A couple months ago, we went out with friends to a new Austrian restaurant in our neighborhood and over too much Grüner and Very Large Dark Beers, got in an animated discussion about spaetzle, and how it was the perfect food. It manages to be both dumplings and noodles at once, and as good tangled with cheese and herbs and bacon and vegetables and as it is alongside a hearty braise. It is never unwelcome. And then my friend turned to me, I guess presuming I’m a person who knows how to, like, make things and ask me how it was made. And I realized I had no idea. This never happens — not that I am clueless, as I am routinely clueless, especially in the realm of denim — but it’s rare that I haven’t a single inkling as to how a food is made. But homemade spaetzle, I hadn’t even considered before.

thick batter, thinned in fridge

Of course, I forgot all about this conversation for a while (see above: Grüner and Very Large Dark Beers) until last week, when I found 5 whole minutes to flip through The Balthazar Cookbook in peace and spied a recipe for spaetzle. Hey, did you know that spaetzle is ridiculously easy to make? That it uses only three ingredients that I’m willing to bet you already have at home? And cooks in two minutes? What I’m saying is: you could have spaetzle for dinner tonight, and I think you should.

with correctly sized holes

Still, I made it as complicated as possible, but all so you won’t have to — that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. First, I made two different batters; the one from Balthazar uses more eggs than a more standard one I kept seeing, so I decided to make both and do a side-by-side comparison. Then I tried several techniques of dropping the batter into a pot of salted boiling water. The first, the one that’s simplicity had called to me from the Balthazar book, involved spreading a small amount of batter near the edge of a cutting board and using a knife or offset spatula to push small ribbons of batter into the pot. And look, I’m not saying the whole knife/board thing doesn’t work — I was informed that it was favored by Austrian housewives, after all! — it simply didn’t work for me as I ended up with a lot of large, flabby pieces and I wanted daintier ones. A thicker batter might have worked better.


Next I tried the colander method — pushing the batter through the holes of a colander into the cooking water — but quickly found pressing a thick colander of batter over a boiling pot of water very unpleasant. And hot. And awkward. After that, I tried to use a makeshift pastry bag, i.e. sandwich bag with the corner nipped off, but I found the spaetzle too tubular and no more enjoyable to form over a pot of hot water. Not giving up easily, I turned to a potato ricer, certain I’d found my spaetzle-making nirvana but it dumped one hamburger-sized spaetzleblob in the pot and was quickly relieved of its spaetzling duties. At this point, my kitchen, toddler and I were gummed top to bottom in spaetzle batter and I escaped to my laptop to consider whether, despite my general anti-single purpose appliance stance, if a spaetzle maker might be a good thing to have around. I actually whimpered with frustration when I realized that one that people seem nuts about was less than $10 and proceeded to call a few kitchen stores to see if they sold it, but none were in stock. So, it was back to the colander for me!

crisping in a pan with butter
parsley and dill

But really, it wasn’t so terrible. Once I switched to a colander with more than a dozen holes that could sit over the pot of water and put on some potholders, I got the swing of things quickly. We found the eggier batter to make far more light and delicate dumplings, so I’m giving that one the green light below. Finally there are a million ways to enjoy spaetzle — and I would like to discover each of them, you know, between sets of crunches — but we enjoyed the heck out of browning it in a pan with butter, and tossing it minced shallots and herbs. I’ll get to that in a second.

pan-toasted with shallots, herbs

One year ago: Hazelnut Chocolate Thumbprints, Baked Kale Chips and Almond Macaroon Torte
Two years ago: Beef Empanadas and Homemade Chocolate Wafers + Icebox Cupcakes
Three years ago: Chicken with Almonds and Green Olives and Swiss Easter Rice Tart
Four years ago: Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas and Roasted Red Peppers and Rich Buttermilk Waffles

Simplest Homemade Spaetzle
Recipe from The Balthazar Cookbook, technique from trial and error

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
7 large eggs
1/4 cup (59 ml) milk

Combine the flour, eggs and milk in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight.*

Prepare an ice bath. Bring a large pot of well salted water to boil. If you’ve got a spaetzle maker, use it. Otherwise, do not fret! Set a large colander with holes anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2-inch wide over the pot. Put on two potholders because you probably already know that steam is hot; I apparently did not. Pour 1/4 of the batter into the colander and press it through the holes with a flexible spatula. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes then use a slotted spoon to fish spaetzle out and drop it in the ice bath. Continue with remaining batter in 3 batches. I found it was important to use only a little batter at a time (and even less if your pot is smaller) because if you push too much batter in at a time, it becomes one freakish megaspaetzle as opposed to hundreds of tiny twisty ones.

When you’re done with the batter, drain the spaetzle well and toss it with a small amount of olive oil to keep it from sticking. You can use it right away, or keep it in the fridge for a day until needed.

* The other spaetzle recipe I auditioned did not call for the resting time and worked just fine. I didn’t test this version without resting it in the fridge first for an hour, but suspect that you could get away with it if you were pinched for time. That said, the batter was really lovely — smoother, stretchier — after an hour, so if you can use that hour to prepare a salad or other parts of your meal, you should.

Pan-Browned Spaetzle with Shallots and Herbs

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Once it is fully melted and beginning to turn golden add a couple cups of drained, cooled spaetzle and let it heat for a minute in the pan before starting to saute it about. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and continue to cook it until each piece has a couple toasty brown edges. Add 1 tablespoon minced shallot and cook for one minute more. Adjust seasonings to taste and, off the heat, toss with 1 tablespoon minced herbs (I used parsley and dill but others, like tarragon or chives, would work well.) Eat immediately.

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550 comments on spaetzle

  1. My mother used to make this for me growing up. I also loved having this while living in Germany. Spaetzle with swiss cheese and a lot of cracked black pepper. Thanks for sharing!!


    1. I was making spaetzles for the first time in a while and decided to follow a recipe that is quite different than this one (far less eggy). While I prefer the other recipe (, I did not think much of that blogger’s criticism of you and submitted a comment to note that objection. As of today, my comment is the only one posted and is something that you might enjoy reading.

  2. I’ve never made spaetzle, which is kind of funny considering I have a German grandmother. You’ve inspired me to phone my mom tonight to get the family recipe. But for now, this will do quite nicely. Lovely post.

  3. I love spaetzle, and nobody seems to appreciate it here :( My host mom would make it for dinner sometimes when I was studying in Switzerland…it was the perfect comfort food, even though it didn’t remind me of home at all. I’ve never tried to recreate it at home yet…but yours look so pretty and tasty, I just might have to!

  4. Kay

    Ah, love Spaetzle! I’m Austrian and grew up with my Grandma making traditional “Kaesspaetzle” (cheese spaetzle) – a dish from the most Western region in Austria, Vorarlberg. Basically, spaetzle are layered with cheese (we always used a special cheese spaetzle mixture from the local cheese maker but a strong combination of cheeses like Emmentaler should do the trick) and served with lots of crispy fried (in butter till very dark brown) onion slices.
    Awww… Getting hungry!

  5. It’s always amazing when dishes come down to three little ingredients. I think I’ve only had spaetzle once when my aunt made it (as a bed for chicken paprikash). She definitely had some sort of contraption, but I’m all for using what’s on hand! This looks so tasty with the shallots and herbs.

  6. Wendy

    I’m so excited to see you post this recipe! My grandmother made these all the time when I was little and I inheritted her official Spaetzle maker from Germany – it looks just like a humongous garlic press. But sadly I didn’t inherit her recipe so I don’t make them often. I’ve tried it a few times, but cleaning the spaetzle maker is what turns me off. Any tips on that? The dough hardens in all the small holes and it’s a pain to poke and scrape them out with toothpicks. I will definitely try this recipe soon! My grandmother’s rule was that they were done when they float. She also didn’t use an ice bath – any idea what that does?

  7. Perhaps I should have loftier goals in life, but I aspire to one day cook something with you. This is partly because I think it would be delicious, but also partly because I’d get to hear you say things like “freakish megaspaetzle” which I can only assume would be great fun.

    Now, onto more serious concerns… if I wanted to add some heft (read: protein) to this to make it a main course, what would be the best way to do that? Or is it best left served with herbs and cheeses?

    1. deb

      Spaetzle is excellent with sauteed vegetables — I’d cut them thin and try not to overwhelm the dumplings. I also imagine it would make an insanely decadent baked pasta-type dish with spinach and cheese. In fact, if you had a toddler (I, ahem, do not) that ate either cheese or pasta, they’d probably be excited about it.

      Potato ricer — I used that too! I forgot to add that technique in the post and will do so now, post haste. It did NOT work for me. I ended up with a single medium-build megaspaetzle.

      1. Rico

        I took a sheet of plastic and cut it to size to fit inside my potato ricer. Then I got a hole punch and knocked out many 5mm(?) sized holes in the sheet of plastic. Put the plastic in the bottom of the ricer and now the spaetzle comes out in nice ribbons, not in a clump. The down side to this is that you really only get one shot at pressing out the spaetzle because of the resulting mess in the ricer. But if you’re only making a cup of spaetzle it works.

  8. Sasha

    hi! this was very exciting to see because i just made spaetzle the other day. i came to be making it because i recently moved to sweden and bought a container of a dairy product called “kvarg” without realizing what it was. turns out it’s a soft cheese called quark that i’d never heard of, and one of the only recipes utilizing it on epicurious was a spaetzle recipe. and it was DELICIOUS, so much so that i’ve repeated making it a few times. from this, my pro tip is that i bet spaetzle benefits from the addition of all sorts of kvarg-like substances, like sour cream, yogurt?? cream cheese??

    my other pro tip for squeezing out noodles: potato ricer. maybe depends on the consistency of the dough, but with mine it worked beautifully.

  9. Karen

    I make spaetzle in the winter, almost weekly, to go with Mushroom Paprikash with Tofu. After years of using a spoon to scoop and a knife to portion and drop the dough like my mother (and grandmothers) did, I asked for a spaetzle maker as a gift. Oh my goodness, so much faster and easier! Worth the storage space in my small kitchen, definitely!

  10. David

    Simplest way I ever saw for making spaetzle – use the large holes on a box grater. Plop some batter on a spatula and run it inside the box grater above the water. not as fast as the colander, but a lot easier to manage.

  11. Deb,

    I have a friend whose mother was German. She grew up on spaetzle and lentils for breakfast. And she says her two (incredibly picky) kids love it. LOVE IT.

    This looks so easy. :) Thanks!

  12. I just have to comment because of this: ‘quickly found pressing a thick colander of batter over a boiling pot of water very unpleasant. And hot’. It made me laugh. I am Swiss and I live in Canada, so making Spaetzle is something I do from scratch, but I really don’t like the colander method and the spaetzle maker you pointed out would have the same heat/steam issue. I use the knife on cutting board method and it works best with a bit of a thicker dough.
    In Switzerland you’ll eat it fried as you do, or plain with a saucy meat dish such as goulash or in the Alps you’d have it fried in butter, with a strong cheese like Gruyere and apple sauce (yes, you heard it right).

  13. carly

    I am obsessed with spaetzle. My then-fiancee and I were in Park Slope and decided to sit outside at Cafe Steinhof on one of those indian summer days in early October. We had beer and spaetzle and decided that this was the night we were going to hash out how we were going to get married (because we were procrastinators from two different parts of the country who now lived in a third part). I have such fond memories of that night, scrolling through the calendar on my phone until we finally landed on a date. I now think we need a spaetzle & beer date for all major decisions and now I’m dying to try this at home. Thanks!

  14. Jill

    I LOVE spaetzle! It goes with any meat and is the ultimate comfort food with a little Gruyere and pepper. I also find the colander to be awkward and I end up with slightly steam burnt hands afterwards. Might I suggest pushing it through a slotted spoon? Or one of those slightly scooped spatulas that have a bunch of tiny holes in them and I have no idea what they’re actually for but they always come with those “cooking tools for the apartment dweller” kits at Target? It’s very slightly more time consuming, but so much more comfortable.

    1. deb

      I also tried a slotted spoon (see here)! Forgot to mention it too. I basically found it just as unpleasant as the colander yet less efficient because it had fewer holes.

      Kate — I just added back my ricer comments, comment #21 and now in the post. My report: not good!

  15. Trisha

    I’ve pondered this recipe in the Balthazar cookbook for years, but never had the nerve to make it, until now! I’m going to have to attempt the knife and cutting board method since my Oxo over-the-sink model has pretty small ones. Anyone have recommendations on how to do the knife and cutting board technique successfully?

  16. Heather

    Oooh! I always buy the green beans w/ spaetzle, bacon, and butter-onion-garlic sauce (aka “Bavarian” sauce). Now I can make my own. Thanks!

  17. The batter seems so stinking easy – now the shaping of the noodles…. I can’t wait to give it a try. I want to make some spinach pesto to put over mine. Or could you imagine spaetzle with the last baked spinach recipe you posted. I would die a happy little lady!

  18. They look amazing Deb! I’ve often wondered how the whole collendar over a pot of boiling water thing would work…they look delicious! We had boxed (the horror!) spaetzle a few weeks ago and making fresh homemade ones have been haunting me ever since. Gotta make these soon!

  19. My ex-M-I-L used to make the best spaetzle and I have pined for it ever since she died, wishing I would have asked or paid closer attention, you know how it is. So glad to see a recipe that I believe I could actually manage. I thought it was way more complicated? But you did some great research which makes it easy for us, your peeps.

  20. thats so crazy. i’ve been making this for myself for breakfast for the last couple days. we grew up calling it ray-ray, and it stuck. the only difference is that we cook it up usual like scrambled eggs.

  21. kat

    i recently married into a german family and got the requisite spaetzle maker for my wedding, hooray! but another option in a pinch (and if your colander does not have regular holes, but stupid pineapple shapes like mine… erg) is one i saw on the food network. take a disposable foil pie pan and poke some holes in the bottom, and run the dough through there with a spatula. i didn’t try it since i have the fancy maker, but it seemed to work! now if only i could make spaetzle as well as my mother in law does…

  22. katarina

    the best spaetzle are without any milk. just flour and eggs. and if you have a free range eggs then you can add a little bit of water in the mixture. you don’t mix it with a whisk! use a wooden spoon or if you are using a mixer use the dough hook. mix it until there is no lumps and there are air pockets in the dough. i like to put put some chopped chives in the dough

  23. C

    I’ve made spaetzel using a potato ricer. It’s similar to your colander method but the handle provides a little extra help pushing the batter through, and I found it to be less messy (easier clean-up, too). And there’s the added bonus that my potato ricer is no longer a uni-task kitchen tool! (Although the ricer makes the lightest, fluffiest mashed potatoes ever.) The pan browned spaetzel sounds divine. My family loves spaetzel in chicken noodle soup, too, instead of noodles.

  24. My mom just made something like this today! Well, in technique. Here we make it with chickpea flour, and it’s called pitla. It’s too delicious, and more flavourful and healthy than using all purpose flour (i usually never care about this point, but somehow can’t get myself to eat AP flour dumplings).

  25. It is so funny you posted this! My menu for tonight included spaezel but I couldn’t find it at my local supermarket. I called my mom asking how to make it but she didn’t know, so I ended up going to World Market to buy some. If you had posted this yesterday I would have just made my own – it doesn’t even look all that difficult! Next time for sure!! Thanks!

  26. Anne

    Deb, you should buy a spaetzle-maker. The cheap $10 ones work just fine, and clean-up is also ridiculously easy. I highly recommend it — it makes the whole process almost effortless.

    Also, spaetzle are wonderful if you brown them as you suggested, and then dump them in a casserole, sprinkle with gruyere, and broil until bubbly. Quite excellent.

  27. Taylor

    I have newly discovered your site and I LOVE it! I’m looking forward to trying this spaetzle recipe. I have not read through all of the comments yet so perhaps someone suggested this already, but I wanted to share my method for getting the batter to the boiling water when I’ve made spaetzle. I have a slotted spoon with round holes that I use. I keep the batter bowl close to the stovetop, pick up some batter, and quickly move the spoon over the pot. Then I use another spoon to push the batter back and forth across the spoon. It works well and gives you a reprieve from holding all of the batter over the hot water. It’s not perfect and a little batter drips out between the bowl and the pot but it works pretty well.

  28. A spaetzle-maker is definitely worth the investment if you plan on making spaetzle more than a couple of times! It literally takes only minutes. This is making me hungry!

  29. Carolyn

    Ohh, I LOVE spaetzle! I make it for chicken paprikash – but I do it the lazy way and just use a big spoon and drizzle the batter into the boiling water. Just whip the spoon back and forth until you get ropes of batter (almost like a funnel cake) going into the pot. It’s quicker and cleanup is WAY easier (just a spoon!). I don’t end up with perfect, equally-sized bits, but it still tastes delish!

  30. Melissa

    Breakfast Spaetzle. My husband’s enormous German family always makes spaetzle (and brats and sauerkraut) during reunion week in northern Wisconsin. The next day with leftovers, I like to add a little almond milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon and have it for breakfast. It would probably work well with maybe a bit of cider and chopped apples, or banana, or dried fruit. Of course this only works if you haven’t added herbs or cheese to it already.

    Also, they use the board method, and it takes forEVAH. I’m totally introducing the colander method this summer.

  31. I tried this once and was asked by the hubby to NEVER make this again. I too was very frustrated by the method. But now that I bought this great gizmo (food mill) for making apple sauce with 3 different hole size disks, well maybe I’ll get up the nerve to try my hand at spaetzle again. We’ll see.

  32. Suz

    This gave me a chuckle…I’m of German/Swedish heritage & married a man from an Austrian family. Spatzele is a staple. The trick to using a colander is to grab one with big enough holes…otherwise it’s an exercise in frustration! We like our spatzele mixed in with some sauteed sliced shallots, minced sage leaves & brown butter or the family favorite…Spatzkohl. My kids call it, ‘Speckles’, haha. Thinly sliced onion & cabbage sauteed in butter until it’s wilted, then tossed with the cooked spatzele. P.s….love the Jacob pics, I have a 6 month old grandson.

    1. deb

      Re: not using milk — There’s so little in here, I am certain if you dialed back the flour, it could be done. Jacob’s babysitter is Hungarian (she was my tester, btw, and also preferred the eggier batter) said that in the Hungarian version of spaetzle, it is just eggs and flour.

  33. I made spaetzle in culinary school (sauteed it in butter with parsley and parmesan, amazing!) and I loved it. We also used the colander method. I’ve been meaning to make it on my own ever since and still haven’t gotten around to it. Thank you so much for the reminder, it’s just moved to the top of my dinner queue!

  34. Oh boy, these look good!
    I tried spaetzle for the first time recently and swapped out some of the flour for ground hazelnuts. The results were great for something a little different.

    Beautiful photos, as always!

  35. susie

    I grew up making spaetzle with the board method (although we called the bigger ones you make with a board knockerl) until my father bought a spaetzle maker. It’s silly to have a device that only does one thing, but to be honest, it does it very well. Get one. You’ll be glad you did.

  36. SuzyQ

    We always had these growing up as my mother always made these to go into the bowl of homemade chicken soup. My mom has what looks like a sauce pot but has octagon holes all over the bottom and sides that she uses to make these. I have never found a pot like so I always end up borrowing hers.

  37. i live in switzerland and spaetzle is EVERYWHERE though, funny enough, i haven’t ever really tried it. your post has me craving some now – i can imagine it with sauteed green onions and some bacon and herbs. mmmm….thank you!!

  38. Judy

    I make a similar item, called kluski, Polish, but with only one egg, and several grated potatoes. It is easier to sling the little things into the boiling water if you put the dough on a round plate and use an iced tea spoon (for the long handle). Then you have the roundness of the plate and the roundness of the spoon in opposite directions making it easier to get little or even tiny dumplings. These are great mixed with small pieces of bacon and cottage cheese, or with ribs and kraut.

  39. Spaetzle with cheese and herbs is so delicious. Perhaps that is due to my German background though. The recipes I have used in the past have never used so many eggs. I will have to try this one out and see how it works out.

  40. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve neither made nor eaten spaetzle before. What a bad foodie! Every time I see it I tell myself to make it – or at least order it the next time I see it on a menu. Now I don’t have an excuse to not make it at home. Looks great, Deb!

  41. Katie

    I’ve only made spaetzle once and used the colander method. I found it frustrating enough that I haven’t made it again but when you mentioned a spaetzle maker tool I thought I might be up for it. Do you remember which one was the tool that everyone raved about?

  42. Joanna

    Yum, I loooove spaetzle! My mom uses a recipe that adds a little water to thin the dough, but I can’t remember if that’s instead of milk or in addition to it. (I should also mention that this is a recipe she printed out from somewhere – maybe it came with the spaetzle maker? – and not a long-standing family recipe.)

    Anyway, she and I actually made it a few weeks ago along with the short ribs from Sunday Suppers with Lucques that you posted a while back, and it soaked up the meaty juices beautifully. I’ve never tried pan-fried spaetzle though, so that is next up on my list!

  43. lizlion

    Oh my goodness, Deb! You are a mind reader! I’ve been craving spaetzle all week and Boston has a surprising lack of German restaurants; will definitely be making this ASAP.

