My easy Spaetzle recipe uses flour, eggs, salt, and water. This basic dumpling batter is super quick to put together, and from start to finish, dumplings are on the table in under 20 minutes.
updated from 2013
HOW TO MAKE THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD: EASY SPAETZLE RECIPE
I’m not German, but I got the taste of German tradition – spaetzle at a very early age, and to this day, it’s one of my favorite dishes. You can make this quick and easy dumpling batter as simple as possible, seasoned with just a little bit of salt, but spices and vegetable purees can also be used to flavor spaetzle.
To make this basic spaetzle recipe, a perfect, weeknight meal you need: flour, egg, water and salt.
PREPARE SPAETZLE BATTER
The batter is super simple to put together. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Don’t over-mix; mix just until combined. It might look a little lumpy, but it’s okay. Let the medium-thick consistency batter rest for 5 minutes.
As the batter rest, heat the water a bring it to a boil. Reduce it to simmer.
Place the spaetzle maker on top of the pot, secure it onto the rim, and press the batter thru, dropping dumplings into the simmering water. Stir dumplings, so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Like all the fresh pasta, spaetzle is no different; dumplings take only a few minutes to cook. Once they float on the top, give them an extra 10-15 seconds and then collect them with a slotted spoon and drop them into a colander to drain.
SPAETZLE RECIPE SUCCESS TIPS AND TRICKS
- Don’t over mix the batter. Stir just until combines. If you handle batter too much, it becomes too runny.
- Batter consistency is important. Batter that is too dense will yield tough dumplings. Add more water if your batter is too dense. Don’t make it too runny,.
- How do you know Spaetzle is done? It takes about 2 minutes for the dumplings to start floating on the top, depending on their size. I like to cook them for additional 10 seconds once they float, and then remove them immediately from the water and drain them.
- Cooked spaetzle is too soft and runny. Why? This happens if your batter is too runny. If I had to chose between runny batter and denser batter, I chose a denser batter, because it’s no easy to overcook. But too dense and your dumplings will be a tad tough.
- What flour is best for Spaetzle? In Germany, they sell flour for Spaetzle. But I understand only some have access to this flour. I like King Arthur All-Purpose flour, but from my experience, any all-purpose flour will do.
- Can I make Spaetzle the day before? Yes, you can. Please read the instructions in the recipe card if you plan on storing cooked dumplings for later.
- How do you make spaetzle without spaetzle makers/press? You can use a colander and press the batter thru the holes, but make sure not to submerge colander in the hot water or batter will cook in the holes and clog them. Use old-fashion way, using a cutting board and a knife to cut small pieces of batter and throw them into the water to cook.
- You can make them savory or sweet. My brother would dust them with granulated sugar and eat them like that.
- Drizzle melted butter over them and season with sea salt
- Saute them with butter to make them crispy.
- Have you tried spaetzle with sauteed cabbage? It’s so good.
- A perfect side dish for any meal: pair them with stews like Hungarian Goulash or paprikash.
- Dust them with cocoa and powdered sugar. Or ground walnuts.
- Use toppings: farmer’s cheese with roasted bacon bits is to die for.
- I love them with roasted cherries and honey-sweetened soft cheese.
- Prepared with scrambled eggs and paprika they make great breakfast.
- There are endless ways how to serve spaetzle. It’s like a blank canvas; it goes well with anything. What is your favorite way to eat it?
MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES
- Sweet Bread Dough
- Caramelized Onion Pizza Dough – so good
- Best Hot Dog Buns
- The Best Mashed Potatoes via Spend with Pennies
Basic Spätzle Recipe
- Spaetzle Maker
- Colander, strainer
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (430grams)
- 3 whole large eggs
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups water (240ml to 360nl)
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- Into a large bowl, pour flour (3 cups/430 grams), eggs (3 large eggs), salt (1/2 teaspoon, and water (1 cup to 1 ½ cups, 240ml to 360ml). Stir all the ingredients together, forming a medium-stiff batter. Don't over-mix. Let the batter sit while you bring the water to a boil, about 5 minutes.
- Pour water into a large pot, add salt and bring water to a boil.
- Reduce boiling water to simmer. Place the spaetzle maker over the rim of the pot with simmering water. Press the batter thru the spaetzle maker, dropping dumplings into the water. Stir gently, so the dumplings are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Once the dumplings float on the top, cook for 20 seconds. Collect dumplings using a slotted spoon or a small strainer. Transfer the cooked dumplings into a large colander, and let the excess water drip off.
- TIP: Run the dumplings under the hot water to prevent excessive sticking, then drain.
- Serve immediately, or sautee dumplings in a bit of butter/olive oil to make them crispy.
Store Dumplings for Later
- If you plan on eating them only some at a time, drizzle olive oil over the dumplings and stir gently. Let them cool completely, occasionally tossing them around so they don't stick—once cool, store dumplings in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or in the skillet to make them crispy.
- I don’t have three eggs; can I use fewer eggs? – Yes, you can use one egg; not a problem. You will have to adjust the water amount so the batter is not too dense. It shouldn’t be runny, either.
- Can I flavor the batter? – You can flavor batter with herbs, spices, or vegetable purees (use red pepper paste or make broccoli spaetzle).
- How long does spaetzle last in the fridge? – You can store dumplings in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat before serving.
- What can I serve with flour dumplings? – Spaetzle/flour dumplings are a great side dish to stews, goulash, chicken paprikash, scrambled egg pasta, or served with veggies, sauteed cabbage, or goat cheese with bacon. The possibilities are endless.
This recipe was originally published on October 27th, 2013. On February 23rd,2023 I updated this recipe with written instructions, pictures and a recipe card.