German Cheese-Noodle Casserole (Käsespätzle)

German Cheese-Noodle Casserole
Creativ Studio Heinemann / Getty Images
Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
534 Calories
22g Fat
63g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 534
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 142mg 47%
Sodium 658mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 348mg 27%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 231mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Käsespätzle or cheese-noodle casserole is a popular dish in Germany and people like to recreate it in the U.S. because it is so simple to prepare and tastes so good.

This recipe is foolproof if you take the time to make it right. Homemade noodles are the best for this dish, although you can substitute dried noodles from the store

Gruyère cheese is traditional, but Emmental, raclette or any smooth melting, slightly stinky cheese can be substituted as long as you like it.


For the Onions:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

  • 2 medium onions, quartered and sliced

For the Spätzle:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup water

For the Casserole:

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, as needed

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese

Steps to Make It

Caramelize the Onions

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Start by making the caramelized onions about 1 hour before the casserole needs to go into the oven.

  3. Heat the butter and oil in a nonstick pan on medium. Turn heat to low and add onions. Stir every few minutes for about an hour, or until onions are lightly browned and sweet enough for your taste. Here is more information on caramelizing onions.

  4. Turn off the heat and set the onions aside.

Make the Spätzle

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Here is a step-by-step guide to making spätzle with a spätlebrett (wooden board used to make drop noodles). You may use a colander to form the noodles or a grater-like device with a hopper on it called a spätzle maker.

  3. Place a large pot of water on to boil. You can add salt if you wish.

  4. To make the dough, whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup, beat the eggs with the water and add to the flour-salt mixture.

  5. Beat for several minutes or until dough is smooth. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then beat it again. Add water or flour to adjust consistency to a thick batter (a little thinner than brownie batter).

  6. Place half of the dough in the hopper of the spätzle maker which is placed over the simmering water. Push and pull the hopper back and forth, creating a dough wave inside the hopper. Little bits of dough will be pushed out the other side and drop into the water. They will be fatter and more teardrop-shaped than the spätzle you make with a board.

  7. The noodles drop to the bottom of the pot, then rise to the surface. Let them sit there for another 2 or 3 minutes, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon or small sieve. Rinse briefly in hot water, then drain well and set aside.

  8. Using the second half of the dough, make another batch of noodles. If the noodles stick to the bottom of the pan, give a quick stir to loosen. They should then rise to the top.

Assemble the Casserole

  1. Butter and line a 1 1/2- to 2-quart casserole dish with breadcrumbs.

  2. When noodles are done, add them to the (cooled) pan with the caramelized onions. Add the grated nutmeg and 3/4 of the grated cheese and stir to mix.

  3. Spoon noodles into the casserole, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake, covered, at 350 F for 20 minutes, then uncovered for 15 minutes. If you like, brown the cheese topping with the broiler during the last 5 minutes.

  4. Serve hot.

  5. Enjoy.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat-resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.