How to Make Spaetzle
Spaetzle is an easy-to-make German egg noodle that’s a delicious alternative to potatoes or rice. Learning how to make spaetzle is a breeze!
This Spaetzel Recipe is made with just 4 simple ingredients and is a tasty addition to almost any meal.
Why You Must Make
- This homemade noodle is tastier than anything you can buy at your local grocery store!
- It’s made with simple ingredients you probably have in your kitchen.
- You don’t need an authentic press to make it, but once you realize how delicious this German spaetzle is, you may feel it’s worth it to own one.
Tried and True Spätzle Noodles
When my neighbors, who have made spaetzle over a hundred times, invited me and another girlfriend over for a demo, I couldn’t refuse. Steve had a treasure in his grandmother’s press and he and his trusty side-kick, Shelli, had the process down to an art.
When it was my turn to transform my dough into noodles, I realized how ridiculously simple the whole process can be. My neighbors demonstrated how tag-teaming the pressing, boiling, and rinsing of the dough and noodles creates the perfect spaetzle. Using the tool passed down from his German grandmother, both Steve and Shelli taught my friend, Susan, and me how to make our own German noodles. Thanks so much for the fun afternoon!
How to Serve Spaetzle
- Spaetzel can be fried with butter and served as a side dish instead of rice, potatoes, couscous, etc.
- It’s also a great base for saucy dishes like braised short ribs, stews, or any dish with pan juices or gravy.
- Try it as a substitute for any dish in which you’d use egg noodles.
- Serve along with Homemade Applesauce.
- Make sure your dough is thick enough to hold its shape as it goes through the press.
- If you find it’s sticking to your press, either spritz the press with a little water or spray with a non-stick cooking spray, like Pam.
- Cook your spaetzle in batches with plenty of water. This will prevent the noodles from sticking together.
- Frying the noodles in browned butter adds an exquisite richness along with a duality of textures, from the crispy edges to the chewy unbrowned bits.
- You can make your spaetzel ahead of time. Just store it in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are at least 3 acceptable pronunciations for spaetzle/spaetzel: SHPEHT-sluh, SHPEHT-sehl, or SHPEHT-slee.
The spelling varies, too, along with whether you use the umlaut (two dots) above the letter A.
It translates to “Litte Sparrow.” There’s no clear answer to why, but it may be that holding the dough in two hands looked like one was holding a sparrow or when using two spoons to scoop out a mound dough also resembled a sparrow (from Masterclass.com).
There are many alternatives to the classic spaetzle press, but I assure you, using the real thing is worth it. I’ve tried a ricer, a colander, and even a slotted spoon. I finally broke down and purchased a proper spaetzle press (see Amazon link in the recipe card).
You May Also Like:
- Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles from The Food Charlatan
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Ricotta Gnocchi
- Straw and Hay Pasta
- More Homemade Pasta Recipes
How to make the perfect German Spaetzle. Recipe courtesy of Steve and Shelli Moss.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup water, plus more to thin if needed
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Butter, to fry the spaetzle, if desired
- In a large bowl, mix flour, water, eggs and salt and beat well with a strong wooden spoon, until the batter is elastic and shows air bubbles.
- Rinse your spaetzle press with cold water.
- Press batter slowly into 4 quarts of salted boiling water. For shorter noodles, hold the press 2-3 inches about the water. For longer noodles, hold the press 4-5 inches about the water.
- As soon as the noodles rise to the top, scoop out with a slotted spoon and rinse in cold water.
- Drain off excess water and plate.
- Repeat till the batter is all gone. You may store the noodles in a ziplock bag in the fridge to warm/fry and serve within a day or two.
- When you are ready to serve, melt butter in a skillet (browning the butter is even better). Fry until golden and serve hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 664mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 3gSugar: 0gProtein: 12g
16 Comments on “How to Make Spaetzle”
I’ve never tried spaetzle before but yours looks delicious. Glad you were able to master it.
We’ve tasted those once, at a friend’s house and they were delicious!:) They do have a funny name don’t they?:) But there’s nothing funny about the great texture they have.
Thank you for the delicious recipe Liz!
You had me at noodles fried in brown butter! I must try making my own spaetzle!
This dish is new to me but noodles fried in brown butter sound too good to resist!
I love Spaetzle. Yours look super yummy. We have an old spaetzle maker that belonged to my husband’s grandparents that we use.
Your spaetzle looks absolutely mouthwatering, Liz! It reminds me that I haven’t made spaetzle since French Fridays. I even bought a spaetzle maker because I was sure I would make it quite often.
Oh my that looks delicious!! Browned butter makes everything better too. I have to try this!
Oh my goodness, Liz, you just brought back delicious memories of our trip to Bavaria last month when I enjoyed my very first serving of spaetzle! YUM! I will have to try to make this some day! Did you know that one theory of the origin of the word ‘spaetzle’ is from the Italian word “spezzato” that means “small pieces”. Weird huh? BTW, I’m getting your posts now . . . are you getting mine or is there still a glitch with that?
yeah, meat to say more than C! So cool you posted a German/Austrian recipe, will have to show my dad. Looks great and has been on my to do list for a while.
Your spaetzle looks terrific! I love it — such a great flavor. Great freshly made. Or sometimes I’ll make it ahead, shock it in cold water, then saute it in butter. I have one of those spaetzle presses that looks like a food mill — I think yours is a better choice. Anyway, good recipe — thanks.
I didn’t saw the spaetzele before but I think I will love them! You have a lovely neighbors Liz!
I love anything pasta and this one sounds interesting. I’ve never tried or heard about this before, and now I’m excited to give it a try.
Interesting press. I have used a larger, slide across press for years. Love our spaetzli\e at this house.
A very popular noodle dish over here. Yours looks perfect, Liz.
I found my spaetzle press at HomeGoods years ago for $3.99-it has paid for itself! They are a very nice change of pace starch and wonderful with pork. My youngest asks for them often-yum:@)