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Hungarian Egg Noodle Dumplings – Nokedli (Spaetzle)

Hungarian Egg Noodle Dumplings – Nokedli (Spaetzle)

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Nokedli (also known as Tojásos nokedli) are fluffy Hungarian egg noodle dumplings that are commonly used when making one of the country’s favorite dishes, Chicken Paprikash.

Our nokedli recipe uses simple ingredients such as all-purpose flour, salt, eggs, and water to produce this traditional Hungarian dish.


chicken paprikash nokedli noodles

Classic Chicken Paprikash with Nokedli Noodles

The dumplings are also often used in German Cuisine where they are known as spaetzle or “spätzle.”

The primitive shape of these homemade Hungarian dumplings gives an idea of how long they have been around (with origins dating back to the 17th century).

A Brief History of Nokedli

The humble free-form egg noodle originated in Central European cuisine. The exact history of nokedli is a bit challenging to trace, as similar variations of this noodle dish exist in various cultures.

The word “nokedli” itself is of Hungarian origin, and Hungary is often credited with popularizing this type of noodle. Hungarian cuisine has a rich tradition, and nokedli became a staple accompaniment to many dishes, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Throughout the years, nokedli has spread to neighboring countries and beyond, adapting to local culinary traditions and preferences. 

Today, Hungarian nokedli and its variations are enjoyed in different forms across the world, and its rich history reflects the cultural exchange and culinary evolution in Central Europe.

Don’t forget to pin or bookmark this post for later!Nokedli Spaetzle Recipe


How to Make Nokedli

No special equipment is needed to make Nokedli. The wet dough can be passed through a slotted spoon, a colander with medium-sized holes, or even drizzled on the ends of your fingers.

Those who are looking for the simplest option can purchase a spaetzle maker, which makes very quick and easy work of forming the dumplings.

A German spaetzle maker, also known as a spaetzle press or spaetzle grater, is a kitchen tool specifically designed for easily making spaetzle and nokedli noodles. It typically consists of a flat or box-like grater with a sliding basket or hopper.

To use this dumpling maker, add a portion of the dough onto the grater or into the hopper of the tool. Holding it above the large pot of water, move the sliding hopper back and forth along the grater.

This action causes a small amount of dough to drop through the holes in the grater and into the boiling water. Using the nokedli maker isn’t necessary, but it does simplify the process.

Serving Suggestions for Nokedli

The fact that nokedli are still commonly made now gives an indication of how good they taste!

Beyond serving Nokedli along with Chicken Paprikash or other Hungarian recipes, such as Goulash, there are many ways to enjoy these delicious dumplings.

 My favorite way to make them is to toast the dumplings in butter or olive oil and garlic and then toss them with fresh herbs.

They are also delicious covered in cheese sauce, beef stew, or Stroganoff with sour cream, or with a creamy chicken and mushroom sauce. They are also a great addition to chicken soup recipes.

Generally, the tasty little dumplings can be used as a base for any dish where egg noodles would commonly be used. 

Here are some related articles about Eastern European Recipes and Travel in Budapest that may help inspire or plan a visit!

Yield: 6 Servings

Hungarian Egg Noodle Dumplings - Nokedli

Hungarian Nokedli Egg Noodles

Hungarian Egg Noodles, Nokedli, or Spaetzle Recipe. Easy homemade noodles that can be substituted anywhere egg noodles would be used. Perfect for use when making Hungarian Chicken Paprikash!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 2 Cups (272 g) Flour, All-Purpose
  • 2 Whole Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/2 Tsp (3 g) Salt
  • 3/4 Cup (177 ml) Water Warm
  • 1 Tbs (15 g) Butter, Melted
  • Black Pepper (to taste)


  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and then form a small well in the center.
  2. Add the beaten eggs and a little bit of cold water into the center of the well.
  3. Working outward, begin to blend the eggs, water, and flour together. 
  4. Continue adding the water in small amounts. The dough that is formed should be thin enough that it will be able to pass through the small holes of a colander (thicker than a cake batter). The entire 3/4 cup (177 ml) of water may not be needed
  5. Let the dough rest while bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. Working in small batches, press the batter through a pasta strainer or cheese grater with large holes (for more ease, use a spaetzle maker) into the boiling water. making nokedli
  7. Allow the nokedli dumplings to boil until they begin to float to the top of the pot (about 2 -3 minutes), stirring them gently as needed with a wooden spoon.
  8. Remove the cooked nokedli with a slotted spoon and repeat until the dough has been cooked.
  9. Lightly season with salt and black pepper and coat with melted butter. Serve warm. For extra flavor, the nokedli can also be toasted in a saute pan with butter and tossed with fresh herbs.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 192Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 67mgSodium 235mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 6g

David Lalik

Friday 10th of November 2023

It's just like Rita's, my Mother. She loved cooking until her 83yr. We loved her food made with spirit of a Hungarian Gal


Sunday 12th of November 2023

Thank you for your kind comment David, it made our day!

Rebecca R.

Sunday 24th of October 2021

I had never eaten nor prepared this before. This is awesome! Very easy, but time consuming since I used a cheese grater to form the spaetzle. Even so it didn't take so long that I would be deterred from making it again. Thanks!

Amanda Ganden

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Hello, how would you store this if you made a big batch? How would you freeze?? TIA Amanda

Remy Sage

Monday 25th of January 2021

I've made batches in advance and frozen them. Worked very well.


Sunday 8th of November 2020

We've never frozen it, so I'm not sure how it would turn out. We typically eat it as soon as it's done, and have never had enough left over to worry about it.


Wednesday 29th of April 2020

I’ve grown up with spaetzle and make it now for my family. Try frying the spaetzle leftovers in a bit of butter and plenty of cheese. This is another delicious way to have spaetzle as a side dish.


Thursday 30th of April 2020

Sounds delicious - I'm going to try that!


Wednesday 25th of March 2020

My grandmother, mother and I put the dough on a small cutting board rest it on the pan of boiling water and cut pieces into the boiling water. Making it right now Yum


Sunday 5th of March 2023

@Vilma, That's exactly how my Irish mother learned from her Hungarian neighbor. My mom always pronounced 'nookelees'. It took me years to find the real name and a recipe. I'm getting ready to make them now. The chicken part had been in a slow cooker since morning.


Monday 2nd of November 2020

My Grandmother was Hungarian and she made it exactly like this. She held a wooden cutting board over a pit of boiling water. She cut little pieces off of it with a butter knife. And today, at the age of 51, I make her Nokedli recipe the same way! Everybody loves them. They taste best in her Hungarian chicken paprikash recipe. I think of her and of how much I love her every, single time.

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