Oma’s German Spätzle (with Lentil Soup)

German Spätzle with Ham and Lentil Soup piled artfully in a dark blue and white geometric patterned bowl.

While this is most definitely not a baking recipe, German spätzle is by far one of my favourite foods. Originally a recipe that my Oma made for my Mom and my aunt, then one my Mom made for me and now one I make for my daughter (one of her favourite foods too!), this recipe has secured some strong memories.

Watching my Mom prep for spätzle night seemed like quite the ordeal at the time. In an era where I thought all pasta came from a bag on the shelves of the grocery store, seeing it being made from scratch was an awe inspiring experience. Not only was her special German spätzle press brought down from its place high in the kitchen cupboards, but the process of getting the dough just right seemed to take quite a bit of muscle. After mixing everything together, she would pull out a chair, hold the bowl of dough tight on her lap with her legs and literally beat it with a large wooden spoon until a bead of sweat trickled down her forehead. I thought it was comical, but good things like homemade spätzle take a little effort!

Once the water was boiling I would grab a small paring knife and stand poised and ready while she squeezed the dough through the spätzle press into the boiling water. My job was always to cut the noodles free. One batch at a time they would be drained and placed in a pan with some butter, but not before I had a chance to taste test them. Let’s just say I did A LOT of taste testing. 😉

In the past we usually only had spätzle alongside a turkey or a roast with gravy for special holiday meals. In more recent times I’ve started making it far more often (since it doesn’t really take that much more effort) and serving it with my Mom’s goulash, layered up with caramelized onions and shredded cheese like gruyere (the German version of mac and cheese aka Käsespätzle) or the way I’ve shown it here with ham and lentil soup (aka Linsensuppe).

Needless to say, no matter how you serve German spätzle (butter, gravy, goulash, cheese or lentil soup), to me they are the best homemade noodles out there because they not only taste amazing but also conjure up deep and profoundly happy memories for me.

Happy… cooking?!


German Spätzle noodles piled high in a dark blue and white geometric patterned bowl.

If you liked this recipe you are going to love these ones!

German Schwäbisch Style Pretzels
Spelt Flammkuchen (German Pizza)
German Rhubarb Streusel Cake

Oma’s German Spätzle

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine German
Keyword Noodles, Pasta, Spaetzle, Spätzle
Servings 6 people
Author Sophie


  • 510 grams organic, all purpose wheat flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 125 mL water (1/2 cup)
  • 187 mL homogenized milk (3/4 cup)
  • 56 grams unsalted butter (1/4 cup) for the pan keeping the spätzle warm


  1. Preheat your oven to 170F or the lowest/keep warm setting. Put the butter into a 9×13" or similar sized glass baking dish and place the dish in the oven to warm and melt the butter.

  2. In a large bowl mix together the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, milk and water into it. Using a large wooden spoon, mix everything together until combined. Continue beating and kneading the dough with the wooden spoon until the dough is fairly smooth and elastic (this takes a bit of muscle!). Set aside to rest while the water comes to a boil.

    Smooth, elastic German Spätzle dough in a large metal bowl with a large wooden spoon lifting some of the dough towards the top of the bowl to show its elasticity.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place your spätzle press on the counter beside the pot of water. Place a strainer over a medium sized bowl and set beside the spätzle press. Grab a slotted pasta spoon and place it beside the strainer and bowl.

    An antique German Spätzle press on a white marble looking countertop.
  4. Fill the spätzle press with dough up to 1" from the top. Rest the press on the pot over the boiling water and slowly press the dough into the water. Once all the dough has been pressed into the water, either dip the end of the press into the boiling water to release the noodles or cut them off with a small, sharp knife. Once the noodles float to the top and the water comes back to a boil, remove them with the slotted spoon and drain in the strainer. Then transfer the drained noodles to the warm baking dish and gently swirl them around in the butter with the slotted spoon. Repeat this step until all the dough is cooked.

    German Spätzle noodles being pulled out of a large pot of boiling water by a slotted pasta spoon.
  5. Serve spätzle as a side with gravy, or as a meal topped with lentil soup, goulash or as käse spätzle (layered with caramelized onions, grated gruyere and cheddar cheese and baked until melted).

Oma’s German Lentil Soup (Linsensuppe)

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine German
Keyword Ham, Lentils, Soup, Stew
Servings 6 people
Author Sophie


  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 large celery stalk diced
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1-2 red skinned potatoes diced (optional and omit if serving with spätzle)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 nugget ham diced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pour the lentils into a small bowl and cover with water. Set aside and allow the lentils to soak for two hours. Drain the lentils and set aside.

  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium/low heat, then add the onion and sauté until golden. Add the celery and carrot and sauté for a few more minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the lentils, potatoes (if you are using them), tomato paste, beef stock, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

  3. Remove the bay leaf, add the diced ham and return the soup to a slow simmer. Remove from the heat, add the red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Serve over spätzle or simply by itself.

2 thoughts on “Oma’s German Spätzle (with Lentil Soup)

  1. Sophie, any suggestions on making the spittle with out a press. I’ve only seen it served as delicious little nuggets.

    1. Hi Auntie Mary! I did a little google sleuthing and it looks like people have had luck using either a potato ricer, a cheese grater with large holes (but not that box grater, one of those flat graters) as well as a colander.

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