Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

Recipe: Gluten-Free Spaetzle February 22, 2010

for those of you who don’t know what spaetzle is,  it’s a German egg-noodle dish, which can be served several ways. my favorite is kaese-spaetzle (with cheese), but it can also be served with a brown gravy / mushroom gravy. in fact, you could even use them as egg noodles in a soup if you wanted. it’s one of my favorite dishes.

it’s a fairly simple recipe, with just a few ingredients. so even when I was able to use regular flour, I didn’t really follow a recipe. I just added flour, eggs, and water until it looked right, and then started making it. it’s taken me awhile, but I’ve finally ventured to make it gluten-free, and I actually measured things out in case it needed tweaking. and it seemed to turn out pretty normal! (confirmed by a non-celiac). I’m sure the simplicity of the recipe helps to make it an easy conversion. so here it is:

2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used Bette Hagman’s basic GF mixture)

1/2 tsp xanthan gum (which adds the stickiness back into the flour, since it’s gluten-free)

5 eggs

1/4 – 1/2 cup water

(salt to taste)

mix the ingredients together in that order, and start with just a 1/4 cup of water. you want it to be a wet-dough consistency, but not runny. so if after a 1/4 cup, it’s still too dry that it doesn’t really stick together and string just a little if you pull a piece up, add a little more water at a time until it’s a workable dough. (I apologize that I didn’t measure the amount of water I used exactly). but don’t let it become too drenched. if you accidentally add too much water, add another 1/2 cup of flour and 1 more egg.

then boil a big pot of water with a wide mouth. you’ll also need a metal scraper of some sort, anything metal with a straight edge will work, and some type of cutting board, again with a straight edge.

then you take a chunk of dough (I did a 1/4 of the mixture at a time) and place it an inch or two from the edge of your board, and use your metal scraper to sliver off a piece of the dough, and each time dip the edge of the metal scraper into the water, so the dough releases. as you drag the scraper back on the board, when you go over another thin piece of dough, slide the scraper forward again to cut it into the water. the reason you’ll want thin slices is that it gets much bigger while it cooks.

the dough is done really quickly (when it floats to the top of the water, it’s done), but I wait until I’m done with the whole piece on my cutting board before taking any out. and when I do, I pile it onto  plate to let more of the moisture evaporate, and then into a cake pan. as for the water, if it gets to starchy, it’ll boil up really high and make it difficult to dump the scraper with dough in the water without burning your hands. if that happens you may want to dump some of the water on top into the sink before continuing. in fact, when I’m halfway done, I often dump all the water and start fresh for the second half. if you prefer a more mechanized way to press the noodles, people often use ricers, and squirt the dough through into even-sized noodles. I didn’t have much luck with this the one time I tried it though~ I found it to be messy and not too effective. but some people seem to love it. another trick I recently saw on tv that looked much less messy is to use the pasta insert of a pot: hold the pasta insert above the boiling water, put a glob of dough into the insert and then scrape the dough through the little holes. tiny noodles will “rain” through them into the water.

the amount of spaetzle that this recipe makes is enough for like 4 people to have large portions. (it’s hard to stop eating). but if you just want to adjust the amount, it’s basically 1/2 cup flour to 1 egg. and I’d try using a 1/4 tsp xanthan gum if using up to 1 cup flour and 2 eggs, and then I’d use 1/2 tsp xanthan gum up to 4 cups flour and 8 eggs. the 3 cups flour would probably be the perfect amount to fill a nice layer in a cake pan. but I’d start with my recipe, and add from there, depending on how the water goes.

for kaese-spaetzle, I grill up a TON of onions, either caramelized or just really cooked down until they’re nice and brown. I always add more onion every time and think it’s a ridiculously large amount, but it cooks down so much, that I always end up wishing there were more!  so I use about 1 small to medium yellow onion per egg used (so about 5 with this recipe). and feel free to keep adding olive oil as it cooks~ you’ll probably use a lot. also, put them in the pan to brown BEFORE you start cooking the noodles in water, because it’ll take just as long.

so once the spaetzle is cooked, and some of the excess moisture evaporated, start spreading it evenly in the pan. then add the caramelized onions (you may even want to layer them, or mix them around so it’s mixed in really well). and then shred some cheese and sprinkle it on top. emmenthaler is my cheese of choice, but if you can find edam, that’s also used. these can be found in the specialty cheese area of a grocery store and comes in little blocks. it doesn’t take a lot of cheese~ in fact, it can be overwhelming if you use too much. about 4 ounces should be plenty. ( a smaller grater works nicely, because it’ll spread easier and melt better).

