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Spaetzle (German Dumpling Noodles)

Categories: Pasta/Rice/NoodlesWorld Cuisine
Contributed by: Jacqueline&David

Spaetzle is a wonderful German comfort food. MMMmmmm. If you've never had them, but you love noodles, you'll love them and they're kind of addictive. They are like a cross between a homemade egg noodle and a little dumpling (not asian style, but western.) They are great w/ a little butter just as is for a side dish, but they are also great with or underneath Hungarian Goulash or Pork Cutlets with Creamy Dijon Sauce. (Both recipes on the site.) It's almost a pity not to eat them on their own, though. They're so yummy!

They are easy to prepare (cut up) if you have a spaetzle maker. I *highly* recommend one as it makes cutting them up a breeze!! We got ours at one of those kitchen stores that have lots of neat gadgets. It was cheap. The spaetzle maker looks just like a flat grating board w/ large 1/4 inch-sized holes fitted with a plastic tub/barrel that slides back and forth over the holes, allowing the batter that was sitting in the tub to slide through the holes and into the boiling water. Before we bought the spaezle maker, we put the dough on a cutting board and both of us would work quickly w/ knives to scrape bits into the boiling water. That was needlessly tricky. With the spaetzle maker gadget, you just lay the spaetzle maker over your pot of water and run the plastic batter holder back and forth and large pea-sized bits quickly drop into the boiling water. Nothing to it! If you have a colander/strainer with largish holes (like 1/4 inch ones), or a large slotted serving type of spoon with biggish holes, you can pretty easily use this as well, but it ain't nearly as fun as the spaetzle maker! Yes, I said 'ain't'!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (not part of the batter, but for later)


1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. In another bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Make a little well in the center of the flour/salt mound and pour in the egg-milk mixture. Gradually pull some flour from the edges down and combine well. The batter will be smooth and thick. Let the batter rest 10-15 minutes.
2. Bring a lot of salted water (like about 3 qts!) to a boil in a big pot, then lower heat to make it simmer steadily.
3. Here is the tricky part if you aren't using a spaetzle maker (just buy the darned thing!) Either pour some of the batter into the 'bowl' of the spaetzle maker and grate back and forth until you have gone through all of the dough, or, hold a colander with large holes or a slotted spoon over the pot and push the dough through w/ a spoon. You may have to do this in batches so the pot's not crowded, but you will only cook the spaetzle for 3-4 minutes and they're done when they float up to the surface. You may have to stir a little to keep them from sticking.
4. Drain them. At this point you can either put the butter in the pan, heat it and dump the spaetzle back in and salt (and if you want pepper, pepper, but I don't like it w/ these) to taste, *or* you can, after draining, quickly rinse the spaetzle w/ cold water. Then you would melt the butter in the pan and add back in the spaetzle, turning them to coat well. If you cook it for 1-2 min longer, it will give the noodles a bit of color. You can sprinkle w/ some chopped parsley if you wish, but I never bother.