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This side dish meaning “little sparrows” in the German Swabian dialect makes a great partner to a winter stew or roasted joint of meat. The 2-step cooking method of a short boil, then a sauté, keeps them fluffy inside and slightly caramelized on the outside.

Serves 3-4 as a side


  • flour: 275g/10 oz/2 cups
  • salt, table: 1 tsp
  • nutmeg, ground (optional): .5 tsp
  • eggs: 4
  • milk: 120 ml/ .5 cup
  • extra milk/water: as needed
  • water and salt for the boiling. For this recipe, about 3 liters/quarts and 3 Tb salt
  • butter: 45 g/ 3 Tbsp


  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and nutmeg
  2. Mix in wet ingredients. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the eggs and milk. With a fork, lightly whisk liquids together until completely incorporated. Mix all ingredients together with the fork until all ingredients are just combined. The batter should be thick enough to fall off the spatula, but not be soupy. Add additional milk or water to achieve this consistency. (I normally need 2-3 Tb of extra water added)
  3. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes if time permits
  4. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Use approximately 1 Tb of salt per 1 liter/quart of water. For this recipe, I used 3 liters/quarts of water and 3 Tb salt. Most of the salt stays in the pan but this method gives a much better seasoned result than salting a bland dough at serving time
  5. Pass the batter through the spätzle maker or large holes in a colander/grater holes a cupful at a time into the boiling water. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes (the spätzle will float to the top). Remove to a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. At this stage, the spätzle can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  6. Final browning on the stove top. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the spätzle and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently until they begin to brown and are heated through. Serve immediately or keep warm