Ultimate Guide To The Best German Cheese Noodles

PREPARATION TIME

10 minutes

TOTAL TIME

30 minutes

DIFFICULTY

EASY

THE GOAL

Traditional German Käsespätzle is creamy, homemade egg pasta served with a mixture of favourite cheeses and fried onions on top. It is one of the most famous German dishes for a good reason! Spätzle is rich, creamy and quick to make. You need 30 minutes to make it from scratch. The dish also freezes well, so you can cook it for another meal.

Although you don't need fancy equipment to make it, a Spätzlehobel or Sieve make the process easier, especially if you don't have practice. Below, you will find out about the main types of German Spätzle, the equipment you need to make them and the cheeses I use to make my favourite Cheese Spätzle. Furthermore, I will show you how to serve and store them properly.

IN A NUTSHELL

1 3
Making German Spaetzle

Choose the Spätzle you want to make

According to shape, there are two varieties of Spätzle you can make for your Käsespätzle: 

Spätzle —Traditional Spätzle have an elongated shape; they look more like threads. Spätzle dough is, therefore, firmer and tougher.

Knöpfle – have a round shape and look like drops. Knöpfle dough is more liquid.

Make Spätzle

To make traditional Spätzle, Swabian grandmothers used a wooden board and a knife. If you practice every day, as they did, you can make Spätzle quickly without extra equipment. 

Spätzlehobel or Spätzle Sieve are excellent choices if you don’t have as much practice.

If you still cannot decide what equipment to use to make traditional Spätzle, please watch the video 3 Ways to Make German Spätzle on my YouTube channel, in which I explain the differences. 

Additionally, you will need a large pot (at least 5l) filled with 3-4l salty water.

nutshell make german spaetzle v2
2 3
3 1
nutshell right cheese kaesespaetzle

Choose the Right Cheese for your
German Cheese Noodles

My favorite Käsespätzle recipe comes from Allgäu. Therefore, for my Käsespätzle, I am using a mixture of mild—and strong-tasting cheeses. They perfectly enhance the flavour and don’t overpower the taste of other ingredients. 

In Frankfurt (where I live), Edam is the most popular cheese for Cheese Spätzle. 
Before adding the cheese to the pan, I grate it; that way, it melts better in a pan.

Make German Cheese Noodles (Käsespätzle)

The first step to making unforgettable cheese noodles is to fry chopped onion with butter in a large, non-stick pan. Then, add Spätzle and fry them until they develop a light golden crust. The crust is a bit more crispy, giving the noodles a bit of additional bite. At least you need to spread shredded cheeses on the Spätzle and mix everything. 

Frying Cheese Spätzle
4 2
5 2
improve consistancy cheese spatzle

Improve the Consistency

To make the Käsespätzle creamier, I advise you to add liquid to the pan. Milk, cream, or a mixture of both works best! 

Side & Toppings

Traditionally, German Cheese Noodles are served as a main course with fried onions on top and a side salad. Homemade onions are way better than store-bought onions once, but only when the time allows!

cheese spaetzle topings
6 2
1 3
Making German Spaetzle

Choose the Spätzle you want to make

According to shape, there are two varieties of Spätzle you can make for your Käsespätzle: 

Spätzle —Traditional Spätzle have an elongated shape; they look more like threads. Spätzle dough is, therefore, firmer and tougher.

Knöpfle – have a round shape and look like drops. Knöpfle dough is more liquid.

2 3
nutshell make german spaetzle v2

Make Spätzle

To make traditional Spätzle, Swabian grandmothers used a wooden board and a knife. If you practice every day, as they did, you can make Spätzle quickly without extra equipment. If you still cannot decide what equipment to use to make traditional Spätzle, please watch this video on my YouTube channel, in which I explain the differences.
Spätzlehobel or Spätzle Sieve are excellent choices if you don’t have as much practice as Spätzle or Knöpfle. Additionally, you will need a large pot (at least 5l) filled with 3-4l salty water.

3 1
nutshell right cheese kaesespaetzle

Choose the Right Cheese for your Käsespätzle

My favorite Käsespätzle recipe comes from Allgäu. Therefore, for my Käsespätzle, I am using a mixture of mild—and strong-tasting cheeses. They perfectly enhance the flavour and don’t overpower the taste of other ingredients. 
In Frankfurt (where I live), Edam is the most popular cheese for Cheese Spätzle. 
Before adding the cheese to the pan, I grate it; that way, it melts better in a pan.

