Spaetzle, small German dumplings, is one of my favorite foods of all time. We used to have spaetzle all the time with goulash when I was little. There’s a German restaurant not too far from my house that does spaetzle with cheese (like a mac and cheese) and ham. I wanted to do my own version of that. I wanted to top each serving with burrata cheese, but I didn’t have any – so I guess I will need to make this again so I can do that! And next time I’m going to make the spaetzle, too, instead of using a package.
The cheese in this recipe goes by weight because that’s how I bought it. Don’t get too worried about precision, for example, if you have 2.4oz instead of 2.5oz. If the sauce is too runny, add more cheese. If it’s like glue, add more milk.
This can be reheated later. A few reheating tips:
- If reheating a serving in the microwave, microwave for 1 minute, stir, and then microwave in 15-20 second increments until it’s hot enough. It’s easy to over-microwave this and kill the creamy texture.
- If reheating in the oven, consider adding a bit of water to the bottom of the pan.
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- 2.5oz sharp cheddar cheese
- 5.25oz muenster cheese
- 4oz fontina cheese
- 2tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 1 tbsp butter + more for greasing baking dish
- 1½ cups Italian seasoned croutons (or about ¾ to 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs)
- ½ cup milk
- 10.5oz package of spaetzle
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare spaetzle according to package instructions. While spaetzle is cooking, make the cheese sauce. (If you’re making homemade spaetzle, cook it later after the cheese sauce is done because homemade will cook faster.)
Cut cheddar, muenster, and fontina into small cubes, about a half inch each. Place into a blender or food processor (I used my Vitamix). Process until it’s shredded into small pieces.
Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cheeses (including the grated parmesan) and milk. Stir constantly until cheeses are melted and the mixture is like a sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
Using the blender or food processor, make breadcrumbs from the croutons. (I used croutons here because I had some that needed to be used before getting stale.) I used the same container I processed the cheese with, and didn’t clean in between.
Drain the spaetzle when it’s done and transfer it to a large heat-resistant mixing bowl. Add the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
Grease a rectangular baking dish with butter. I used a vintage Pyrex 503, which is a 1.5 quart size. Pour the cheese spaetzle into the dish. Top with an even layer of breadcrumbs.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes until breadcrumbs begin to brown.