  44. Paula

    Spaetzle is one of my favorites, my Grandma makes the best! I would really get the spaezle maker though, it is awesome and makes it even easier to make! We actually eat it with everything, breakfast though dinner. My favorite is to brown some cracker (like Ritz) crumbs in butter and then pan fry the spaezle with it. Maybe I should not admit that on a foodie site, but then, it IS delicious that way.

  45. Karen

    I was just thinking about making spaetzle tonight for dinner:) …and since I couldn’t find my mother’s spaetzle thingy and have tried various kitchen tools, I found that the vegetable grill basket fills in nicely for the missing spaetzle maker. It fits right over the boiling pan of water and its holes are the perfect size!

  46. Not just any potato ricer will do. You have to have a GOOD sturdy metal one. Mine is at least 50 years old, but have found one in the last couple years that is exactly the same. (similar to this one: ) It has to have holes only on the bottom flat side.
    We call them Nifflies in my family and have NO idea where the name came from (we’re mostly Irish). But the batter is easy too, 1 egg to 1 cup of flour, a pinch of salt and up to 1/2 cup of water. The batter should be really sticky and you should have to grunt when you squeeze the press over the boiling water. If the batter is more loose, you will get one big niffly, like your mega-spaetzle.
    One of the best things about nifflies is that they are great in chicken soup. Boil them separately so your soup doesn’t get all starchy, but then once they are in the soup they don’t dissolve like other noodles do after the first day.

  47. Darby

    I enjoy this blog enormously. I love to hit the Surprize Me button over and over while I drink my morning coffee. As a single parent to a rambunctious 3-year-old it often just seems like so much work to cook. But your posts truly inspire me. And your recipes have yet to disappoint. I hope the sleep fairy has found her way back to your home, so you can cook and write more!

  48. Carolyn

    One other thing: you must, must MUST sprinkle the tiniest amount of nutmeg over the buttered, fried spaetzle. It will blow your mind.

  49. Erin Noelle

    I made spaetzle last night!!! I do have a spaetlze press, this makes long noodles instead of the short ones, and it was great. My mother is German and I can never seem to recreate them, I think that more eggs is the trick… Also, I’ve learned from her, that if you add a dash of semolina flour and some salt they come out much better… Kasespaetzle may be my favorite meal in the whole world, so comfort foodie…

  50. Wendy

    Ok, I feel silly. I mentioned in my previous response that I have my grandmother’s official spaetzle maker from Germany. After all the talk about potato ricers, I decided to google them since I’d heard of them, but didn’t actually know what it is. Apparently I don’t have my grandmother’s spaetzle maker, I have her potato ricer. Ooops.

  51. I will absolutely be making these this week, my sweet boyfriend and his brother are obsessed with spaetzle and I too debated the merits of a $10 tool that has one function.

  52. Susan

    I’m so glad you tried this. I’ve never had spaetzle but have seen it on many sites all winter and it’s really made me curious about trying it. I sort of like David’s (comment 20) idea of using the spatula to press it through the large holes of a grater. I’d sort of concluded that it would be the method to use when I thought about how i’d make them. I also have this really cool skimmer to use for fishing out deep fried foods from hot oil (bought from a thrift store thinking it might be useful some day) that could work for maybe making or definately skimming the spaetzle. I’d also wondered how spaetzle might work in a pasta salad. The thoughts that go through my head when I contemplate something I’ve never tried…where do I get the nerve.

    1. deb

      Wendy — It was actually Googling for spaetzle makers when I saw one that looked like a ricer. It gave me the idea to try it. Perhaps some do and you do indeed have her spaetzle maker?

      Word nerds — Am I an umlaut hypocrite if I included it in the Grüner reference but did not refer to this dish as “spätzle”? These things weigh heavily on my mind.

  53. I’ve never eaten spaetzle before and I’m starting to think that I’m missing out on a great dish. The fact that they’re like dumplings and noodles at once plus the enthusiasm that people show in the comments about them, definitely makes me want to try them. I suppose I’ll need that spaetzle maker, which looks kind of cool actually. I love gadgets. If only I had the space in my kitchen for them.
    Thank you Deb.

  54. Tamara

    I LOVE Spaetzle! And after searching kitchen supply stores, I found exactly what I needed on eBay! (Progressive makes a spaetzle maker that is the perfect size. There is a little plastic hopper that you fill with dough, and slide back and forth on a metal tray with perfectly sized holes. I can get those little squiggly noodles pressed out in about 30 seconds and, Voila! Perfect little dumpling/noodles! Best $8.00/+shipping I’ve spent on eBay in years!

  55. Colleen

    To the person who suggested the food mill, please report back. That was my thought, and I think that I have seen recipes for spaetzle before that call for one, and it seems sort of analogous to a collander. When I get around to giving it a go, I will report back if no one else has.

    My newish neighborhood bar serves spaetzle with Virgina ham, wild mushrooms, and some sort of hard cheese (and sezeracs which are also fabulous, but not on the spaetzle). How can one go wrong with hot starch with salt and fat?

  56. I’m thrilled that you’ve posted this recipe. I went to Germany a lot as a kid, and because I’ve always been a vegetarian I found myself constantly ordering spaetzle at restaurants (really, what else is there in Germany if you’re not getting sausages or pork?). I’ve never thought of making it at home, but as a college student this sounds like a perfectly feasible dinner option. Thanks!

  57. Hi Deb.
    We made that in culinary school and I thought it was awesome and fun to squeeze the batter through a colander. But I haven’t made it again since then. Thanks for re-igniting my interest in spaetzle. LOVE that you gave it so many tries using different methods. Thanks for the tips. I think I’ll give it another go.


  58. lia

    hey Deb,

    any hints you can give us about the knife and cutting board technique? I know it didn’t work very well, but this poor grad student doesn’t have a colander (nor space in my kitchen to store one!). thanks!

    1. deb

      lia — I think the Balthazar Cookbook is somewhere in my toddler’s lair, napping with him right now, seriously, so I cannot look it up. But I pretty much summed it up the way they did in the post above. It probably works better with a thicker batter; it did not work for this one for me. I am sure if you Google for this, you might even find a description with photos.

      Lena — Dumplings can be any kind of dough cooked in water, steamed, fried, etc.

  59. Stacey

    Candace@#77– There is a similar French dish called knefles. Perhaps that is where “nifflies” came from. Also, my German mother made a similar batter and simply dropped it by spoonfuls into the boiling water. She just called them dumplings. She served them in soup, and with a bacon-dripping based tomato sauce, which might sound odd but was deicious.

  60. Amy

    I am shame-faced as I confess that I have never heard of spaetzle. Agh! As soon as I have the time, I am going to try to tackle this dish. An argument over the supposed “perfect food”? I want to join. After I make this dish. Plus, I’m sure my husband will be aghast that he is from such a western European family and he hasn’t had spaetzle. Ever. Thank you for broadening our palates. Seriously.

  61. Laura

    The spaetzli tool I have (from my Swiss Grandmother) is almost like a cheese grater with a piece on top of it to hold the dough. Before I had it, that’s exactly how I made spaetzli – with a flat cheese grater set over a pan of boiling water, and just moving small balls of dough over the large holes with a spatula. It’s obviously not quite as easy, but always worked for me!

  62. I’ve been wanting to learn how to make spaetzle! Thank you for this post. How can this not be good?! I’m specifically excited about experimenting with the flour and milk to see if I can make some that is compatible with a Passover meal. I’m thinking matzo flour and soy milk. Am I crazy? I’ll chime back at some point with an update to let you know how it turned out!

  63. Please don’t call spätzle “dumplings”! They are no dumplings. They fall in the category of pasta. Really.
    Although fresh homemade spätzle are good, they are a mess. I don’t like to clean my spätzle maker, which can’t be put in the dishwasher. So most people tend to buy them here in Germany. And the tecnique with the cutting board is the one with the best results, but also the most difficult one. You have to be a real spätzle addict to make them like that. I wouldn’t try to either.

  64. MG

    OMG. This is so exciting! I’ve wanted to make this for my boyfriend but I couldn’t find a recipe. My grandmother, who was from Austria, made this all the time for me when I was growing up. It is definitely a comfort food.

  65. Gretchen

    Grew up with the giant big brother of a garlic press spaetzle maker and stand by it. In fact, my sister had a variety of other versions and hated each. She got my version for Christmas (from me!). Several online outlets for them, but a bit more expensive than $10.

  66. Elena

    I make spaetzle as taught to me by my Hungarian childhood friend. I make the dough place it on a thick smooth cutting board. The water is boiling. I dip my sharp chef’s knife in the boiling water. I cut a strip of dough bring it to edge of the board and quickly flick small bits of the strip into the boiling water. After each strip I dip the knife in the hot water. I make successive strips flicking small bits until all the dough is done. Takes good wrist work but it is they way her family has been doing it for generations. One of our favorite meals with chicken paprika. Dough must be somewhat firm and sticky.

  67. YUM! My German friend makes the best simplest Spaetzle. She tops it with butter, caramelized onions, and a liberal amount of gruyere, then bakes it until lightly browned. HEAVEN!!!

  68. Katie A

    Spaetzle served with rouladen (a beef roll-up with bacon and pickles; this recipe seems close to what we do: is a Christmas tradition in my mom’s German family.

    Also part of that tradition? For the maker of the spaetzle to cry about making the spaetzle — slaving over the boiling water, burning herself and getting covered in batter. And then receiving everyone’s sympathy and compliments.

    It always put me off trying it, though I’m sure my mom would love it if I tried!

  69. My German great grandmother used to do it with just flour and eggs and frankly she didn’t measure. Just add both to the bowl and mix until it is the “right” consistency. She then used a big spoon of it and a little spoon to fling bit into the water. Over two generations, and with a Southerner for a daughter in law, the turned more into dumplings. That is the way I make dumplings now, straight into the chicken soup, just big spaetzle lumps. Sometimes I add a smidge of baking powder to fluff them up a bit.

    Mmmm. I think I am going to make a batch tonight to go with hamburgers.

  70. Melissa

    My boyfriend is Swabian was raised with the knife/cutting board method and I’m still trying to figure out how he makes his so perfect and not globby and weird. Buying/using a spaetzle maker (I actually have the one you posted) is so much easier for those of us unfortunate enough to not grow up German.

    And both Spaetzle and Spätzle are correct. Now, if you were just calling it Spatzle… then we would have a problem.

  71. My German roommate who loves spätzle and strange German spellings with equal abandon says that “spaetzle” is an acceptable spelling if you have no way of writing the umlaut, but that if you do, “spätzle” is correct. However, she also says that despite your umlaut hypocrisy, she still loves you for posting the recipe.

    She also says that the board method is the traditional way of making spätzle (as I’m sure you know), but that when her traditional Bavarian grandfather asked if she makes her spätzle that way, she said, “Are you crazy?” She uses this spätzlepresse (, which is a little more expensive than some, but works great.

    She also says that the trick for cleaning the spätzlepresse is to keep scraping the dough out so that no dough cooks to the tool from the steam, and then to soak it in water before cleaning, but that “true German housewives are not intimidated by cleaning things.” :)

    Clearly, I am not a German housewife and am only good for reporting her wisdom and eating her käsespätzle :)

  72. Charlotte

    That sounds like quite a lot of eggs! For our home-made Spätzle we usually use 1 egg per 100 g flour and then add water or milk to the appropriate thickness. Our standard recipe goes: 500 g flour, 5 eggs, 250 mL water.

  73. Nice! Thanks for the alternative ways to try to make them. Melissa Clark had a recipe in her wonderful book “In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite” but as soon as I saw she was using a spaetzle maker, I moved on. Now, I may go back…

  74. Olga

    Couple of comments:
    I like some salt in the batter, too. My mother’s recipe calls for 2 eggs/100g of flour, which is a little less than you use, but she also scorns the use of milk. I generally kind of eyeball it and add milk.

    While they might eat Spätzle in Austria (I wouldn’t know), the dish is usually perceived to be swabian (and thus German, not Austrian). They’re famous for scraping the stuff off a cuttingboard. I’ve never tried that.

    CLeaning a spätzle maker in three steps: 1) throw it into warm (not hot! the batter will cook in hot water!) very soapy water immediately after using it. 2) Eat your spätzle. 3) put it in the dishwasher and set it off at once. (the metal part is dishwasher safe, and the plastic part is not the bad thing to wash up)

    You should also look into making Spinatspätzle, a Tyrolian specialty that has my toddler raving. (Basically, you add some steamed finely chopped spinach to the batter, make the spätzle, and then make a sauce of cream, white wine, ham, shallots, and tons of parmesan to toss them in). The toddler-approved version without the wine (or with the hell cooked out of it). Leaving the wine out for adults is not a good idea, the acidity really is necessary. Serve with a side salad. Takes about 45 mins to make and the whole family is happy. Mind you, my toddler eats cheese and pasta. Still, I’d give it a shot. WHo can resist green noodles?

  75. Julia

    Hi Deb,

    Being Austrian-German, I love Spätzle and have ever since I was a child. Some more traditional recipes also call for sparkling water as part of the batter which adds to the lightness of the Spätzle I think. At home, we use a potato ricer. The trick is not to press down too hard in one go, but to slowly, slowly press the dough through the ricer. Sometimes it also helps having a slightly thicker batter, although from your photos it seems that yours is the perfect consistency. Using a potato ricer is so much easier than a colander, so give that a try!

  76. Natalie

    Deb, you’re not an umlaut hypocrite. :) You don’t have to spell spaetlze with an umlaut if you spell it with the “ae.” The “e” after the “a” substitutes for the umlaut just fine.
    I was so excited to see this post since I’ve been wanting to make spaetzle, but have been daunted by the technique. Thanks for testing them all out for the rest of us.

  77. Haha-This same experience happened to me when I decided to try making spaetzle for the first time! Every colander, or more accurately, any utensil in my house which had holes was covered in batter. And me, and a couple of my babies, and most of my counters and floors around the stove! But I loved it!

  78. Tammy

    It’s a tradition at our house to serve Spätzle with venison…usually in the fall, after the hunt and all that. Anyway, I use a regular old-fashioned grater. It’s just a flat one, not a box grater. It works fine….my family dosen’t know anything else so they’re good with it…at least until they have it served to them by someone else. I looked up a Spätzle maker and it looks pretty much like what I use…except for the nifty batter “cup”.

  79. katy

    yum, i love spaetzle! in my family we make the longer spaetzle, using the machine makes it more like spaghetti.
    the resting time is actually to let the dough thicken. my oma swears the best spaetzle she ever made was a dough she made in the morning and then forgot about after going golfing for the day.

  80. The only time I have had spatzle was a German pub, it was good but I never thought about making it. With such simple ingredients this looks like a great recipe to try and one with which to impress your friends :)

  81. April

    Spaetzle is a favorite in my family. My grandmother always made it with roast…YUM! I still make it to this day, having watched Oma carefully to see her technique. She only used flour, water and salt. If there was company (which we were not!) she would include an egg or two. She grew up in WWII Germany. No wasting eggs for an everyday meal!

  82. Elizabeth

    I know a lot of people on here are proponents of the colander or spaetzle maker, but I stick by the cutting board! I lived with an Austrian lady as an exchange student and learned her ways. 3 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of flour is the perfect cutting board recipe and is way less gungky than using a colander. It’s really just all about the texture of the batter, and no milk is needed. A pinch of nutmeg is another fabulous addition to the batter, along with grated jarlsberg on top!

  83. Becky S

    I love spaetzle but don’t make it nearly enough. Our go to recipe has a pinch of nutmeg in the batter. Then I fry it up in butter, mushrooms, and a dollop of whole grain mustard. I could eat it every day. I really need a spaetzle maker though, I usually scrape the batter over a potato masher that has holes.

  84. Tara

    I’ve loved and tried to recreate spätzle for years. Food mill: epic fail! Just like when I tried the potato ricer, the dough squeezes out the holes then reforms a blob on the other side just before it hits the water. Mega-hamburger doughy mess. Plus it squeezes out the sides of the device and all over your countertop. When I tried the colander-press method I had to dilute the batter so much that it boiled apart in the pot. When I tried the knife and cutting board method I had to add so much flour to prevent sticking the spätzle were unpleasantly dense. Ultimately the best method for me was a plastic zip-top “pastry” bag with a semi-wide bore icing tip. Yes, the spätzle are a little thick but the texture is just right and there is very little cleanup!

    1. deb

      life and kitchen — But what to do with the rest of the batter then? My German roots do not let me throw anything away, so I persevered. :)

      Ack, ricer — I just remembered that it was NOT a hamburger-sized blob, but a feathery mess, like scrambled egg soup. I couldn’t fish it out, I had to dump the whole pot of water and start again.

  85. Katharina

    I’m from Vienna Austria and even if Spaetzle are not traditionally from Vienna, but as mentioned above from Vorarlberg I have some experience! I tried spinach (nice colour, no taste difference) and wild garlic (might as well just use garlic, but again nice lightgreen colour) and ended up with my favourite version using buttermilk or clabber (my fathers version) instead of water or milk. It adds a bit of a twist! A Vorarlberger friend once told me to stir the ingtredients just until moistened, leaving lumps (similar to muffin batter!). And a spaetzlesieb is really worth the investment :)!!!

  86. Daisy

    I have tried to make spaetzle once with my boyfriend. The end product was pretty good, but I have to admit we had some of those ‘freakish megaspaetzles’ that you alluded to. Now I’m excited to try your version, definitely with better technique than our first try! Thanks!

  87. Krista

    Kind of funny, I’m watching a recorded Top Chef right now and Richard is cooking Wolfgang Puck’s last meal… I just asked myself “What IS spaetzle?” about ten minutes ago.

    Is this post spaetzle message? I guess I’ll be making some soon, thanks! =)

  88. I am from Austria and I love Spätzle! We make them all the time, it’s actually not that hard. You should try and bake Alpine Cheese on top…. It tastes amazing. You can also eat them with Goulash, if you’re not a vegetarian.

    I love your blog by the way!

    Greetings from Vienna,

  89. Katha

    Just as some of the above posters mentioned before, you don´t really need any sort of special Spätzle appliance at all… they turn out just as well with the cutting board method. This video shows how it is done:

    These kind of Spätzle are typical for the German region of Swabia. I actually like them better because they turn out in slightly irregular shapes.

  90. I made spaetzle a few weeks ago. I pan fried them and mixed them with braised cabbage and onion and topped with some crispy bacon bits. Sooo good. I’ve also made them before with a really hearty ragu. Perfect for a cold winter’s night.

  91. wic

    I love that you made all this work for you.
    But dear oh dear as a Woman that has learned to make Schwabian Spätzle at the tender age of 4 by Opa and Oma I go crazy reading Milk and seeing you use a whisk of all things.
    Maybe I should finally make a Spätzle tuturial showing the way it`s done ;-)

  92. Christy M

    I was trying to understand what the whole cutting board method is all about and when I found it on YouTube, understanding dawned. It was not at ALL what I was imagining. Frau Lutz is like a machine making that spaetzle! It looks like the batter is a lot drier than what this recipe says, so maybe the recipe has a lot of influence on which technique works.

  93. This looks so, so good. I wonder how it would be tossed with roasted squash and sage? Sage is going nuts in my garden and I need to use it! Plus, boyfriend is a huge fan of Austria, so he would go nuts if I made this. Thanks! You always post such interesting things!

  94. Brief tangent/lament re the drool-worthy pan browned spaetzle recommendation: Deb, I hope against hope that one day you’ll share your secret for how to chop and cook shallots without having to duck and take cover, crying and perhaps cursing toddler-inappropriate phrases, completely blinded. Shallots are everywhere in recipes, and like the vegetarian’s bacon, they make every dish more delicous! And yet they are so very, very deadly. Sometimes I feel they’ve made such a convincing case in defense of their lives that I should cease trying to eat them in the first place.

    1. deb

      Jesse — How funny that your brought that up today. You have no idea. Shallots don’t get me (much, mostly because they’re tiny and I generally use one at at time) but ONIONS are my nemesis. Yesterday, I made onion soup and nearly died. My eyes are really sensitive and I … I think I’m going to order some onion goggles. There, I said it. I don’t care who judges me! I need to be able to chop onions without running from the room every three chops.

  95. Yum! You know, I helped a Slovak friend once to make spaeztle using the Austrian Housewive method you mention. It seems to be one of those things that is the easiest once you get the hang of it, but until then, could be very frustrating. Also, I remember that you have to be fast at it since they cook so fast. Perhaps you could use a potato ricer? Might keep your hands more removed from the steam.

    Either way, I really should try to make spaeztle again! Yours look great.

  96. Love the spatzle post. We tried making it sans spatzle-maker and let’s just say that while they were pretty tasty, I repeatedly squawked “never again” as the dishes were a nightmare to clean. However, it’s pretty darn tasty :)

  97. Kelly

    I can’t wait to try this for my kids. I looked at the special spaetzle maker and it doesn’t make sense to me – is the batter thick enough that you’d fill up that rectangle and then “shear” off the noodles as it pours through? Oh, I know..what I am I doing asking you when you’ve never used one? The stainer/colander makes so much more sense to me.

    Thanks, as always, for the great ideas.


  98. Love ’em. My husband makes them in a spaetzle maker that my father gave us for Christmas one year. We had them just last night, alongside a pork chop taste test. And the girlie got the leftovers for lunch today – undoubtedly she is the only 2nd grader with hot spaetzle at school today.

  99. Also, he’s never had trouble boiling them all at once – then you can dump the whole pot into a colander in the sink…much easier than fishing the little blobs out of the boiling water.

