Homemade Spaetzle is a such a simple, humble German side dish that I almost didn’t post my super easy recipe… I mean really, Spaetzle for a Throw Back Thursday dish? Really? Well yeah, really! After tossing it around in my head I decided that spaetzle really does deserve a place in my TBT line up. It is simple and it is a very basic dish, but it’s also a dish that I fell in love with as a kid and one that’s so versatile and delicious that I want everyone who has never made it to add it to their recipe file pronto!
Last Thursday I posted my recipe for Chicken Paprikash, and in that post I mentioned my love for spaetzle. The tender little pillowy dumplings/noodles pair SO well with paprikash, or just about any other dish that includes a rich gravy or sauce. Truly it’s humble enough to share the plate, carry the heavy load of sauce with dignity and it never insists on being the star of the show. Here’s a picture from last week when I poured rich paprikash gravy over it:
On the other hand, if you need a star for a plate, this dish is more than willing to step up to the plate if you just give it a brief bath in some brown butter and sage, or basil, or thyme, or garlic!
And did I mention that it’s THE perfect comfort food?
You can read the story of how I fell in love with homemade spaetzle over on the Chicken Paprikash post, or you can just follow along and learn to make it tonight, in less than 15 minutes, from standard pantry ingredients….and serve it…and make your family fall in love with you all over again.
So let’s get right to it, shall we?
I did say basic and simple, right? Welp, just grab some eggs, flour, salt and milk and you’re ready to whip together a bowl of tender little dumpling-like noodles!
Use a whisk to beat the eggs into the milk, then stir the salt into the flour . The final step is mixing them together in the bowl. I like to use a hand mixer to beat the spaetzle batter for a minute or two, and then let it rest for 30 minutes while I prepare the rest of my meal.
15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once it boils, pour your spaetzle batter into a large colander that you’re holding over the pot. It drips through the holes in the colander almost immediately, so be sure you’re aiming the colander over the pot as you start to pour!
These are some of my favorite kitchen helpers. They're Dang Good and I love 'em!
Now grab a wooden spoon and start pressing the batter back and forth across the largest holes in the colander. Spaetzle begins to cook immediately as it hits the boiling water, so work quickly to get all the batter into the pot as fast as possible.
When the last of the batter has dripped through and into the pot, stir all those adorable little noodles well, then let them finish cooking for 2 minutes. Drain them well, then serve them with a rich gravy.
OR, if you aren’t planning on a rich sauce, brown 2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick skillet, then toss in the cooked and drained spaetzle and a bit of sage, garlic or basil. Sizzle them quickly on high heat, giving them just one quick stir when the bottoms are browned. The whole browning process takes about 4 minutes.
That’s it! You’ve just made homemade spaetzle and it was so dang easy, wasn’t it?!
Last week I served mine with my Mom’s chicken paprikash, so no brown butter for me, just a thick layer of rich sauce.
- 3 Eggs, Beaten
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Stir the flour and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Add the beaten eggs and milk to the bowl. Stir till well mixed, then beat with a hand mixer for 3 minutes on high or till the batter is smooth and shiny.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
- While the batter is resting, bring a large pot of salted water to a brisk boil.
- Set a large colander on the rim of the pot, then pour the batter into the colander.
- Using a large wooden spoon or dough scraper, begin pressing the spaetzle batter through the holes in the bottom of the colander. They will begin to cook instantly as they fall into the water.
- When all the batter has been pressed through the colander, stir the spaetzle gently and boil for 2 more minutes.
- Drain in a clean colander and serve.