Spaetzle is the German/Austrian answer to pasta and can be served in a few ways. This bacon onion spaetzle is by far my favorite: comforting, packed with flavor and yes a bit indulgent. But so worth it now and then.
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I know you might think my timing is a bit off in sharing a German recipe now - pre-Oktoberfest would seem to make more sense. However I think this bacon onion spaetzle is delicious enough to enjoy more than once a year, and it's easily adapted to use other small pasta.
When I made German pancake soup I was reminded of some of the other yummy dishes I used to have for lunch when we visited Germany and Austria when I was as a child. Spaetzle, whether plain or herb spaetzle, was a common side to many dishes which I loved.
Some places also served it as a dish in itself, particularly versions like this bacon onion spaetzle. Loaded up with tasty bacon, caramelized onions and a little bit of cheese, it's quite definitely a meal in itself. And a delicious one too.
Using up leftovers
I made this bacon onion spaetzle for lunch one day as we had leftover spaetzle from the night before. Since I didn't want to waste it, I knew I wanted to make bacon onion spaetzle the next day.
It made a delicious lunch, great for a cold day but really anytime. I used to have it in the summer in Austria as a way to get some energy back after hiking.
I realized this would also work with other small pasta as well, if you ever have any leftover before you cover with sauce. Just follow the same basic recipe and add eg macaroni, orzo or whatever you have.
This is a dish I had now and again in mountain huts in Austria when we went there when I was little. We had many a hiking trip where something like this was just what you needed to get your energy back.
Given the cooler weather at the moment, the comfort factor of this bacon onion spaetzle was just what I needed when I made it for lunch. Plus the fact the house smelt of bacon and caramelized onion for the next hour or so can never be bad either.
I will admit, covering spaetzle with bacon and cheese doesn't lead for the healthiest of dishes, but hey, now and again it's worth it.
Steps to make bacon onion spaetzle
- Chop the onion and bacon into thin slices.
- Add the bacon to a skillet then once it starts to release fat, add the onion,
- Caramelize the onions and bacon (have patience for this!).
- Add the cooked spaetzle, or other cooked small pasta.
- Cook a few minutes then add the cheese.
- Top with chives and serve.
Caramelizing onions does take a little bit of patience. You really need a good half hour to get those lovely, slightly crispy bits on both the onion and the bacon. However I'd call it time well spent.
Plus, it's not as if you have to do all that much, just stir now and again as they cook. After that, it's very quick to finish.
Bacon onion spaetzle is such a simple but tasty, comforting dish that's perfect for colder days. It's a great way to use up leftover spaetzle, or other small pasta. But now I've reminded myself of the dish, I would also happily cook extra on purpose just to make this.
Delicious flavors, it's a slight indulgence that I for one need now and again. Try it and you may find the same.
Looking to add this to an Oktoberfest celebration? Try these as well:
- Obatzda, German beer cheese dip
- Braised red cabbage with apples (Rotkohl)
- German green beans (Speckbohnen)
- Sauerbraten (German pot roast)
- Plus get more German recipes in the archives.
Bacon onion spaetzle
- 2 oz smoked bacon 55g (streaky, approx 2 rashers)
- 1 onion small
- 1 ¼ cups cooked spaetzle 170g (see other recipe, or use a small pasta)
- ½ cup gruyere 10g, finely rated, or other similar hard cheese
- 2-3 chives , finely chopped
- Cut the bacon in to thin slices and finely slice the onions. Warm a small skillet over a medium heat and add the bacon.
- After a couple of minutes, it should start to render some fat. At this point, add the onions. Continue to cook, stirring now and then, until the bacon is starting to crisp and the onions are turning a caramelized brown. This will take probably 25min or so. Don't let them burn - reduce the heat if you need to and if you are short on fat, add a little but there should be enough from the bacon.
- Once the onions are nicely brown, add the spaetzle and cook another minute or two. Add the cheese, mix through, then serve with the chives sprinkled on top.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try some other comfort food pasta recipes:
Meaty Comfort Food Pasta Recipes
- Baked Pasta with Kale and Sausage by Simple and Savory
- Creamy Italian Sausage Tortellini Skillet by Soulfully Made
- Healthy Homemade Hamburger Helper Skillet by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Homemade Spaghetti Noodles with Stuffed Meatballs by The Freshman Cook
- One Pot Chicken Parmesan by Pies and Plots
- Polish Sausage Macaroni and Cheese by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Ravioli with Prosciutto & Arugula by Gourmet Everyday
Veggie Comfort Food Pasta Recipes
- Baked Pumpkin Gnocchi with Thyme and Blue Cheese by Sprinkles and Sprouts
- Butternut Squash Pasta Bake by Cooking Chat
- Light Fettuccine Alfredo by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Sour Cream and Chive Noodles by Palatable Pastime
- Spinach Stuffed Shells by Hardly A Goddess