This Spaetzle recipe is probably the most traditional one in Germany. It is an authentic Swabian Spaetzle recipe. Usually made by hand, but in this recipe, I will show you how to use a stand mixer to make homemade spaetzle easy and fast.
You can buy spaetzle - or make it yourself. With homemade spaetzle, you know exactly what's in it - and especially what's not. Another argument for making spaetzle yourself: they taste delicious and are fun to prepare. Here is our recipe for traditional Swabian spaetzle, spinach spaetzle and vegan spaetzle.
Spätzle or Spaetzle are homemade German pasta who originated in Southern Germany in the Swabian region.
Initially Spätzle originated from Swabia and it was a popular meal among farmers. This was due to the fact that flour, eggs and water were always available. Originally seen as a meal for poor people, over the centuries Spätzle developed into a nationally loved dish.
Though the first mention of the “Swabian national dish” is only found coming from 1725, paintings dating back to the medieval ages depict Swabians eating Spätzle.
It is uncertain how Spätzle got its name. The linguistic origin is unknown, but heavily disputed.
Spaetzle: Dumpling or Noodle?
Even though many people outside of Germany refer to Spaetzle as tiny dumplings, no German would ever agree. Germans define Spätzle as “Teigwaren” which would be translated to “pasta” in English.
Differing from pasta, which is dried first, the spaetzle dough is dripped into the simmering water with a spaetzle press or scraped from a special spaetzle board.
How to pronounce "Spätzle"?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Spätzle" in German.
How to make Swabian Style German Spaetzle from Scratch?
The spaetzle taste best when you had as much fun cooking them as when you finally enjoy them. There are some traditional ways which are pretty challenging but fun to learn. But there are also some easy Spaetzle maker gadgets that will help you to make homemade Spaetzle without the learning curve.
Scraping with a board is the traditional way to make spaetzle. Traditionally a knife and a special board with a slanted rim was used to scrape the spaetzle from the board into the cooking water. Scraping requires some practice and skill, but there are easier alternatives.
A spaetzle press is used like a potato press. You just need to fill the dough into the press and press it directely into the simmering salted water. This is an easy but slightly messy alternative.
Spaetzle Grater with Scaper
Newer spaetzle maker offer an easy way to make spaetzle by scraping the dough into the pot. The tool fits on most pots and makes clean up easy. But if you want to make a large batch of spaetzle, this method can be quite exhausting.
Spaetzle Grater with Container
My personal favorite is the Spaetzle maker, which has a little dough container on top of the grater. It presses the dough through the holes by moving back and forth. It makes making the spaetzle a breeze and even little children can help.
Authentic Homemade German Spaetzle Recipe
Authentic German Spaetzle - Traditional Swabian Style
- 4 cups flour
- 5 eggs room temperature
- ⅔ cup sparkling water up to ¾ cup of water, depending on the flour you use
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- Add flour, nutmeg and salt to a stand mixer bowl and blend.
- Add the eggs and mix on a medium-low setting until well combined.
- Slowly add the water and mix well until the batter is smooth and shiny.
- Allow batter to rest for about 15 - 20 min. In the meantime, heat water in a large pot.
- Stir dough one more time.
- Fill a large pot ¾ with water and bring to a simmer. Add about 1 tbsp. salt to the simmering water.
- Stir the spaetzle batter and add about ⅓ of the batter a spaetzle maker. Press batter through the spaetzle maker directly into the simmering water.
- Wait until spaetzle float to the top, then allow them to cook for additional 2 – 3 minutes.
- Scoop them out with a mesh skimmer or slotted spoon into a strainer.
- Repeat until all batter is used.
- Toss them in melted butter directly before serving.
Check Out Other Traditional Spaetzle Recipes
Spaetzle without Milk or Water
How to Serve Spaetzle?
Spaetzle make a great side dish to sauerbraten, beef roulades, pork roasts and many other German recipes.
Drain the spaetzle and spread them on a baking sheet. Allow to cool completly and then fill them into freezer bags. They will keep 3 to 6 months.
Spaetzle Sauce Recipes
Spaetzle like other pasta thrives with the perfect sauce. Here are some spaetzle sauce recipes that you will love:
Jägerrahmsoße - Creamy Hunter Sauce
Rahmsauce - German Cream Sauce
Dunkle Jägersoße - Hunter Sauce
German Potato Dumplings(opens in a new tab)
More German Side Dish Recipes
How is spaetzle different from pasta?
Traditional pasta usually does not contain eggs, the quality of spaetzle is measured by the eggs. The more eggs to flour ratio a recipe has the higher quality it is.
Is Gnocchi the same as spaetzle?
No, it is not. Gnocchi are made from potatoes and spaetzle are made from flour.
Is spaetzle German or Italian?
Spaetzle is a German speciality from the South of Germany.
What is spaetzle made from?
You only need a handful of ingredients to make spaetzle. The traditional recipe calls for flour, eggs, water, salt, and a pinch of nutmeg. Some recipes omit the water and others add milk instead of water.
Rhonda White says
Can you use any flour? My daughter cannot have wheat flour. Could you suggest another to use?
Hi Michelle, thank you for the question. In my experience you can use all kinds of flour, including the gluten-free ones. You probably need to adjust the amount of water, just make sure you have the consistency like shown in the video and it should turn out fine. Hope that helps. Have a great weekend!
Can a food mill be used to make spaetzle? Thank you in advance.
Angela Schofield says
Hi Crystal, yes you can use a food mill to make spaetzle. I would use the largest blade that you have and perhaps you need to add a little less or more water to the dough depending on the size of the blade. In case you rund into problems, you could also use a potato ricer or even a colander. Just add a couple of spoons of the dough to the colander and "scrape" the spaetzle with a flexible dough scraper directly into the water. Hope that helps and guten Appetit! 🙂 Angela
Looks amazing! I love spätzle! I hope to try this soon! In case anyone is trying to find a spätzle maker, I found them on Amazon! I love the convienience of a spätzle maker! Thank you for the recipe!
Angela Schofield says
Spätzle are so good. Thank you for providing the Amazon tip.
Jerry threlkeld says
How much is a 'shot' of water?
Angela Schofield says
Hi Jerry, I use one shot glass full of water. One shot glass is about 1.25–1.5 US fl oz (37–44 ml).
Ruth Raymond says
I don’t understand this amount of water at all. The video shows more like 8 ounces. Also the recipe calls for 8 eggs while the video shows 5. I’m not sure which to follow.
Angela Schofield says
Hello, Ruth. I understand your confusion. Spaetzle can be made in a variety of ways. On the page, I have four different spatzle recipes. The video is from a different recipe.
Thank you for pointing this out; I need to fix this. Traditional Swabian spätzle are made with a shot of sparkling water and a lot of eggs. The recipes can include water, milk, or just eggs. It is only important to achieve the ideal dough consistency. Depending on the flour and eggs you use you might need to add one more egg or a little more water if you are using the recipe in this post. You can see the right consistency for the dough in the video at minute 2:42. I am so sorry for the confusion and hope that helps, Angela