Breakfast Spaetzle Recipe

I’ve been thinking about spaetzle ever since reading a post from Francois-Xavier at FXcuisine. He made an amazing apple spaetzle as a dessert – it looks so good. It made me think about a trip I took with a friend to her hometown of Chicago when we were in college. Her Austrian grandmother made us all sorts of food including spaetzle served with a meat stew. It’s one of those foods that isn’t just a meal, it’s a memory.

This morning I woke up inspired to make spaetzle for the first time. I enjoy making breakfast on the weekend, but this was even more special since I got to get my hands dirty.

Breakfast spaetzle
2 cups flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 roasted red pepper
2 scallions chopped
2 tablespoons butter

Place flour on a work surface and create a well in the center. Crack 2 eggs into well and add milk. Use a fork to whisk the milk and egg together, then slowly extend outward to work in the flour until a dough forms.

I eventually gave up on the fork and use my fingertips. The dough came together in a matter of a minute or two. Give it a few kneads and form into a ball. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes. The dough becomes much softer and stickier.

Heat a shallow pan of water. There are tools specifically for making spaetzle, similar to a cheese grater. The dough is smeared through the openings and the small bits dropping into the water. I didn’t have one of these slick little devices.

I tried using a slotted spoon to push the dough through and it wasn’t very easy. I decided to take matters into my own hands (literally) and placed the ball of dough into my right hand. With my left hand, I pulled off a strip of dough about 1″ long and allowed it to drop into the boiling water. The spaetzle turned out a bit larger than normal, but looked wonderful.

When they start to float, they are done. It took just a couple minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl. I cooked the spaetzle in two batches. Next, heat a skillet and add the butter. Add spaetzle to skillet and turn to coat in butter. Fry until they begin to take on a little color, then add the scallions and roasted red pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes.

I didn’t want to dirty another pan, so I cracked the 2 remaining eggs into the spaetzle water and poached for 3 minutes. Place the spaetzle on a plate and place poached eggs on top. Before eating, run your knife through the egg so the yolk oozes down into the spaetzle.

This made for a wonderful Sunday morning breakfast. It came together quickly and looked like it took much longer. The spaetzle are dense and chewy, just the way I like my pasta. The spaetzle texture makes it easy for the little guys to latch onto the butter (or other sauce you may put with them). The scallions and pepper gave just enough flavor without overpowering the spaetzle.

I’m going to play around with the spaetzle a bit further. It’s versatile and would work in so many different preparations. I have a million ideas for how to use it in both savory and sweet dishes. I don’t know where to begin first!

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  1. Ooh, that’s nice. I actually had in on my mind since I saw it on Iron Chef, but I’ve yet to buy some Chinese colander (I’ve already seen it for dirt-cheap, dunno why I didn’t buy it yet) with large-pencil-sized holes to use as a spaetzle maker. Also, I’m not very well-versed with Austrian cuisine as I am with Italian cuisine (as if I was an expert in that anyway), so I might dress it up all Italian-like and end up offending some *professional chef* in the process, ha ha. :) I do like what you’ve done here, you’re giving me a few ideas ;)

  2. okay, i love this twist on spaetzle. everyone once in a great while, my part-german father would prevail on my intensely italian mother to make roast beef and spaetzle for dinner and it was a huge treat. i’m loving this breakfast take on it – onto the “to cook” list it goes! (if only the list weren’t so long…)

  3. Allen, this is beautiful! I love the twist of a savory breakfast dish. Amazing poached eggs, I’ve never been able to get them that nice without wrapping them first in plastic foil. Congratulations!

  4. Okay Allen, I’m gathering courage to try Spaetzle out. I’ve had had them here, in Vienna and I also saw a great recipe at Culinography.

    The time is nigh.

  5. manggy: this is something that can’t be done wrong, so go for it! I’m sure you’ll come up with something amazing :-)

    michelle: Thanks! I know what you mean, I have a very long list of things to make too … :-)

    FX: Glad you stopped by! It’s funny you should mention the egg — usually I do all sorts of things to make the perfect looking poached egg but this time I was in a hurry. I turned off the pasta water pot and cracked in my egg. I covered the pot and let it sit for a few minutes and the egg turned out perfectly. Sometimes simpler is better. :-)

    Peter: anyone who has mastered phyllo will certainly find spaetzle way too easy :-) you’re so inventive, so I forward to seeing your spin on it!

  6. Julie: Thanks!

    Geggie: Poached eggs are good for you , but spaetzle are better :-)

    Clare: Haha! Well, go grab some eggs and flour, you can have spaetzle in about 20 minutes :-)

    Thanks for the feedback on the site — I’ve been playing around with it in an attempt to make it better. Glad you noticed!

  7. My grandpa was a cabbage farmer and used to make this on nights he got in early from the field. This dish goes excellent with a spatlese reisling.

  8. That is without a doubt the most beautiful poached egg I’ve ever seen – my favorite way to enjoy them, altho’ I don’t think I’ve ever met an egg I didn’t like. Thx also for the explicit directions on how to successfully cook a poached egg the “chef’s way”. I will be submitting my humble fav way to prepare a simple hard-boiled egg supper over where you solicited them. thanks!

  9. you are amazing – i love spaetzle and was looking everywhere for a recipe where i didn’t need a special spaetzle-making tool and there’s your post. i am truly inspired – and you made it look so easy!

    i absolutely adore your poached egg too. this is gonna be breakfast tomorrow – fingers crossed! :)

  10. How wonderful it looks! Especially the egg – I alway ruin poached eggs – going to try the pasta pot method. I can’t wait to experiment with the Spaetzel – haven’t had one since I left upstate NY … YUM!

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