Nothing says comfort like a heaping bowl of German Cheese Spaetzle (or Käsespätzle)! This dish of “cheese noodles” is a delicious blend of spaetzle, caramelized onion, and Swiss-type cheeses.
When I lived in Europe, I would go skiing every year in Austria with my friend and her family. After a few rounds down the slopes, we’d head to the lodge for a bite to eat! But where American lodges are filled with cheeseburgers and french fries, the lodges in Austria all offer the incredible option of kaesespaetzle.
Kaesespaetzle (or German cheese Spaetzle) is a warm, filling noodle or dumpling-like dish made with a heap of cheese. The word quite literally translates to “cheese noodle!” And all that cheesiness is absolutely necessary (and much appreciated) after a long day of skiing. Double points when it’s enjoyed alongside a “ski water” (German Kool-Aid).
Kaesespaetzle is made with spaetzle, which is a mix of eggs, flour, and milk! It’s a staple in Austria much for its creamy decadence and great flavor. It could sort of be compared to American mac and cheese, though it’s a bit heartier than pasta.
I’m showing you how to make this comfort German recipe because even if you aren’t skiing in Austria, there’s always a reason to cozy up with a bowl of something cheesy! I get my spaetzle from Amazon, but you can also find it in the international section of the grocery store, at international grocers, or at World Market!
what is kaesespaetzle made of?
Kaesespaetzle is loaded with flavor thanks to onion, butter, salt, and double cheese.
- White Onion: First up, you’ll need 2 heaping cups of white onion. You’ll need around 2 full onions to reach two cups.
- Butter: Next, add creaminess with 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
- Salt: Enhance the flavor of the other ingredients with ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Spaetzle: Now for the spaetze! You will need 6 cups of the pasta-like ingredient, which will amount to 2 10.5oz packages of dried spaetzle.
- Emmental Cheese: First up for the cheese, use 1 ½ cups of shredded Swiss emmental cheese.
- Gruyere Cheese: Follow that with 1 ½ cups of shredded gruyere cheese, because you can never have too much cheesiness in one dish!
How to make Cheese kaesespaetzle
This German Kaesespaetzle is made first from caramelizing the onion in butter. From there, we’ll cook the spaetzle, assemble the dish, and warm it in the oven! It’s quite a simple recipe that’s ready in 45 minutes and contains 8 servings.
Step 1: Caramelize the onions
Thinly slice the onions into strips. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan (like a cast iron) over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions turn golden brown. Be careful not to let them become crispy or burned, lowering the heat as needed. Caramelization will take 20 to 30 minutes. When finished, stir in the salt.
Step 2: Prepare the spaetzle
Meanwhile, cook the spaetzle according to the instructions on the package.
Step 3: Assemble the dish
While everything is still hot, stir together the cooked spaetzle, caramelized onions, and shredded cheeses. If the cheese doesn’t melt completely, cover and transfer it to a warm oven for a few minutes.
Step 4: Garnish and serve
Serve warm, topped with chives.
Kaesespaetzle Frequently Asked Questions
How do you store kaesespaetzle?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. Note that this dish does not freeze well.
How do you pronounce käsespätzle?
Käsespätzle is pronounced like “kay-spat-zle.”
Is spaetzle pasta?
It’s not, though it is similar! To make spaetzle, flour, eggs, and milk are combined until they reach a pancake batter consistency. Pasta is typically made with wheat, water, and egg which are combined to form a dough.
Where is kaesespaetzle from?
Kaesespaetzle comes from the German, Austrian, and Swiss regions and is a staple in all three countries!
Recipes to pair with kaesespaetzle
Whether you’re enjoying this as a main course or a side dish, here are some options that pair well with the cheesiness of kaesespaetzle!
- 2 large white onions 2 heaping cups
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter 112 g
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 cups cooked spaetzle 2 10.5-oz packages of dried spaetzle
- 1 ½ cups shredded Swiss emmental cheese, 6 oz, 170 g
- 1 ½ cups shredded gruyere cheese 6 oz, 170 g
- Caramelize Onions: Thinly slice the onions into strips. Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan (like a cast iron) over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until onions turn golden brown. Be careful not to lot them become crispy or burned, lowering heat as needed. Caramelization take 20 to 30 minutes. When finished, stir in salt.
- Spaetzle: Meanwhile, cook spaetzle according to instructions on package.
- Assemble: While everything is still hot, stir together cooked spaetzle, caramelized onions, and shredded cheeses. If cheese doesn't melt completely, cover and transfer to a warm oven for a few minutes
- Serve: Serve warm, topped with chives.