Cheese Spaetzle Käsespätzle

We got stuck on a mountain during a heavy thunderstorm in the Alpes and gladly made it into a hut that was also a restaurant. We sat down … damp and a little clueless about how long this storm might take and how we could get back to our hotel in the valley. Meanwhile, we ordered something to eat: Käsespätzle! (Cheese Spaetzle)
Never in my entire life, I have seen my kids eat like a crowd of vulture! They fought over every single bite, despite the fact that they have had a really good breakfast not too long ago.

Kösespätzle
Käsespätzle with salad and fried onions

I can still remember my first Käsepätzle: When I visited my grandma in Augsburg we went on a hike along the Ice channel that once had been built for the Olympics. We decided to rest at an inn and she ordered me Käsespätzle and I was sure that Cheese Spaetzle is the best food I’ve ever had – just like my kids.

Today, I often cook this for guests, especially if I there is a majority of men. Not that it wouldn’t please a woman’s tongue but it has quite a bit of fat and calories, which bothers us women more often than men, right? Also, there is a lot of bacon in it – men’s candy!

The whole process of making Käsespätzle is easy but it always leaves you with a little mess in the kitchen. But don’t worry, it’s not that bad. Expect to need a bowl for mixing the dough, a large cooking pot, a strainer, a Spätzle-Presse (available at amazon), a cutting board and sharp knife, a skimmer, a casserole or iron pan … basically, everything that won’t fit easy into your dishwasher ;-)

How to make Spätzle

 

The result is worth every effort, just trust me on this!

 

Tipp 1: I often double the recipe and freeze half of the Spaetzle or Käsespätzle in an aluminum pan. This way I have some in reserve and just need to put it into the oven on a day when I have less time for cooking.

 

Tipp 2: Clean the Spätzle-Presse immediately after using it. Never let the dough dry on it. It’s so much work to get the dough out of all the little holes once it had dried! You can disassemble the Spätzle-Presse (if you have the same as I have) and put it in the dishwasher though.

 

Serve your Cheese Spaetzle with a green salad and fried or caramelized onions.

Cheese Spaetzle Käsespätzle

Spätzle

Barbara
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch (or Dinner), Sides
Cuisine German, Swabia
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
 
 

Spätzle

  • 250 g flour (all purpose)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 100 ml milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 40 g Butter

Käsespätzle (additional needed ingredients)

  • ½ package bacon
  • ½ package shredded mozarella or cheddar
  • 1 large onion
  • 75-100 ml cream

Instructions
 

  • Measure the flour in a large bowl.
  • Add eggs, salt and nutmeg.
  • Start stirring while slowly adding the milk and water. You can stir with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. Make sure there are no lumps.
  • In a large cooking pot bring about 3 l water to a boil.
  • Set up a strainer on top of a bowl.
  • Place the Spätzle-Presse on top of the pot and fill with the first portion of dough.
    How to make Spätzle
  • Slowly press the Spätzle-Presse down but not all at once! Just press it enough to have some dough get into the water and wait a few seconds until it falls of from the Spätzle-Presse on it's own. One can also lift the Spätzle-Presse up and down for more control. Press down further, repeat until the portion is completely in the boiling water.
  • You may want to turn down the heat a little bit but make sure it is still boiling.
  • After about 3 minutes all the Spätzle will be floating on the surface of the water - time to take them out with a skimmer and move them to a strainer. If you want to keep the Spätzle warm for later, use a pot with hot but not boiling water to keep them warm and separated until they are about to be served. Then proceed with the strainer.
  • Continue until the entire dough has turned into delicious Spätzle.
  • In a pan heat the butter and let it brown a little bit, then add the Spätzle and turn them in the butter before serving.
  • If you don't plan to make Käsespätzle, eat Spätzle as aside with a roast or fried saussages, accompanied by Sauerkraut and a gravy.
  • Käsespätzle

  • While the Spätzle are made, put the bacon into a large pan and let fry at medium heat. Do not discard the fat, you will need it.
  • Peel the onion and cut it into rings.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan but leave the fat in the pan.
  • Draw some of the fat and add it to the Spätzle - makes it taste even better!
  • Add the onions to the pan with the remaining fat and fry until softened and light brown.
  • Preheat to oven to 375°F.
  • Meanwhile crush or cut the bacon into small pieces.
  • In a bowl or directly in the casserole mix the Spätzle with the bacon and the shredded cheese. Mix!
  • Fill it into a casserole or iron pan and add the cream. The cream should just cover the bottom up to about 1/3 of the Spätzle height. I recommend to add some salt to the cream before adding it because cream covers the salt taste of dishes.
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until you can see some cream bubbles coming up.
  • Stir the casserole and change the oven to "Broil". Let broil for a few minutes and serve hot!
  • Käsespätzle is served with fried onions ...
  • and a green salad.
  • Enjoy while hot!

Notes

When I bought my Käse-Presse about 23 years ago in Esslingen it came with instructions. These claimed that original Spätzle are only made with flour, salt and eggs. No water, no milk. For a couple of years I made my Spätzle with that recipe until I tried this recipe with milk and water. Not only that it tastes better, it is a lot less heavy ... also it might be healthier than 6-10 eggs! BTW: Esslingen is one of the most beautiful towns I've ever seen in Germany! Worth a visit!!!
Spätzle-Presse is quite expensive here in the US but worth the money and might last for generations! They also offer a "Spätzle Hobel" a sort of plain with a pusher: Don't go for that one, it requires a lot more work and will just take up a lot of time.
A word about store bought Spätzle: They can sometimes be an alternative to the DIY version but will never ever (!) even come close to the taste of homemade Spätzle. It's a huge difference!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About The Author

7 thoughts on “German Cheese Spaetzle / Käsespätzle”

  1. What is the cheese you would use in Germany for this dish? We have a very good cheesemonger locally and chances are good I could get something authentic or closer to it than mozzarella or cheddar.

    1. I don’t think so. The holes in a potato ricer are smaller than in my spätzle press. If you know how to do it: Put the dough on a board and cut thin stripes off it and push them into the water – that’s how it was originally done but it is more work.

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