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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. 

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.

Top-down shot of a white bowl of spaetzle garnished with parsley on a grey dishtowel next to a wooden spoon.

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.

A white bowl of spaetzle garnished with parsley on a grey dishtowel next to a wooden spoon.

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!

Close-up of a white bowl of spaetzle garnished with parsley on a grey dishtowel.


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.

A cast-iron pan with cheese spaetzle. A slotted spatula is lifting out a portion.

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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4.95 from 171 votes

Easy German Spaetzle Recipe

Easy German Spaetzle are ready in only 15 minutes and make a great side for all dishes served with a sauce!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8



  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • ¾ 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. You can also use a mixer. The batter should neither be too thin nor too thick or it will be difficult to make the spaetzle with your spaetzle maker. Let the batter sit for 5-10 min.
  • Put a colander into a bowl to drain the Spaetzle once cooked and bring a large pot of water over high heat to a boil, add about 1 Tbsp of salt to the water, and reduce temperature to a simmer.
  • Press batter through a spaetzle maker, a large holed sieve or colander into the simmering water.
  • Work in batches, after using about 1/3 of the batter stop adding new spaetzle and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until they float to the top. Stir occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the spaetzle to the colander so that excess water can drip off.
  • Serve the spaetzle immediately or saute them in butter to crisp them up a little. If you don't serve or saute them right away, add 1 or 2 Tbsp of butter to the hot spaetzle to prevent them from sticking together.


  • This makes a big batch of Spaetzle that is perfect for a big family dinner. You can also half the recipe by adjusting the servings below the image in the recipe card.
  • You can use milk or water to make Spaetzle. Using water is more traditional but they taste richer with milk which I prefer. You can also use a combination of water and milk.
  • Clean used equipment with cold water, the dough is very sticky and gets stickier when using hot water.
  • Leftover Spaetzle can be stored, tossed with some melted butter or oil, in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, saute them in some butter.
  • Instead of a spaetzle maker, you can also use a colander with large holes and a silicone spatula or scraper.
  • UPDATE 10/23/19: The recipe has been re-tested because of reader feedback and the amount of milk has been increased from 1/3 cup+2 Tbsp to 3/4 cup of milk.


Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 940mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 3.7mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

A white bowl of spaetzle garnished with parsley on a grey dishtowel next to a wooden spoon.

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About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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  1. 5 stars
    Dear Husband (DH) made this along with your Cheese Spaetzle recipe. I am forever ruined for Mac and Cheese using dried noodles.

  2. 5 stars
    Easy to follow, my first time making spaetzle. Excellent results everyone loved it, they said it was excellent next day too.

    1. No, Tony, the recipe is correct. It’s a 3/4 cup of milk or water, all the other liquid comes from the eggs.

  3. Hi Julia. I, like my mother, love to make and eat these. We called them Knopfle, or easier yet, dumplings😂I’m looking at your recipe because I never had one. Mom just mixed egg and water and through in flour until she got what she wanted. When you say this makes a big batch, like how big? I’m having my family of 16 and this is a favorite. Do I need to double it? I don’t have a spaetzle maker, I hold the dough in my hand and cut off with a paring knife. Lately I use a kitchen shears. Works really good for me. Also, do you if the cut dough can be frozen to use later? Thanks for your help.

    1. Your comment resonates with me. Our ancestors were German-Swiss and my mom had both Knepfle (your spelling is probably correct lol) and rivels (a rustic version of Spaetzle) growing up. No recipe and no one recalls exactly! But I spoke to an Amish woman in Indiana and her recipe included baking powder. She would use a teaspoon half full and drop

  4. 5 stars
    Perfect recipe. We use full recipe size and turn leftovers into a Mac and cheese for the freezer that keeps and heats from frozen extremely well.

  5. 5 stars
    I will NEVER buy packaged spaetzle again. This was so awesome! Poured over and tossed with some browned butter and I could not stop eating it! DELISH!!

  6. 5 stars
    I lived in Germany for years. I loved this dish at the guesthaus. I’ve not been able to find the flavor since. I loved the recipe. It took me back.

  7. After cooking them, scoop them out of the simmering water with a flat, holed ladle and put them in a bowl with very cold water(add ice cubes if necessary). This will prevent them from getting globby or sticking together. I make very large batches. Once cooled put them in zip lock bags, flatten and freeze for months.