4 2
Frying Cheese Spätzle

Make Käsespätzle

The first step to making unforgettable cheese noodles is to fry chopped onion with butter in a large, non-stick pan. Then, add Spätzle and fry them until they develop a light golden crust. The crust is a bit more crispy, giving the noodles a bit of additional bite. At least you need to spread shredded cheeses on the Spätzle and mix everything. 

5 2
improve consistancy cheese spatzle

Improve the Consistency

To make the Käsespätzle creamier, I advise you to add liquid to the pan. Milk, cream, or a mixture of both works best! 

6 2
cheese spaetzle topings

Side & Toppings

Traditionally, German Cheese Noodles are served as a main course with fried onions on top and a side salad. Homemade onions are way better than store-bought onions once, but only when the time allows!

PORTIONS

Ingridients for
1 Portion of German Cheese Noodles

German Egg Noodles Ingredients

To make one portion of Spätzle for Käsespätzle you need:

100g of all-purpose flour

50ml of milk (or water)

1 egg

pinch of salt

1 Portion
of Geman Spätzle

1 Portion German Egg Noodles

Spätzle dough from 100g of flour make 250-300g Spätzle This is enough Spätzle for main meal for one person.

1 Portion
of Geman Cheese Noodles

german cheese speatzle 1 portion

One portion on the serving plate:

0,5 chopped onion

10g Butter

250g spätzle

50g cheese

50ml milk or cream

SPÄTZLE VARIETIES

German Egg Noodles - Spätzle

Spätzle

Traditional Spätzle have an elongated shape

To make Spätzle you will need following equipment

equipment german spaetzle 6
German Egg Noodles - Knöpfle

Knöpfle

Traditional Knöpfle have a round shape.

To make Knöpfle you will need following equipment

equipment german spaetzle 6

CHEESES THAT WORK BEST

cheese spaetzle with edam

Edam

Edam is a semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands. It is available in Germany and has a very mild flavour and smell.

When using cheese with a mild taste, you might want to add more flavour with additional ingredients to make Cheese Spätzle taste sensational. Please scroll to the next chapter “Add more Flavor” for some inspiration.

cheese spaetzle with romadur

Romadur

Romadur is a soft, mild to lightly tangy cheese with . strong aroma. The cheese comes from Belgium. It arrived to Bavaria in the 1830’s.

Romadur has a tangy flavour, so you only need a little bit of it to make your Cheese Spätzle taste and smell like the one from the Alpine pasture.

cheese spaetzle with mountain cheese

Allgäuer Bergkäse

Allgäuer mountain cheese is hard or semi-hard with a strong and sometimes nutty flavour.

Allgäuer Bergkäse is the most essential ingredient of Cheese Spätzle from Allgäu. It brings the flavour but doesn’t overpower the taste of other ingredients. If you had to use only one cheese, that would be the one to go for. 

ADD MORE FLAVOR

German Cheese Noodles Fried Onion

Fried Onions

Fried onions give creamy Käsespätzle more crunch.

Butter

Frying Spätzle on butter adds flavour to the dish and helps Spätzle build a crust. Spätzle from our favorite recipe are soft, so a nice crust is very welcome! 

German Cheese Noodles Butter
saute onions v2

Saute Onions

To add even more flavour to the cheese mixture, fry the chopped onion before adding the Späzle to the pan. 

Nutmeg

I tasted nutmeg in a Spätzle dough in some apple wine taverns. This spice adds interesting flavour, especially if you use mild cheeses for your Cheese Spätzle.

German Cheese Noodles Nutmeg
German Cheese Noodles Chives

Chives

Chives, with its onion-like flavour, is a perfect choice if you want to add something green as a garnish.

German Cheese Noodles Fried Onion

Fried Onions

Fried onions give creamy Käsespätzle more crunch.

German Cheese Noodles Butter

Butter

Frying Spätzle on butter adds flavour to the dish and helps Spätzle build a crust. Our favourite Spätzle is soft, so a nice crust is very welcome! 

saute onions v2

Saute Onions

To add even more flavour to the cheese mixture, fry the chopped onion before adding the Späzle to the pan. 

German Cheese Noodles Nutmeg

Nutmeg

I tasted nutmeg in a Spätzle dough in some apple wine taverns. This spice adds interesting flavour, especially if you use mild cheeses for your Cheese Spätzle.

German Cheese Noodles Chives

Chives

Chives, with its onion-like flavour, is a perfect choice if you want to add something green as a garnish.

German Cheese Noodles Cream

Cooking Cream

The best way to keep Käsespätzle warm is to fry them in a non-stick pan on low heat.

