German Kitchen: How to make delicious Käsespätzle


German Kitchen: How to make delicious Käsespätzle

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Okinawa

After living in Germany for several years, I can honestly say that hands down, my all-time favorite dish is “Käsespätzle.” I get it every time I find it on a menu, which is quite often. It’s basically the German equivalent of American macaroni and cheese, but it’s so much better. It’s so simple and is made with just “spätzle” (basically a really condensed egg noodle) and lots and lots of cheese. The ooey-gooey cheesy bowl of goodness is then topped with either caramelized or crunchy onions for the perfect garnish. 

Pair this delightful dish with an “Apfelschorle,” apple juice with sparkling water, and you’ll feel like a kid again, but in a good way. Have it during a hike at a mountain hut to refuel before you finish the rest of your route. Eat it for dinner and add some fried salami to make it extra tasty. If you want to make this dish for yourself, use this easy recipe. 

German Cheese Spätzle (Schwäbische Käsespätzle)

Start to finish: 1 hour

Servings: 6

  • 1 batch homemade German Spätzle (about 5 cups cooked Spätzle, can use store-bought if preferred). Can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready use, then let warm to room temperature before baking.
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 very large onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 12 ounces shredded Emmentaler or Jarlsberg (Swiss-like from Norway, mild—you can also add some Gruyere for extra flavor)
  • Salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Butter a 9x13 (or a little smaller) casserole dish. Layer 1/3 of the Spätzle in the bottom of the dish followed by 1/3 of the cheese and 1/3 of the caramelized onions. Repeat, sprinkling each layer with some salt, ending with cheese and onions on top. Bake for 10 minutes or longer until the cheese is melted and the edges are just beginning to get a little crispy. Serve immediately.


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