  100. These look great and you have now inspired my to try! I ate these in Berlin over the summer in a great little restaurant called Repke Spatzlerei on Bleibtreustrasse. They do nine different dishes, my favourite being the one with fresh muchrooms in a creamy sauce … delicious thank you

  101. I also like to boil them in chicken broth or beef broth. Gives it a little extra taste if you are going to eat them plain. We love them cooked anyway!

  102. Julia

    Besides Kässpätzle, the very best way to eat Spätzle: prepare them any way you like, then brown lots of butter with breadcrumbs and a little salt. Sprinkle over the Spätzle and serve with french beans (I make them with onions and savory).
    I was raised with the slow, teadious cutting board and knife method, but if you’re not a member of a swabian housewife’s club, you can get away with any other method.

  103. A friend brought a spatzle maker back from Germany for me, and honestly, it was just as frustrating and messy as the colander. I’ve taken to filling an empty plastic bottle – something you can squeeze to squirt it out, like an empty salad dressing or pancake syrup bottle – with the batter, and using it to squirt long ropes of spatzle out, and then I use my wooden spoon to break them up a bit. Not as rustic looking and pretty as some of the more conventional methods, but way less frustrating, and easy to clean up.

  104. I am a Hungarian descendant, and my grandmother taught me to make these – although we call them galushka, and they are a necessary side for Chicken Paprikash. The Hungarian version is just eggs, flour and water, sometimes with a little touch of butter. I got a spaetzle/galushka maker years ago at CostPlus.
    There are some available at Amazon:
    The nice thing about the maker is that the base sits directly on the edges of the pot, and the basin above moves to cut the pieces. For the woman who was having trouble with the dough sticking in the holes, my grandmother always had me spray it with cooking spray to keep it from sticking. And yes, you make the batter just thin enough that it pushes through the holes, but not so thin that it pours through.

  105. An Austrian living in the US here …
    Homemade spaetzle are so much better than store bought! Even the gourmet, fancy, store bought spaetzle are not nearly as good as the fresh ones. So a few years ago I also tried to teach myself how to make them. For the longest time with no luck, even though I was really good at making all kinds of different Knoedel.
    My dough was too runny and the way my grandma (a trained chef) and mom used to make them (the wooden cutting board and knife thing) didn’t work for me at all. It was all a clumpy mess. I even had an embarrassing dinner experience when I had a few Austrian and German friends over and I made Goulash with spaetzle and the spaetzle ended up being one big clump. One of my guests took it in her own hands to make a new batch in my kitchen which turned out delicious. She didn’t even use a recipe.
    Then I found the perfect recipe in the cookbook about Viennese cooking. And on a trip back home I bought myself a spaetzle sieve for like $5 and voila – perfect spaetzle every time since then.
    They especially go well with Viennese Goulash like this recipe:

    Austrian cuisine is amazing but like Italian cuisine it’s all about the ingredients. You have to invest in good meat, good spices and good vegetables to get a good result.

  106. Lauren

    The only thing more amazing than spaetzle is German potato salad, which you really really must try, if you haven’t already. Potatoes, bacon and vinegar, served warm. SO good.

  107. Spaetzle are very popular at my home. Recently, I made a new version with grean peas added to the batter. They are slightly sweeter and more delicate that the regular spaetzle but still delicious and very satisfying. They also taste great with fresh prosciutto or parmesan cheese.

  108. My husband lived in Germany and make sspätzle often (even made 11 1 gallon bags of it from scratch for our wedding caterer to use to make the dish mentioned below) using a ricer. I notice there is a motion to it and the batter needs to be a certain consistency. He puts the ricer right over the water and as he pushes the batter through he pulls the up in a pretty quick motion to thin out the noodles.

    Our favorite way to have them is fried up with diced bacon, then add sauerkraut and Emmentaler and continue to fry up a bit, then toss in a casserole dish and top with more cheese and bake until hot and cheesey. So gooooood! It is a Bavarian version (you can find it at street markets and the like) and its cooked up in a huge metal vat.

  109. Monica Rae

    Deb, I feel you about being sensitive to onions. Your story also reminds me of one of my favorite moments in Julie & Julia… when Stanley Tucci comes home and Meryl Streep is cutting a mountain of onions. The u-turn he does on the stairs is priceless!

  110. ooh Käsespätzle is my favorite dish here in Germany. I always order it at Oktoberfest. Ypu’ve inspired me to hunt down a spätzle maker and try making my own.

  111. Thanks Deb and thans everyone who commented. My mum makes great spaetzle (with gulash at best) and she gave me a spaetzle press. She does not have one herself and uses a vegetable mill with big holes.
    I hate my spaetzle press so far – a nightmare to clean, because the darn batter cooks in the holes, and the spaetzle are not big enough anyway. Now I am equipped with much more wisdom and a new spetzle recipe which I suspect will work better.

  112. Robyn

    I just came back from vacation in Germany and this is one of my favourite side dishes that I thought I would never be able to replicate at home – I can’t wait to give it a try! I’ve been reading your blog for ages and I absolutely love coming across some of your fabulous recipes. We are totally on the same cooking wavelength!!!

  113. Correction on my earlier comment- when my husband pulls up quickly with the ricer it is to seperate the noodles that have already come out of the ricer from the next back coming out. So, each time he fills the ricer it makes two rounds of spätzle. He also stressed how important consistency of the batter/dough is – which I mentioned in my earlier comment, but didn’t stress enough aparently :).

    Now I really want some spätzle….

  114. spaetzle! who knew it was so simple to make? i want to make this immediately, and serve it with a big green salad, some schnitzel, and some white wine. delicious!

  115. Marvin

    Hey Deb,

    as a German foodlover, who’s addicted to your blog, I wonder why there are so many German dishes lately. I really like that, though!

    Keep up the good old German dishes :D

    Greetings from Berlin.

  116. Anthea

    Spaetzle are just fabulous with your mushroom bourguignon! The combination has become a regular in our house. My spaetzle recipe has fewer eggs (2 per 2 cups of flour) – i should try more eggs next time. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

  117. catherino

    Elapsed time between finishing this post and having a batch of that batter in my fridge? About 4 minutes. Can’t wait to try it with the pork roast I’m cooking for dinner tonight.

  118. Anne

    About crying over onions–I never wore contacts until I got into my 40s and was too vain for reading glasses, so my eye doctor prescribed contacts. Well, I can chop a million onions with nary a tear while wearing contacts–it’s like magic! If I’d known this years ago, I might have faked nearsightedness just to get some!

  119. Ginny S

    I love spaetzle and often use it in homemade potato soup. That is how my mother always made potato soup and it is yummy!!

  120. Lisa

    Wow, this looks awesome! I’m from a German family and have been eating spaetzle my whole life, but have never considered making it before now. Thanks so much for another great recipe, Deb!

  121. My Oma used a spaetzle maker like Candace Hope links to in comment #77 and so did my husband’s grandmother. Like a potato ricer, but not :) I have yet to make them from scratch, but I have been planning on going to the grandparents for a first-hand tutorial! Your spaetzle does look really pretty, congrats :)

  122. I live in Germany now and have seen spaetzle be made with a potato ricer, perhaps the holes are slightly wider. Also, when I was home at Christmas, Aldi (a German company) was selling pre-made spaetzle alongside pasta. Easy just got easier.

  123. Maria B

    I think I remember you loving green beans a lot, here is my mothers version of making spätzle. Its very easy actually, but I adore it. You just layer spätzle, cheese and green beans into a casserole dish, ground some black pepper over it and voila. Of course beforehand cook the beans for a little bit, saute them with onions in a little (lots of) butter and add some of the water that the beans had been cooked in to them again. Then pop the whole thing into the oven until the cheese has melted and a heavenly smell fills the whole house. It is my comfort food number one.
    And the cutting the spätzle from the cutting board is such a tedious task. Even the Swabian housewives cheat a little bit. They have special spätzle cutting boards that make it way easier. your collander idea is very creative though. I hadn’t thought of that

  124. Arti

    I had spaetzle for the first time this year, and could not believe how much I loved it. It was pan sauteed like your recipe with some wild mushrooms and hazelnuts. I am drooling thinking about it.
    How awesome is it that dumplings and noodles are so universal? To those who want a similar dish that is gluten free, I grew up with a South Indian noodle dish called Sevai (usually home-made from rice). A lazy person’s (my) version is to use the dried rice stick noodles (soak them for a few minutes in hot water till pliable) and pan sautee with some lemon juice, turmeric, salt, peanuts, mustard seeds, green chillies and cilantro.

  125. Rock Skipper

    My first comment, though I’ve been reading you voraciously for a year now, and enjoying many, many of your delicious recipes (and, feeling very grateful that there’s someone writing in the world who fills a good part of the void left by Laurie Colwin!) I wanted to share one idea for a makeshift spaetzle maker: I have a small 4-cup rice cooker that came with a steamer insert (which I never use) that has holes that look to be perfectly sized for this endeavor. I am very likely going to try it for dinner tonight. Another bonus, the steamer insert might just be the perfect size to rest on top of the cooking pot! No steam burns! I will report back. Ausgezeichnet!

  126. Boise Leah

    I am Hungarian and grew up loving spaetzle, although I’ve never tried to make it. Until now – it’s on my list this week! I love it with chicken cooked in a dill/tomato sauce.

    Here’s an idea – In lieu of a spaetzle maker, do you think one of those two piece vegetable steamer pots would work? The top piece that sits over the pot with the boiling water has holes in the bottom for the steam to come through…that seems a bit more pleasant than the colander. I wonder if the holes are too big though? Any thoughts?

  127. Karin

    Thanks for the reminder post that this is one of the best foods around. Making it for my babies tonight, thank you.

    I have a spaetzle maker which is, essentially, a grater in the shape of a frying pan, handle and all. You plop the dough in and push it across with a spoon. One could do the same, I imagine, with a flat cheese grater using less dough than I am able with the frying pan shape.

  128. AmyLynn

    Deb, I can’t wait to try this! I’ve been making spaetzle for a while now – usually with nutmeg in the batter, I could eat a whole batch of that in one sitting, easily – but the shallots and herbs variation sounds wonderful.

  129. I AM SO EXCITED YOU POSTED THIS! One of my favorite bars/restaurants here in Portland makes the most creamiest (yes it deserves two superlatives), delicious spaetzel EVER (along with the best bourbon gingers I’ve ever had). Of course, I’ve never had any other kind of spaetzel, but I can’t imagine any being better than theirs. Theirs is enveloped in a rich, creamy gruyere sauce with crispy shallots on top, served with a delicious applesauce on the side. I am going to make your recipe as making the spaetzel seems the hardest part and I could never find an accessible recipe, but I will also douse it in a delicious creamy cheese sauce ;) How could I not?

  130. I have the Balthazer cookbook but have not made this recipe from it yet, I have a lot of cookbooks to make my way through. Your “trial and error” will save me some trouble, thanks. Enjoy that little “helper”, they really do grow up too fast! :-)


  131. Yum! My mom and dad made spatzel when I was growing up – slathered in gravy of any kind, they are my favorite.
    You are hilarious with the batter antics – every time I try and get all fancy and make pasta without a bowl me and the dog end up covered in eggy goop. I have a sparkle maker, but in restaurants they use a perforated hotel pan (flat pan with holes) in combination with a simple bench scraper to push the batter through – works great if u have either of those items on hand!

  132. I just had to laugh at this post. How many times does one do a recipe until it is correct? I drive myself crazy doing this! I just want to know how many eggs you used in perfecting this recipe or I should say kitchen utensil?

  133. meg

    Very excited to try these out next week! We’ll probably make it with fried onion and cheese… But the recipes involving applesauce sound tempting too (and a bit healthier). Decisions!

  134. This reminds me of kaiserschmarrn (not sure you this is how you write it, but it must be close to it), the same ingredients and method, but it’s a sweet dish instead. We used to eat in Austria during winter-sport with lots of sugar. Something I craved after skiing all day!
    However, this is the first time I hear about spaetzle. Great idea for when I feel like I want to try something new!

  135. Liz

    My ricer has 3 discs with different sized holes and one is the perfect size for spaetzle. Please everyone, don’t share this recipe or let it be know how easy it is. I make spaetzle for thank you gifts and people think it is unique and difficult– so shhhh.

  136. Oh man I love Spätzle! My grandma always makes them herself, with the cutting-board/knife technique. I’m not that skilled yet, so I usually use a potato ricer, which works great for me. And you can also make spagettii ice cream with a potato ricer. Win-win!

  137. Ashley B

    Hey Deb!!! I soon as I saw this recipe I freaked – like alot of other commenters, because this is a food that my grandma would spend ALL DAY preparing about 30 servings, freeze the majority, and then cook the remainder for supper that night. She’s German and her family before her had alot of Ukranian influence, and in our house we call this “nifla” (pronounched knipfh – lah). Although our’s is somewhat less of a a “batter” it’s more like a stickier dough…

    We roll out the dough into big circles on a floured surface and then cut them into long long strips, then slice those strips on an angle to make some smaller strips and drop them in a pot of boiling water with skin-on potatoes (that have had some time to boil are almost ready to eat). Once they’re done, into the colander they go. My gramma always reserved the boiling water in a jar and when she was a young mom, would get my mom and aunts and uncles to drink the nifla water. “Why waste all those boiled nutrients from the potatoes?!” she would say. She still does that for herself to this day :) Some of us preferred the salted boiled potatoes and nifla straight from the pot, but others would wait until the nifla had been sitting for a while to get to room temperature (and harden up a bit), and would sautee a serving in the pan with some butter and onions… mmmm. Leftover Nifla is the best too, either cold or heated in a pan.

    Enjoy your spaetzle! It looks amazing and I want to give this version a try for sure!

  138. Ashley B

    OOOOH I forgot to mention – BREAD CRUSTS are great with this! Throw a couple of torn up day old bread slices (heels of the bread are the best for this) in the butter with the onions, TO DIE FOR!

  139. Katy

    When my niece was little, she took the (little bit) of leftover spaetzle in her mom’s fridge and hid it, so that she could have it all for herself.

  140. I love spaetzle. I live in Germany and gave one of my vistors a kitchen gadget that looks like a cocktail shaker but is for spatzle. You put all the ingredients in, shake it up, and then shake it the batter into water to cook. He has three little kids and said that it might very well “revolutionize dinner” for his familly.

    But any way you make it, it is wonderful.

  141. Kim

    My in-laws have a spaetzle maker (essentially a slide form of cheese-grater) but I went with a food mill with the widest (fewest) holes disk. It works really great and you hand crank to push the batter out.

    Mmm…spaetzle. Time to make it again. We like it plain, buttered with freshly grated nutmeg.

  142. Emily

    Do you think that this recipe would work well with half whole wheat flour and half AP? I would think that it would, but not sure if it might be tough or just not as appealing in texture.

  143. Rhonda

    So glad you finally put your spin on this. I made spaetzle about a year ago, after having it in an Austrian restaurant. Looks so easy and I used the big holes on a flat grater and it worked out after the first batch. Learning the right push to it and after the batter sat until the next pot of water to boil. Fried in browned butter, oh my. Have to go buy more eggs now.

    And your toddler is just too cute and iif you kept him “clean” you’d both be really really grumpy.

  144. Kara

    Several years ago I was lucky enough to visit Hungary with someone who had lived there for two years. . .which made him, of course, the best kind of tour guide. He spoke fluent Hungarian and had spent lots and lots of times in the homes of local families, from Budapest to tiny villages. After visiting and becoming fast friends with a neni (Hungarian auntie) from a small town, I was very excited when she made a plan to visit the US a year or so later. She stayed in my home for several days, and the payment I required was that she teach me how to make a traditional dinner of Hungarian goulash, cucumber salad, and spaetzle–called nokedli (i.e. noodles) in Hungarian, but it’s exactly the same thing. The goulash, I have to say, has absolutely nothing to do with any beef stew that Americans generally think of when they hear the word. It is something absolutely swarming with flavor and depth, with a broth that you’d want to drink from the pot. But anyway. When we got to making the nokedli/spaetzle just before sitting down for dinner, I thought I was definitely out of my depth of culinary skill. My Hungarian friend grabbed a cutting board, like you said, and did that knife trick. Good heavens. I refused to even attempt it. So then she spotted my metal colander, exactly the same one you have (Williams-Sonoma, right?), poured some batter in, and handed it to me with a pot holder and a spoon.

    My point is, I guess I’m here to attest that the two methods you were able to read about are exactly what an authentic Eastern European mama would do when making spaetzle in her own kitchen. Secondly that the cutting board and knife method is definitely for the experts. And finally that I was also absolutely flummoxed by the thought of how those little oddly-shaped noodles would be made, until I saw it done. Oh, one last thing: I agree that spaetzle are one of the most welcome comfort-food dishes I can think of, delicious any way you do them, and too easy to not have with some regularity (proportionate to time spent in the gym, of course)!

  145. agnes

    dear deb
    i grew up in southern germany, that is: in true spätzle country. so i HAVE to comment on this post! even though usually your posts seem perfect in every way, reliable, simple, delicious recipes, great descriptions, utterly perfect photos, and the cutest sidekick (aka ‘the curl’), one can imagine, this one is the one i have to share my few cents of knowledge on!
    there are numerous raging spaetzle wars between certain parts of germany, and i could easily get lost on various details and/or the expanded spaetzle versions, also classics, such as spinach spaetzle, chestnut spaetzle and liver spaetzle (!), but instead here are just two little snippets.
    one is on “the how to” of spaetzle shaping. there is a really fun youtube video on the cutting board version, which is actually not that difficult – just make sure your knife is wet and you “spread” the dough towards the edge, thinly, where you then cut it. from my experience you do not necessarily need a special cutting board, although the fact that it comes with a handle and is very thin at one end does help. well, have a look at this video,
    in which a swabian grandma tells her filming grandson the how to’s in fully fledged swabian dialect. no subtitles, but you can tell, even if you dont speak the language, that a truly knowlegable person is talking!
    other options are the potatoe ricer lookalike (so why not try one! but i also really like your great colander invention!),
    and finally, the “spaetzlehobel”, a kind of “grater” which sits on top of the pot, here’s a pic:
    and then, my second snippe, concerning the actual recipe:
    i would go with about 95% of all spaetzle recipes i’ve encountered, and NOT use milk, but water instead. i learned: one egg (medium to large), 100g flour (you could go adventurous here and use spelt flour – a native grain to the swabian alb, true spaetzle domain) and a small amount of lukewarm water (which you add at the very end, to see how much you actually need – not more than 125ml on 4 eggs, so maybe … 1/4 cup per egg?), and salt, per person.
    use a wooden spoon and “beat” the dough until it forms big bubbles. the dough should not be too liquidy, rather sort of slowly ooze from the spoon. then the gluten was worked just right – and any kind of handling will be super smooth.
    and finally: thanks for smittenkitchen deb!

  146. Love your blog! I’m a regular reader but first time commenter. I am a first generation American of German parents. Part of our celebration of our heritage is our annual sauerbraten, käsespätzle und rotkraut dinner. Here’s what those celebrations look like: There are links to five years’ worth of celebrations there. We look SO forward to these dinners, both for the food and the company!


  147. Noelle

    Yes! I have been a reader of your blog for a while (and have made many of your recipes) but this puts me over…I’m so excited to make this. I’m a huge spaetzle fan but didn’t know how to make it at home.
    Thank you thank you.

  148. We make spaetzle for every holiday meal! My dough recipe is similar, but I put a pinch of nutmeg in mine. I also pan fry mine in a little butter and add some bread crumbs on top before serving. So, so delicous!

  149. Anne

    I remember in my high school culinary arts class my teacher used a potato rice (with good results!)…but that might be a little to small and thin for this recipe.

  150. Emily

    this looks so good and i’m excited to try it. on this austrian note, i would be so grateful if you did apple strudel sometime soon. it is good stuff and difficult to find a recipe for.

    1. deb

      Emily — It would be fun. I had it in Vienna a few years ago and was struck by how completely unsweet it was. I mean, I barely tasted any sugar. I wasn’t sure if a traditional recipe like that would go over here.

      Pronunciation — Like this! (I say it the first way. But that’s only because I asked our German waiter at Wallse, a German restaurant in the West Village that we love but really cannot afford, to correct my pronunciation a few weeks ago. Previously, I was saying SPAY-TZEL. Oops.) I think one pronunciation is German and the other is Austrian.

      Eeny — I love that video! (Although, of course, I had no idea what she way saying.) I think I might try it again this weekend. I think I can do it!

      Marvin — Have their been a lot of German dishes lately? I hadn’t thought so, but we definitely like German and Austrian food. Also, my mother’s side of the family was German so I’m convinced a taste for these flavors is built with in me.

      Teacher Cooks — I made two batches, one with half of this recipe and one with another recipe. And then I just tried techniques until I found one I liked. It wasn’t a lot of cooking, just a lot of waste from all the methods I wasn’t happy with and dumped the results of. The nice thing is with the boiling water + slotted spoon + ice bath method, you’re in no rush.

      Bosie Leah — I am sure it could work but it needs to be high enough over the water line that it can drop down.

