Buttered German egg dumplings (spaetzle) are layered in a casserole dish along with shredded Gruyere cheese and crispy, crunchy onions to bring you this delicious recipe for Layered German Spaetzle Casserole with Cheese & Crispy Onions.
This dish for Layered German Spaetzle Casserole was inspired by a recent trip to Germany my husband, and I was lucky enough to take onboard a Vantage River cruise ship (The River Voyager) down the Rhine River, on one of their culinary excursions. When I tell you it was a dream-trip come true, I am 100% NOT exaggerating!!
The little doll you see in the photos (I’ve named her Alsace) is one of the many souvenirs we (me, really) purchased along the way. My husband was more about collecting shot glasses. LOL
The Ingredients for making Layered German Spaetzle Casserole:
All-purpose flour, eggs, beef broth (or stock), nutmeg, salt, pepper, water, butter, Gruyere cheese, and crispy fried onions.
One evening during our cruise the head chef of the ship held a cooking demonstration showing how to make traditional German Kassepatzle which he called the German version of our American macaroni and cheese.
Here are a few photos from that demonstration.
The chef on board made his own crispy onions by tossing thinly sliced onions in flour to coat, and then he added them to a skillet with a touch of butter and sauteed them until crunchy. While that sounds easy enough to replicate, I decided to take an even easier route and open a package of crispy French fried onions (you know the ones, right?) and used those instead.
Look closely and you can see all the delicious layers of spaetzle, cheese and crispy onions in this Layered German Spaetzle Casserole.
Tools and equipment for making Layered German Spaetzle Casserole:
A large stockpot filled with boiling water, a spaetzle maker or colander, a large bowl, a wooden spoon or spatula, a box grater for shredding cheese, a nutmeg grater (optional), a large slotted spoon for removing the cooked pasta from the pot, and a buttered casserole dish.
Making Layered German Spaetzle Casserole is easier than you may think. If you’re at all intimidated at the thought of making traditional German spaetzle, I hope these easy to follow photos and instructions will help you feel comfortable in making it at home.
Let’s make Layered German Spaetzle Casserole with Cheese & Crispy Onions!
Add the flour, salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg in a large bowl and whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk 4 eggs. Add the beaten eggs to the flour mixture along with the beef broth, and water. Whisk well so no lumps remain. You’re looking for a pancake batter-like consistency.
Bring at least 6 cups lightly salted of water to a rolling boil in a large stockpot. Fit the top of the pot with a spaetzle maker (shown) or hold a colander over the pot of boiling water (two people will come in handy for this). Ladle some of the spaetzle batter into the cup of the spaetzle maker, or into the colander and allow the batter to fall through the holes into the boiling water in droplets. *Note – if using a spaetzle maker, the hopper will slide back and forth cutting the bits of dough into small pieces.
Allow the spaetzle to cook in the boiling water, stirring immediately to break up any clumps, until the spaetzle puffs and floats to the top of the water. Use a large slotted spoon to remove the cooked spaetzle to a prepared baking dish and top with a third of the melted butter.
Top the first layer of buttered spaetzle with one-third of the grated Gruyere cheese and one-quarter of the crispy onions. Continue the same process with the remaining batter, melted butter, cheese, and crispy onions to form three layers.
Bake the Layered German Spaetzle Casserole in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes and before serving top with the remaining crispy onions for crunch and texture. Serve hot.
If you’re wondering what to serve alongside your Layered German Spaetzle with Cheese and Crispy Onions, please click on the following recipe titles I think you’ll also enjoy;
- Hearty German Meatballs with Mushroom Caraway Cream Sauce
- German Pork Ribs and Sauerkraut for the Slow Cooker
- German Beef Rouladen
- My Great Grandma Patterson’s Fence Cake
Layered German Spaetzle Casserole with Cheese and Crispy Onions can be made in advance and refrigerated (or even frozen), until you’re ready to serve. Cover it well and store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or covered well you can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When cooking from the refrigerator, allow the casserole to sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before baking (covered) in a 350-degree oven for 30-35 minutes. When cooking from frozen, cover and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 90 minutes, or until heated through.
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt plus additional for the boiling water
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 1½ cups beef stock or broth
- ½ - 1 cup water added depending on the consistency of the batter (plus additional to cook the spaetzle)
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese Swiss may be substituted
- 4 cups crispy French fried onions
- Butter an ovenproof 4-quart casserole dish. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Add the beaten eggs, beef broth, and some (possibly all) of the water.
- Whisk until it's the consistency of pancake batter with no lumps.
- In a large stockpot, bring 6-8 cups of lightly salted water to boil.
- Working in batches, add the spaetzle batter into a spaetzle maker (or colander) over the pot of boiling water.
- Allow the batter to fall into the boiling water in droplets, stirring so they don't clump together.
- Once the spaetzle plump and float to the surface, remove them from the water using a large slotted spoon.
- Place one layer of cooked spaetzle in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish, and drizzle one-third of the melted butter over top.
- Layer one-third of the grated cheese evenly over the spaetzle, and one-quarter of the crispy onions.
- Continue the same process with the remaining spaetzle batter, butter, cheese, and onions, ending with a layer of cheese to finish.
- Place the casserole in a preheated oven (covered) for 20 minutes.
- Top the casserole with additional crispy onions and serve hot.
tools and equipment:
large stockpot, large bowl, spaetzle maker or colander, wooden spoon, large slotted spoon, 4-quart casserole dish, whisk, measuring spoons, measuring cups,
nutmeg grater (optional), box grater
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s recipe for Layered German Spaetzle Casserole with Cheese & Crispy Onions as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!
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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!