My husband’s family is of German extraction on his mother’s side. (Well, technically, so is mine.) But his family did a lot more with the traditional German foods than mine did.

One of the family favourites that they still make occasionally is knöpfle, which is a type of spätzle. The word means “little buttons” due to the shape of the noodle. It is very tasty and very un-vegan (calling for both egg and sweetened condensed milk), so I’ve not really made it much myself.

Today I decided to try making a vegan version, since yesterday I was craving it tremendously and was too sick to even go get a bowl out of the cupboard, let alone go through the process of making the stuff.

Start by putting 3 cups of flour in a bowl with 1/2 tsp of salt.

I used 2.5 cups whole wheat flour and .5 cup white in this batch.

Once you’ve got that stirred up, prepare your flax egg.

Flax "egg": 1 tbsp ground flaxseed plus 3 tbsp hot water. Let it sit a few minutes and it gels.

While that is sitting, start a big pot of water boiling, mince up a medium onion and blend up your white sauce.

On my stove: big pot of water coming to a boil; saucepan of white sauce; skillet of onions ready to sauté.

Once you’ve sautéed your onions in a little oil, turn off the heat. By this time your pot of water should be nearing a boil, so it’s time to prep your noodle dough.

In goes the flax egg!

And the water! Stir it up well and knead a little if necessary, but not too much.

Roll your dough into a bunch of ropey things.

When you’ve rolled your dough ropes, snip small bits off into your pot of boiling water. Expect to be splashed at least a couple times if you’re not super careful. Once all the knöpfle are in the boiling water, let it go for a few minutes and then drain. (They float to the top when they’re done, and you’ll have some floating to the top long before you’re finished snipping. This is okay.) I tried to take a picture of them boiling in the pot, but all that you could see was foam and steam, so here’s a picture of the drained knöpfle:

Now toss your onions into the white sauce pan and turn up the heat. Stir the sauce constantly until it bubbles and gets thick.

Then you’ll pour it over the knöpfle and stir it all up. Keep the burner on low until it’s very thick, 5 minutes or so.


Here’s the recipe, all written in one place:

1 flax egg
1 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 med onion
1 recipe of white sauce (since the original recipe called for a can of sweetened condensed milk; I’m contemplating trying this with cocoanut milk sometime and seeing what happens.)

Beat egg, water and salt. Add flour to make stiff batter. Cut small pieces into boiling water with sharp kitchen scissors. Boil about 3-5 minutes. Drain.

Blend your white sauce recipe. Sauté onion. Add to white sauce mixture. When hot, add to the knöpfle. Simmer until very thick.

Categories: entrees, lunch, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Knöpfle

  1. Ahhhhhhh yes!! (Sorry, stalking old recipes…)
    My family is of German descent and I grew up on these – I discovered Bryanna Clark Grogan’s veganized recipe a while back and it’s a staple in my family dinner rotation, but her dough is thinner (the kind that goes through a spatzle press) and while the end result is similar to what my Grandma made, THIS is actually how I learned to make them (the dough ropes) so I’m excited to try it.. I don’t know why I haven’t just tried my Grandma’s recipe with a flax egg, or aquafaba, but I always have more courage to try these things after seeing someone else doing it successfully!


    • I haven’t tried it with aquafaba yet, but I have no doubt it would work. My husband complains about any sort of storebought pasta, whole wheat or not, so occasionally I indulge him by making this instead for spaghetti or other pasta dishes. 🙂 I did it just the other day for the cauliflower pesto pasta in Isa Does it. So yummy!


    • (oh, and I just sent you a friend request on fb ;-)) who’s the stalker now? 😀


  2. Pingback: Vegan MoFo 2015: Old Family Recipe, Vegan Style! | Too Cheap for Pine Nuts

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