  151. terri

    i guess that makes me a word nerd, since i’ve been sitting here for awhile pondering your question about umlaut hypocrisy :) i think i might say you’re a wee bit biased against ä. or perhaps you think “ue” for “ü” looks funny (Gruener vs. Grüner or ueber vs. über), but “ae” looks better than “ä”. but since, as far as i know, there are no umlaut police, i think you’re safe :)

    in any case, whether you call them spaetzle or spätzle, they look amazing!

  152. Very nice! I used to work in a German restaurant and made it all the time… but that was years ago. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at it again – thanks for the gentle reminder! Now it’ll go on my list for sure. Yummy!

  153. kaiza

    My grandfather makes his with no milk in the batter-served with roasted pork loin and gravy mmmm! I like mine best the next day fried in butter for breakfast….

  154. Stephanie

    I forgot how much I loved spaetzle. I think I might have to make some this weekend along with some pork medallions. Thanks for sharing and I’ll have to brush up on my German cooking as I will be moving there this summer.

  155. Nicole

    I was an AuPair in Germany many, many moons ago and my “mother” used to make this all the time for lunch. My favourite presentation was with a delectable, vibrant green spinach sauce that had a hint of nutmeg in it. The kids called it “worms in grass” and we all adored it. Their parting gift to me was a Spaetzle schwob (maker). It looks like a ricer but the bottom is fixed. I use an old recipe from the Dinah Shore cookbook. I haven’t made it in years, but I think I’ll try your version soon. Thanks! Love, love, love the site.

  156. I was raised on Spätzle as I am from the south of Germany and it is a traditional swabian dish. Specialy Kässpätzle (chees spaetzle). I love them and I’d say I make them at least every other week.

    In Germany they even sell a Spätzle maker at Tupperware parties which I usually use to make them. But I also use a spätzle maker like this one: or a spätzle maker/potato ricer like this one: See how to use them here:

    The most important part is…
    You really have to make sure that your water is boiling and bubbly when you press the batter in and stir it gently or you will end up with a big glump like you described it.

    And my recipe I have from my grandma calls for eggs, flour and water (she’d laugh at me if I’d use milk). And my mom taught me to add some semolina to the batter which makes them even better. If you are interested e-mail me for the exact amount of all the ingredients as I don’t have the recipe on hand right now.
    Plus I only let them sit about 15 minutes or even less.

    By the way, the cutting board knife/spatula method doesn’t work for me either. Guess it needs a lot of practice. But why do this if there are so many other ways that work, right?

  157. JCF

    I lived in Germany for a while and LOVED spaetzle, but my previous attempts to make it were similar to your initial ones. I eye the recipe in the Balthazar cookbook every once in a while, but I always pass it by. You may have inspired me to give it another try!

  158. Growing up in a German household, I had homemade spaetzle all the time. My mom simply browned it with some butter so it got a bit crispy. Delish! I am so happy that all of your readers are familiar with spaetzle! My friends have no clue what it is. You’ve inspired me to start making this for my own family now, and possibly a few friends!

  159. Nikki E.

    Saw somewhere on youtube, this woman only using a long knife and a cutting board to make the shape of the spaetzle.

    You place the dough on the board over boiling water.
    Wet the knife & the dough when needed.
    And then you slice thinly, yet roughly, having the slices fall in to the water.
    It looked easy when she did it… ^__^

  160. I am so amused that suddenly everyone is either related to a German, comes from there or has ancestry there. And so am I: A German. But from Berlin where Spätzle aren’t native. But with the ever growing Swabian community we are adapting.
    In fact, I have only eaten Spätzle (sometimes prepared by natives, sometimes in restaurants) but haven’t made them myself.

  161. Jen

    Love, love, love spaetzle. My hubby makes it on Christmas Day to go with my lamb stew (our family tradition). He uses a small wooden board and a metal scraper like he learned from his great aunt in Stuttgart.

    I think I need to have him make it MUCH more often!

  162. Sarah

    Oh my goodness these are wonderful! Just made them and they were so simple and worked perfectly! Had it with a side of lemony chicken and asparagus, YUM!

  163. Sabina

    My husband makes spaetzle. He uses a wooden spoon and beats the dough to add air into it. He uses a spaetzle press. There are never any leftovers. We make sure it is served with meat and gravy. We’ve made it topped with cheese and baked. People of all ages love it; it is easily chewed. I think it is better than pasta because it has a nice soft and fluffy texture. It is a miracle food; 3 ingredients, & a pot of boiling water. It cooks up faster than the other miracle food: bread.

  164. Faith

    Just made this for dinner…YUM!!

    Side note about onion goggles…I actually keep a pair of goggle in my kitchen for cutting onions. I’d suggest getting a pair of lab goggles, they won’t look as cool as the onion goggles, but they are half the price, and designed to protect your eyes from ANYTHING.

  165. Anna

    Thank you for the Spätzle!
    I admire you for trying out the different technics. Cutting them on the board was quite a mess when I tried it. Since I am german and my father is from Swabia (which is – of course – the true home of Späetzle ;) ), I got a Spätzlepresse when I moved into my first appartment and making Spätzle this way is a lot less work. In our family, we kids were practically raised on Spinatspätzle with a simple cream based sauce. So I can confirm that some kids love this. There is a lot possibilities, I tried to add pumpkin, parsley and wild garlic but always come back to plain or spinach ones, made without milk. Letting them rest is needed for the gluten to enter binding, 15 min should suffice. Anyway, I guess every family has its own way of preparing them. It is a shame, that so many people buy them as dried convenience, it is a total different taste.
    So enough of my traing to be a know-it-all, let everybody enjoy some Spatzen, Spätzli, Spätzle!

  166. I went right to the kitchen as soon as I read your post today. Feeling very gutsy, I guess. I decided to risk using my ricer, suspecting it should work. I have the Cuisipro Stainless-Steel Potato Ricer and I used the disk that had the biggest holes.
    No problems. I think it helped to not overload the hopper and control how much you squirt into the water and also to pull up as you squeeze to make a nice drop. Important to stir the water too as they plump up so they don’t stick together. Had a lot of fun with it!

    Spaetzle draining after the water bath!:
    Spaetzle for dinner!:

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I had a great time.

  167. Sarah

    Looks amazing and I would love to try it – but my Hubby is allergic to wheat :-( Could you suggest a wheat-free flour replacement? It looks too yummy not to try

  168. Karen

    Deb, I make this for dinner at least once a month, though I use Dorie’s recipe(we had it tonight with some brats, some homemade kraut, roasted beets and dark beer)! I have found that a flat cheese grater works really well, and you can hold it away from the hot pot and still work quickly in small batches. Give it a try maybe! A nice addition is a ton of nutmeg and some fresh rosemary as well…

  169. Annie

    I love Spaetzle! I went through the same recipe and equipment search when I was perfecting my pot roast recipe and wanted to serve it with something other than potatoes. Nutmeg is a favorite addition at my house, and definitely browning them with some butter and onion is the bomb! Oh, and don’t they reheat nicely (if you toss them in some oil before chilling) so I make them in advance when I’m going to feed a mob of hungry kids.

  170. I LOVED spaetzle when I lived in Germany, but it never ever occurred to me that I could make it at home! This weekend…..

    BTW – I love the word ‘spaetzleblob.’ I wish I could figure out a way to work it into conversation….

  171. Stacey

    Obviously this is a very popular dish! I first had it when my German flatmate made it for us with an onion and beef stew and loved them. I just had a question which might be a bit obvious, but once you put them in the ice bath, if you want to serve them right away but not fry them (although that looks and sounds delicious), how do you reheat them? Do you just reboil them until they’re heated through?

  172. Pat

    Wendy (comment #16), I’ve had my spaetzle maker for 25 years (a gift from a Hungarian friend), I always spray it lightly with Pam prior to adding the dough, and it makes clean-up a snap! Prior to that, I used a saucer and a teaspoon with great results, but it did take a while. You can purchase the spetzle maker on E-bay now for less than $10, and your dumplings will be made in less than a minute!

  173. Sadly, I think if I have had spaetzle before, it was only once…and for some reason as soon as I saw these photos, I immediately thought of a coconut curry sauce. Random. Either way, this looks delicious, I am hungry, and I need to cook something for dinner soon….maybe I will just eat with my eyes.

  174. Matt

    I just started making spaetzle this past year. I have 2 comments.
    1) It freezes great. I spread the cooked spaetzle on a baking sheet, freeze them individually, then store them in ziplock bags. Several weeks later I defrosted them and their texture was still perfect.
    2) I also made a custom-fit wood pusher block for my spaetzle maker. It allows me to easily push the batter through the holes and better control the size.

  175. Sarah

    After acquiring a Schwabian brother-in-law, spaetzle has been the go-to starch of choice at least once during every family get-together. My bil taught my sister and my mother (and me, but they’re better at it) how to make his mom’s recipe, which relies mostly on feel and very little on measuring. We usually eat it with homemade schnitzel and gravy, or with a nice roast (and gravy). My mom always says she’s going to make enough to do the baked cheese-onions-bacon-spaetzle dish for leftovers the next day, and she almost never manages to make quite as much as she thinks she’s going to when she’s mixing. Mom’s spaetzle press has pride of place in her kitchen cabinet right next to the rolling pin. My sister and bil have to squeeze theirs into an apartment-sized kitchen – not quite so easy!

  176. Kacie

    I wish you had posted this a week ago! After moving to a new city (far away from my favorite Austrian pub/restaurant) I’ve been craving spaetzle for weeks. Unfortunately, I did not find a method/recipe as clear as yours, and it turned into a complete disaster. I will have to try again with your guidance!

  177. Susan

    Well, this was fun! I made these tonight to go with some pork chops and sauce and they were fairly easy once I got the technique for pressing the batter through the cheese grater right. No huge mess to clean up. They were just a little chewy (toothsome as they say!), is that the texture I should have had? I’d never tasted speatzle before nor has my husband, but I must have done them right because we both would like to have them again sometime. We have leftovers so I think I’ll toast them up as I would hash brown potatoes for breakfast as someone else suggested. I also think they’d be fun to use instead of pasta in a summer vegetable salad as they seem sturdy enough. Thanks for featuring this out for us, Deb. I always game to try something new..uh..providing it’s not too unusual (being food finnicky as I am!)

  178. Anna

    My mother is Swiss, so I grew up eating spaetzli and I love them. My sister made it a point to give me a spaetzli maker for my wedding last fall.

  179. Oh Deb. You took me back to our last week in Germany when we were staying at a Gasthaus and the Frau cook gave us spaezle every night and every night she loved watching my 6 year old brother devour it. She finally ended up giving him his own ginormous platter of it and was so impressed when he finished it all on his own that she gave my mum a spaezle press and a recipe for it because “that boy cannot be without spaezle”. I’m wondering now where that press has gone to – maybe I’ll dig it up next time I’m at my dad’s and give a whirl.

  180. Tanya

    My parents are Austrian also, and i’ve always loved spaetzle to, (or eier-knockerl), and my mother is also all about the knife and board method, even though we have this strange device which we never use for anything else, except when i make spaetzle. It’s like some sort of colander with an inbuilt spatula thing that you just turn around quickly over the hot water, it takes about 10 seconds, and never creates mega-spaetzle either. I cant find it anywhere on the internet, and ours is very seventies looking, but my mother calls it a “Fleissige-Liesl”. This pretty much translates to “Hardworking-Liesel” haha- i do love the Austrian sayings, they’re sooo much funnier Australian ones…

  181. My first (and only) attempt ended as yours did. I have not tried again. My colander holes are too small. Might see about ordering a spaetzle maker as I have really wanted to make it. A friend and I were just talking about this the other day!

  182. Mary

    We JUST moved to Germany and I’ve seen this everywhere, but didn’t really know what it was. It always looked rather “heavy”. How awesome that you would go and make this. Maybe I’ll make it for my German neighbors. You are my go to girl Deb!

  183. annette

    there was a “spaetzle hobel” at sur la table in Lake Oswego just this past Saturday for
    under $10. that works really well and doesn’t take a lot of space in the gadet cabinet.
    I got lucky and found mine at Ross for $3! score!!!

  184. Evi

    I’m with Julia on the sparkling water! Definitely adds more fluffiness to the Spätzle. And I am a fan of hand-scraped Spätzle, just like my Grandma made them. Greetings from southern Germany. ;)

  185. Aga

    I believe it is best to use a kitchen funnel! Well, at least it works for me every time I make spaetzle… I also like them dropped directly into some hearty boiling soup, but it’s better to use water in the recipe at that time… :o)

  186. Bjørg

    Hello Deb
    Do you go skiing?
    Use your downhill skigoggles. I do that all the time,when I need to cut more than one onion.

  187. Dear Deb,
    Thanks for your post, absolutely funny when you describe how you tried to find a substitute for a spaetzle sieve. Have you ever considered using a big holed grater? In Switzerland we have a special spaetzle sieve, it looks like a pan lid with holes in it, the different sized rims will fit a number of pots.

    I am addicted to spaetzle and we always have homemade ones. Years of experience led me to the following ingredients: 250 g all purpose flour, 50 g semolina dura flour, 2 – 3 eggs, 2 dl water and milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes. Or you could use ricotta (in Austria they call it Topfen) instead of milk.

    Have fun experimenting, I just discovered a trait we share: I could go on for hours talking about spaetzle, sieves, the different recipes et al.

    Best regards, Barbara

  188. Annabelle

    To emily- you can use all whole wheat flour if you want- just remember it’s going to need more liquid and add milk accordingly. I LOVE spätzle!!! My bavarian friends gave me a spätzle maker exactly like the one tagged above and i use it with great results. I love mine with butter, mushrooms, leeks, bacon and lots of cheese. seeing this post is really doing nothing to help my baby weight loss goals…

  189. Its so nice to see other people like Spatzle as much as me!I am new to the blogging world but my second post was ‘Kaes-Spaetzen’ which is layers of Spatzle topped with a grated mixture of Emmental and Gruyere cheese, melted in the oven and topped with fried onions and fresh parsley. It’s the dish my dad is famous for, being German (we live in Australia). We also have Spatzle with goulash and in my Hungarian pea soup. Delicious!!

  190. Toni

    I love make spatzle and I have trick that makes it quick and easy. I use my COOKIE PRESS! Insert the cookie plate that has the 9 holes and fill’r up! Over the pot of water click it 3 times and wait for the spatzle to drop in!

  191. Tina

    I didn’t even know what spaetzle was until I had it a few months ago at my local french restaurant. I loved it but completely forgot about it. I can’t way to try this out. Thank You!

  192. My brother wanted to give me a gift that ‘someone who has every kitchen gadget imaginable’ couldn’t possibly have… so he gave me a spaetle maker.

    Sadly, I had not only one, but TWO different spaetzle makers at the time. I had the same troubles you did with forming them and decided to grab one when I got the chance.

    My Polish Babci was so intrigued by it that she got one to make her klusky noodles (very similar)! DS LOVES panfried spaetzle… thanks for the reminder.

  193. Danielle

    I made the biggest mess in my kitchen when I made spaetzle with my colander (and just about any other hole-filled implement in my kitchen armory, including the box grater.) Although I love spaetzle, I refuse to make it without a proper maker.

  194. Celeste

    I knew spaetzle was something my husband loved, so I plunked down $15 for the all-metal spaetzle-maker a long time ago. The dried boxed version takes so long to cook, and they’re never as fluffy as fresh-made. Anyway, I started with the recipe that came with the tool, which calls for only 1 egg but a lot more milk. I’m intrigued by the idea of more eggs, because then it could approach a meal on its own. I think it’s better when made with half & half than milk, since we usually only have lower-fat milk on hand. I love the tool, because it has a lip and sits right over the pot without having to be held. The metal box is pretty large and you don’t have to fill it that many times. The only bad thing is cleanup: the thing is made of tinned steel, so you need to get it dried off right after washing to avoid rust. It has some sharp edges to be careful of, and I’ve just found it so much easier to have a sink of hot soapy water waiting for the tool when you’re done with it. It cleans up very fast, you can have it dried off and put away before the noodles are even done cooking. I think it’s totally worth it to have one, because you might make spaetzle more often. Homemade noodles…that’s home cooking.

    I think they are even better when cooked in salty chicken broth. For myself I like them tossed with brown butter and some Parmesan or Gruyere, but I wouldn’t say no to grated Swiss. DH likes them with browned onions and cooked sauerkraut to go with grilled sausage…but I’m all of a sudden thinking they’d be great browned with some sour cream stirred in. I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong with spaetzle!

  195. ash

    I’m from Indonesia, never heard spaetzle before, but it’s looks delicious and easy I think I should try to cook it myself.
    thanks for sharing :)
    (i’m sorry for my poor english)

  196. Chris richards

    Love your site! Been reading and trying your recipies for months, but wanted to comment on making spaetzles since I have been making them for years..i have great success using a tablespoon and a teaspoon. Just put some dough on the tablespoon, and dip the tsp into the hot water, then simply scrape little pieces from the tbsp continually into the water. You should get about ten to a rounded tbsp into the pot. It sounds like work, but it goes quickly, and as you are doing this, you can just spoon out the ones that float to the top as they cook…I actually find it kind of relaxing, and you get nice small oblong shaped noodles that way. I also use the same recipe but sprinkle in a tad of freshly grated nutmeg, some kosher salt, and white pepper…thanks again for such an entertaining blog!

  197. Trish

    About a hundred years ago my husband and I rented a little apt. attached to the home of a wonderful Austrian couple. They would travel back to their country,and in exchange for watching their cat’s they brought us back a spatzel maker. I still have it, it is now about 42 years old. I think I will get it out tonight and make some of that wonderful comfort food. Thank’s for reminding of it.

  198. mekwilmot

    Spaetzle is a staple in our home. My husband makes it (old family recipe). He uses a rice masher, because his mother and grandmother bequeathed the traditional spaetzle press to his sisters. His recipe includes a pinch of nutmeg, and on occasion he omits the nutmeg and adds fresh herbs…I like sage.

  199. It only took my first visit to Austria to make me fall in “LOVE” with spaetzle! I make it a few times a week and it’s SO QUICK to make with a spaetzle maker(A MUST HAVE)! I got mine at TJ MAXX but this is the website to the company that makes it… They also have the BEST EVER recipe “right on the package”. and I LOVE MINE with the addition of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg!!!I use 1/2teaspoon, because I’m a bit of a Nutmeg-aholic! My recipe uses 3cups flour, 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/4t salt, AND 1/4t nutmeg… WE LOVE this version, BUT I’ll try yours too…Thank you so much…This is the LINK to the SPAETZLE MAKER

  200. Suuuper – Deb your Spätzle look great!!!
    Being a “Badner” (Southwest Germany) I’d also recommend using some sparkling water as some commentators already mentioned; it makes the Spätzle fluffy!! Oh, and they taste delish if you put some cheese into the pan… mhmmm!!! :)

  201. Heather Y

    I’m with Toni – #259, but even more old school. My mom inherited the “egg noodle maker,” as my southern relatives called it, and it’s an old-fashioned tin cookie press that had large holes punched in one of the ends… probably with a sharp knife and lots of elbow grease!

    Makes pushing the batter through sooo much easier and relatively cleaner. Plus, you don’t have to have a steam facial while making dinner!

  202. Debi

    a flat grater – a friend raised in Europe makes spaetzle by dripping the batter through the holes of a flat “cheese” grater. works great.

  203. I am thinking this might be just the thing to brign my Won’t Eat Anythign boy out from under the table.

    Also, I’m fairly certain a song needs to be written in honor of spaetzle. “Spaetzle, spaetzle, buttered-up spaetzle…” Is there any food more fun to say?!

  204. Melanie

    your spätzle look terrific! I’m austrian and my family loves to eat them with strong cheese and dark roasted onions. I also like to add some chopped spinach to the batter.

    about the knife and cutting board thing: I can’t get the hang of it either. I’ve seen my grandma doing it a million times, it looks so dead easy, but every single time I tried it myself, I failed (that’s why she got me a spaetzle maker for my last birthday).

    greetings from Salzburg – Melanie

  205. Anna

    How timely! I was just thinking about putting Simple Recipe’s Chicken Paprikash on the menu for next week and this will go so well with it. I have a question though. My colander is mesh(I guess it’s more of a sieve than, isn’t it?), would this work with a mesh colander?

  206. suzanne

    I love Spatzle! My mom had a cookbook from “Luchows”(?spelling) My mothers family came from Alsace- Lorraine, and I think that is what prompted her to buy the cookbook, for the spatzle recipe. I did get to eat at Luchows once before they closed…
    When she made them for the first, we sauteed them in butter and served them with roast pork….needless to say…when I make a pork roast, spatzles are my side dish Ps I use a cutting board and sharp knife, but I also have a spatzle maker!

  207. Karen

    We love spatzle here, I studied in Hungary where it is called to as galuska. We eat it with chicken paprika, which is now going on the menu for tomorrow night!! I use my food mill to make it, with the largest holes.