then put the whole thing in the oven at 350 degrees and heat until the cheese is melted, maybe 10-15 minutes or so. (in these pictures, the caramelized onions were added after melting the cheese and noodles in the oven).

for brown or mushroom gravy, I still like to make it with onions, but it probably wouldn’t need quite as much, maybe 2 smaller onions.

and for soup, you wouldn’t need to add anything.

the recipe is actually quite simple, I just like to explain things in detail, so that it turns out well 🙂

if you feel really ambitious, you could make some schnitzel to go with it. just dip some boneless pork chops in GF flour; or if you’re really fancy, dip them in flour, then egg, then GF bread crumbs. and fry it on the stove until it’s browned, and then cook it in the oven until it’s at a proper temperature (I go to 165 degrees).

the kaese-spaetzle is definitely a favorite for lots of my friends and family! the leftovers never last long at my house 🙂


10 Responses to “Recipe: Gluten-Free Spaetzle”

  1. Joan Says:

    Thank you, I will try soon, I also like to eat them with boiled spare ribs(onion-garlic-saur kraut-carots & potatoes). Do you or do you know anyone who has made strudel dough, egg roll wrappers that are GF? If you can have your comfort foods made the GF way and taste good, then following the diet isn’t so bad. I am experimenting with some of the GF cake mixes to make desserts and some are good, but some are bad, more experimenting needed. Thanks again, looking forward to trying your recipie – oh we always added a little nutmeg to our batter, but that could have been a regional thing our family brought over with them.

    • rebeccagf Says:

      well I hope you like it, it’s one of my favorite dishes! I’ve never tried it with nutmeg (or any other varieties), because I love the original so much, but that sounds really interesting! I haven’t attempted to convert strudel dough or egg roll wrappers to gluten-free. my next project will be to make Czech/ Moravian knedlicky gluten-free. that’s another favorite of mine.

  2. chabesquen Says:

    I was so excited to find this recipe!!! My family lived in Germany when I was a little kid and kaese-spaetzle is a family favorite. I wanted to ask, do you think the dough would work okay in a spaetzle press?

    • rebeccagf Says:

      I’m sure it would, I just find that to be messier than doing it with a board and scraper. another thing that might work well is putting the dough in a pasta insert for a pan, and it’ll drip through the holes (hold it above the water as it drips). I’m glad you like it!! it’s one of my favorite dishes as well!

  3. […] I went to Google and looked up recipes for gluten-free spaetzle. There are several out there, but the one I ended up using was most similar to the authentic recipes I’ve seen (thank you very much […]

  4. Andrew T Says:

    My wife recently went gluten-free for health reasons. I’ll be trying this with my chicken paprikas recipe. 🙂

  5. Barb Says:

    Made these for dinner on Friday. They totally rocked! Tasted exactly like wheat spaetzle. Like most gluten free cooks, somtimes making a new recipe is like a science experiment. I expected my GF Spaezles to congeal into one big mass of nasty dough, but was pleasantly surprised. I used the featherlite mix from Betty Hagman as you suggested. I also dusted off my Spaetzle press. The dough was less sticky than my usual wheat dough. The noodles were very long, so I used less dough in the machine to make them shorter. After straining each batch, I rinsed them in a collander with cool water & let them drain. I did not use butter, and they did not stick together. The fried unions and cheese (havarti) combo was delicious. After I made the whole batch, I poped them into the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Thank you for this great recipe. I have been missing my spaezle ever since my family went gluten free.

    Also, I microwaved the remaining noodles for my lunch today and they were just as good. Thank you my fellow GF Kraut!


  6. […] I went to Google and looked up recipes for gluten-free spaetzle. There are several out there, but the one I ended up using was most similar to the authentic recipes I’ve seen (thank you very much […]

  7. GF Boyfriend Says:

    Yum! This is one of my favorites, pretty close to the original! Wish my GF Girlfriend would make it more often 🙂

  8. Womblecamper Says:

    Danke Oma!!
    We live in England and recently found out my son has to go wheat-free. I made a small portion to test out the recipe and it was super easy and very tasty. We used M&S gluten free flour. Works a treat. I have a potato ricer – I thought the holes would be too small, but actually it worked fine – it means they aren’t as nobbly as the regular and authentic spaetzle, but speeds up the process of using as I’m not an expert with the schabe! Thanks for posting the recipe and varying quantity suggestions.

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