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Pumpkin or Squash Spaetzle

chanterelle spaetzle recipe

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Spätzle are a cool little dumpling common around the Alps: Northern Italians eat them, as do the Austrians and Germans. Spaetzle are even found in parts of France. They are made with flour, eggs, usually milk — and something else, in this case pumpkin or squash puree.

You should use freshly made puree, not canned. If you use butternut squash you will be fine, but if you use a wetter squash like a pumpkin, drain the puree over a fine-meshed sieve to remove excess water.

How to form the spaetzle? I use a  spätzle maker, but you could use a large-holed cheese grater or a food mill or potato ricer with the coarsest plates installed. You can even flick the batter into the boiling water by hand with a spoon. But the maker I just linked to costs less than $10, so it’s worth buying.

Spätzle need to be boiled, then shocked in ice water, then finished. You can skip this if you are serving them in broth, but they are best shocked and then sauteed in fat or oil.

Serves 6-8

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin or squash puree
  • 3-4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Whisk the eggs, milk, squash puree, nutmeg and salt together until combined.
  2. Mix in 1 cup of flour at a time until you get a batter the consistency of muffin batter: Thick and gloopy, loose enough to pour slowly but firm enough to not run through the tines of a fork.
  3. Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil and get a large bowl full of ice water.
  4. Using a spätzle maker, a colander with large holes, a potato ricer with large holes, a food mill with a coarse plate, or a large-holed cheese grater, move the batter over the holes to drop little bits into the water.
  5. They are ready when they float. Skim them off with a slotted spoon or spider and drop the spaetzle into the ice water.
  6. When they are all done, pour off the ice water and arrange the spätzle on a sheet pan. Toss with a little oil and set aside. To serve, you can either put the dumplings in broth or saute them in fat or oil.
pumpkin spaetzle

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

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2 responses to “Pumpkin or Squash Spaetzle”

  1. Nicole Griewahn

    I made this with some mystery winter squash from our garden. I used 3 cups of flour. I finished in butter, which made it a little creamy. It was very easy and very good! It does not taste like squash. I served with roasted turkey and sauerkraut. I will try it with duck in the future since we have a freezer full of them. I will invest in a spaetzle maker because I had to make it with a colander, which is time consuming. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Pumpkin and Chive Spaetzle with Sherried Chanterelles - Princess Tofu

    […] Adapted from many sources including this wonderful blog. […]

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