  208. Audrey

    Tips from the granddaughter of a Schwabian from Stuttgart (yes, spaetzle are a Baden-Wurttemberg specialty):
    1. The “authentic way” I learned is to use a “brett” or cutting board and a special scraper (looks like a metal putty knife with an angled head).
    2. The board must be dipped in the simmering water almost after each scrapping to keep the dough smooth and stretchy.
    3. The noodles should skimmed regularly from the simmering-salted water with a slotted spoon so that they don’t get too hard are then transferred to a pot of cold water to cool off.
    4.They may be frozen (lay them in thin layers, separated by wax paper). Reheat in boiling salted water.
    5. Time consuming. But wonderful parent-child bonding work and a wonderful skill to be passed down from one German generation to another :)

  209. Oh my. I often order this dish at a German restaurant. It’s smothered in an amazing cheese sauce, sort of like mac and cheese. Anyway, I used to get a little concerned about the calorie/fat content of the sauce, but now I know the spatzle’s guilty, too! I wonder if there’s a way to lighten this up? Silken tofu and some high gluten flours in lieu of some/all eggs? Any vegans out there have suggestions?

  210. Leslie

    Thanks, Deb, I love your blog and that you “try out” the recipes so thoroughly! A tip for not crying when peeling onions, etc: keep them in your refrigerator and don’t take them out until you are ready to chop. Seriously, I haven’t cried over an onion or shallot in years! I think this w/e will be full of spaetzel – browned butter and garlic, sprinkled with pine nuts…..mmmmm.

  211. Kay

    Just got back from Switzerland where I tried these for the first time. I loved them and was complaining to my family there that I wouldn’t be able to find them back home in Scotland. Guess now I’ll just “have to” make my own!

  212. Julia


    Spätzle freeze really well! I always make a huge batch and then divide it in portions place it in freezer bags and freeze it. Freeze them just after you’ve cooked them, without any of the cheese, sauce etc. You just reheat it, like you would reheat frozen rice.

    I don’t think drying would work though, as you would be drying the already cooked Spätzle, rather than, say, pasta, where you dry it then cook it. I’ve never tried it though.

  213. Monica

    Just wanted to let you know that I a recent issue of Cook’s Country they had homemade Spätzle and they poked holes in the bottom of a foil baking dish and pushed that batter threw that way! When I was in Germany this Christmas, I had a macanoni style Spätzle with a delicious cheesey sauce!

  214. Becky

    The spaetzle look amazing. Going to try them soon!:)
    Re:onions – I learned from a chemistry major friend in college that onions make you cry b/c the sulphury compounds that make them so yummy also turn to a weak sulphuric acid in your eye. (Not kidding!) She suggested putting them
    In the fridge or even 10 min in the freezer before cutting, and I found that it helps a lot. Also, if I’m chopping a lot of onion, it helps to cover the cut ones with a damp paper towel to keep the volatile organic from wafting into the air and thus into my eyes. One last tip: If your eyes are zinging, wipe off your eyelids with a damp cloth, too, otherwise you’ll just blink the juice back in.

  215. ayo

    I really enjoyed this post—I married a German and his mom taught me the knife-and-board method–but I never really got the knack. However, when I invested in my spaetzle-maker, (Yes, they are really inexpensive, and mine is now about 25 years old!) I was happy as could be–and my kitchen was a lot less messy! The kids-and guests’ kids- loved the gadget and I’ve never had to make spaetzle alone….I can’t wait to do it again–maybe tonight!
    PS: experiment with whole-wheat flour or even better RYE flour–half and half with AP flour works well, with about 2 Tbsp extra milk–super-yummy! PS: Amazon sells a spaetzle maker that’s just like mine–15 bucks!

  216. I did not have a chance to read through all the replies,(forgive me if this is redundant) however I make Spaetzle quite often-It’s quick easy and very satisfying. I use my ricer it’s a snap and no facials. It sits right over the top of the boiling water and those delicate “little Sparrows” come out perfect every time.

  217. Momcat

    My husband loves spaetzle, so I’m eager to try this. We used to buy frozen green beans with spaetzle but don’t ever see them any more. In Vienna I ate a dish of spaetzle cooked in witih scrambled eggs. It would be a great comfort food, but kind of bland. I can imagine lots of things to jazz it up a bit. The boxed ones are awful, you can’t ever get the texture right.
    QUESTION: ok, how DO you pronounce it correctly?

  218. Flo

    There is a wonderful spaetzle recipe in From Asparagus to Zucchini that we make so often that we eventually bought a spaeztle maker. (Looks a little like a grater.) The recipe has you boil down apple cider to make a syrup, then toss the spaeztle withit along with sauteed cabbage, apples, and bacon. It is absolutely delicious.

  219. JeannieB

    Coincidently, I made this for my clients five nights ago. I decided to pinch off irregular pieces of dough and drop them into the boiling water. The rest of what I did was just like your recipe. However, my irregular shapes- not all cooked through so I quickly worked through the hot ones to find the ones that were soft. I had fun making this and learned from my mistakes!

  220. Ildi

    Great blog!! I was laughing as I was reading about your battle with the batter-happened to me too! I got 3 of these little ‘nokedli szaggato” tools and love them, they really make the procedure a little easier. Try stirring 2 beaten eggs over the spaetzle until the bottom turns crispy just a bit–it’s heavenly. And of course nokedli is best with chicken paprikas! (but that’s just the Hungarian in me)…

  221. Ooooooh, Husband and I studied abroad in Vienna in college but I’ve never tried making an Austrian recipe (I know, silly me)! This will definitely get me going. Sounds fun and delicious! Thanks Deb, you always pull through. :)

  222. Chris richards

    Correction to post 270….Just made a batch for dinner tonight and I actually got about 20 to 23 or so spaetzles out of each tablespoon..If you try this method, just remember to dip the teaspoon in the water after each tablespoonful is used they slide off easily…It gives you a full bowl of noodles in no time!

  223. Reba Carpenter

    I make this all the time using the ricer…I have two of these- one small hand=held with small holes and a larger one with long handles so you aren’t over the boiling water! When these puppies float, they are cooked- place on a paper towel to dry then into a saute pan with butter to brown up.

    Also, my recipe calls for parsley and nutmeg in the mix which adds a delightful flavor!

  224. Wish I Was Baking

    What a fun post! Just need to find time to give these things a try and come up with another name so that my meat-&-potatoes-only hubby will at least try them :) I’ll probably try one of the methods from the video eeny (217) posted but oh my goodness at the mad knife skills of the grandma in the video linked in Agnes’ post (204). I was amazed at how many how-to-make-spaetzle videos popped up in YouTube’s “suggested” list – there’s a whole other world out there!

  225. Oh man. I LOVE spaetzle. I’ve not spent nearly enough time in Germany for my taste, but I’ve fallen in love with spaetzle. A couple of years ago, I went on a “Let’s make lots of German food!” kick and attempted Apfelstrudel (mostly worked out, I made the dough from scratch, too!) and then moved on to Spaetzle. I did the collander method and it worked fairly well. The BEST Spaetzle I’ve had was, weirdly, at the Hofbrauehaus in Munich. Sauteed and smothered in cheeses, it was just fantastic. We would seriously go there after class just to have beers and Spaetzle. Amazing.

    And just a side note, Deb, the recipe for Spaetzle in the Joy of Cooking (originally written by a woman from my hometown, Cincinnati, with strong German roots) calls for the addition of baking powder, salt and a pinch of nutmeg in the dough. The recipe you have here doesn’t call for any of those, but maybe the other one did. Certainly another way to add some fluff to your dumplings and an extra oomf with the nutmeg.

  226. I’m an avid spaetlze maker after having eaten it almost daily in Germany when visiting friends. I had an inexpensive spaetlze maker from Bed, Bath, and Beyond that fell apart while I was using it a few months ago. It splashed half a stockpot of boiling water on me and let half the batter slip onto the burner. I then tried the colander and potato ricer methods and found them frustrating and unpleasant, producing inferior noodles.

    I recently purchased a promising looking spaetzle maker from Zabar’s. It has a metal handle that goes all the way around the perimeter, and so won’t fall off, and judging from the overall construction, it will be much, much easier to clean than the last one. The brand is Danesco. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks like it will be a big improvement in every way.

  227. samarahuel

    Re: cutting onions without tears–Do you wear contacts? I’ve found that when I’m wearing my glasses, rather than contacts, I have a terrible time with the onions. The contacts seem to act as a protective barrier against the sulfuric acid.

  228. Andrea

    So happy to see this here! I got a spaetzle maker thing as a flat warming present when I moved here (Vienna), and it is still (by far) my favorite Austrian food. (At least Bavaria and Hungary have versions as well, but I’m not sure how much further afield it goes.)
    BTW, some people use a sharp knife to cut off little rolls of dough. I’ve done this when my dough wasn’t quite liquid enough for the spaetzle maker thing and it’s not as onerous as it sounds.

  229. ATL Cook

    Sharpen your knife before cutting onions. Dull blade crushes the cells. Slice cleanly and there are no problems. When talking about plant cell walls in Science class we did a demo of this.

  230. Marie M.C.

    Over 300 comments. Good grief! I guess lots of your readers have lots of opinions about spaetzle. Here’s my 2-cents. I’ve never made them. But 30 years ago I had a neighbor who was born in Germany. She used a grater — a flat grater with the large-ish sized holes. (I don’t think she had a special spaetzle maker.) Balanced that over the boiling water and poured a large-ish spoon of batter over the grater, then wiped the spoon across the grater. The noodles then fell into the water. (Maybe her batter was thinner?) I believe the colander method looks easier but I think the grater method ended up with thinner noodles. She just tossed it in another pan with melted butter. You, you wonderful you, as usual have done all the work and experimenting for us. Thanks, Deb!

  231. Becky

    Re Onions @ samaranuel…Me TOO on the contacts. Cutting onions when I am wearing my glasses only is brutal. I always feel sorry for non contact wearer’s when I am cutting a huge pile of onions tear-free. It will clear the whole kitchen of everyone and I just continue chopping away.

    Now I am hungry. I grew up on Skillet Chicken Paprikash with Halushki noodles My mom did the “cut off the plate” method and she was VERY quick. I have tried it a few times, but I am not nearly as deft with the cut and swipe.

    ONE time ever have I tried the colander method. It was a joke. So, I grabbed my plate and went back for it. But we were raised on the noddles being larger and kind of oddly shaped, so I am happier with them that way anyway. I am intrigued by another poster’s “Tablespoon/Teaspoon” method, so I might know what I am going to try for supper tonight.

  232. Bob Wenzlau

    I have tried a variation of making a Mexican Spaetzle where I used some corn meal in addition to the flour, and then mixed it with cilantro and some cumin. I have tried a few variations on the sauce including a tomatillo and then a more chocolate mole. It seem like a inside out tamale, but it is pretty good, and quite easy. There is no real recipe, it is very forgiving, and a surprising way to carry flavors in other directions.

  233. Jeannine

    Hey, today, the 31st, Ebay/Groupon has a deal…$7 for $15 eBay gift cert. That would easily buy a Norpro Spaetzle maker! I just tried this recipe, envisioned butter/parmesan/black peppered Spaetzle to go beside some Clam Fritters…I did it! It was a bit of work to figure out, (my dough was more like batter at first, I had run out of flour, so tossed in a handful of instant potatoes, it worked!) and clean up afterwards was a bit rough, but now I know some tricks to make it easier for next time. And if everybody likes it tonight, perhaps I’ll spring for a Spaetzle maker…it could fit right THERE in my kitchen (hide it from my husband, he wouldn’t understand why we would need another kitchen gadget!). (o:

  234. Three-hundred fifteen comments already! Everyone loves spaetzle :)

    I have always wanted to make this – I knew it was somewhat easy, but still I havent ever decided that one night I would just make it. I will DEFINITELY give it a go now.

    Also – there is a Swiss restaurant called Trestle on Tenth on 24th & 10th Ave that has something akin to spaetzle on steroids – they are fatter and longer, and on the menu they call them “gratinéed pizokel with caramelized onions and gruyère”

    I have a feeling you would love them!

  235. Denise

    We love Spaetzle at our house! My mother-in-law turned me on to it when I came into the family. I just ordered a spaetzle maker for under$10 from Amazon for my daughter. Get one and give this dish a try. It is so yummy!

  236. Sunny

    OMG!! This is my kryptonite, my weakness. When I was in Hungary, I ate all the spaetzel I could get my hands on. I can’t wait to make this.

  237. Eliza

    The kids didnt like it and it did not bring me back to Germany ;-) I did however taste a similarity to Matzoh Brie, so I added a little sugar (we like ours sweet) and it was great! I dont think I’ll make it again as it made quite the mess of the kitchen, but the technique worked great.

  238. Anya

    Oh how I love Spätzle… my mom always makes them to go with Rouladen (my favourite thing,, although in my family we skip the pickles) and gravy. We usually make a huge batch because (as someone mentioned above) they freeze perfectly, and pretty much pan fry from frozen as they would fresh. Any leftovers, or frozen Spätzle that don’t make it to the next batch of Rouladen and wonderful pan fried with butter and just a little bit of salt and nutmeg as a side with, uh, anything from stew to scramble eggs, or with a mushroom sauce…

  239. WineGirl

    I used the large hole grater I have and it worked great! I just put the batter on top and carefully went over it with a spatula. In addition to the shallots and herbs i browned some mushrooms. Yummy yummy spaetzel in my tummy!

  240. Amanda

    Oh you have no idea how my heart jumped for joy when I saw “Spaetzle” at the top of your page. Yours has become my favorite food blog, and now it is just even better, as my husband is an enormous fan of spaetzel and everything perfectly german to eat. I even have most all of the makings for a good bavarian sausage and sauerkraut dinner, but was unsure of how i would do the spaetzle. And ta-da. Here’s to a new kitchen adventure! Thank you!

  241. Sarah

    As a fellow umlaut devotee, it occurred to me I HAVE NO IDEA how to type one on a keyboard. I know it is not specific to making spaetzle (which I can’t wait to try) but please tell me how to find an umlaut while typing. I am clearly showing my age here…and computer things are just, well, not intuitive….help?

  242. Krista

    For all those sensitive to onion (and all the onion relatives)- this is only a help if you have a gas stove but I thought I’d chip in my technique! I cut onions next to the stove with the gas burner on low and all the onion fumes get burned off!

    I don’t know why, but shallots are the worst for me- but this really works very well.

    Happy cooking!

  243. I’ve been making this for over 30 years. My Hungarian mother in law taught me but she always dipped a spoon in hot water before placing each drop into stew or boiling water. I use a colander and prefer that. She called them…what sounded like “knucklee” and that’s what we’ve always called it. But I see it’s really called Nokedli. Having an Italian Mom, I call this kind of food, peasant food, made with three ingredients, flour, salt and eggs, it’s just basic and delicious!

  244. Nikki

    My tip for spaetzle: potato ricer! I don’t know if you have one, but while it seems uni-functional, I’ve have used mine tons since I got it for….

    1) Spaetzle
    2) mashed potatoes, obviously
    3) squeezing liquid out of things like blanched spinach for quiche, etc., or shredded potatoes for hash browns

    Mine has interchangeable hole sizes, and the bigger one is perfect for spaetzle

  245. Anya

    Sarah, I use a mac, and to get the umlaut you type the option key+u followed by whichever vowel you wish to umlaut. It’s something similar on a PC but I can’t say exactly what…

  246. Erin

    My favorite part of this post – clueless when it comes to denim. I mean, who came up with the idea to charge $250 for some crazy back pockets? And when did these become the only jeams anyone wears? How old am I?

  247. Anne

    Deb, my parents met and married in Germany. During my childhood, when my mother was feeling nostalgic, she would make German food. I clearly remember the Spaetzle disaster of 1975. Dad was working in L.A. when the rest of us were in Phoenix. It started out so well but it wasn’t long before our entire kitchen was coated in goo. I also recall standing over a hot pot in the already considerable Arizona heat. As I remember, the dumplings were pretty rubbery but edible when covered in tons of butter and cheese. Later I think we found a gourmet store that carried them. I think a Spaetzle maker might be the perfect gift for my mom who just happens to have almost every kitchen gadget that mankind has invented. I’ll make sure to attach your recipe.

  248. Jackie Cat

    Dear Deb,
    I love your site and your recipes. However, your latest have all been brown! Spring is here, can we have some green?

  249. tonia

    My grandparents were of Swabian(sp?) decent and I spent a whole day w/my grandma when I was in 8th or 9th grade making kaessknipfle(sp?), spaezle, fried dough and cheese kugen. . .kaesseknipfle was our favorite — it was a noodle type dough that was rolled out, cut into squares and filled w/a savory cottage cheese filling then boiled and fried in butter & bread crumbs then served w/apricot jam. If any was left the next morning we would cut them in strips and scramble w/eggs. MMMmmmm, yum!

  250. Nikki

    Hooray! I’m a regular lurker but rarely comment…but I had to pipe up to say that I *love* spaetzle and have been looking for an easy recipe for ages. I’m glad to hear you made it work without a spaezle-maker – but also appreciate the link for a cheap one. I kept envisioning myself spending big bucks to have one shipped from Germany – or trying to drag one back in my suitcase next time we’re there. My husband spent quite a few years living in Germany and devours any meal that I make that has even a vaguely German theme – he’s going to love this!! Thank you!!!

  251. Melissa

    Your spaetzle look so perfect!

    My husband makes them for us at least once a month with my roast and red cabbage. He makes a thicker batter and tips the bowl over the boiling water and slices them off with the back of a knife. We like our spaetzle on the thick side. Yum.

  252. I have to admit that I have never enjoyed spaetzle. The spaetzle I’ve had has been mushy and tasted like glue. But Deb, you have never led me astray! Maybe the extra eggs in this recipe make it lighter or maybe I just need to pan brown my spaetzle to truly enjoy… but I’m willing to give it a shot.

  253. My great grandmother was born in Germany and used to make spaetzle for us as kids. I remember her leaning over a pot of boiling water and squeezing the dough through her hands into the pot. That’s how I make it now too, because the colander is always so cumbersome. If you don’t mind uneven size pieces, it’s the way to go. And personally, that’s one of the things I’ve always loved about spaetzle- getting a bigger piece amidst the smaller daintier pieces always felt like a bonus, like finding an whole cookie in your cookies and cream ice cream!

  254. speatzle has just been on my mind lately! first there was its glorious introuduction on Top Chef for Wolfgang Puck’s “last meal” and then i randomly had it with veal on vacation. and now this! love it!

  255. Sunshine

    Ok, not related to food, but you have Fredericks of Hollywood ads all over your site!! Which means that when I pulled up this page my 6 yr old just saw half-naked women in thigh-high fishnets…

    1. deb

      Sunshine — Waah? I’m so sorry. I will do my best to find their source and block it forever.

      CQ — Alas, I called them because I don’t live far from there but they had a) none in stock and b) don’t even carry that Norpro one everyone raves about. Or that’s what the dude on the phone told me.

      Jackie Cat — Spring is decidedly not here in NYC. :( The Greenmarket is still a Brownmarket. We had snow last week. So, green, springy food will be some time from now…

      Erin — Can we talk about the whiskering at the crotch on demin? On toddler jeans too? Because I might actually prefer to be clueless in this case.

      Sarah — Unsolicited dorky response: To type an umlaut on a web page (so it renders correctly, and not as dingbats in some browsers) is actually different. It has an ASCII code, and a different one for each vowel, upper and lowercase.

      Cory — It is delicious! We used to live a few blocks away, which means I got into trouble with that dish all too often…

  256. Like Samantha said, I normally would not have much interest in spaetzle and you have, of course, managed to change my mind. Although it does have some nostalgia for me, my grandmother used to make it and all my aunts and uncles have spaetzle makers from her. But I normally wouldn’t have much interest in cooking many things aside from soup, such as baked goods/meals that can’t be slurped or eaten with a spoon/pasta with lemony cream sauces/bowls and bowls of spaghetti with the butteriest (is that a word?) tomato sauce that has ever graced my lips. However you just seem to inspire me to step outside my box! :)

  257. Shara

    Oh yum! As a little Dutch girl, I grew up eating this stuff but it wasn’t until I went to chef school and was instructed on browning the finished product in butter that I really went nuts for it.

  258. I love spaetzle and usually use the recipe in the Joy of Cooking, jazzed up with a little bit of parmesan and lots of black pepper in the batter.

    My favorite method for forming the little buggers is to use a slotted spoon. Use a tablespoon to put the batter on to the slotted spoon and then use it to push the batter through the holes. My spoon has some long holes and some round holes, so it makes kind of crazy spaetzle, but I don’t mind the difference in the sizes. My mother’s slotted spoon works better, but she won’t give it to me, and I haven’t found one quite like it. It has a better bowl and more regular holes, and it’s metal.

  259. Never made spaetzle before!! With enough Mexican, Italian, Indian, and American food to go around, it’s time for a taste of an underrated country. Can’t wait to bring this to the dinner table.

  260. Keegan

    I grew up thinking spaetzle was as common as macaroni and cheese and a spaetzle maker was as necessary as a toaster. Weserve ours with butter and sour cream and as much as I want to try the myriad other recipes I have seen in adulthood I cannot make myself veer from the simple deliciousness I grew up with. Probably it was my Lithuanian Grandmother who introduced it to the family and I thank the lord she did!

    This is definitely more eggs than my family’s recipe, but I think I will give it a try. Now that I make it myself I often add a little fresh nutmeg to the batter.


  261. Shannon

    I LOVE spaetzle…and German food in general. I confess to havign the ‘single purpose’ appliance int he form of a spaetzle maker and will NEVER go back to the colander!!! It is soooo worth the 10 bucks I spent on it. Might I recommend adding a touch of nutmeg to your batter? It add just enough *something* to make the noodles sing on their own. You know, when you’re “testing” them as they come out of the water. :-)

  262. Katharina

    Thank you for the trip down memory lane and inspiration for tonight’s dinner! I do have a spaetzle maker that my mother brought back on one of her trips home to Germany. Time to dig it out!

