This easy German Spaetzle recipe is the perfect basic side dish for a handful of recipes like beef Rouladen, my Oma's lentils with spätzle, pork goulash, Schnitzel and even your favorite stews, German or not. Also try my addictive Käsespätzle, German cheese spätzle!
These homemade German egg noodles are super quick to make using just a few ingredients like eggs, flour, milk, and butter. Spätzle are from Germany's Schwabenland (Swabia) in the southwest of Germany and have been a staple in our family for a long time.
I optionally add a touch of freshly grated nutmeg for a warming flavor note (try it if you haven't!).
What is Spätzle?
Spätzle are German homemade egg noodles made from eggs, flour, milk, and butter. Spätzle are prepared using a Spätzle press (what my family grew up using). My Swiss friend likes using a Spätzleschaber (Spätzle grater) like the one, making round little Spätzle called Knopfle. they can also be flung into the boiling water from a cutting board using a straight-edge knife (see notes at the bottom of the recipe card).
I like using the ladder method when adding chopped sautéed mushrooms or chopped sautéed onions or herbs into the spätzle batter (such fun and delicious ways to play with this basic recipe), as it will get stuck in a Spätzle press or grater.
What to serve with German Spätzle
The great thing about this German basic recipe (Grundrezept) is that it's super versatile and can be served in place of many other basic sides. If you're looking for a classic cheese Spätzle recipe like those pictured below (Käsespätzle), I got you covered too!
Some of my favorite foods to serve with Spätzle are:
- Beef rouladen, which are stuffed flank steak cooked in a dark wine or beer sauce, and definitely a favorite!
- My Oma's lentils with spätzle, which is a super quick and delicious meal that kids and adults love.
- Pork goulash with beer, which is a much simpler version of traditional Hungarian goulash and is so good!
- Schnitzel, especially when you add my creamy Jägersoße, a mushroom cream sauce.
- Spätzle also go great with any dish (German or not) that you would normally serve with noodles or potatoes, such as a beef stew.
Where to buy spätzle
I'd honestly rather you invest in a spätzle press and make your own Spätzle because they are really so simple and fast to make (there are not many German recipes that get you to your end goal within 15 minutes!).
However, if you MUST buy Spätzle, then I can recommend this brand available in the United States. Sadly you can't buy premade spätzle in the refrigerated pasta section in America like you can in Germany.
Making homemade German spätzle is so easy and you need just 4 ingredients (and an optional 5th one).
- Eggs. I use the whole egg for my spätzle batter, although some Germans like to use just the yolk to get the color of the finished spätzle to be more yellow. Some people suggest adding a touch of turmeric to add yellow color, but I don't.
- Flour. Germans are so obsessed with Spätzle that you can buy Spätzle flour there. In America, I use all-purpose white flour and the results are great every time.
- Milk. You can use whole milk, skim milk or anything in between. I typically use 2 percent milk.
- Butter. I add a little melted butter into my spätzle batter for that buttery taste, then stir in more butter with the warm noodles right after cooking. I love butter.
- Nutmeg. This one is totally optional, but I love adding a touch of freshly grated nutmeg to my spätzle batter for a warming touch. My Oma never added nutmeg to her spätzle though, so feel free to leave out the nutmeg.
Easy German Spätzle Recipe
- Whisk all the ingredients together to make your spätzle batter. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil (it should taste like ocean water). The Spätzle will absorb the water and that's the salting that's needed.2 eggs, 200 grams all-purpose flour, 150 milliliters milk, 15 grams butter, 1 pinch nutmeg
- Work in batches, so the German Spätzle don't stick together and form giant lumps. Once in the water, let simmer for about 2 minutes, then remove from the hot water using a skimmer and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Drop some flakes of butter over the hot Spätzle and allow it to melt into the noodles. This will add incredible taste and will keep the noodles from sticking.