Homemade German egg noodles are the perfect side dish for all kinds of recipes. Plus, spaetzles are made in under 10 minutes with just 3 basic ingredients.
German spaetzle noodles can be served with just butter and salt or tossed with your favorite sauces and gravies for a versatile side dish your whole family will love.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase, this site may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
I love the way food can connect us to places far away. My husband and I both come from German heritage, and I regularly make dishes that connect us with our roots.
Spaetzle is a traditional food from southern Germany and is also popular in Switzerland and Hungary.
My husband grew up in Cincinnati, which historically was heavily influenced by German culture, as it became a center for German immigrants in the 1830s.
This German dumplings recipe is adapted from one I found in a Cincinnati church cookbook that belonged to my husband’s late grandmother.
Spaetzle is translated to mean “little sparrows,” which is reflected in the rustic shape of the noodles. These aren’t flat dumplings like you’d find in my Copycat Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings; they’re “drop noodles” that take an irregular free-form shape when added to boiling water.
You can also eat homemade spaetzle pasta as a plain side dish with butter, salt, and pepper, or add a cheese sauce.
No matter how you serve them, these noodles are easy to make and disappear fast!
Cutting German Spaetzle Noodles
Many people avoid learning to make homemade pasta because they believe it’s challenging to make or requires special equipment.
German egg noodles are a great beginner pasta because they aren’t fussy, the recipe is simple, and their rustic form is part of their appeal.
Of course, you can buy a special tool for making more uniform spaetzles, but it’s totally not necessary. I assure you, your Oma wasn’t using a fancy tool back in the old country.
She was likely using a cutting board and a knife, just like I do.
How to Make Spaetzle Noodles
It’s really easy to make German Egg Noodles–all you need is a few staple ingredients.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- All-purpose Flour
- Ice Water
- Butter, for serving
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make It:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Boil the water. First, you’ll bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Make the dough. Next, you’ll add flour to a medium mixing bowl, followed by the ice water. Add eggs to the center of the flour.
Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix together until a wet, sticky dough forms.
Cut the noodles. Then, you’ll place the dough on a wet cutting board (smooth-edged is best) or plate, as close to the edge of the board as possible. Holding the cutting board over the boiling water, use a knife to cut off small segments of dough, roughly the width of a pencil, allowing them to drop into the boiling water.
Boil the noodles. Then you’ll boil the noodles until they float on the surface. Skim them out of the water with a slotted spoon.
Serve. Last, you’ll coat the noodles with melted butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with herbs if you’d like, or top with a sauce or gravy if desired.
Notes and Adaptations:
- Spaetzle noodles aren’t flat or perfectly shaped. They’re “drop noodles,” which are rustic and irregular in appearance. So don’t stress about what they look like as you’re cutting the dough into the water.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 eggs
- For serving: 2 TBSP butter, salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add flour to a medium mixing bowl, then add ice water.
- Add eggs to the center of the flour. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix together until a wet, sticky dough forms.
- Transfer dough to a wet cutting board (or plate), placing the dough as close to the edge of the board as possible.
- Carefully holding the cutting board over the boiling water, use a knife to cut off small segments of dough, roughly the width of a pencil. They don't need to be perfect--just cut off pieces of dough, allowing them to drop into the boiling water.
- Let the noodles cook in the water for about 5 minutes, until they are floating at the surface of the water. Use a slotted spoon to skim them out of the water.
- Place noodles in a serving dish and add butter, allowing it to melt. Stir to coat noodles with butter. Add salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm.
Spaetzle noodles aren't flat or perfectly shaped. They're "drop noodles," which are rustic and irregular in appearance. So don't stress about what they look like as you're cutting the dough into the water.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
Get the Instant Pot Meal Plan Jumpstart
Join the free community and you'll learn simple ways to easily create tasty food for your family, as well as immediate access to the FREE Instant Pot Meal Plan Jumpstart to help you get a tasty dinner on the table in a flash!
"Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience in such a friendly and delightful way!!! So far, I'm very impressed with the results...thanks again for your guidance into this new realm of cooking!" -Margaret
Enter my free resource library for my latest printables and resources! Password is 'IHEARTMARGIN' -- please copy and paste that in at the link above. Thanks for being a subscriber!!