  263. oh these look so so yummy and the little colander is PERFECT to make these scrumptious mini dumplings!!! i am going to make them on Sunday with a creamed sauce with smoked paprika…thanks for awakening the longing for these : )!!!

  264. Amy

    Do you normally get this many comments?! I’ve never paid attention. Or is there an unusually high amount of love for little German dough nuggets?

    ANYWAY… Despite my LOVE for spaetzle and general prowess for all things noodley in the kitchen, I haven’t attempted to make them since the first frustrating attempt in 1998. But this post put me over the edge. I HAD to make them right away. And it was delicious with a big pile of onions sauteed in butter. Now I know this is something I can totally handle making on a regular basis, which is awesome because with my chickens laying SO MANY eggs, I’m always looking for ways to use up a bunch of them. And my 4 year old is always looking for ways to get anything resembling a noodle into her mouth.

  265. Hanna

    What a lovely blog! I just stumbled across and had to comment right away. And it warms my little German heart to see one of our dishes made it into your kitchen! :)

  266. When i saw “spaetzle” i was like HUH i have no idea what this is. is it like schnitzel? bc it sounds like it… but now i want to make it! thank you kitchen DAS smitten!! :)

  267. John

    I started making spaetzl last year after I figured out how easy it was. The family adores it. I bought a spaetzl “grater” on Amazon for under $10 and have found it to be an excellent investment. Now it couldn’t be easier to serve up a plate of delicious, buttery yumminess. Making 30-minute red cabbage in my new pressure cooker now to go with the spaetzl and a nice grilled pork chop. So good!

    While i’m here, thank you SO much for the Sally Lunn bread recipe. It’s a new family favorite.

  268. Annie

    Someone might have already posted this but I just did not have time to read all the comments because I was so EXCITED to see that you posted about spaetzle. My family has been making it for years and years although we make the form known as Knöpfles (pronounced neff-leez). Supposedly this is the russian german form of spaetzle and we eat it with pork, beef, and sauerkraut. It has been a family tradition for years and years and one that most others I know have never heard of. We have found that Knöpfle makers are quite essential…the old method was to cut them in by hand which took an eternity (ask my great-grandfather). Now our Knöpfle makers get passed on down from parent to child. :)
    So happy to see that you have discovered spaetzle and have now introduced so many others to it!

  269. Traci

    I grew up eating the spaetzle that my German grandmother made. (She was from the Hamburg area)…the little “trick” that she always used was to use Chicken Stock instead of water to cook the spaetzle in…she always swore that it gave the spaetzle a special flavor that she especially loved when serving them with her paprikash or schnitzel dishes or with her sauerbraten….

  270. Susan

    We had used the spaetzle right from the pot as a base for pork chopes and gravy the night I made this recipe. The next day I sauteed our leftovers as in this recipe and I must tell you, they were best made as instructed. I couldn’t believe how light and airy they became. Husband and I both said the texture reminded us of a cross between popcorn and that puffed cereal (Sugar Crisp, I think is the name, you know, the one with the little bear as the mascot)..though not quite as firm/crisp as that. We both thought we could maybe eat it as a snack with a little salt and a cocktail or two! Delicious! I will definately make this again.

  271. Liz

    My daughter showed me this because she knew I had experience with it. The first restaurant I worked in had an amazing German chef. He did everything the fastest and easiest way with best results. He used the colander method, but from the pictures I believe his batter was thinner. Using a spaetzli maker would be too slow when feeding 100 people or more. I think the key is the very hot restaurant burner because the water never stopped boiling and the process only took a couple of minutes. I use swim goggles for chopping onions and it works fabulously. Even when I was working professionally they killed me every time.

  272. Kate

    My Polish mother-in-law slaps the dough on a plate and cuts it off with a sharp knife. She dips the knife in the boiling water from time to time to prevent sticking. How big does she make her bits of spaetzle? They are big; she doesn’t want to be standing there all night.

  273. lisa

    I couldn’t agree more, Deb, about the cut-ribbons-of-batter-from-a-cutting-board method. I’m in culinary school, and this is the method our instructor favors. I do it because he requires it, but ICK, the resulting dumplings are so thick, long, and unwieldy (not to mention that, frankly, spaetzle made this way evoke images of tapeworms). I use the colander method when I make it at home. I’m excited to try this recipe in all its eggy goodness.

  274. Reading your post, I asked my German husband if he remembers having spaetzle (pronouncing it sp-atz-el) in which he quickly corrected my mis-pronunciation with a true German tongue and added “mmmmm spaetzle, there’s only really good spaetzle or really bad spaetzle -nothing in between!” He remembers his mom using her fingers and a wooden spoon to make it and recently saw some in our local specialty market that was canned! -that must be the really bad spaetzle!

  275. Yes, Deb, the pitla is absolutely gluten-free. It’s served with unleavened bread called bhakri made from sorghum (jowar in hindi)with addition of onions, pearl millet, sesame seeds and spices.You could even have it with plain whole wheat unleavened bread (roti/chapati).

    If you ever find yourself in Bombay, you know whom to call for a tour of traditional Indian foods. :)

  276. Colleen

    I used my food mill last night and it worked wonderfully. I used the disc with the large holes, put about 1/3 of the batter in, cranked it as quickly as possible, not being overly compulsive about getting everything to go through, and stirring a soon as possible. I used the ice water bath trick, and then took about 1/4 of them, tossed them with some duxelle thinned with a bit of milk, dabbed it with some butter, and baked them in the oven. A bit of grated cheese for serving. Delicious.

  277. Myrna

    My mom made these all the time and I also ate Kaese spaetzle as often as possible when visiting family in Germany. I’ve been using the old Joy of Cooking receipe for Spaetzle which calls for a tiny amount of baking soda to add lightness.

    As for method, last time I visited family in Germany I bought the easiest spaetzle maker ever, its a stainless steel disk with evenly spaced holes that sits directly on top of the pot and using a spatula you spread the dough about. Its a breeze to clean up. Here is a picture on wikipedia Germanätzlesieb

  278. Eva

    This looks so delicious and was very timely as I’ve had an inexplicable Spaetzle craving for a while…

    Tonight, I am making this as a side (plain, with just a few herbs I think) with coffe-braised beef ( and German-style red cabbage.

    I think Spaetzle work really well as a compliment to stronger flavours, so I’m hoping it will be nice with the beef, but might be overkill… Am looking forward to it anyway!

  279. CP

    I make mine both ways- with a spaetzle maker and using a wooden spoon and knife. I prefer the wooden spoon method because I love the bigger chunks. After it cooks, we fry it in a whole stick of butter and sauerkraut (SO DELISH!). Then top with ham and cook for 10 more minutes. My favorite are the dark brown fired bits.

  280. Joyce

    Today I found the PERFECT way to form the spaetzle. I looked up a recipe in my very old Joy of Cooking…and there it was! Place the batter into a frosting bag which has been fitted with an “o” tip. While the water is simmering, squeeze the dough into the pan and clip off small sections with a knife (or scissors), about 1 1/2 inches long. This was my first time making spaetzle…it was absolutely divine! After draining, fry in butter until browned as desired.

  281. Cindy in GA

    Wow – after 378 comments, I’m sure the mine will be nothing new, but I wanted to say that I was delighted to see this post! I grew up eating spaetzle made by my German mom and grandmother; they used the knife and cutting board method with the batter. You do have to be pretty patient (and keep wetting the knife) to get thin pieces that way; I’d like to try the colander method next time I make it. I’ve never known anyone else who’s made or eaten homemade spaetzle; in fact I doubt that most people even know what it is. We’ve always had ours with some type of roast and gravy, but this recipe looks great. Thanks for posting it!

  282. We have an Austrian restaurant quite near us and this is one dish I find to be a great, but guilty, pleasure. It’s never occurred to me to make it myself, before, but I think I have a colander with just the right amount of holes!

  283. Anna

    I decided to take the timid/newbie approach, and make use of the boiling water I’d already had available (to boil spaghetti).

    Made a quarter batch, with 1/2 cup flour, 1 egg, a splash of milk and a little extra water just because it seemed too dry.

    I put my flat cheese grater with the big holes across the top of the pot, and basically just dolloped some batter over the holes, and scraped it through with the same fork I’d used to mix the batter. Dolloped again, scraped again, and that was it.

    Perfect amount as a side dish with tomorrow’s supper. Not so much stress as all that (thanks for exploring the possibilities for disaster and the equipment variations, and saving me the trouble of making a huge mess), but I do think the cheese grater’s going to need some extra scrubbing attention to get the batter off completely.

  284. kvnsgrl

    Since you’re talking about new cookbooks, have you looked at Susie Middleton’s “Fast, Fresh, and Green”? It’s all veggie recipes, and they look amazing! I’ve only started looking at it, but the ones peaking my interest the most so far are: Roasted Green Beans and Cremini Mushrooms with Rosemary-Garlic Oil and Roasted Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Japanese Ponzu (sauce).

  285. Christine

    WoW! My “papa” used to make this for me and my sister (upon request) and when he did, it was a special treat! He would cut the Spaetzle into strips, then boil them. This dish was served with boiled pork, apples and sauerkraut. **It may sound “different” but I can assure you that the combined flavours all work together! Hmmm…. thinking about giving this a try myself!

  286. Ashley

    Another vote in for the cheese grater method – I just rested mind on the pot, and forced the batter through the holes. Worked like a charm, and was pretty simple to clean up too. The only problem is that I sometimes forced too many through at once and they combined into a larger noodle in the pot, but that’s just a matter of practice.

    I think I”ll add cheese when I eat it next, everything’s better with cheese….

  287. Stacey

    My mom would make spaetzle often growing up. As a very indulgent comfort food she would cook it in a rich stock of some sort along with a generous amount of butter and paprika until it all was thickened. Another thing she would do on Christmas or Thanksgiving, would be to make a bigger piece from the dough, like a large marble in size, and hide it in with the rest of the spaetzle. Whoever got the “marble” was to have good luck :)

  288. Heidi

    Gah! I had to stop reading comments after about 280 something, though they are fascinating! I can’t wait to try making these, especially after so many expert recommendations above.

    About onions, and hopefully this wasn’t already mentioned in the last 100 comments I didn’t read, after I make the first cut, I run the onion halves under cold water. It really helps keep the “fumes” down and minimize crying. I’ve never needed to do it with shallots, but it might work…

  289. Mark

    We had to make this for a demonstration as one of “Chuck’s Favorites” (I’m sure it’s easy to guess as to where I work/cook). Since then, we use it whenever we make beef Bourguignon and season it with thyme and it’s so yummy.

    We’ve tried the colander trick, it’s okay. Our recipe calls for a food mill with the coarse blade in and the food release paddle on the bottom taken off, and not so much. At home, I use a flat grater turned wrong side down and placed over the pot of water. I then use a pastry scraper and work portions of the dough through the smooth side of the grater and directly into the hot water and had the most success and very little waste.

  290. I love Spätzle! My mother makes them all the time and also taught my Canadian husband how to make them. Since we live in Germany again, it’s kind of a requirement to know ;-)
    We usually use a Spätzle press to make them, something like this:
    It is important that the press is made from one piece. If you have discs to put in they will stick to the dough and it will make a mess. The press is also great for mashed potatoes. We also use a lot less eggs, approximately 2-3 eggs per 1 pound flour and only a little bit of water when necessary. Then we beat it for some time with a wooden spoon. There was never a recipe in our family, it’s all by feeling, which makes it difficult when you start learning.

  291. Looks simply divine….spaetzle is something my grandma makes and it is quite yummy, although I myself have never made it (although I’m not quite sure why not).

  292. Michelle

    My mother used to make this for us when I we were growing up!
    Oh the memories — she normally just browned them in butter and the crunchier pieces were my favorite.
    Thanks for sharing this — I’ve NEVER made these for my kids — for shame. Guess I better get with it!

  293. Nicola

    Just made these for dinner, with chicken paprikash. Two new recipes, two winners! Cannot wait to have spaetzle with EVERYTHING!

    I used a flat grater, like Mark #389, and it worked a treat.

  294. I bought a Spaetzle maker after taking a cooking class in Budapest and my husband voiced his anxiety that it was a ($8…really, this needs to be voices?) impulse buy and that I would use it once, or never. But I really use it about 2-4 times a month. I make Spaetzle a lot, I used homemade spaetzle for macaroni and cheese, as a base for paprikash, etc– it is a versatile side dish!

  295. jean

    I have the spaetzle maker you linked and would recommend getting it. It can even fit in a drawer (unlike many other single use appliances)!

  296. Spaetzle! Something I’ve never tasted or attempted to make! I love that the batter needs lots of eggs (I’ve got SO many from my chickens…) so I’ll be giving this a try :)

  297. lizlion

    For lack of a better option I used a box grater. I thought it would be a mess, but I figured I’d give it a shot. It worked PERFECTLY; my rubber spatula fit perfectly into the box grater and the handle made it easy to manage over the water. Great recipe, thanks!

  298. heather

    Made this last night using a flat cheese-grater. Worked perfectly! I didn’t even need oven mitts. Thank you for the delicious recipe. My picky eaters all loved it!

  299. Jill

    You. Are. Awesome. I’ve been wanting to make spaetzle for years but haven’t even considered it until this post. Made it last night using a colander/steamer that fit into the pot and it worked perfectly! Thank you.

    And BTW—if your ears are ever burning, that’s a result of our family discussions (generally while eating) of your latest posts and how much we love you.

  300. Mandy

    I love Spaetzle! I have a spaetzle tool, but I find that a colander works the best. Besides Kaesespaetzle I have also make kuerbis spaetzle or pumpkin spaetzle. Add some pureed pumpkin to your spaetzle batter and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. It is wonderful with gruyere cheese or with sage and browned butter.

  301. rosa

    I live in the “Spätzle-Capital”=Stuttgart.
    “Normal” People use a “Spätzledrücker”.
    Profis or Grandmas with special skills do it “handgeschabt”.
    Lazy People use a new innovation called “Spätzle Shaker”

    The most common way we eat Spätzle is: “Linse und Spätzle mit Saitenwürstchen”
    (Lentils, Spätzle and Sausage)

  302. Jennifer

    Well, I am not going to say anything about the amount of eggs in your spaetzle. I will say that spaetzle with a fried egg on top, with the yolk just runny enough to be like gravy on the spaetzle? Heaven. That’s how I grew up eating it.

  303. Stacey

    Just wanted to comment on a possible source of those objectionable ads. I’ve noticed numerous times that after I’ve searched for certain items on the web, similar items show up on the one add on your home page. For example, earlier this winter I was shopping for boots online, and the next several times I checked your site there were boot ads. So possibly Sunshine, or someone with access to Sunshine’s computer, had been looking at lingerie sites.

  304. misia

    another no-hassle trick for spaetzle goes like this (this is a trick of of my gran and in short – of Polish cuisine which spent literally ages on making most of combining German, Austrian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Russian cuisine) – you do not worry about a colander – you chop them off the board quite randomly and you cook them quite biggish (like ravioli-sized?)
    and you cook them – very soft around the edges, firm inside (and they are lovely)
    but – next day – you chop them smaller and when you fry these (in butter only) – they turn amazing…
    (in Polish spaetzle are called ‘kluski k?adzione’ – ‘lied-down noodles’)
    now – I remember – the methodology is like this – you make a dough ‘snake’ on a board and you keep on chopping off…

  305. Interesting. Though i don’t quite get how it could taste like bacon and be a dumpling at the same time. I guess i’d have to make a spaetzle myself to find out.

  306. Amy

    Comment 408ish!!
    I’m glad to see that others like spaetzle as much as me. I always get dirty looks from my husband when I order it (he’s not a fan). This post vindicates.
    I’d love to try this with whole wheat flour…

  307. Oh, how you tease me! I am new mum and I have read your blog for a long time and used to try anything that took my fancy. But since the birth of my of course wonderful son, I can’t find the time. Or there is time, but not just when I want there to be time. You see, I’m not a big fan of cooking and baking at 10 pm. But maybe I will have to do that.

  308. Shelly

    I grew up with larger spaetzle’s (the size of a dumpling) which were dropped off a spoon into pea soup…really yummy. I then had a graduate school friend from Germany who made us a variety with Emmentaler cheese…however, I usually use Gouda. Basically, you just layer spaetzle, shredded cheese, spaetzle, shredded cheese, etc in a baking dish and then top with some sauteed onions (chopped and sauteed until brown in oil). Then bake it at 350 for 20 minutes or so. Viola, German mac-n-cheese.

  309. Candace

    So many comments! Perhaps because it is an emotional food — lots of us remembering childhood food, grandparents, etc. My association is to “curlies” — spaetzle dropped into chicken soup by my grandmother’s Lithuanian housekeeper. No recipe of course, but we all came up with our approximations when we reached adulthood and wanted to make “curly soup” for our own kids.

  310. Jaime

    YUM! I had a similar experience the first time I made spaetzle – about 100 colanders, cutting boards, potato ricer, and other assorted dishes and gadgetry caked in batter UNTIL I remembered my grandmother’s food mill hidden away in my pantry. I popped the largest disk in (with holes about the size of the colander sown above) oured in the batter and cranked away. It. Worked. SO. Well.

    It’s all I use now.

    Also, I love your addition of shallots and herbs, and suggest going a bit further by adding a little bit of your favorite whole grain mustard and a couple of tablespoons of capers. The bite of the mustard melts into the shallots and herbs, and the briny capers wake everything up a little. Top with a tiny squeeze of lemon juice and you’ll be in heaven.

  311. Thank you for this post. I love spaetzle, but the cost has gotten so high I’ve pretty much abandoned it. Will give the recipe a try. One of my favorite pot luck dishes is a spaetzle salad made with chicken, roasted green beans, chopped pecans and red bell pepper tossed in a dressing of sesame oil, rice vingar, orange juice and sage. Always a hit.

  312. CJ

    Although I’ve eaten spaetzle often in Germany, I never dreamed I could make them at home. I only knew of the board and knife method, which seemed much too daunting. But after reading this post, I ordered a spaetzle maker and used a tip from a commenter above for a single serving: use 1 egg and 100 grams of flour plus water as needed – I used a scant 3 tablespoons but I think the batter was a little too stiff. Anyway, they were delicious, tossed in butter with caramelized onions and gruyere grated over the top. I liked this German TV video which shows the consistency of the batter and the spaetzle maker in use:,57,wie-mache-ich-spaetzle.html
    So thank you! I’ll be making these often.

  313. clb72

    Yum. I am thinking this might be good with the sauce in the lemon pasta recipe you posted a while back– with herbs too….

  314. Kate

    I use a pizza pan, you know the kind with holes in it? It’s the same idea as the colander, but you just put it on top of the pot like a lid and push the dough through with a spatula. The bigger surface area of the pizza pan means it’s way faster than a colander too! :)

  315. We only have a mesh colander (that just sounds like a HUGE mess…) So we just use our large-holed cheese grater. I take a big spoon full of the batter, plop it on the back of the grater and slowly work it through by pushing it around with a spatula over the pot of water. It works pretty well. Using a potato masher does NOT work too well, having tried that too.

  316. Sherri

    Made these tonight and just tossed them with some melted butter, sauteed shallots, crumbled bacon (and associated fat from cooking), and cheddar cheese. They were delicious, if a little overdone – my fault. I didn’t have any trouble using a colander and spatula, but I haven’t done the dishes yet. I wish I’d realized it would make such an obscenely large amount, though. I could have easily halved the recipe and still fed two adults and a toddler with leftovers.

  317. Betty-Ann

    My husband also grew up in Germany…and spaetzle is the real reason I married him (ha ha!). We have a special press direct from Europe to make them, but the ‘old-fashioned’ way to make them is a knife and cutting board method. The family recipe has had its variations…during the depression the dough used less eggs and as families had more money, the number of eggs in the recipe increased. My husband uses about a dozen eggs per recipe and we freeze the extra portions. My favorite way to eat them is fried in a bit of butter until crispy and golden.

  318. Judith

    I’m from Bavarian-Swabian in Germany and I was raised on Spätzle and just love them!
    I even took a Spätzle- maker with me to Australia to show my host family how to make it :)
    I usually make them with the tupperware spätzle maker which is recommended in comment 217. it’s really is to handle and clean( jsut put it in the dishwasher). there actually just is kind of a fight in germany, austria and switzerland and even in the different parts of southern germany which method is the right one to make it. traditionally they are made with the knife-board version but even my nana uses a ‘spätzle hobel’ätzlehobel as it’s just easier. However it’s aweful to clean.
    to the ingredients: we would never use baking powder or milk for the batter and we take 100g flour per medium sized egg.
    my favourite way to have it is ‘Kässpätzen’, which is the traditional version of the Allgäu. to make it you put a layer of Spätzle in a big bowl followed by a layer of cheese ( vintage or emmentaler) and so on. the dish is topped with fried onions. Delicious!
    If there are any leftovers we usually fry either with bacon and sauerkraut or scrambled eggs or freeze them if there is a bigger amount.
    Anyways you can just have it with everything with it!
    another creative version is to put mashed spinach into the batter as well and then make a casserole with the spinachspätzle, salmon and cheese sauce!
    it was amazing to read a traditional german recipe on you blog!
    i just love your blog! have fun trying some other version of it!

