Sourdough Spaetzle (German Noodles)

Do you want a fast and delicious home-made noodle recipe? Sourdough spaetzle is one of my favorite foods to make with my leftover sourdough discard. It takes five minutes to whip up the batter and even less time to boil the German-style spaetzle noodles. We toss them with a little butter and cheese, but they are delicious with gravy and schnitzel too! Whenever my kids see spaetzle on the dinner menu, they get excited. These noodles are just delicious and one of our favorite quick meals.

Sourdough spaetzle comes together so quickly, it takes longer for the water to boil than anything else!

Sourdough Discard in Spaetzle Batter

If you know me, you know I love throwing sourdough discard into almost anything–less waste and the health benefits of sourdough. Yes please! In order to not have an overpowering sourdough flavor, I often use sourdough discard that is no more than a day or two old. Sometimes I’ll even use bubbly, fresh sourdough starter. These sourdough spaetzle German noodles taste great with a more pronounced sourdough flavor too. You can use refrigerated discard up to a week or two old if desired for more sourdough flavor.

Use a Spaetzle Maker

To make this sourdough spaetzle, you will want to use a spaetzle maker. I found mine on Amazon and it has been worth the purchase. We love spaetzle and how quick and easy this recipe is–so much better than a box of mac and cheese! The spaetzle maker looks like a cheese grater with holes, but has edges that will hold on to the side of a pot of boiling water. Using the included scraper, you push the batter back and forth over the holes allowing the batter to drop into the boiling water and cook up into the most delightful pasta/dumpling dish. If you don’t have a spaetzle maker you can try using a colander with a rubber spatula, pushing the batter through the holes and into the boiling water.

Ingredients in Sourdough Spaetzle

  • Sourdough Discard: I use 100% hydration discard.
  • Eggs: Use large eggs that weigh about 50 grams each
  • Milk: 2% is what I typically have on hand. Any type of milk will work in this recipe.
  • All Purpose Flour: You could also substitute a lower protein content flour. Don’t use bread flour.
  • Salt: I use table salt.
  • Nutmeg: I love the flavor of nutmeg in spaetzle. If you don’t like nutmeg, leave it out.
  • Unsalted Butter: I always bake with unsalted butter and that’s what I have on hand. Toss the freshly cooked spaetzle with butter.
  • Parmesan: Sprinkle the freshly cooked spaetzle with parmesan or any other favorite cheese.

How to Make Sourdough Spaetzle

Mix up the Spaetzle Batter

Before mixing up the batter, place a pot of water on the stove over medium-high heat. Let it come to a boil while you mix up the batter. Yes, batter. A simple batter that takes less than 5 minutes to whisk up . It will take longer for your water to boil than it will to mix up this spaetzle batter. Whisk together the flour, eggs, sourdough discard and milk. Add the salt and nutmeg and whisk to combine until you get a thick batter. As soon as the water is boiling you are ready to make some spaetzle!

Cook the Sourdough Spaetzle

Place the spaetzle maker (or colander) over the pot of boiling water. Take about ¼-⅓ of the batter and put it on top of the spaetzle maker. Working quickly, use a spatula and move the spatula back and forth across the spaetzle maker, letting the batter fall down into the boiling water. Repeat this movement until all the batter is in the boiling water. Work quickly so the excess batter on the spaetzle maker doesn’t harden and cook during this process. Spaetzle will cook for about 2-3 minutes in boiling water. It will puff up and rise to the top of the boiling water when it’s ready. Use a slotted spoon or fine mesh strainer to remove the cooked spaetzle. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.

Tip: If you have problems with the spaetzle dough cooking on the spaetzle maker while using it, add an ice cube or two to the top of the spaetzle maker while pushing the batter through the holes. The ice will melt but keep the spaetzle maker free from hardened dough.

I like tossing some unsalted butter in with the warm spaetzle noodles and sprinkling on some parmesan cheese for a quick side dish. This is also delicious paired with red cabbage and schnitzel–my favorite. Many spaetzle recipes also call for gravy. Basically, any way you serve this spaetzle it will become a family favorite!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Make Spaetzle without a spaetzle maker?

My family loves this spaetzle so much that purchasing a spaetzle maker has been worth it for us. If you are trying out the recipe, you can using a colander and a rubber spatula, placing a small amount of batter in the bottom of the colander and using the rubber spatula to push the batter through the holes. Be careful to hold the colander above the boiling water or else it will cook the dough before it gets to the water.

Can I make sourdough spaetzle without sourdough discard?

Yes. I like adding sourdough discard because I always seem to have extra in my fridge and this is a great use for the extra discard. To make it without the discard, omit the discard and increase the flour to 330 grams. Increase the milk to 155 grams.
How should I store leftover sourdough spaetzle?

How should I store leftover sourdough spaetzle?

Leftover spaetzle can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.

What do you serve spaetzle with?

My favorite way to eat spaetzle is paired with German red cabbage and schnitzel (with lemon). It makes a great easy side dish for any dinner too!

Sourdough Spaetzle

Sourdough Spaetzle (German Noodles)

Delicious spaetzle, German-style dumpling noodles, made from scratch with sourdough discard. Homemade sourdough spaetzle is quick to whip up and makes the perfect side dish with dinner. I love coating the warm noodles in butter and sprinkling them with a favorite cheese for a comforting lunch or serving them alongside schnitzel and red cabbage. If you haven't tried German spaetzle yet, what are you waiting for?! It's incredibly easy and delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine German
Servings 6 servings


Sourdough Spaetzle

  • 135 grams sourdough discard 1/2 cup
  • 4 large eggs 200 grams
  • 90 grams milk, 2% or whole is best 1/3 cup
  • 260 grams all purpose flour 1 3/4 cups
  • 6 grams salt 1 teaspoon
  • 1-2 grams ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon

Sourdough Spaetzle Toppings

  • 25 grams unsalted butter 2 Tablespoons
  • 30 grams grated parmesan cheese (or any favorite cheese) 1/4 cup or more to taste


Sourdough Spaetzle

  • Place a pot of water on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add a few teaspoons of salt to the water.
  • While the water is heating, mix together the spaetzle batter. To a medium-sized bowl, whisk the sourdough discard, eggs and milk together until incorporated. Add the flour, salt and nutmeg. Mix together until it forms a thick batter.
  • With the water boiling, place the spaetzle maker (or colander) over the pot. Pour 1/2 cup of batter on top and use a spatula to push the batter through the holes and into the boiling water in a back and forth motion until all the batter is inside the boiling water.
  • Let the spaetzle cook for about 1-2 minutes. When it floats to the top, scoop it out and put it in a bowl. Repeat the process with another 1/2 cup of batter, pushing batter through the holes, cooking and then removing to a serving bowl. Continue cooking spaetzle until the batter is used up.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of softened butter to the hot spaetzle and toss to combine. Sprinkle with your favorite cheese; parmesan, emmentaler and gruyere work well. This spaetzle is also delicious with a traditional German gravy. Enjoy!
Keyword beginner sourdough, german dumplings, german noodles, german spaetzle, homemade noodles, sourdough discard, sourdough discard recipe, sourdough noodles, sourdough recipe, sourdough spaetzle, spaetzle, spaetzle german noodles
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      1. Oh and we in Southern Germany eat them with a lentil stew or a beef stew – this is very common 🙂 or of course with cheese and sour cream (as a casserole)! If you want to try it 🙂

  1. I am German and I can’t wait to try this! Weird though that you use milk-
    We in Germany use sparkling water so that the noodles are airy and light 🙂 but I will try it!