Vorarlberg Cheese Spaetzle (Drop Noodles)

"I lived in western Austria for a good long while. This is a traditional dish that really needs to be made with the local cheeses. In this country I've found Appenzeller (a firm alpine cheese) at Murray's in New York -- and they have a mail order service. Use a spaetzle maker if you can locate one. It looks like an oblong piece of metal with holes the size of peas, with an attached funnel to hold the batter that slides back and forth to force the batter through. If not, you can force the batter through through any colander with larger holes, or simply use a spoon to push small chunks (no bigger than a piece of elbow macaroni) into the boiling water. The crisply fried onions are crucial to flavor and texture. Serve with a green or cucumber salad. Note the measurements are metric."
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Ready In:
1hr 20mins




  • Mix together the flour, eggs, salt and milk into a rough and very thick batter. Don't over mix -- if you can see a little flour, that's okay. If the batter seems very wet, add another teaspoon of flour.
  • Bring a very large pot of water to the boil.
  • Use the spaetzle maker, colander, or other method to force the batter into the boiling water. Don't do more than enough to make a single layer on top of the water.
  • The noodles will rise to the top. They need only about ten seconds, after which they are scooped out with a slotted spoon and put in a large bowl.
  • Each layer of noodles should be sprinkled, liberally, with the grated cheese.
  • Continue with the drop noodles, layer by layer, until you've gone through all the batter.
  • Cover the last layer with what remains of the cheese.
  • Cover the whole bowl with aluminum foil and put in the oven on the lowest setting to keep warm.
  • Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet.
  • When it's very hot, add the onions. Lower heat to medium low, and let the onions cook until they are crisp and brown.
  • Remove the bowl of cheese drop noodles from the oven and pour the buttery, crisp onions over the top.
  • Note that you can increase or decrease this recipe by using this formula: per serving, 1 egg, 100 grams flour, and 1/8 liter milk, with additional cheese to taste.

Questions & Replies

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  1. My first time making or eating spatzle. They were a royal pain to make and I'm sure much too doughy because the pieces were way too thick, but OH were they GOOD!! I'd intended to use my potato ricer but the holes are too small. I ended up pushing the dough through a cooking spoon with large slots; it worked pretty well. Used Gruyere cheese. I hope I can find a decent tool becasue I want to make these again. Thanks greenery!
  2. I love spaetzle and this was perfect. Normally I toss my spaetzle with butter and serve, but thoroughly enjoyed adding cheese to spaezle and topping the dish with carmelized onion. I did not have Appenzeller and substituted Swiss cheese but added a splash of wine to the onion to add some herbal note missing in regular Swiss cheese. Thank you Greenery for posting this wonderful recipe. I love Austrian food.



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