How To Make Spaetzle With A Colander

How To Make Spaetzle With A Colander

Learn how to make spaetzle with a colander, a traditional German dish that’s as delightful to prepare as it is to savor. Spaetzles, often referred to as “German dumplings,” are small, tender egg noodles that are versatile and comforting. Making them with a colander offers a simple yet effective method that requires minimal equipment. This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step, allowing you to create delicious homemade spaetzle that will impress your family and friends. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, making spaetzle with a colander is an enjoyable culinary adventure that yields satisfying results every time.

What Is Spaetzle?

Spaetzle, originating from Germany, is a beloved dish characterized by its small, irregularly shaped dumplings or noodles. These soft and tender egg noodles are a staple in German cuisine, often served as a side dish or as a hearty main course. Spaetzle can be enjoyed simply with butter and herbs or paired with rich sauces, meats, or vegetables. Its versatility and comforting texture make it a favorite among both home cooks and professional chefs.

Choosing The Right Colander

Choosing The Right Colander

Selecting the appropriate colander is crucial when making spaetzles to ensure optimal results. Ideally, opt for a colander with medium-sized holes, typically ranging from ¼ to ½ inch in diameter. This size allows the spaetzles dough to pass through smoothly while forming uniform noodles. Additionally, consider the material of the colander; stainless steel colanders are durable and easy to clean, making them ideal for this task. Avoid colanders with excessively large holes or those made from flimsy materials, as they may result in irregularly shaped spaetzle or difficulty in handling the dough. By choosing the right colander, you’ll set yourself up for success in creating perfectly cooked spaetzles with ease.

Ingredients Required

  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Water

Preparation Process

1. Mixing The Dough

Mixing The Dough

To begin making spaetzles with a colander, start by mixing the dough. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, eggs, milk, salt, and a pinch of nutmeg. Use a wooden spoon or a sturdy whisk to blend the ingredients together until a smooth, thick batter forms. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter, thick enough to cling to a spoon but still pourable. Ensure that there are no lumps in the batter for uniform spaetzle.

2. Boiling Water

Boiling Water

Once the dough is mixed, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. While the water is heating up, prepare your colander for shaping the spaetzles. Place the colander over the pot, ensuring that it sits securely on the rim. Alternatively, you can use a spaetzles maker if you have one, which resembles a flat-bottomed colander with a sliding basket.

3. Shaping Spaetzle

Shaping Spaetzle

With the boiling water ready and the colander in place, it’s time to shape the spaetzles. Take a ladleful of the prepared dough and pour it into the colander or spaetzles maker. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon, gently press the dough through the holes of the colander, allowing small droplets to fall into the boiling water below. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot, ensuring that each batch has enough space to cook evenly.

Cooking Spaetzle With A Colander

1. Boiling Method

Cooking Spaetzle With A Colander

To cook spaetzle using a colander, begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. While the water is heating up, prepare your spaetzle dough according to your preferred recipe. Once the dough is ready, place a colander over the pot, ensuring that it sits securely on the rim. If you don’t have a colanders, you can use a slotted spoon with holes or a spaetzle maker.
Once the water is boiling and the colander is in place, take a portion of the spaetzles dough and press it through the holes of the colander using a spatula or the back of a spoon. Allow the dough to fall into the boiling water in small droplets. Work in batches to prevent overcrowding, ensuring that the spaetzles have enough space to cook evenly.
The spaetzles will rise to the surface of the water as they cook, which typically takes about 2-3 minutes. Once they float, use a slotted spoon or a skimmer to transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and prevent them from sticking together. Continue shaping and cooking the remaining dough in batches until all the spaetzles are cooked.

2. Draining And Serving

Cooking Spaetzle With A Colander

After the spaetzles are cooked and cooled in the ice water, drain them thoroughly using a colander or a sieve. Once drained, they are ready to be served. At this point, you can simply toss them with a bit of melted butter or olive oil to prevent sticking and enhance their flavor.
Spaetzles can be served as a side dish alongside various meats, vegetables, or sauces. They also make a delicious base for casseroles or can be incorporated into soups and stews. Get creative with your serving options and enjoy the delightful taste and texture of homemade spaetzles cooked with a colanders. Whether you’re serving them as a comforting side or as the star of the meal, spaetzle made using this method is sure to impress.

Variations And Additions

1. Cheese Spaetzle

Cheese Spaetzle

Elevate your spaetzle experience with the indulgent addition of cheese. To make cheese spaetzle, simply prepare your spaetzles dough as usual and cook them using a colander or spaetzles maker. Once cooked and drained, transfer the spaetzles to a baking dish and sprinkle generously with your favorite grated cheese. Gruyère, Emmental, or cheddar are popular choices, but feel free to use any cheese you prefer. Place the dish under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs or cracked black pepper for an irresistible cheesy delight.

2. Herb-Infused Spaetzle

Herb-Infused Spaetzle

Infuse your spaetzle with vibrant herbal flavors by incorporating fresh or dried herbs into the dough. Begin by preparing your spaetzle dough according to your favorite recipe, then finely chop your desired herbs. Parsley, chives, thyme, and rosemary are all excellent options for herb-infused spaetzles. Mix the chopped herbs into the dough until evenly distributed. Cook the spaetzles using a colanders or spaetzles maker as usual, then drain and serve hot. The fragrant aroma and subtle herbal notes will add a delightful twist to your traditional spaetzle dish. Pair with a creamy sauce or serve alongside roasted vegetables for a flavorful and aromatic meal.


Mastering the art of making spaetzle with a colander opens up a world of culinary possibilities. Whether you choose to stick with the classic recipe or experiment with variations and additions like cheese or herbs, the process remains simple and rewarding. With a few basic ingredients and the right technique, you can create homemade spaetzles that rivals any found in a German restaurant. From the mixing of the dough to the boiling and shaping, each step is an opportunity to infuse your dish with love and creativity. So next time you’re craving a comforting and delicious meal, grab your colander and get ready to enjoy the satisfying taste and texture of homemade spaetzle.

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