You don’t need to travel to Munich to eat this traditional German spaetzle dish called Jägerspätzle! This Bavarian classic is often served at the Oktoberfest and makes for a seriously exciting (but simple!) family dinner.
They are small dumplings made from flour, eggs and milk. The sauce is a delicious rich Mushroom gravy, perfect for fall!
My recipe was handed down to me by my Bavarian grandmother, so it’s 100% authentic and tastes simply amazing. For more tasty German recipes, see my German Soft Pretzels or my Apfelküchle (German Apple Fritters).
Do you spaetzle?
If you’ve never had them before you’re in for a treat!
They are basically a pile of small but insanely delicious dumplings which have the wonderful tendency to pretty much smother themselves in any kind of sauce you let them play with.
It’s a bit more work than throwing pasta into the water (and I suspect that’s why my grandma insisted on my grandad helping her making them every time) but the extra effort is absolutely worth it!
This German Spaetzle Recipe
- is 100% authentic – directly sourced from my Bavarian grandmother!
- comes together with just a handful of pantry staples
- tastes delicious and is a total kid-favorite
We usually have this by itself as a meat free main, but you could definitely pair it with some pork chops or bratwurst.
How to Make Spaetzle:
Read on for the detailed steps, or scroll down for more tips to make this recipe foolproof and the printable recipe card.
1 – Make the spaetzle batter: The batter for spaetzle is extremely simple! Flour, salt, milk, water and eggs are all you need to make it.
The important part is how to make it. The flour and salt get mixed in a bowl. The milk, water and eggs you’ll whisk together in a measuring jug.
Then pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the flour and salt. Using a cooking spoon (preferably a wooden one with a hole in the middle – but that’s nitpicking here), beat the batter until it looks shiny and bubbles a little.
Now cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 30 minutes – room temperature is fine!
2 – Cook the spaetzle: Once the batter is ready, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it well (like for pasta!)
The spaetzle can be shaped in a few different ways (some are technically called knoepfle, but we’re not going for perfection here).
The Ghetto Method:
Use a coarse grater. Place it over the pot with the backside facing upward. Push the batter through the grater, about 1/3 cup at a time.
The Traditional Method:
This is the one I absolutely DON’T do because it’s so time consuming.
The traditional way to make spaetzle is to place the batter on a wooden board (again, about 1/3 cup at a time), then scraping slivers of it into the boiling water with a long knife.
The Easy Method:
The easy method is using a smart gadget that turns spatzle-making into a quick and easy ordeal.
There are different systems, but this one is very popular. (This is an affiliate link and I make a commission for purchases made after clicking through).
Once the Spätzle float to the top (this should only take a few minutes), remove them with a slotted spoon and toss them around in a hot casserole dish with some melted butter.
Proceed until you’ve used up all the batter. It’s a little time consuming, but it’s worth the effort!
3 – Make the Gravy: I usually do this at the same time as I’m cooking the spaetzle.
First, chop a small onion and slice the mushrooms.
Cook them in butter until softened, then add white wine and simmer until the sauce has reduced (this means there’s less liquid and it has thickened a little because water has evaporated during cooking) – it won’t take long.
Then stir in a little tomato paste and beef broth and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
Now add some cream and butter and smother allthethings in this gravy!
4 – Serve: Serve the gravy over the spaetzle. Chopped parsley is a nice addition, but no big deal if you have to let that one slide 😉
Tips for the Best German Spaetzle:
First and foremost you MUST do this in batches.
Don’t drop more than that 1/3 cup of batter into the pan at once or the Spätzle will immediately start sticking together and if your pot is on the small side I suggest reducing that amount to 1/4 cup.
And the second thing: Guys, I’m sorry to say this but you really can’t be shy with the butter here.
It will help your Spätzle brown nicely and keep them from giving each other too much love. And seriously, the butter just makes them taste even better!
Can you freeze spaetzle?
Yes, you can!
Let them cool to room temperature, then place them in freezer-friendly bags or containers.
Label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months).
To reheat, defrost in the fridge overnight. Place in a casserole dish and reheat in the oven at 400°F until piping hot. You can top them with cheese too, if you like!
When freezing a recipe, always remember:
- make sure to use containers or bags suitable for freezing
- label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months)
- reheat until piping hot all the way through before serving
What do You Serve with German Spaetzle?
You can add pork chops, bratwurst, roasted chicken or even a Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf here.
But you can also leave out the mushroom gravy, and serve the spätzle with something like
More Delicious Mushroom Recipes You’ll Love:
- Garlic Butter Baked Mushrooms
- One Pot Mushroom Pasta
- Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
- Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto
And if you liked these recipes, there’s plenty more to make family meals easier for you! Be sure to join my FREE recipe circle here to get easy recipes by email.
P.S: If you tried this recipe, why not leave me a comment below to let me know how you liked it?
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For the Spätzle:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup milk
- 3 eggs
- Butter for finishing
For the Sauce
- 5 tablespoons butter (divided)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (OR onion)
- 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 ounce white wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cream
- Bunch of flat leaf parsley (chopped)
To Make the Spätzle
- In a large bowl mix together the flour and salt. Add the water, milk and eggs to a measuring cup and whisk together well. Add the egg mixture to the bowl with the flour and immediately start vigorously stirring the batter with a wooden spoon until there are no more lumps and you start seeing bubbles forming. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
- When ready to make the Spätzle bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Place a coarse metal grater (or a special Spätzle maker if you own one) over the pot. Add about 1/3 cup of batter on top of the grater and gently stroke over it with the back of a spoon. Remove the grater and let the Spätzle cook until they come to the surface (this won't take long!)
- Remove the spaetzle with a slotted spoon – it's a good idea to keep them in a lightly buttered casserole dish. Proceed the same way with the remaining batter.
To Make the Sauce
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add three tablespoons of butter to it. Add the onion and cook until starting to brown. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until softened.
- Deglaze with the white wine and cook until reduced. Add the broth and tomato paste, reduce to a simmer and cook until reduced to a thick sauce. Finish with the remaining two tablespoons of butter and the cream.
- Serve on top of the Spätzle and garnish with chopped parsley.
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