the stand mixer. The beef stew sounds wonderful and comforting. Stay warm!

    • Adriana…..I use a ricer to make spaetzle. My ricer looks a lot like the German one Liz posted a picture of. I can’t tell if the holes are the same size or not. But, it works!

  5. I’ve seen potato ricer around here and never thought that it can be use for making spaetzel 😛 😀 Love the herby flavor of this spaetzel , Yum !!!

  6. Leave it to you to make it sound perfectly delicious! 🙂 I have to get this one made this week for sure!

  7. My husband’s mom is Austrian and he has many fond childhood memories of devouring big bowls of spaeztle …. I must be a bad wife that I missed this week! (again.) Yours looks fabulous.

  8. oh wow! That’s such a cool gadget! I’ve never heard of a spaetzel before! Thanks for introducing me to more of German cuisine Liz! 🙂

  9. This is a charming post, and I love the photographs. The fresh noodle is so light and dainty against the robust earthiness of the background, and ‘Spaetzel’ is something new I learnt today!!

  10. Beautiful spaetzle! Both versions are perfect. Also like your fancy press…I have a little flat grater-like tool that worked well, but I’ll bet your press was a snap! Enjoyed your post and especially liked your stories.

  11. What an interesting shape, I have to admit, I’ve not seen the Spaetzle shaped like noodles before—I like it. The Hungarians make theirs like little dumplings (, and we make them with a tool that looks like this. I love the herb combo with this, sounds absolutely mouth watering.

  12. I had the most wonderful an light spaetzel on our trip visiting Germany this year. I’m definitely going to try and make it…have only had it in restaurants.

  13. Sadly, I had no success with this week’s recipe. The dough was fine, but I couldn’t find a method that worked for me to get the dough shaped properly and into the water. 🙁 Yours looks beautiful!

  14. Lizzy, Although my husband ate this, he would have enjoyed your plain version better. He did ask if he could have brown gravy on his next time I make it!! Old food habits die hard!! Yours looks fantastic! Love your spaetzel maker….hmmmm!

  15. I love this herb version. I make them all the time in winter with goulash, but never use herbs. I like your thread-like version! Mine are usually very short. Have a great weekend Liz!

  16. Oh, how I adore Spaetzle. They are a regular on our menu in the winter. It is comfort food for me as I grew up with it. 🙂

  17. I love anything packed with herbs, how scrumptious!

  18. I have always wanted to make spaetzle. I will have to try it soon.

  19. Happy Happy NY Liz. That spaetzel looks beyond yummy! I love it, but have never made it before. I’m scared! HaHa.
    PS. I’m originally from Ohio. Midwest gals unite!!

  20. Another recipe I must look up! 🙂 My mom is always threatening to take us to the Amana Colonies when we visit. We did go to a great German restaurant in Waverly during one visit! Scrumptious!

  21. Very nice! I liked this, though I don’t think I went about it as efficiently as I could have. I’m happy to hear of success stories with spaetzle makers. I’ll have to see if I can talk the husband into getting one!

  22. Oooh I’ve never had spaetzel before but it looks scrumptious!

  23. Your spaetzle looks so long and uniform. I’m guessing that’s how it’s supposed to be, perfect. Mine were much shorter. I have a different German spaetzle press. I wasn’t sure how much to fill it up before squeezing. It was the first time I ever ate/had spaetzle and it definitely won’t be the last. Delicious! We ate it as a main course, but as a base for beef stew sounds wonderful.

  24. Huh? Thats a spaetzle press? I think I have one of those! I thought it was a potato ricer! lol. Now I MAY have to make this dish after all! lol.

  25. Your spaetzle looks delicious. I am worried about making this as I do not own a spaetzle maker – let’s see how I go.

  26. That looks really good even though I’ve never had spaetzle before.

  27. “You can easily substitute a colander” Errr….. not so much 😉
    Yours are beautiful Liz!
    Happy new year!