MY FAVORITE RECIPE

German Cheese Egg Noodles Käsespätzle

Traditional German Cheese Noodles - Käsespätzle

I would love to share my favourite German Cheese Spätzle Recipe in this guide. Let's make a comfy family meal in no more than 30 minutes from scratch!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
 
 

Dough

  • 400 g flour
  • 200 ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 20 g butter melted

Frying

  • 10 g butter for frying
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 75 g Edam Cheese or any mild cheese
  • 50 g Remoudour Limburger, or any Herve cheese
  • 125 g Bergkäse or Gruyere
  • 200 ml cream optional, you can use milk to create an extra creamy texture

Garnish

  • 8 tbsp fried onions

Instructions
 

  • Take a large pot (4l-5l large) and fill it with at least 3l of water. Bring it to a boil, add salt.
    instruction 1
  • In the meantime, prepare your Spätzle-Making Station and make Spätzle dough.

Prepare your Spätzle-Making Station

  • Put an empty mixing bowl right next to the pot with boiling water. Additionally, you can put the sieve on top so the water from the cooked Spätzle can escape, leaving the Spätzle dry.
  • Set a dough scraper and skimmer spoon next to your large pot.

Prepare the dough

  • Melt the butter in a small pot or pan.
    instruction melt the butter
  • I prepare the dough using my kitchen machine or hand mixer with a kneading attachment (the hook). A wooden spoon with a large bowl will also do the job.
    German Egg Noodle Dough
  • Using a hand mixer, I mix flour, eggs, milk, and salt in a bowl. Then, I add a cooled melted butter.

Make German Noodles

  • While scraping Spätzle into the pot, ensure the water is simmering, not boiling. Please don't burn yourself. Set the heat to medium or medium-low and wait until the water simmer.
    instruction water simmering
  • To make German egg noodles, I use a Spaetzle Grater. I fill the black container of the grater with the dough and move it forward and back, letting the small pieces of the dough fall to the simmering water.
    German Egg Noodle Dough
  • When the noodles swim to the surface (which happens immediately), I drain them with a skimmer spoon and put them into the bowl/sieve.
    Making German Egg Noodles
  • If you want to freeze some of them, now is the time to set them aside. One portion weighs 250-300g.

Make Cheese Spätzle

  • Take a large pan, melt the butter and fry the onion until translucent on medium heat.
    instruction fry onion
  • Grate the hard cheeses and mix them in a small bowl. Cut Romadur into small cubes (It is usually too soft to be grated).
    instruction mix cheeses
  • If you don't like strong-tasting cheeses, you can make your German Cheese Noodles with edam only. This recipe comes from Allgäu, so some of the cheeses I use come from the German Alps.
  • Add the cooked Spätzle to the pan and fry until they build a golden crust. Lower the heat.
    Making Cheese Egg Noodles
  • Add the cheese and cream, and sauté for another minute or two until the cheese melts.
    instruction add cheese cream

Serving

  • Serve immediately with fried onion on the top.
    Making Cheese Egg Noodles

Video

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Notes

The Swabian Spätzle Dough recipe contains water, egg, flour and salt. I like replacing water with milk and adding butter because both ingredients give the noodles an extra flavour.

KEEP SPÄTZLE WARM

Keep German Cheese Noodles Warm

In a Pan

The best way to keep Cheese Noodles warm is to fry them in a non-stick pan on low heat.

STORAGE

How to store cheese spätzle

Leftover Cheese Noodles can be stored in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 3 days in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer.

Thawing & REHEATING

There are a few ways of thawing and reheating German Cheese Noodles.

In a room temperature - 3 hours

cheese speatzle tauting

The best way to thaw Cheese Noodles is in a room temperature. This process might take up to 3 hours.

In a pan - 20 minutes

Tauting Cheese Spaetzle in a Pan

If you don’t have time to thaw Cheese Noodles at room temperature, use a pan with some liquid (milk) on low heat. This way, the Cheese Spätzle will be ready to serve in 20 minutes!

SIDES & EXTRAS

green salad

Side Salad

Creamy Cheese Noodles go well with something refreshing, like a side salad. You can make a German mixed side salad that contains raw vegetables served with different salads (for example, cucumber and cabbage salad) and leaf greens. 

 

Make a green salad from leaf lettuce if you want to keep it simple.

Käsespätzle 3-course Meal

German Cheese Noodles already contain all the goodies: carbs and fat. To create a balanced three-course meal, I suggest serving light vegetable soup as a starter and something fruity as a dessert.

creamy pea soup

Starter: Light Pea Soup

cheese speatzle main course

Main Course: Cheese Noodles with Fried Onions and Side Salad

german rote gruetze

Dessert: Rote Grütze