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.
I actually am not the biggest fan of cheese, so I feel like I’d like this version wayyy better than regular mac n’ cheese! :O This looks delicious! <3
Thanks so much, Farrah! :-) I’m sure you’d like it, it’s really creamy and hearty at the same time.
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
I have had spaetzle before. You are right…it is amazing! I love how you’ve come up with a vegan sauce…this really intrigues me. I need to give it a try!
So glad you like it, Kathy! I know, spaetzle are sooo good! :-)
Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
I’ve never had spaetzle, but I’ve heard of it and it always sounded delicious. I’ll take mac ‘n’ cheese any day, and I’d love to try a German one too while I’m at it :D — this looks so good!
Thanks, Audrey! I’ve always loved mac ‘n’ cheese, but I think this version is even better because of the spaetzle. It’s my favorite kind of pasta. I’m sure you’d love them! :-)
Um holy delicious. This looks completely amazing!
Thanks, Katie! :-) So happy to hear that you like it!
Ilona @ Ilona's Passion
Very yummy recipe. I love that it is totally vegan:)
Thanks, Ilona! :-) I’m so happy I finally found a vegan version!
Thank you for sharing!
You’re so welcome! Glad you like it! :-)
Melissa @ vegan does it
This looks like a great dinner idea or take along for our family get togethers. I like that you added the tofu to make it more hearty and protein packed.
Thanks, Melissa! So glad you like it! :-) Yeah, I love the addition of of smoked tofu and leek too.
Looks so yummy! I really need to give it a try!
Thanks, Annmarie! :-)
Sophia @veggies dont bite
I’ve never heard of it before but it sure looks and sounds tasty! I love leeks!
Thanks, Sophia! :-) It’s a really popular dish in Southern Germany and Austria. I’m sure you’d love it, it’s really creamy and cheesy. :-)
This looks so yummy! I have heard of spaetzle before, but never knew what it was. I can definitely get on board with this!! Oh, what is curcuma??
Thanks, Jenn! :-) It’s really popular in Germany and I’m so glad I finally found a delicious vegan version. :-) I think another word for curcuma is turmeric. Is this more common?
This looks delicious, I had never heard of this version of mac-n-cheese.
Thanks, Molly! :-) It’s really popular in Germany and it’s sooo good!
Yum! this dish looks very interesting. I think I’m trying it ?
Thanks, Johanny! :-) So glad you like it!
I love the look of this, will have to give your recipe a try, thanks so much for sharing.
You’re welcome, Cynthia! :-) So happy to hear that you like the recipe!
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit
I love to say spaetzle almost as much as I love to eat it! I’ve only made it once before, back when I wasn’t vegan, and it was so good! I think I like it even better than pasta to be honest! I’m excited just about the vegan version of spaetzle, but that sauce really puts it over the top Sina <3
Haha! I know it’s such a weird word, Natalie! Do you know what it actually means? It’s a German dialect and means as much as “little sparrows”.:D Mine definitely don’t look like sparrows I guess. I’m telling you, German can be such a crazy language sometimes. :D So happy to hear that you like it! :-) I used to absolutely love cheese spaezle and I’m so glad I finally found a vegan version!
I used to LOVE cheesy spaetzle! Thanks for this :-).
You’re so welcome, Annie! :-) It was one of my favorite meals and I’m so happy that I finally found a great vegan version!