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A German-inspired side dish, this Spaetzle with Red Cabbage and Bacon takes classic Spaetzle up a notch with crisp bacon, and tender red cabbage and onions for a meal or side dish sure to satisfy.


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As one of my favorite comfort food recipes, I have been making this Spaetzle with Red Cabbage and Bacon as long as I can remember.

If you aren’t familiar with Spaetzle, it is a plump, egg-dough based german dumpling. Spaetzle is typically served as a side with many German dishes, and can be served plain, with butter and herbs, or as Kasespatzle- a cheesy/oniony side.

In this rendition of the classic German dumpling, they are sautéed with red cabbage, onion and bacon, for a rich and savory side or even a full meal.

Spaetzle with Red Cabbage and Bacon

Making the Spaetzle Dough

While you could technically make this dish with store bough, dried Spaetzel, I highly recommend making your own dough. IT’s easy, kinda fun- and the flavor and texture is superior.

All you need to make the dough:

  • All-purpose flour
  • A couple eggs
  • Milk,(any you have on hand, except skim).
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg and garlic. 

Simply mix those ingredients well until a loose, tacky dough forms. You want it slightly wet and tacky, not runny or dry. If it is too dry, add a splash or milk. Too wet? Add a touch of flour.

The dough texture is important for the taste and texture, but also because to form the Spaetzle, you will be pressing the dough over boiling water through a Spaetzle maker, or a colander.

Spaetzle dough

What is a Spaetzle maker?

A Spaetzle maker is a great little tool that has the perfect sized holes for making Spaetzle. You simply load your dough into the built in basket and slier it back and fourth over a pot of boiling water. The dough will drop into the water in perfectly sized Spaetzle!

This is the Spaetzle maker I love. If you don’t have one, you can always press the dough through a colander with a wooden spoon!

bacon, red cabbage, red onion

Serving suggestions

I love to serve this Spaetzle with Red Cabbage and Bacon with Schnitzel and cucumber salad, or even as a main dish!

Spaetzle bowl

Want to give this recipe a try?

If you make my Spaetzle with Red Cabbage and Bacon, please be sure to leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you, and value your feedback! Lastly, if you make the recipe and love it, please tag me on Instagram! I love to see your photos!

Looking for more great German-inspired dishes? Why not try my Beer, Bacon and Caraway Sauerkraut, or Pretzel and Parmesan Crusted Schnitzel!

Spaetzle with Red Cabbage and Bacon
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spaetzle with Red Cabbage and Bacon


  • 2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage 
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion 
  • 5 strips thick cut bacon, cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • fresh chopped parsley, for garnish 

Spaetzel Dough

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Making the Spaetzel:
    1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, milk, eggs and spices until well incorporated, and a sticky dough forms should be somewhat loose and wet, not dry or runny).
    2. Heat a large stockpot of water (about a gallon, leaving room at top) to a boil. You want to use a large pot with plenty of room so the fresh pasta doesn’t boil over as it cooks.
    3. Once the water is at a rapid boil, press the dough in batches of about 1/2 cup at a time through a Spaetzel maker or colander with a spatular or wooden spoon directly over the pot of water. This should create small, dumpling-like noodles that drop into the water.
    4. Continue to press all the dough thought the Spaetzel maker or colander (careful not to get to close to the hot water, or the dough will stick), until all dough is used.
    5. Cook the Spaetzel 5-6 minutes in boiling water until they float and expand in size. Remove with slotted spoon to a bowl, to drain and set aside.
    Making the Spaetzel with Red Cabbage and Bacon:
    1. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
    2. Add chopped bacon and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes.
    3. Remove crisp bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels.
    4. Add onions and cabbage to the pan with the bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally- 7-8 minutes, until cabbage and onions are softened and lightly browned.
    5. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute until just fragrant.
    6. Add cooked Spaetzel and butter and toss to combine with the cabbage, onions and garlic.
    7. Add the crisp bacon back to the pan, reserving a bit for topping (if desired).
    8. Finish with a pinch salt and pepper
    9. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve hot.

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