  319. Trisha

    I make the spaetzel last night and it turned out great! (although they didn’t get as crispy as I woul;d have liked, but that might have been due to my fear of using too much butter and impatience). I used my the holes of my Oxo flipper spatual which created nice little dumplings (smaller than the ones my Hungaria grandma used to make). I’m looking forward to enjoying the leftovers tonight. Thanks for the motivation Deb!

  320. Marilyn

    I remember watching my grandmother make spaetzel as a child. She made a thinner batter than yours and used a large funnel and moved it over the pot of boiling water. When I was older I tried to get her recipe but she was one of those when “it looks right or tastes right” cooks. Think I’m going to try to experiment and see if I can replicate it. She would put it in browned butter with buttered bread crumbs on top. True comfort food.

  321. olga

    Just made it! Used the giant strainer that has the same type of holes as a colander but was much easier to handle over the boiling water. I tossed it with some shallot/zucchini/shiitake mixture. Dlish!I am returning my pasta machine b/c why bother with pasta when I can have spaetzle?

  322. dancing kitchen

    I love spaetzel and remember my dad cutting the dough into the chicken paprikash. His were bigger than the spaetzel maker kind and perfectly fit in the mouth. Heaven.
    He always added a tsp of vinegar, he claimed it made the dough more tender.
    I love to add cracked pepper or hot paprika to the spaetzel dough to give an additional layer of flavor.
    Bravo you!

  323. ah i love it when a recipe appears at just the right moment – i was in berlin a few weeks ago and came back desperate to eat more spaetzle – so cheesy and delicous… thanks for all the testing, can’t wait to try this!

  324. brodelbrueh

    Not sure if this has already been covered in one of the many comments, but the board method depends very strongly on how well the dough is made – i.e. if one has attained that perfect texture and thickness that Omas seems to get perfect, but I don’t… :) Anyway, the dough is supposed to flow off the Spätzleboard (a special cutting board that is tapered) and as it flows off the edge, you’re supposed to take a very sharp knife and cut through the falling dough. I do not have those skills. But I guess practice will eventually make perfect?

  325. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I love spaetzle, but have always been intimidated by the process of making it. I love how you share your process…and even the out-takes. :) The pictures are gorgeous as always. I will definitely be making this soon!

  326. Jill

    Buy the unitasker! It is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I have been making spaetzel for years. I use them instead of the noodles for chicken or beef and noodles. Pan fry them with mixed veggies, chicken tenders and sauced with a little gravy. They are one of my favorite comfort foods.

  327. Thanks so much for this recipe. I have never made spaetzle before, but if it’s as fun to cook as it is to spell… ! I might even be feeling bold enough to try after reading this post. Can’t wait for your recipe book!

  328. annie

    I freaked out when I popped up your site today and saw the recipe for spaetzle. I made it for a pot luck at work this past Monday, woke up at 6:30 AM and mine flopped. Prior to browning them in the pan, I had wondered if I should’ve given it a water bath or something to keep from gel-ing together, but kept on going like the recipe asked for. (can’t remember where I got the recipe) Anyway, it failed. it gummed together in the pan and I couldn’t use it for pot luck. I ate it myself and went and bought back up for the pot luck. Sad. Mine was a mustard flavored spaetzle that I was going to toss with veggies and such. Now reading your instructions, I’m thinking “Duh, toss in oil”. Oh, and I agree about pushing it through the colander. I think it would be easier if someone would hold the colander while another pair of hands pushes it through. Thanks for sharing your experience, I’ll try it again soon, and try to make it vegan.

  329. Liz

    I just made the dough for this and it is chilling in the fridge, but I have a question about the consistency. I used gluten free all-purpose flour, and the dough seems quite runny. Is it supposed to be thick? Does it firm up in the fridge? Should I add some more flour? Any guidance you can provide would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  330. Jill

    Liz, when I make them, the batter is ususally thicker than pancake or waffle batter but not STIFF. I would be interested in hearing how they turned out in the GF variety as I have several friends with gluten intolerances.

  331. Sini

    As a half-Bavarian I love Spätzle! We have always made our Spätzle, or Knöpfle like they really should be called as they aren’t made by the knife/board technique, with a Spätzle maker. I like the form of theseones much more than what you get by the knife/board technique. Never have thought about how difficult it can be without a Spätzle maker or the knife/board technique. This post was really fun to read ;)

  332. Loved this post and immeditately got obsessed with findng a spaetzle maker. Went to several stores before I found one, but oh, my god, how much fun are these to make? Yes, it was a bit messy, but it was quick and really delicious. I love all the extra tips given here – I’m definitely adding nutmeg the next time I make this. Hope they freeze well because the recipe makes LOTS! Trying a version of Mac n’ Cheese minus the Mac with my leftovers.

  333. Liz

    Jill – I added more GF flour until the batter was thicker, and added 1/2 tsp of Xanthan gum as well at the suggestion of another cooking blog. They came out really good! I was a little nervous when they were only boiled as they looked a little gummy, but I pan browned them as recommended in this recipe and they came out amazing. I used Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose GF flour blend. Highly recommended, and a surprising success!

  334. SwanL

    I’m new to spatzel and this recipe looked so easy, so I tried it. I ended up with the spatzel equivalent of egg drop soup. It tasted nicely fluffy and eggy, the bits that were actually thick enough to try, but most of it was so thin and scraggly. I’m gonna need to try to make this again, trying the funnel cake-spoon method I read in earlier posts. Otherwise, I’ll get a dang unitasker spatzel-maker to try this. It just looks so good, I really wanna try it.

  335. Jill S

    I absolutely adore spaetzle! Sorry if this was mentioned somewhere else in the 400+ comments but after giving up on the knife/board and collander methods I had a stroke of brilliance…..the food mill. It sits right on top of my pot so I dont have to hold it over boiling water like the collander. I use the plate with the largest holes, add batter a cup or so at a time and just turn the handle. Worked like a charm!

  336. Yum! I’ve only had spaetzle once but it was so amazing I dreamed about eating it again! Thanks for the recipe and the steps.. I might actually be able to make it now! :)

  337. Mitzi

    I’m neither German in origin nor have I ever tried spaetzle before but have been wanting to try them for a long time now, mostly because of hearing people talk about them and salivating profusely. I used your colander method and found it worked quite well. I just tilted it and forced the dough out the side holes instead of the bottom, which protected the hand holding the top of the colander from the steam.
    I have one question though: Is it supposed to smell and taste so eggy? I love eggs, but mine very much resembled scrambled eggs in flavour and made me wonder whether I’d messed up somewhere along the way.

  338. Ping

    Was a really nice surprise to see a traditional German food here! :) Just wanted to say your spaetzle looks lovely (and very authentic)! I studied in the South of Germany for a couple of years and my boyfriend’s German so I’ve made this a few times with his mom, using the special wooden board and knife. And I can say it’s definitely a technique that requires some practice. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  339. Emily

    Love spaetzle – my German grandmother is the best at making them via cutting boards!

    Re: the cutting board method – the best way to do it is to get a small wooden board that has a handle and to use a PASTRY SCRAPER (not a knife) to cut thin spaetzle into the water. You use the pastry scraper to smear the dough across the board, hold on and then it’s really easy to quickly slide strips of dough off the end of the board into the water. You know, without taking off a finger or two!

  340. What a warm feeling this gave me! I live in New Jersey and spent my summers in Long Beach Island, each year for my birthday, my parents would take me to the Dutchman’s Brauhaus for dinner. Spaetzle was my favorite part but I’ve always been hesitant to make my own and tarnish the memory. This looks simple and delicious. I will definitely try it!

  341. LauraJ

    I use the recipe from Joy of Cooking. I’ve been using it for years. I’ve actually never made it by forcing the batter through the colander. My mum always dropped hers off a spoon, tsp. by tsp. into hot chicken soup. My kids go crazy when I tell them I’m making chicken soup & spaetzle. If I’m going to make a double recipe, I’ll do it halfway through the soup making process, so while one of those teenagers is deboning chicken, I’m making spaetzle in the broth in the pan and then setting it in a warm oven until ready to assemble soup. Then I add everything to the pot, but only 1/2 the dumplings … feed the kids, add the rest … otherwise I’d never get a single spaetzle.
    After looking at the pix of them reheated, I might have to try something like that reheated and served with garlic sausage meatballs. I might have to hide some of that, too, to be sure I’d get a little (3 teenagers! boy can they eat).

  342. I used up my leftover spaetzle and substituted it for the macaroni in a standard mac n’ cheese recipe and I’ll never go back! The spaeztle just added an extra creaminess to the whole dish, took the sauce really well and was honestly the most delicious comfort food I’ve ever tasted. Yes, it’s a one use utensil, but I can envision making spaetzle a lot, so it was a good investment for me and makes the whole process so much easier. And apart from letting the batter cool in the fridge (which you could do overnight), it doesn’t really take that much longer than cooking traditional pasta.

  343. Sally

    When I first got married, my husband said that he wanted
    “Stuff” for dinner. I had no clue what he was talking about. I
    finally asked my mother- in-law what he was talking about. I told
    her that he said it was white and was boiled. She said that it was
    called “STUFF”!! She said it was made with eggs, flour and milk, etc.
    She had been making it for 30 years & didn’t know the name. Turns out that
    she is of German heritage and the recipe had been handed down from generation
    to generation for over 100 years. I finally found the recipe for spaetzle in Joy of Cooking. (a wedding gift, and a good one!!)

  344. Beantown

    I always add a generous amout of fresh grated nutmeg. Have trouble getting my Spaetzle to brown in the pan with that crispy buttery edge I remember from growing up in Germany. Welcome tips on that, I don’t do the ice bath/dry out time, just drip dry from a slotted spoon right into melted butter in a nonstick, any other suggestions?

  345. Somia

    Another thumbs up for this post – because 451 comments are just not enough. This brought back such good memories from my junior year summer spent in Konstanz. Love it! I can completely endorse the Norpro spaetzle maker – bought it, used it and it worked brilliantly. I used 1 egg per 100 g flour ratio. I took out of the pot and dumped it into a pan and swished it around with seasonings and olive oil – it browned up wonderfully. Yum! Thanks much for the endless combinations this can offer.

  346. melissa

    My German friend’s mother gave me pastry/dough scraper and a small, very thin board made of melamine or something similar to make spaetzle. The scraper and slick board surface work well together. Twenty-plus years later they gave me a spaetzle maker but I haven’t tried it yet. You’ve inspired me to dig it out.

  347. Victoria

    I bought a grilling skillet w/large holes that fits over my pot and am making this tomorrow! Not sure if I’m going to put it with potatoes, bake with cheese&carmelized onion, or pan fried veggies. But I am serving it in a cup made of bacon strips woven together. The boyfriends gonna love it( I hope!)
    Thanks for the easy recipe!

  348. Julie

    I just found your blog today, and I can’t wait to try this (and the french onion soup)! I’ve never had spaetzle but I can almost smell the buttery, pan-browned goodness through the photo. I don’t have the right kind of colander or grater, so I’m thinking of poking holes in a freezer bag and squeezing them out.

  349. Belinda

    I made this for Easter dinner and found that when I used the colander over the boiling pot of water that the dough cooked in the bottom of the colander before I had even a 1/3 of it done. did I do something wrong?
    I ended up letting dough drip off the edge of a mixing spoon into the water then baking when all done with cheese then putting sauted onions on top. None of my guests complained! Great recipe although mine didn’t look as nice as your picture.

  350. Mrs D

    This was an epic fail for me… Not sure what I did wrong, but I did sit the batter overnight which may have been the issue.

    Used an actual spaetzle maker from my Oma and even though they fell into the pot in large blobs, they disintegrated once in the water. Tried also using the board and fork method with the same result. D’oh! The whole batch had to go down the sink.

    Don’t think I’ll try this again and just leave it to Oma! Hated wasting all those eggs.

  351. loulou

    My Berlin boyfriend would make me Spaetzle and add veggies to the batter. He had a spaetzle maker and we had deep fried zuchini and carrot spaetzle with deep fried mushrooms and strawberry smoothies for dessert. very delicious. I’ll have a go at your recipe, for nostalgia sake at least.

  352. CM

    I made the Zuni Cafe version tonight, inspired by reading about spaetzle here recently. The Zuni version is simpler: 5 oz cake flour, 2 eggs, 5 tsp water, no rest time. I used the colander method and didn’t have a problem (but my colander is plastic, so maybe it was more comfortable because it didn’t heat up). To my dismay, my toddler didn’t like it! But everyone else did. I made the mistake of mixing it with braised peas, mushrooms, and Parmesan before offering it to him — I bet if I had kept everything separate and the spaetzle dry, he would have liked it. I’ll give it another try — it’s so easy and (especially with this 2-egg version) uses ingredients I always have on hand.

  353. Simone

    Not sure if anybody in comment 90-460 mentioned it (I stopped reading the comments at 89). But when using the potatoe ricer to make spaetzle you hold it 2-3 cm above the boiling water when you start pressing, wait for the first bit of batter to hit the water and then slowly pull it straight upwards. And it helps if the ricer has round holes.

  354. eleonard

    Made this for the second time tonight. Summer is not exactly spaetzle season in my book but a few weeks ago, the child set a timer on his phone to remind me to make it again. That’s cuteness that can’t be resisted. The spaetzle maker works like a dream, really easy. I sauteed it with some (actually a lot of) bacon, garlic, and cabbage. Seasoned with a bit of maple sugar, thyme and lemon. I’m going to crawl into bed now..

  355. Matt

    This was fantastic – I made it last night and it will not be the last! I used 1 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour and it turned out great – I think next time I might try all whole wheat flour. I also mixed in sauteed kale and some iltalian sausages and it was wonderful. Thanks!

  356. There is a place in St. Louis I saw on Diners Drive Ins and Dives called Iron Barley, been there a couple of times and it is fantastic food, they serve Schnitzel and Spaetzle.. soo good. I want to go this weekend.

  357. BananaBirkLarsen

    Thank you for this recipe! I hadn’t had spaetzle in years and had never made it myself before tonight (my sister used to work at an Austrian restaurant and got to bring home the extra) and this turned out beautifully.

    I used the colander method which was somewhat time-consuming, but worked quite well.

    I tossed it with browned butter, caramelized onions, fresh thyme, salt, pepper and topped it all with fontina cheese. My boyfriend and I have already started coming up with all sorts of possible toppings for the next time I make it!

  358. Oh noes!!! I just tried this and it was a complete disaster–my dough was so runny!! I wound up with basically a pot of boiled scrambled eggs. Blech. I skipped the chilling part because I read other recipes that left it out–was that my fatal misstep?

  359. barbi

    this thread is hilarious! we were on vacation last week and had a spaetzle cook off. We did practically the same recipe in this original post and used a tupperware spaetzle maker that I was given (after I begged for it) while visiting a friend in Switzerland. Anyway, once the spaetzle was cooked we put some in a frying pan with oodles of butter, diced onion, already browned, rinsed and drained sauerkraut. Amazing. The other way we did it was to generously butter an ovenproof platter or baking dish. as the spaetzle cooks, add to the dish, cover with grated extra old cheddar cheese and return to the oven. Repeat this process and once you have cooked all the spaetzle, finish with a layer of cheddar, cover the top with breadcrumbs. Pour over some seriously browned butter (it should be almost smoking and sizzle when you pour it over!). You will think you have died and gone to heaven. You can also cook the spaetzle and reheat it in a frying pan if cooking it while making your meal stresses you out. My girlfriend freezes hers when making for a crowd. Really, this is super easy and everyone goes crazy for it.

  360. Gina Lettieri

    ahhhhh homemade spaetzle – mixed and resting in my frig right now as a side with oven pot roast using beef brisket.

    With gravy or a little butter or quick pan fried it’s always a “good to the tummy” comfort food.


  361. bostonblah

    what if you tried to use a kitchenaid mixer with meat grinder attachment, either with the meat screen, or with one of the pasta maker dies on it, but which one? has anyone tried this?there are 5 different dies i think,or there is a more epensive pasta maker from kitchenaid that goes on all made mixers called the pasta presss, i already have the grinder and pasta dyes so i was thinking of trying it, that or a pastry bag maybe, but what size/shape tip?

  362. bostonblah

    looks good, think ill try it with some comte ,wild mushroom,shallotts,sherry, parsley,thyme, chive,really good bacon from the butcher(karls sausage kitchen),le monseur peas ,and white truffle oil

  363. Margret

    I used my Oxo skimmer. I could hold it far enough above the pot to avoid the steam. Blobs came off the side, but I just sliced them off with the spatula. Made a dainty spaetzle and great leftovers. :) not too messy either.

  364. Jan

    I am from germany and ate and made quite a lot of Spätzle but I was curious how these would turn out. Terrible, seems to be the answer. I got suspicious when I read the list of ingredients, which lists a huge amount of eggs compared to the flour that’s used, but I wanted to give it a chance and followed the directions. After the dough had its resting time and everything else was prepared I took the dough out of the refrigerator and gave it a look. It was, as some other commenters said, very runny. I used it anyway and the finished Spätzle are pretty much as I expected them: Like scrambled eggs that got a little bit of flour in them to make them a tiny bit less flabby. Taste and texture are really bad compared to real Spätzle. My conclusion is that there are two possible reasons for this result. One would be that the recipe is just bad, the other that the poster made a mistake and wrote the wrong one down.

  365. Sigrid

    I am German and make spaetzle on a regular basis. You can add 1/4 cup of ground Hazelnuts to the dough
    before pulling through a noodle press. Also the standard recipe is 3 cups of flour, 4 eggs and a few tablespoons water and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon and work the dough until airbubbles show. Run through press and use knife to cut dough off bottom of press, then stir fast. When noodles rise to surface they are done. Immediately take out and put on plate. NO ice bath. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a pan, add kelloggs cornflake crumbs until golden brown. Pour over spaetzle and serve. Yumm

  366. I had the same experience with the potato ricer. So sad! I’ll have to try the colander method next, or perhaps the board method. I love you blog by the way! I just started my own blog and look to you for inspiration. Your recipes always turn out great. Thanks!

  367. herzerl

    try the colander method with the pot being not completely ontop of source of heat-no mess-plus batter doesn`t solidify on the colander´s underbelly. when finished with one batch return to heat immediately…works a treat ps: charlotte´s egg-flour-water ratio is perfect and usually applied in Germany, Austria etc.

  368. mike

    I like to use a cookie cooling rack to push the batter though! it fits across the pot of water, and the holes are all the same size. I also add chopped parsley to me batter!

  369. Amber Johnson

    Made this but subbed in Semolina Flower. My friend Marcel, a German, insists that it must ALWAYS be made with Semolina. They turned out great.

  370. Toni

    Loved the funny commentary on your experience making Spaetzle. Had it first in Leavenworth, Washington. I gushed about it to others and a friend bought me a spaetzle maker. But did I use it? Well, maybe about 20 years later. Talk about procrastination! Went to buy one for a friend who loved mine and found it on amazon for 8 bucks. Definitely a good buy. Thanks for the good read.

  371. Hi,
    i was browsing smitten kitchen for a recipe and stumbled upon the old post for spaetzle. I read some of it – and decided to post this link to a recent article in a german newspaper which tells that spaetzle are now a “protected species”:
    Basically this article is saying that swabian spaeztle (a region in southern Germany, NOT Austria!)are protected by the European Union. Kinda like parmesan cheese or so.
    They are a swabian= schaebisch, not swiss or austrian or any other german region’s specialty. The swabish are proud that so many other people like their spatzle enough to claim them their own specialty ;-)

  372. Corina

    Yes, indeed, spaetzle ARE (the word is plural, folks!) a specialty of Swabia, which is where my father and his family are from. The word means “little sparrows.” Why would Swabians name a noodle/dumpling after sparrows? I haven’t the faintest idea. It is worth the investment in a spaetzle-machine, and the heavier, the better. I highly recommend adding a little salt to the dough,, which is VERY thick when mixed properly. You do want to let the dough rest for at least 15 to 30 minutes (lets the gluten develop, for proper texture). Wendy wanted to know how you can make cleanup a little easier – spray all parts of the spaetzle-machine that will touch the dough with non-stick cooking spray. You’ll still have a bit of a mess, but if you immediately soak the machine in hot water, cleanup really isn’t that bad. For firmer noodles, I suggest using water in place of the milk (which is how my father’s family does it – my mother, who is not from Swabia, prefers to add no liquid to the egg mixture at all). We sometimes top our huge platter of spaetzle with some bread crumbs which have been browned in butter. It helps the gravy from the Sauerbraten to stay on the noodles better!

  373. Leslie

    Hi There,

    First off, I love this website and consult first for just about any food idea that comes up. I’ve made spaetzle several times (once for 150 ppl, what the heck?!) but it’s been about 6 years so I needed to brush up. I have to say, I did not like how this recipe turned out for me. I thought it was way too egg-y – to the point that while frying it up in the pan it was like deja-vu (didn’t I just do this this morning?), I was making scrambled eggs! Only these scrambled eggs were more complicated and made a much bigger mess than typical scrambled eggs. I guess I prefer it to taste more dough-like? Also, adding herbs and a little seasoning is preferred. Yeah, sorry, they looked, smelled, and tasted like straight-up scrambled eggs (only slightly spaetzley).

