Easy Homemade German Spaetzle Recipe

German Spaetzle is small dumplings. Spaetzle is not hard to make, but it can be a bit time-consuming when done completely by hand. Veteran spaetzle makers use a special spaetzle press to form the tiny dumplings.

  • 01 of 10

    Delicious Homemade German Spaetzle (German Dumplings)

    German spaetzle
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    What follows here are two methods to make German spaetzle; the first ​uses a spaetzle board and special knife, the second shows how to form the dumplings using a colander.

  • 02 of 10

    Spaetzle Board and Knife

    spaetzlebrett
    J. McGavin

    A Spaetzlebrett, or board, has a handle and a beveled edge, which touches the boiling water. It makes the Spaetzle roll off the board better.

  • 03 of 10

    Ingredients for the Dough

    Eggs and Flour used in making spaetzle
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    The spaetzle dough consists of flour, salt, and eggs, with or without water or milk. There are no exact proportions but a good starting point is:

    • 1 pound of flour
    • 5 eggs
    • ¾ cup water
    • 1 teaspoon salt

    or, per person

    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    For traditionalists,  leave the dough plain.

    For more adventurous cooks, flavor it with your favorite chopped fresh herbs or spices. Dill, parsley, rosemary, garlic, onion powder, and chili powder are all great options.

    You can get as creative as you like with the add-ins. Instead of water, add beet or carrot juice. Both add great flavor and gorgeous color.

    Adding purees like fresh pumpkin or butternut squash are also great options. For brighter flavor, mix in a few teaspoons of fresh lemon or orange zest to the dough.

  • 04 of 10

    Mixing the Dough

    dough
    J. McGavin

    Mix the dough several minutes until glossy. The dough should be wetter than brownie batter but not as wet as pancake batter.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Dipping Your board

    board
    J. McGavin

    Dip your board into the boiling water, to help the dough slide off when you are making your noodles.

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    Spreading the Dough on the Board

    dough on board
    J. McGavin

    Spread some dough in a thin layer onto the board as shown. The dough should be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.

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    Making the Noodles Roll off the Board

    Making Spaetzle the Old-Fashioned Way
    J. McGavin

    Using the flat edge of the Spaetzle knife and a little twist to the wrist, roll small pieces of dough down the board and into the water. With practice, this can go quickly.

  • 08 of 10

    Cooking the Spaetzle

    spaetzle cooked
    J. McGavin

    Cook the noodles in water that is not quite boiling. They are done when they float to the top. Remove them and place them in a warm bowl. Start another round of noodles and continue until the dough is used up.

    Spaetzle can be buttered before serving, or mixed with cheese, thick bacon pieces, and browned onions and baked. They taste great with gravy.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Making Spaetzle With a Colander

    Making Spaetzle the Old-Fashioned Way
    J.McGavin

    You can also use a colander with square or round holes to make the Spaetzle. Push a spoonful of dough through the colander into the boiling water using the back of the spoon.

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    Serving Spaetzle

    German Spaetzle
    Getty Images

    Ready to eat Spaetzle. Dig in!