How to Make Spaetzle Without a Press?

Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Lauren Beck

As someone who has indulged in countless plates of homemade spaetzle, I understand the joy of these tender dumplings. Don’t worry if you don’t have a spaetzle press on hand. 

In this guide, I’ll share creative ways to make spaetzle without a press, ensuring you can still enjoy this delightful German dish easily. Let’s dive into the world of homemade spaetzle!

Ways to Make Spaetzle Without a Press

  1. Grate the Dough: Use a box grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to grate the spaetzle dough directly into the boiling water. Hold the grater at an angle and scrape the dough against the holes to create small dumplings that fall into the water.
  2. Use a Colander: If you have a colander or a perforated steaming basket, place it over the pot of boiling water. Pour the spaetzle batter onto the colander or basket and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to press the dough through the holes, allowing the dumplings to drop into the water.
  3. Cut and Drop: Roll out the spaetzle dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into small pieces. Drop these pieces directly into the boiling water to cook.

Tips for Making Spaetzle Without a Press:

  • Ensure the spaetzle dough is not too thick or too thin. It should have a sticky consistency that holds its shape when grated or pressed.
  • Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot, which can result in clumping or uneven cooking.
  • Keep the water at a gentle boil while cooking the spaetzle to prevent them from becoming mushy.
  • Once the spaetzle floats to the surface, give them a minute or two to cook through before removing them from the water.
  • After cooking, rinse the spaetzle under cold water to prevent sticking. Toss them with a little oil or butter to keep them from clumping together.

What Is a Spaetzle Maker?

A spaetzle maker, also known as a spaetzle press or a spaetzle board, is a kitchen tool specifically designed for creating uniform spaetzle dumplings. 

It typically consists of a perforated board or a press that allows the dough to be pushed through small holes, forming small noodles that cook quickly.

What Should Spaetzle Batter Look Like?

Bowl of Spaetzle and a Butter

Spaetzle batter should have a thick and sticky consistency, similar to pancake batter or thick cake batter. 

It should be pliable enough to hold its shape when grated or pressed but not too runny that it spreads excessively in boiling water.

What Is a Spaetzle Press Used For?

A spaetzle press is used to shape and portion the spaetzle dough into uniform dumplings. It allows you to easily push the dough through small holes, creating consistent spaetzle noodles that cook evenly. 

While a spaetzle press is convenient, it’s not essential for making delicious spaetzle at home.

What Kind of Flour Do You Use for Spaetzle?

Traditionally, spaetzle is made with all-purpose flour. However, you can also experiment with other flours, like semolina or whole wheat flour, to add a unique twist to the dumplings. 

The choice of flour may affect the texture and taste of the spaetzle.

How Is Spaetzle Different From Pasta?

While spaetzle and pasta are both types of dough-based dishes, they differ in their ingredients and textures. 

Spaetzle dough is typically made with eggs, flour, and water [1], resulting in a denser and chewier texture than the smooth and tender texture of pasta made with semolina or durum wheat.


When it comes to making spaetzle without a press, creativity is your ally. From grating the dough with a box grater to using a colander or simply cutting and dropping the dough, there are plenty of ways to achieve those delightful dumplings. 

With a little practice and the tips provided, you can create a homemade spaetzle that rivals any restaurant dish. So, put your culinary skills to the test, experiment with different techniques, and savor the joy of crafting your own delicious spaetzle. 

Get ready to impress your taste buds and elevate your comfort food game to new heights.


Lauren Beck
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