• Spaetzle Recipe

German Spaetzle – My Grandma’s Recipe

Sharing my grandma’s german spaetzle recipe with a healthier twist but same great flavor. A light egg noodle with fresh herbs and lemon.

I didn’t really learn to cook when I was very young. I don’t have any cool stories about standing on a wooden chair next to my grandpa learning how to prepare homemade bread from scratch. My mom was a great cook, but she worked nights so she made our dinners while we were in school and then we just heated them up when it was time  for dinner.

I actually didn’t really enjoy cooking until I was in my late twenties.  So when I learned that the theme for this month’s The Recipe Redux post is to share a healthy recipe about one of my “earliest cooking recollections”, I didn’t immediately know what I was going to write about.

Grandma's german spaetzle recipe with a healthier twist but same great flavor. A light egg noodle with fresh herbs and lemon.

I don’t have a lot of early memories about cooking but Spaetzle is the family recipe that gets passed on from generation to generation.

My grandma (hi Oma) is from Germany and luckily for us, she is a fantastic cook. One of my favorite recipes of hers is Spaetzle. Spaetzle is a tiny type of egg noodle that is a traditional dish in Germany. Everyone in my family learns how to make spaetzle when they get old enough to boil water. My sisters and I all have our own spaetzle makers and even have our grandma’s recipe framed on our walls. It’s served at every holiday function and is a staple in our family.

Sharing my grandma's german spaetzle recipe with a healthier twist but same great flavor. A light egg noodle with fresh herbs and lemon.

One of the reasons I like spaetzle so much is that it’s so simple to make. Just combine the 4 ingredients together to for the dough, boil a pot of water, slide the dough through a spaetzle maker over the water and viola! A spaetzle maker looks like a flat cheese grater with a small square piece on top that slides back and forth. You put the dough in the square and as you slide it across the “grater” tiny noodles fall thru into the boiling water. If you don’t have a spaetzle maker, you can press the dough through a colander and it works just as well.

Our family typically serves Spaetzle with brown gravy on top. It’s not the healthiest of dishes but the spaetzle itself isn’t too bad nutrition-wise. It’s a simple dish, made with just flour, egg, water and a bit of salt. I kept the basic recipe the same for this post but instead of drowning it in gravy, I sautéed it in olive oil and then topped it with some chopped parsley and lemon zest. Oma probably won’t approve, but it actually turned out fantastic. Slightly crispy from the olive oil and a fresh, light taste from the herbs and lemon. I will admit that I tried using whole wheat flour for this recipe and it turned out much too dense for my liking.

spaetzle recipe4

What is your earliest cooking memory? Share in the comments below and feel free to read all my fellow Recipe Redux-ers cooking memories by clicking on the links below.

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German Spaetzle - My Grandma's Recipe / The Domestic Dietitian

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German Spaetzle

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup water, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

Method

  1. Combine flour, egg, water and salt into a bowl. Consistency of dough should be similar to pancake batter. If need, add more water
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove
  3. Place spaetzle maker (see note below) on top of pot and add to dough directly to square part of spaetzle maker
  4. Slowly run dough filled square back and forth across spaetzle maker and dough will form tiny noodles that fall into pot of water
  5. Cook spaetzle for about 5 minutes
  6. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a pan on the stove
  7. Once spaetzle are done boiling, use a slotted spoon to remove from water and place directly in pan with hot oil
  8. Lightly brown spaetzle for 2 minutes and transfer to plate or bowl
  9. Top with fresh herbs and lemon zest

Additional Info

A spaetzle maker is similar looking to a flat cheese grater with a moveable square part on top. If you don't have a spaetzle maker (available on amazon) you can use a colander and press the dough thru the holes with a rubber spatula.

16 Comments

  • comment-avatar
    Deanna Segrave-Daly September 21, 2016 (10:04 am)

    Brynn – I love this (including the old recipe card!) I recently had spaetzle at a local German restaurant and being Italian, of course I loved it. I never knew how you actually made it – totally pinning this to try 🙂

    • comment-avatar
      Brynn McDowell September 21, 2016 (11:40 am)

      Thanks Deanna! I feel like everyone prepares it a bit differently, but it’s so easy!

  • comment-avatar
    Laura September 21, 2016 (10:18 am)

    I have never made spaetzle but it sounds so easy I think I will give it a try. Thanks also for the tip on using a colander instead of a spaetzle maker, saves me buying one more utensil for the kitchen. It looks great topped with parsley, olive oil and lemon zest.

    • comment-avatar
      Brynn McDowell September 21, 2016 (11:40 am)

      Definitely glad to help with having to have one less utensil around that you use once in a blue moon. Hope you like it!

  • comment-avatar
    Cara September 21, 2016 (11:46 am)

    I never knew how easy it would be to make spaetzle! I’ve never tried it before but now I think I need to 🙂 thanks for the recipe!

    • comment-avatar
      Brynn McDowell September 21, 2016 (4:32 pm)

      Thanks Cara! It always looked daunting to me growing up but it’s actually so simple

  • comment-avatar
    Farrah September 21, 2016 (3:41 pm)

    I really wish I’d learned how to cook different things from my grandma. <3 I don't think I've ever had spaetzle, but it looks delicious! 😀

    • comment-avatar
      Brynn McDowell September 21, 2016 (4:32 pm)

      You should try it Farrah, it’s really good and easy

  • comment-avatar
    Jessica @ Nutritioulicious September 21, 2016 (9:46 pm)

    Great recipe! It’s rare to find spaetzle on a menu, let alone in a blog post. Such a great traditional recipe!

    • comment-avatar
      Brynn McDowell September 22, 2016 (10:07 am)

      Thanks Jessica! When I first met my husband I think he had spaetzle ten times the first year I met him at all the family holidays!

  • comment-avatar
    Miss Polkadot September 23, 2016 (1:44 am)

    That’s so sweet! Spätzle definitely are part of my childhood memories – yes, I’m German. We usually did the over the top decadent and delicious Käsespätzle/cheese spaetzle (layered with caramelized onions and plenty of grated cheese) and oh my. It’s so sweet you have you Oma’s recipe framed on your wall and even own a spaetzle maker.

  • comment-avatar
    Courtney September 24, 2016 (4:38 am)

    This reminds me so much of my own grandmother’s spaetzle! SO delicious– one of my ultimate comfort foods as a kid. You’ve inspired me to make this soon!

  • comment-avatar
    Emily @ Relishments September 25, 2016 (4:58 am)

    This sounds awesome! I’ve only had spaetzle at our local Austrian restaurant, but maybe I’ll try making it myself soon. Thanks for sharing your grandmother’s recipe.

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  • comment-avatar
    Melanie May 15, 2017 (6:51 pm)

    I have my grandma’s beef rouladen recipe, but never got the spaetzle recipe. Can’t wait to try this!!!