  374. dear deb, being german and living in stuttgart, the “origin and centre of spätzle-making”, I must say I am very honored to read about you teaching others with your fabulous recipe to make spätzle. the real challenge is to do it in the old-fashioned german way: to scratch the dough with a spatula from a little wooden chopping board. and you have to do that really fast that the spätzle cook to perfection all at the approximate same time. when they come on the surface of the water, we skim them and let them dry over night on a cotton cloth on a wooden shelf and we eat it slightly fried with butter in a steel pan. Guten Appetit!
    ps: I might have to give the recipe of “bubaspitzl”e to you-a fantastic southern german pasta recipe…if you are interested? patato-pasta slightly similar to “gnocchi” from our italian neighbors. warmest regards.

  375. Katharina

    Love to see, that you are making Spätzle :) I’m from Germany and in my opinion, the best Spätzle are made by my granny, that’s here recipe:

    250 g Mehl
    1/6 l water (warm)
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs

    Although there are just two eggs, these Spätzle are very light! You have to mix the dough until it “blisters”. Than you should let the dough sit for a while. For real Spätzle, you do have to use a cutting board that is espacially made for Spätzle: it’s flatter at the front and helps a lot to create good Spätzle :) Also the cutting board (and the small knife or spatula) have to be wet all the time (cooking water).

    We normally eat Spätzle fried in butter, with parsley and sometimes with swiss cheese. Perfekt side dish is a green salad.

    Oh and btw you should totally try to do some “Maultaschen” – a delicious food from south Germany. Once you’ve tasted them, you will get kind of addicted (really, it’s true).

    I will of course continue following your blog, you (and your creativity) are so awesome!! ?

    Best regards

  376. Bonnie

    My grandmother taught me to spread the batter on a flat surface, like the back of a cookie sheet, and knife small pieces into the boiling water. I find this method (I use the back of my dough scraper, as it’s smaller and more manageable than a cookie sheet) works really well. And turns me into less of a mess than I become when I use the Spätzle maker that I bought in Germany…

  377. Rob

    I make Spaetzle for the local German club all the time using a simple/basic dough:
    1 egg
    1/2 cup flour
    water as needed
    The recipe is for one serving and you basically scramble the egg in a separate bowl, then mix it into the flour and add enough water so that the dough isn’t dry. It makes a very sticky dough that is perfect for a Spaetzle press or potato ricer with bigger holes.(I tried the cutting board method but found that I was not coordinated enough) The real secret to the recipe is the boil. I use plenty of salt in my water along with garlic and herbs. After a 20 second boil I strain them then fry them in butter.
    I have also found that these noodle are great in soup. Instead of boiling them in saltwater and herbs, just drop them into boiling soup. The noodles will soak up the flavor like a sponge.
    Enjoy, PROST!

  378. JPP

    I grew up cooking by my Hungarian grandmothers side…and loved her Spätzle along with her Chicken Paprikash and dumplings (slightly larger Spätzle) . A dear friend told me they tried this recipe with NO success…it was total GOO! When I asked about the list of ingredients I quickly understood why. Spätzle is not made from a BATTER, it’s made from a soft DOUGH!!! THANK YOU Rob (post 490) for a revised recipe. Mine is similar with:
    3 cups flour, 4 eggs, dash of salt and up to 1/2 cup water. Mix with a spoon until bubbles form or the spoon comes clean. I like to use a thin edge silver teaspoon (one of Grandmas) to “flick” the little Spätzle into salted boiling water, dipping the spoon in the boiling water after each flick! Very time consuming and steamy…but oh so worth it! If you are not doing the cutting, flicking or ricing method, you will want the dough a bit softer (add another egg and more water) to scrape through the Stainless Steel Spätzle maker.

    My Spätzle maker is a thick piece of Stainless steel with handles, smaller than a pizza pan with 1/2″ holes drilled in it 1″ apart. (the SS edges offer a nice crisp cutting edge) You may want to make your own…I got mine at an awesome kitchen store in Germany. Enjoy!

  379. Donna M

    I grew up eating Spaetzle. My grandmother’s husband’s family were from the northern part of Switzerland. Nana used to prepare her batter and then I recall her putting the batter on a dinner plate and using a knife to “cut” the batter into the boiling salted water. She always bought the best Swiss cheese she could buy – Emmentaler. So, after the first batch of spaetzle was made, and the butter sauteed onions were ready, I helped in the assembly. The noodles were drained and layered out on a platter, that got topped with a healthy layer of grated cheese, a good amount of sauteed/carmelized onions topped with fresh ground pepper. Repeat until the batter is all gone. I honestly can’t tell you how many layers (you want more than just 2 or 3), but here’s one time when more is merrier! A fond memory, as a child, was watching the cheese string from the platter to the serving plate. It’s just one of those dishes that make it all the better with the memories all wrapped up in it.

  380. Erin

    In professional kitchens, the standard for cooking spaetzle is a slotted hotel pan and a bowl scraper. The fact that the pan is flat makes it sit nicely on the pot and much easier to run the scraper over, and the bowl scraper covers a much larger area than a spatula.

  381. fe

    Great recipe!
    In Austria we also eat spätzle as dessert!
    after drainig the spätzle put them in a pot with a lot of applesauce and heat them up. I loved it as a child and your recipe reminds me to make spätzle soon again!

  382. Burdzel
    This worked very nicely for me. You do have to reember to not heat the item while boiling the water so the dough does not cook to the top before it gets pushed into the water, remove it when it is not needed to actually push dough in, and run it under cold water before use and periodically to keep it cool so dough does not stick or cook on. It was easy to clean and did not have sharp edges.I have seen plastic versions as well. Thicker dough is harder to manipulate through the holes but the holes are generous sized. It is best to push the dough scraper at a sharp angle downward instead of holding the scraper straight up and down. Moving dough straight across was less effective. I have seen Emeril making spaetzle on a video and his batter was quite runny and just dripped down whereas mine was much thicker. Having a larger family, the lid worked well for me. I would like to try an aluminum press someday and read they recommend they be dipped in cold water before loading with dough and re-dipped each time before filling the press with new batches to prevent the dough from sticking.

  383. SML

    The easiest way to make spaetzle (and half that number of eggs will do just fine) is to pinch off pieces of the dough. No fancy equipment necessary.

  384. Herschel Atkinson

    Just found this site. I use a very heavy aluminum spaetzle maker(similar to a ricer with long handles that are not over the poet) bought in Stuttgart in the 60s. Made some two days ago for first or second time since Berlinerin wife died in 2003 and forgot important thing; dough should be thick and heavy and let siit for half an hour. Wound up with tiny strings that even when dried overnight were soggy and a marvellous mess of dried dough dippings over everything but the house tom cat. For earier comment on cleanup: rinse immediately after use in cold wateer and immerse bottom in pan of water and pump piston upand down to force water through holes.

  385. I have been a subscriber of your blog for a while, but came across this particular post while trying to decide if I wanted to attempt to make Spaetzle with out a Spaetzle maker. I am constantly caught in laughter when I read your posts. The bit about the ricer had me almost in tears and will now not be attempted.

  386. I stumbled upon this entry because I was curious about spaetzle (spent the last 30 minutes googling how to pronounce it properly!). Your article is hilarious! I am prone to making cooking errors similar to your “freakish megaspaetzle” (LOL again), so that made me laugh extra loudly. I remember my last beignet disaster with fondness. Thank you for the recipe and the entertainment. This amateur cook will definitely try your version soon.

  387. Judy McDermott

    I have been making chicken spaetzle soup for 50 years and the family loves it. I use just eggs and ap flour with a tad of salt, and cut the spaetzles into the soup stock when it is ready. I cut with a spoon, and dip the spoon into the hot simmering soup to ready the spoon for the next cut. The spaetzles come out somewhat larger than what your spaetzles look like, but this is the beauty of a hearty chicken soup. After the spaetzles are all cut into the soup I add back in the cut up chicken meat from one whole chicken which was used to make the stock. Serve this up with some good artisian bread and you have a wonderful winter meal.

  388. Pupienus

    I too generally refuse to buy single-purpose tools or appliances. One MIGHT consider a pot strainer single purpose but as itmakes an EXCELLENT spaetzle maker you needn’t concern yourself. Grab a slug of batter with a rubber spatula and press it through the strainer holes directly into the salted water. Been doing it that way for decades.

  389. This is the worst spaetzle recipe I’ve ever tried. It wasn’t spaetzle, it was a boiled, pasty omelet. Also, holding it overnight is a restaurant trick not necessary at home.
    If you reduce the eggs from seven to two, your spaetzle will sing.
    Please, please, please don’t follow this recipe (without modifications) and expect to make passable spaetzle. It won’t.
    I also have a blog and yes, mistakes do creep into recipes. But I usually add a bold faced comment that clarifies a process or ingredient.

    Jersey Girl in Portland
    (Google it.)

  390. LP

    Love spaetzle — lots of different recipes worth trying (I use a little less egg and little more milk plus a little cream), and always include a teaspoon of baking powder and dash of nutmeg. I’d just order a spaetzle maker from or something, but prior to doing that, I used a food mill with the plate with the largest holes with very reasonable success.

  391. Ahuva

    Comment #42 Katrina has this EXACTLY as I was taught by my grandmother, who was Hungarian. *smile* Grandma taught me to make nuckerle, as we called it, with eggs and flour and a bit of salt. We stirred it with a wooden spoon ’til it pulled from the side and had the air pockets and it “looked right”. :) Then stand over the boiling water and cut the dough into the pot. My great aunts made the most even, smallest pieces you have ever seen. There is a trick with the side of the knife, dip the knife in the water, then smooth a long skinny finger of dough to the edge of the board, then slice the pieces into the boiling water. We never chilled it, but that might be useful for beginners. I can see where it might help on making evenly-sized pieces. *smile* I taught my son this just a few short months ago. I found this site and comments because he made his first solo batch today and we are doing the post-cooking analysis. *grin*

  392. Erin

    You should try using a pizza pan with holes in the bottom. My dad is from Lancaster County in Pennsylvania and that is how his grandmother taught me how to do it! You just set your pan over boiling water and push the dough through the holes on the pan with a bread scraper. Works every time!

  393. Betsey

    I learned to make spaetzle from my German grandma. One egg, one cup of flour, and water until the batter is ‘right’. She always held the bowl of batter at an angle over the pot of boiling water and cut little pieces in with a butter knife, and that’s how I do it, too. You get big blobs if you’re impatient, though.

  394. Karen

    I own a spaetzle maker, it’s a simple tool that sits over a pot of boiling water. I bought mine off Amazon for$12, well worth it. I have an Austrian husband so I enjoy making him good hearty Austrian style foods he misses so much.

  395. Dana

    A real spaetzle maker from Germany, although expensive and too large to fit in a drawer, is easy to use for spaetzle and also makes perfect mashed potatoes. So it does do two things. Oh, and don’t ever put it in the dishwasher.

  396. baker

    delic!! I used white whole wheat flour and made your herbed recipe on half and a tomato sauce on the other. who needs a spaetzle maker? this way just adds another use to the colander everyone already has!! Super yum!

  397. Sophie

    Hi Deb,

    I am a frequent follower of smitten kitchen and am often drawn to your recipes for inspiration. I’m planning to make this for my family on Saturday (I’m forcing everyone to eat an Austrian themed dinner in honour of the Eurovision Song Contest) and just wanted to know how many servings this quantity would make? We all like our food so generous portion sizes would be good.



  398. Mimi

    Hi Sophie,

    I’m not Deb, but I make spätzle quite often (I’m from Stuttgart :) – my thumb rule says, for every person, take 100 g flour and 1 egg. (Dough requires quite a lot of salt. Don’t forget to also salt the water you cook them in, or the spätzle will lose their salt in the cooking process and taste bland. )
    Add a little water to the dough, so that it is not too heavy. Practice makes perfect ;)

  399. Mimi

    Sorry, forgot one thing:

    if you want to get some vegetables into your kids, defrost spinach (the pureed kind, not the leafy kind), and add it to the dough instead of the water. Maybe you also need 1 less egg, as the spinach adds “wetness”.

    Makes for some reeally green spätzle. After gently boiling them in water, let them dry a little and add them to a pan with browned onions and some crisp bacon bits. Yummy!!

  400. Jay Porter

    I can’t read the 500+ comments befor me but thought the recipe great. The colander seemed to cook the dough while I was pressing it through. I found a great tool to use – the small holes on my spritz cookie press worked great! Delicious and no uni-tool!

  401. Christine

    coming to this a little later than most, I see! I lived in Swabia for a year and developed a fondness for the little sparrows (spaetzli) there. Since then, I’ve discovered that trick that someone else mentions above of using brown-butter breadcrumbs and a little salt to make pretty much ANY spaetzli dish go from ‘good’ to ‘wow’! I will have to try the cornflake version of that, that i saw someone else mention o.O …
    I usually like savory dishes (and did love the recipe that we’re all posting under), but I invented (or at least i haven’t seen it anywhere else) a sweet version with butter fried spaetzli (to golden brown) topped with a butter-rosemary (dried)-(very) dark chocolate sauce, baked with a bit of sprinkled sugar on top till the sugar crystalizes. I call it “Holy Yum Spaetzli.” Did I put breadcrumbs on this one? No, somehow I forgot, but I’m thinking now that the buttered-cornflake version of the breadcrumbs with some sugar instead of salt mixed in might be awesome on this.

  402. karen

    Unfortunately, this was a complete and total failure for me. Not sure I’ll even try again – I will stick to making homemade pasta which for me has always yielded better results with less aggravation.

  403. Mihaela

    We make something similar and serve them with goulash. We just quickly cut off the dough with a teaspoon into the boiling water: Hold the bowl with batter tilted over the pot and with the side of a teaspoon you quickly slide little pieces into the water. I find it v fast and not messy. Yours look yummy , should make some soon. And love your blog of course

  404. Dusty

    Slicing and dicing onions. I use a Swissmar-Boner Mandoline from Amazon. The plastic of the Mandoline suppresses the fumes and it is nearly painless. The blades are all razor blades. ALWAYS USE the veggie holder and stay very paranoid about the blades. Slices beautifully. Mine has a fully variable slicing thickness; the one I bought my daughter has one setting for slice thickness but it is about what you always want, anyway.

    To dice I use the “shark-fin” blade array unit. Cut a flat on the stem side of the onion; peel the onion but leave a small “hat” over the roots. Push the onion backwards over those shark fins, rotate the onion 90 degrees, push forward. Repeat the back and forth. In nothing flat [with a little practice] you have a pile of diced onion. Discard the little root end. Eyes still dry. Until you pick up the Mandoline at least. Clean the Mandoline and blades with a brush [my brush looks like a toothbrush for a giant] under hot tap water with just a drop of dish soap. Very quick clean-up.

  405. Tammy

    I have a spaetzle maker and it can be well replaced with a large-hole cheese grater and a spatula for pressing the dough through the holes. And the amount of batter you can get on the grater is pretty equivalent to the amount you can get back out without clumping. :)

    1. deb

      Only iron and non-stainless steel rust. I bought a spaetzle maker after this post for $9.10 at the time; it’s $12 now but it doesn’t seem like a terrible investment (if you like spaetzle and want it often in your life).

      1. Not sure how often, I try to do things quick and easy. I never did make it though. I don’t think the colander holes are big enough after thinking about it. When I worked in the restaurants we had half size steam table pans with big holes and thats what we would use over a big pot of simmering water.

        1. Carrie

          I use a regular four sided box grater with the the big holes facing down. Scoop up a few spatulas of batter into the grater, then use the spatula to smoosh batter through into pot. Repeat until the top of your pot is full of spaetzle. Stir, boil a minute or so more, than scoop out and repeat. Or if you are lazy like me, turn up the heat to a roiling boil and just keep dropping the spaetzle in. The boiling action keeps things stirred so you don’t get a mega-spaetzle. That said, I usually am making them for chicken soup so I don’t need as many as I would if making them to be sautéed as a side.

  406. Lisa

    Spaetzle is my new favorite thing to make. Your story is hilariously close to home minus the child. I did finally break down and buy a spaetzle “lid” it was around $10 at and well worth the money! I have tried several recipes and each have been delicious. You recipe is next. I’ll let you know how it works with the special gadget. Thanks for sharing, Lisa

  407. Sarah

    I grew up eating spätzle and now make it in my own kitchen using almost this exact method. I just had to add that my mom uses spätzle in place of noodles in her chicken soup (which is the greatest in the world and has ruined me for all other chicken soups). She uses a spätzle maker to drop the batter directly into the broth and simmers until cooked.

  408. Janet

    This was so good! I used a ricer but with a disc that had the holes spaced far enough apart to prevent any “globs”. It was so surprisingly light. And so easy!

  409. Ursula

    They make a special cutting board for just that purpose. Probably can’t get one here. Amazon has several spätzle makers that work just fine though. I learned the old way but have switched now. The American way I guess. They come out much more uniform and thin than hand cutting.

  410. Dawn Gaschel

    Holy moly! I did not read all these comments. Just wanted to say that my German mother in law taught me how to do this. It is as simple as can be but
    I didn’t try your recipe, so yours may taste better. I love your website so if no one has suggested this method, I would be pleased to share the recipe. The dough is very thick and you simply hold the bowl over simmering water and cut off the Spätzle with a paring knife. It yields beautiful noodles in a few minutes with no mess.


  411. Cameron

    I’ve made a very similar recipe, but with a spoonful of ricotta in place of some of the eggs, and some lemon zest. I recommend serving the spaetzle with a dollop of ricotta seasoned with salt and lemon juice, a dollop of green-pea pesto, and steamed asparagus! It’s delicious and very filling this way.

  412. Melissa

    Just two weeks ago I, too, decided I needed to make spaetzle! I tried a couple of recipes and liked one with more eggs, but this one has even more… so I will try it tomorrow! Everything was great except for my colander – as it has ok-sized holes but has a round ringed foot to it and the dough kept clumping up. If you haven’t already, check out videos of Austrians and Germans using the wooden-board-and-knife method — they are AMAZING and inspiring! My goal is to master that, and will try with your recipe.

  413. It looks super delicious! I now what will be the dinner tonight. :)
    If any of you likes to experiment than try this Hungarian recipe (the base is this spetzle recipe, so you need to make your cooked spatzle first): fry some diced bacon in a pan until it’s become crispy. While it’s on the hob crack 2 eggs (you should count 1 egg per 1 serving of spetzle dish), add a 1 teaspoon of sour cream per egg, salt, and mix it, like you make a scrambled egg. When the bacon is nice brown and looks ready dump the (already) cooked spatzle into the pan and keep on frying it for a couple of minutes. When it’s hot everywhere pour the scrambled eggs onto it. Keep on stirring for a couple of minutes, or until the egg become solid. Season it with some freshly grounded pepper. Super nice with some pickled gherkins or lettuce with vinaigrette.

  414. Jacqueline

    I would like to try making a spinach version of this recipe. Do you think I can just add some cooked and puréed spinach to this recipe without making other adjustments?

  415. Doro

    Don`t know if anybody mentioned already the fabulous Spätzlepresse! Its made especially for doing the Spätzle in a very comfortable way. Spätzle by the way means little sparrow
    Greetings from the Black Forest. The cradle of all Spätzle.

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  417. Amy

    I’ve made this recipe several times and enjoyed it. The last couple times I let it rest longer in the fridge (3 – 4 hours) and it feels a little more sturdy yet stretchy, like Deb described above. I also highly recommend a spaetzle maker, doing it with a colander is pretty tedious and I find a lot of the dough dries on the colander before making it to the water. I fry mine with butter and shallots and let it get decently brown and crispy, I find adding cheese (popular as kasespaetzle in Germany) makes it a little too heavy for my taste. Great dish with some red cabbage and bratwurst.

  418. Susan Fewkes

    My German grandmother always dropped the dough in tiny bits from a teaspoon. After they were sufficiently cooked, she drained them and smothered them in butter. As I child I didn’t like them but of course, was made to eat everything on my plate. I would swallow them whole just to get rid of them! We just called them dumplings.
    Times have changed and now I LOVE them but it’s taken my husband a little time to get used to them. He eats them but I can’t say that he loves them!

  419. Jon

    Very nice.
    On the plus side, I’ve always been intimidated by making noodles, and this was pretty easy. Need to fiddle with the hardware a little to get a more optimal setup.

    On the negative side, it was too stiff after it had set for an hour or so, and I had to add some water. Next time I’ll use a little less flour.

    These have to be about the easiest noodles to make.

  420. Susan Fewkes

    My German grandmother made this as did my mother. Only difference is they never pushed it through a sieve. Instead, small teaspoons of dough were dropped into boiling, salted water-they float off the spoon. Cook for 8-10 minutes. They are a little doughy in the middle which is what you want! Pour melted butter over the drained “dumplings” and enjoy!
    2 eggs, beaten, 3/4 t. salt, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 c. milk and enough flour to stiffen (about 2 cups) Drop into boiling water. Enjoy! Recipe is over 100 years old as I am 75.

  421. Alyssia

    These were not good. They tasted like bland scrambled eggs but maybe that’s what an eggier spaetzel is supposed to taste like? I unfortunately had to discard the whole thing. It’s not like anything I’ve had in German restaurants, which is what I was attempting to recreate.