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 German Spaetzle Casserole.
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German spaetzle casserole is simply delicious. The nutty flavor of the melted Gruyere cheese along with the mild flavor of the French fried onions gives the buttered dumplings a whole new dimension of flavor that is hard to beat!
**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making German Spaetzle Casserole is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
Enjoy the delicious TASTE OF GERMANY delivered straight to your home!
The Ingredients list:
- all-purpose flour
- beef broth (or stock)
- grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- Gruyere cheese, grated (or Swiss)
- crispy fried onions
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- a large stockpot
- a spaetzle maker or colander
- large bowl
- wooden spoon or spatula
- box grater
- nutmeg grater
- large slotted spoon
- a buttered 4-quart casserole dish
How this recipe came to be:
This German casserole dish was inspired by a trip to Germany my husband and I was lucky enough to take onboard a Vantage River cruise ship 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!!
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.
Below 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.
The easy instructions:
- 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 until 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 German egg noodle casserole in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.
- Before serving top with the remaining crispy onions for crunch and texture.
- Serve hot.
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
Can spaetzle casserole be made in advance?
This cheesy German egg noodle casserole can be made in advance and refrigerated (or even frozen), until you’re ready to serve.
Cover it well in an air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or covered well in an air-tight freezer container and you can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
How to reheat after refrigerating or freezing:
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.
Can Swiss cheese be used in place of the Gruyere cheese?
Yes. No problem.
Or, if you’d like, you can substitute your favorite melting cheese.
Additional German dishes you’ll enjoy:
- Hearty German Meatballs with Mushroom Caraway Cream Sauce (pictured below)
My love of German flavors and ingredients was the original inspiration for this dish of hearty German Meatballs with Caraway Mushroom Cream Sauce. It’s a delicious comfort-food recipe, with a German twist.
- German Beef Rouladen (pictured below)
German Beef Rouladen is beef eye of round steak, pounded thin, then stuffed and rolled with a mixture of bacon, carrots, celery, and dill pickles. The beef rouladen are then browned and braised in a sauce of wine and beef broth until they’re fall-apart tender.
- German Spaetzle Casserole (pictured below) THIS IS THE PLACE!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s German Spaetzle Casserole.
If you’ve made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
German Spaetzle Casserole with Cheese and Crispy Onions
- 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.
nutmeg grater (optional), box grater
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