Buttery Spaetzle with Roasted Cauliflower and Shallots


Smoky roasted cauliflower and nutty brown butter headline this satisfying vegetarian main course. Like tiny gnocchi, German spaetzle are delicious simply blanched but spring to a whole new level when crisped with butter in a pan. This recipe calls for store-bought dried spaetzle, which turn springy and chewy when cooked. Boiled then crisped in butter, they get a finishing lift from fresh dill and crushed red pepper.

Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
6 to 8 servings


  • 1 small (2-pound) head purple or regular cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (about 6 1/2 cups)

  • 2 ½ cup thinly sliced shallots or red onion

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 2 ½ quarts water

  • 10 ounces dried spaetzle (such as Bechtle Hofbauer)

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (4 ounces)

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Dill sprigs, sour cream, and crushed red pepper, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss together cauliflower, shallots, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, paprika, and black pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread mixture in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots, 30 to 35 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, bring 2 1/2 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high. Stir in remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Add spaetzle, and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Wipe pot dry.

  3. Add butter to pot, and heat over medium, stirring often, until lightly browned and foamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add cauliflower mixture, spaetzle, and reserved cooking liquid; gently toss to combine until spaetzle is coated with brown butter. Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper. Garnish with dill, sour cream, and red pepper as desired.

    Buttery Spaetzle with Roasted Cauliflower and Shallots
    Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen


Find dried spaetzle at specialty grocery stores or online at thetasteofgermany.com.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, lightly earthy German white: Villa Wolf Pinot Blanc

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