Have you ever heard of cheese spaetzle? It’s a traditional German comfort dish that is like a German version of Mac & Cheese. Only so much better! It has been one of my favorite foods for a really long time, but when I became vegan about three years ago I didn’t really think about it anymore. It took me years to finally come up with a mouth-watering vegan version of this traditional dish that I think is even better than the original. While the traditional recipe only contains cheese and fried onions, I also added leek and crispy smoked tofu cubes to my vegan German cheese spaetzle.
Spaetzle are a kind of soft egg noodles found in the cuisines of Southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Spaetzle dough is usually prepared with eggs, flour, and salt, but it’s also possible to make a vegan version of this traditional dish. Traditionally, you use a kind of chopping board to make the spaetzle. However, I think it’s much easier to use a strainer or potato ricer. You just press the dough through the potato ricer into boiling water and as soon as they rise to the surface they’re ready. They’ve always been my favorite kind of pasta and I think I like them even more than spaghetti. They’re some vegan versions in the store, but it’s much cheaper to just make them at home. All you need is flour, semolina, soy flour, and curcuma. If this still sounds a bit weird to you (German food can be crazy. Haha! But it’s sooooo worth it!), check out the article on spaetzle on wikipedia. They have tons of pictures showing you how the preparation of spaetzle works. It’s really pretty simple. ;-)
For the sauce , I used cashews, nutritional yeast, and white miso paste. I’m so in love with this easy vegan cheese sauce. I could eat it on literally everything. When you add some chili peppers, it’s also a great and healthy nacho dip.
I hope you liked this little “insight” into the German cuisine and its traditional dishes. As always, I love hearing from you guys! Hope you all have a great weekend! :-)
Vegan German Cheese Spaetzle
For the vegan spaetzle:
- 1 3/4 cup wheat flour
- 1/2 cup durum wheat semolina
- 3 tablespoons soy flour
- 8.11 fl oz sparkling water
- 1 pinch curcuma
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
For the vegan cheese sauce:
- 1 heaped cup unsalted cashews
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1,5 teaspoon mustard
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper, to taste
- 1 pinch curcuma
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon miso paste
- 1 leek, cut into rings
- 7 oz smoked tofu, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- First make the cashew cheese sauce: Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- In a medium pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and stir-fry the tofu cubes until they're crispy and lightly golden. Set aside and cook the leak together with one tablespoon of water for about 5 minutes in the same pan.
- Then make the spaetzle: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon (the dough should be pretty soft).
- Fill the spaetzle dough into a potato ricer and press it into the boiling water (don't put it into the hot water, but just let the dough drop into the water). The spaetzle will be ready when they rise to the surface (this will take about 2-3 minutes). Skim and put aside.
- In a large pan heat the cashew cheese sauce, add the leek, the tofu and gently stir in the spaetzle. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
This looks delicious! I just have one question. Above you said you used nutritional yeast and white miss in the sauce, however they were not mentioned in the ingredients list or directions. I have made cheesy sauces many times with white miso and nutritional yeast, I was just wondering if those ingredients are supposed to be included in this recipe or not. Thank you for the delicious looking recipe!
I just had a look at the recipe and it seems like I forgot to add the nutritional yeast and the miso paste in the ingredient list. So sorry about that!! And thanks for letting me know. Just updated the recipe. Hope you like it! :-)
Smoked tofu? Can I make it? I live in a tiny midwestern town. We don’t even have all the flours you use. Must order so much online. Sigh. But…vegans gotta eat, right?! Can I make it using a vegan liquid smoke? TY. Debbie
Mary Ellen @ VNutrition
I just found your page searching vegan spaetzle! My husband and I had some when we traveled to Germany last year but I still crave it and can’t seem to find many vegan versions. I’m going to try to get him to make your recipe soon!
So glad you found my blog, Mary Ellen! :-) I love cheese spaetzle, they’re so comforting! It took me really long to come up with a vegan recipe that totally satisfied me, but now I can’t get enough of it anymore. I hope you and your husband enjoy it! Let me know how you liked it. ;-)
Semmelknödel aside Käsespätzle would be one of my ultimate comfort foods growing up. Due to not so happy happenings [ED] but also the fact eggs aren’t part of my diet anymore I can’t remember the last time I had them. Though I actually picked up a package of vegan Spätzle at Alnatura last weekend to challenge myself. Your recipe sounds and looks awesome – cashew-based sauces give those non-vegan ones using cream a run for their money.
Oh yeah, I love bread dumplings too! :-) So great to hear that you like the recipe! How were the spaetzle you bought at Alnatura? I’ve seen them before, but I haven’t tried them yet.
Appetizing photos! You seem to know your way in the kitchen very well! :D
Thanks, Airina! :-)
Chrissa - Physical Kitchness
Oh my gosh you are seriously amazing! I grew up on spaetzle- my grandparents are of German heritage. There are so many different combos out there but none of them seem healthy or gluten free or dairy free. You are my hero!! This is my ultimate comfort food!
Haha, Chrissa! Thanks for your kind words. :-) I know spaetzle are sooo delicious!! So great to hear that you like the recipe! ;-)
Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
Nope, I haven’t heard of Spaetzle before. But this German dish looks absolutely stunning and deeeelicious, Sina! Loved this vegan dish! :)
Thanks, Anu! :-) So great to hear that you like it!
Michele @ Two Raspberries
ahhh yummmm! this s sounds so good Sina! ;-) I love mac n cheese and this German version sounds delicious!
Thanks, Michele! :-) I love both mac n cheese and cheese spaetzle. It’s the perfect comfort food! :-)
Wow, I’ve never heard of this dish and had no idea Germany had noodles. I like the sound of both the vegan and non-vegan version of this – delicious.
Thanks, Choclette! So glad you like it! :-)
Wow, these spätzle look amazing! I also like your recipe box a lot where you can change the serving sizes! Cool stuff :D
Thanks, Howie! :-) Yeah I agree, the recipe box can be pretty helpful sometimes!
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
I’ve never heard of it before but can just imagine how amazing it tastes! It looks delicious and yay for making it vegan too! :)
Thanks, Kelly! :-)
Linda @ Veganosity
My German grandmother used to make this and I loved it. Thank you so much for making it vegan. I can’t wait to try it!
So great to hear that you like it, Linda! :-) Let me know how it turned out. ;-)