German Dumplings (Spaetzle or Kniffles) for Soup or Saute

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 0 mins

When our church decided to host a "German Reformation Night" dinner, I went hunting for authentic German recipes. Here is one that fits the bill. There are two ways to make the dumplings (explained below). Serving ideas suggested below too. Gushundheit--!


  1. Mix these together until sticky.
  2. Drop into bubbling soup or stew, broth or water. (see below for ideas).
  3. Dumplings will rise to the surface as they cook; remove from liquid with a slotted spoon (if sautéing in another pan); set aside in a bowl (keep warm).
  4. MAKE THE DUMPLINGS #1: This method results in very small, stringy-ish dumplings and is great for soups or stews. Spoon several tablespoons of batter into a colander, then with the back of the spoon--press the batter through the holes into the bubbling liquid.
  5. METHOD #2: This method forms larger dumpling pieces (dime & quarter size) and is great for soups or stews, too -- but especially good if you want to saute the dumplings afterwards (more on that in a minute). Using a teaspoon and butter knife, scoop up a spoonful of batter, then use the knife to cut off little dibs and dabs, using the knife to also push the dibs into the hot liquid. If the knife or spoon gets messy, just dip into the hot liquid.
  6. SERVING IDEAS: We love these in chicken-dumpling soup (use your regular chicken soup recipe -- skip the egg noodles and make these dumplings instead). OR scoop out the larger dumplings (Method #2), and saute in butter or olive oil along with kielbasa or other sausage and LOTS of onion ring slices. OR saute some fresh veggies, then add the dumplings -- heaven!
  7. VARIATIONS: Add several pinches of your favorite herbs along with the flour to enhance the soup, stew or saute dish.
  8. Chef's Note: Altho' this is kind of putzy, it is well worth the effort and SO different from regular pasta-noodles.
Most Helpful

VERY nice - quick and easy. I elected to make the larger ones, adding a little sweet paprika into the flour. Then sauteed them with kielbasa & Vidalia onions, and served all with a nice, grainy mustard! DH & I enjoyed them very much. Made for ZWT 4. Good one, Debber - Thanks!

Divaconviva June 03, 2008

LOVED these - first timer too. My kids enjoyed them sauteed with some olive oil. A real hit in our household and has become a regular side. I've also added sausage, onions and spinach! You can do SO much with these.

Cindy C. March 19, 2015

This recipe is very similar to the one made by my German Grandmother (my family called then kniffles not spaezle because they were from Northern Germany). The only difference is that she would saute them in browned butter or add them to beef broth made with soup bone, onions and garlic and called it "Kniffle soup". The other variation is to add ground beef liver and onions to the batter to make "liver kniffles". I hate liver, but I really don't mind liver kniffles in beef broth.

djpackard January 10, 2014