  28. Great looking spaetzle! This one was really delicious.

  29. I LOVE Spaetzle!!! I’ve never tried making it on my own but I’ve had it in Austria and it is so buttery and delicious. Honestly, I love all carbs, hehe 😉 Love the herb version you show here!

  30. Love homemade spaetzel! This is so beautifully made and I am sure it’s tasty.

  31. Yummy!! My German grandmother could usually be found making spaetzel to go into her chicken soup (instead of noodles). She just pushed the dough through a slotted spoon and I use her method. The spaetzel come out irregular but I sort of like that rustic look about them. Brian is a spaetzel monster so I make it for him a lot and either serve it with a roast or fry them after they’re cooked with a sauteed onion. He’s offered to buy me a spaetzel press but it’s just one more thing for me to store and wash. 🙂

  32. It’s nice your kids grew up close to their grandparents. My parents are close by and my husband’s mother is about 2 hours away so my kids get to see them often. Not enough as far as they are concerned. 🙂

    I love German food… we have a restaurant in Sri Lanka simply called “The German” and it’s all about the brats, meats and spaetzel. 🙂 Your spaetzel looks wonderful. 🙂

  33. I’ve never made this before; in fact, I haven’t eaten much German cuisine before (not a lot of Germans around here) but this looks very yummy and I’m sure it was delicious with the hearty stew xx

  34. Liz, you certainly prepared perfectly looking Spätzle – aren´t these specialty Spätzle making gadgets wonderful – there are quite a few different ones available but I still prefer the wooden board and the metal “scraper” for a thinner version and my well-used “Spätzlehobel” (literally translated as a “Spätzle plane” ie the carpentry tool) for a plumper version – either way these soft egg noodles are delicious and both your versions look fabulous – so nice that your family enjoyed them so much.

    Have a great weekend!

  35. Yours look perfect, with and without the dressing.

  36. Your dinner sounds so delightful, a lovely combination, perfect for spaetzle.

  37. Doesn’t that look delicious! I love recipes like this!

  38. Wow. Your spaetzle looks beautiful! I just might have to invest in the gadget…at minimum I’ll get with the program and make it. Thanks for the extra inspiration!

  39. Perfect Liz!
    This was my first time and I liked it so much that I went and picked up a tool (though no where near as beautiful as the one you have!)

  40. I love spaetzel, but I’m old school when it comes to this dish: I tend to favor the plain kind. But the addition of the herbs is mighty tempting! I’ll definitely try that. I have a spaetzel maker too, but mine is more like the food mill type, and the holes are a bit bigger. It’s funny, I was thinking earlier today that I haven’t made spaetzel for quite awhile, and had just moved it to my short list. And now your post is making me even more eager to make some! Thanks. 😉

  41. Lizzy,
    I don’t know much about German food. This looks like German macaroni to me. I bet it’s delicious. I could use a colander to make it – what’s an Italian household without a colander!

  42. Lizzy, having grown up in the Amana’s with a German background, I feel I have a personal relationship with spaetzle. I will admit though, I have never seen your type of spaetzle press. For years I made them by hand, simply cutting off the dough with a knife as it dropped into water. I love the large “dumpling” size. Quite a few years ago, I did invest in a spaetzle “machine” and have not gone back to the old fashioned way since.

  43. Since I grew up in Manchester, going to the Amana Colonies was A BIG TREAT. Oh, the food. I don’t remember spaetzle, in particular, (I was a kid) but I do have delicious memory of the entire experience. When both my brother and I got married, we received a dining room table and chairs made in the Amana Colonies from our parents. We waited a long time to receive all the chairs (made by hand, if you remember) but it gave me time to needlepoint seats for them all. My sister-in-law and brother, being a little more prosperous than us, ordered many side tables, etc. from the Colonies. Now my Melissa has my set and they are every bit as beautiful and strudy as the first day we received them. This is not so much a comment about food, Liz, but a real stroll down eastern-Iowa memory lane.

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