Easy German Spaetzle Recipe

Easy German Spaetzle Recipe – ready in only 15 minutes and a great German side dish for all kinds of recipes! It’s super easy to make from scratch and downright delicious. 

Spätzle is a special kind of egg noodle that is often enjoyed as a side dish with gravies or sauces but also the main ingredient in other dishes like the famous Käsespätzle. Toss them with a little bit of melted butter and you have an easy but so delicious side dish that the whole family enjoys! They taste like chewy egg noodles and can be made savory but also sweet.

Easy German Spaetzle Recipe - ready in only 15 minutes and a great German side dish for all kinds of recipes! It's super easy to make from scratch and downright delicious.

Have you tried spaetzle before? No? Then prepare yourself for an amazing treat. This easy homemade spaetzle recipe is the only one you ever need and a great alternative to rice, noodles, or potatoes. It can be made in advance which makes preparing a meal for the whole family less stressful.


Germany has great cakes like my German Apple Streusel Sheet Cake and my Plum Cake with Streusel but there’re also many delicious savory dishes like Schnitzel, pork roast, and dumplings.

Spaetzle are one of my favorite dishes! They make a great side for everything that comes with a sauce or gravy like goulash or beef stroganoff but are also a delicious main dish with melted cheese and crispy fried onions or with a simple mushroom gravy.

Easy German Spaetzle Recipe - ready in only 15 minutes and a great German side dish for all kinds of recipes! It's super easy to make from scratch and downright delicious.

The word Spätzle literally means “little sparrows” in English but they are also called Knöpfle in Germany because they look like little buttons. You can get them in many different sizes and shapes in Germany.

My mother-in-law always makes a bigger version that is called Spatzen (“sparrows“). They taste like the little ones but are sized like small potatoes and you don’t need special equipment to make them.

A few years ago we always bought pre-made spätzle because we thought making them at home from scratch was too difficult and time-consuming. But after making the first batch, we can’t eat the pre-made ones anymore. It’s so easy to make them at home and they taste so much better! Spaetzle are made with flour, eggs, and milk (or water) – you could say they are German egg noodles.

The easiest way to make them at home is by using a spaetzle maker. There are many different ones but the one we use is a board with holes in it which comes with a scraper (like this one). It’s super easy to use even if you’ve never done it before!

But you can also make spaetzle without a press and use a colander or steamer with large holes instead. You probably have one of these at home anyway!

Easy German Spaetzle Recipe - ready in only 15 minutes and a great German side dish for all kinds of recipes! It's super easy to make from scratch and downright delicious.


You put a few spoons of dough on the board and slide the scraper back and forth, the batter drops through the holes into the simmering water and after a minute or so the spaetzle are done. You need to use a big pot because they will rise to the surface when they’re done.

After you used about half of the batter you probably need to drain the first batch to make room in your pot for the other half otherwise they will stick together and don’t cook completely. If you don’t use them immediately add a little butter while they’re hot and store them in an airtight container.

To reheat, melt some butter in a pan and toss them in it to warm through. They’ll get a bit crispy which makes them even more delicious in my opinion. And if you have leftover spaetzle you need to try my easy Kaesespaetzle recipe.

Cheese Spaetzle (Käsespätzle) is the German version of Mac and Cheese! Made with german egg noodles and Emmental cheese. This Bavarian dish is special enough for an Oktoberfest party but so easy that you can make it every day!

The batter for this easy German side dish is mainly made of eggs and flour. In Germany, you can buy special Spätzle flour which is a little bit coarser than all-purpose flour but normal all-purpose flour will do the job just fine. But please don’t use self-rising flour for this recipe or you’ll end up with a big mess.

You could make them only with eggs but it’s easier to add a little bit of water or milk. There seems to be a big discussion if water or milk is better (or more traditional) but I like to make mine with milk because they taste better in my opinion but if you’re allergic to milk you can easily substitute the milk in my recipe for water.

You could also add some more spices to the batter but traditionally spaetzle don’t have much taste of their own because they are supposed to be eaten with flavorful foods like gravy or cheese. One way to spice things up a bit is to add herbs like parsley, chives, or basil to the batter.

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Easy German Spaetzle Recipe - ready in only 15 minutes and a great German side dish for all kinds of recipes! It's super easy to make from scratch and downright delicious.
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5 from 9 votes

Easy German Spaetzle Recipe

Easy German Spaetzle Recipe - ready in only 15 minutes and a great side dish for all kinds of recipes! Yield: 7-9 persons as a side dish, 4 persons as a main dish (e.g. Käsespätzle)
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Servings: 8
Calories: 296kcal
Author: Julia


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk or water


  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, milk, and salt. Stir until the batter is well combined and develops bubbles. The batter shouldn't be too thin but it also shouldn't be too heavy or it will be difficult to form the spaetzle with your spaetzle maker. If your batter is too dry add 1 or 2 tbsp milk.
  • Put a colander into a bowl (to drain them once cooked) and bring a large pot of salted water over high heat to a boil.
  • Place your spaetzle maker over the top, then pour batter into the hopper of the device or directly onto the board if you use a scraper. Quickly slide the cup or the scraper back and forth to allow the batter to drop through.
  • If it gets to crowded in the pot, stop and cook them for about 2-3 minutes, or until they float to the top. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the spaetzle to the colander.
  • Repeat until all the batter is used up. Serve the spaetzle immediately or add a little bit of butter to prevent them from sticking together and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To heat, melt some butter in a large skillet and toss them in it to heat through.


Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 940mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 5.1% | Calcium: 4.5% | Iron: 20.4%

Easy German Spaetzle Recipe - ready in only 15 minutes and a great German side dish for all kinds of recipes! It's super easy to make from scratch and downright delicious.

Here are a few more delicious German recipes:


  • Ronald A. West

    Nowadays it is helpful and welcome to add recipe instructions for instant pot cooking, i.e. (packaged dry spaetzel).

    • Julia

      Ronald, I would not recommend cooking spaetzle in the Instant Pot – neither fresh spaetzle nor packaged dry spaetzle. What I like to do with packaged dry spaetzle that are pre-cooked is to fry them in a pan with butter. This way they get crispy and delicious, this also works with homemade spaetzle that are completely cool (perfect for leftovers)!

  • Martha Murphy

    Need some advice – I like to take spaetzle, cheese and caramelized onions and create alternate layers about three times in a casserole. Then bake for about 20 minutes to heat through and crisp. Do you think I can make this casserole ahead of time, travel several hours and then bake it at my destination or will it get gummy or weird?
    Thank you

    • Julia

      I think it would work fine and taste delicious! Assembling it at home, cooling it during your drive, and baking it at your destination sounds like a perfect plan.

  • Danni

    My grandmother (polish living in Germany after the war) made a more simpler version. She use to use just flour,egg and water, (I use flour and egg only) and use to drop by half teaspoons into boiling water. I have never used anything else other than a teaspoon.

  • Justin Kerns

    Came out great! Only made half a portion and it required a LOT more milk to get the right consistency, but no problem if you’re paying attention. Also added a bit of nutmeg.

  • Claire Sundahl

    I make the recipe on one day several times, and freeze everything in separate batch plastic bags. I learned to do this after buying frozen homemade spaetzle from Carl Ehmer years and years ago. When needed, I reheat the frozen spaetzle in a little water or chicken broth!

  • Jo Bowman

    I remember standing on a chair watching my great-grandmother cut her knopfle by hand from a dinner plate into the boiling water. She was born in Switzerland. Our family loves them with melted butter. Only my great-grandmother, my mother and I eat ours with grated SapSago cheese. Everyone says it stinks, but it tastes great! We prefer ours made with milk as well.

  • Carol

    My mother-in-law came from Germany and spaetzle were always made for New Year’s with the pork and sauerkraut and a ton of gravy. (even though we had them throughout the year.) We just cut them from the bowl we mixed them in. Dipping a sharp knife into the boiling water every so often. Couldn’t make enough of them.

  • Lois

    My mother made these and they are one of the favorites that I continued to make when I had children. Now they make them for their families. Mom just put a blob m 70 now and ton the edge of a cutting board and cut them into the simmering liquid with a paring knife. I wouldn’t worry too much about buying a spaetzle maker. They are delicious no matter what you do!

  • Stu Secler

    There are gluten free flour in the markets now, can it be made with that type without the gluten? I have baked with the gluten free in the past.

      • John

        I lived in Austria for a few years and grew to adore spatzle (especially Kasespatzle made with Appenzeller cheese!). I am a Celiac so now am GF. I have used Namaste GF flour for my recipe. Note that this flour is much more absorbent than regular flour so the amount of flour has to be adjusted down (by about 25-30%). I also add white pepper and a dash of nutmeg as I was taught.

  • Amy

    I can’t wait to make these! I’ve been buying the pre-made noodles from Aldi but it’s always a gamble on when they have them available. My husbands grandmother moved to the US from Germany and my favorite dish is roast with onion gravy served over top of the spatzle noodles! For that recipe she always says to cook them in butter after boiling to make them crispy, it’s what’ adds more flavor to the dish. I could eat that every week haha! My kids scarf it down too, although my poor husband grew up on it so he doesn’t enjoy it as frequently as we do.

    • Julia

      You could use a large colander with holes anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2-inch wide.
      Set it over the pot of boiling water. Pour 1/4 of the batter into the colander and press it through the holes with a flexible spatula. – Julia

    • Barb

      This is the same recipe I use for dumplings. I just drop small plops into my beef stew after it is cooked and let it simmer for a few minutes. The flour thickens the beef stew broth while the dumplings cook and the the dumplings cook in all that wonderful flavor. Its one of the few meals that nobody in my family of 6 disagrees with! I’ve also used this in chicken soup.

    • Monica

      I make them by spreading some of the batter up the side of the mixing bowl and using a wet spoon scrape bits of it into the boiling water. Work quickly and dip the spoon into the water occasionally to keep the batter from sticking. They are done when they rise to the top.

  • Aly

    You spoke about a different type of flour used in Germany. My mother was from Denmark but made great Spatzle. She used a combination of semolina and AP flour (about 1/3rd to 2/3rd) it worked great. she would top her spätzle with a cornflake crumb topping made by melting salted butter (I like European cultured President butter) sprinkle cornflake crumbs and a bit of garlic powder. Toast in pan until crumbs turn a deep golden .brown. When serving toss the spätzle with additional melted butter and sprinkle with cornflake crumbs and chopped parsley. Great with all typed of german meats.


    My family has made these since I was a child. My father added some nutmeg and parsley to the dough, We place grated swiss cheese, bread crumbs and melted butter on top. The cheese melts and is yummy. Dad had his family spatzle pot which is with another family member. I have tried many alternatives, but found the German one on Amazon is the best. A cousin from Switzerland recommended it. Can’t wait to make again.

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