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Published February 1, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious homemade German Spaetzle recipe is incredibly easy to make and is a fantastic side dish to serve up at any meal. You will love how customizable these are with all the different ingredients you can add-in.
It’s all about the sides dishes and having options when preparing a meal for friends and family. If you love accompaniments and delicious side dishes then definitely check out my Lyonnaise Potatoes or Creamy Coleslaw.
Spaetzle is a traditional German dish consisting of egg-noodle-like dough that is boiled in water and then lightly browned in butter. It very much resembles the flavor and texture of small dumplings. There are many things you can add to the spaetzle to add flavor to it, so feel free to have fun making it your own.
When making spaetzle you will need a perforated pan, a large hole colander, or a spaetzle maker. If you do not have access to any of those you can spread the dough out on a breadboard and add in small little pieces at a time off the board into the boiling water using a metal spatula.
- Flour – All-purpose flour will work. If you only have bread flour, you will need to add 5% more water.
- Water – Tap water works fine with this.
- Salt – I like to use sea salt, but any salt will do.
- Eggs – Large cold eggs are what should be used.
How to Make Spaetzle from Scratch
Use these easy-to-follow instructions for making homemade spaetzle from scratch:
Add the flour, eggs, salt, and water to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until well combined and air bubbles have formed.
Place a perforated pan, spaetzle maker, or colander with large holes over a pot of boiling salted water and place about a ½ cup of the dough batter onto the pan or maker and press through the holes into the water.
The dough will break off once pushed through into small oblong-shaped dough pieces.
Once the spaetzle rises to the top, it is done cooking.
Remove the spaetzle using a slotted spoon and toss in with butter, salt, and pepper, or immediately cool in water until ready to use.
If you cooled them, add the butter to a large frying pan over medium heat until melted, and then add in the drained spaetzle and heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper.
You can absolutely add extra ingredients to the spaetzle to help customize the flavor. Here are a few things to put in:
- Spinach – Finely minced spinach is good in this and adds a pop of color.
- Herbs – I like to add in things like thyme, parsley, or chives to this
- Cheese – Parmesan, mozzarella, and asiago are some of the cheeses I like, but feel free to add in your favorites.
- Spices – Bold spices like nutmeg or chili powder are good in this.
- Garlic – Finely minced garlic really adds a flavor punch to this.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: If you cool this right after boiling, you can make these up to 2 days ahead of time. Reheat in butter and serve.
How to Store: Coat with a small amount of oil, cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Once cool, coat in a small amount of oil, cover, and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
How to Reheat: Heat a large frying pan with 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter until melted. Add the strained and cooled spaetzle to the pan and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until hot. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Chef Notes + Tips
If you do not have a stand mixer, feel free to use a food processor, blender, or electric hand mixer.
Do not leave the spaetzle to cool in the water for too long or else it will become waterlogged. Drain, and coat the spaetzle in a little bit of oil if you do not wish to serve them relatively soon.
More Side Dish Recipes
Perfect Homemade Spaetzle Recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- Add the flour, eggs, water, and salt to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and vigorously whisk on high speed until it becomes almost like a thicker pan-cake batter. You may see a few bubbles in there which is a good thing. Set aside.
- Next, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Place a perforated pan, spaetzle maker, or colander with large holes over the pot of boiling salted water and place about a ½ cup of the dough batter onto the pan or maker and press through the holes into the water using a rubber spatula or dough scraper.
- The dough will break off once pushed through into small oblong shaped dough pieces.
- Once the spaetzle rises to the top, it is done cooking.
- Remove the spaetzle using a slotted spoon and toss in with butter, salt, and pepper, and cook over medium heat until lightly browned or immediately cool in ice water until ready to use.
- If you cooled them, add the butter to a large frying pan over medium heat until melted and then add in the drained spaetzle and heat until hot and lightly browned. Season with salt, and pepper, and optional chopped parsley.