If you have leftover Spaetzle (also known as Spätzle, Knöpfle, Spätzli, Chnöpfli, Nokedli, Csipetke and Galuska) in your fridge or freezer and are wondering how to go about reheating it, this article is for you.
If you have taken the time to prepare this delicious central European delicacy and are ready to reheat it to enjoy another fulfilling and nutritious meal, read on to ensure you reheat the food correctly and safely, avoiding any food-borne illnesses and making it taste just as good as it did when you cooked it fresh.
In this article, first, we are going to go over some things to consider regarding Spaetzle and the reheating of Spaetzle in general. Then, I will present you with a step by step guide for the two best methods for reheating Spaetzle coming from both your fridge and your freezer: sauteing it on your stovetop and placing it in the microwave. Finally, we will end by answering some related questions regarding how to reheat spaetzle.
How to Reheat Spaetzle: Step by Step Guide
Reheating Spaetzle: Things to Consider
The first thing to consider if you are thinking about reheating Spaetzle is what kinds of foods are accompanying your spaetzle.
Due to Spaetzle’s taste-neutral versatility, it is most often served as a side topped with sauce or gravy, but can also be served as a main course meal topped with melted cheese, crispy fried onions, and meats such as ground beef or sausage.
If you have been storing Spaetzle in the refrigerator, keep in mind that it might be unsafe to eat if more than four days have passed. This is due to the risk of bacteria growing and spoiling the Spaetzle and/or any foods that are accompanying the Spaetzle.
Generally, if you are reheating Spaetzle straight from your refrigerator, the best way to reheat it is by sauteing it on your stovetop. If your Spaetzle has been stored in the freezer, simply thaw it in the fridge and then follow the same sauteing procedure.
The microwave is also a viable option for reheating. However, since microwaves heat the food from the outside-in, and without a completely even distribution of heat, you might find your Spaetzle coming out with some cold spots. Also, if the food that your Spaetzle is combined with heats at a slower or faster pace than the Spaetzle, it may come out too cold or scalding hot.
If you are reheating Spaetzle from your freezer, the best way to reheat is to simply let it thaw in the fridge and then follow one of the approaches for reheating from the fridge listed below.
Reheating Spaetzle: From your Fridge on your Stovetop
If you are reheating Spaetzle that has been stored in your fridge, sauteing it on the stovetop is considered to be the preferred method of reheating.
This is because when sauteing Spaetzle on the stovetop, you are able to heat it quickly, effectively, and add as much flavoring as you want in the forms of butter, oil, and seasonings.
However, if you are interested in reheating and eating your Spaetzle without adding any additional oils or butter for dieting purposes, then this might not be the best approach for you to take.
Here is the step by step guide for reheating Spaetzle by sauteing it in a pan on your stovetop:
Step 1: Remove the spaetzle from the fridge and place it on the counter. Remove any cover or wrapping that if it is covered.
Step 2: Select your choice of flavorful fat to coat the bottom of your frying pan and create a non-stick surface. This will soak into the Spaetzle after it is added, so be sure to pick the one you like best. For your fat, you have many to choose from, including but not limited to: olive oil, butter, vegetable oil, canola oil, lard, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
Note: Generally, olive oil is the most common choice amongst the cooking community due to the flavor it adds to the Spaetzle and also its performance at medium-high temperatures is preferred over vegetable oil, which is the temperature range your Spaetzle will be sauteed at.
If you are looking for your Spaetzle to end up with a sweeter, richer flavor, then use butter. Since butter burns through pretty quick, you might have to add a bit of oil to ensure full heating of your Spaetzle at high temperatures.
Step 3: Add enough of your choice of flavorful fat to coat the bottom of your frying pan, creating a non-stick surface, and set the heat to medium-high.
Step 4: After your pan is heated to the point where a drop of water splatters, add your Spaetzle to the pan, stirring constantly.
Step 5: Continue stirring the Spaetzle for about 2-3 minutes until it is slightly browned by the pan’s fat content and heated throughout.
Step 6: Turn off heat and allow Spaetzle to cool down to your desired temperature
Step 7: Serve and enjoy!
Note: Feel free to add any additional ingredients to the frying pan to saute along with the Spaetzle. If you are looking to create a deeper, smoky flavor base, consider adding bacon, sausage, or pancetta to the pan.
Also, adding a couple tablespoons of water to the pan can never hurt, it will only help make the spaetzle a bit more moist if you prefer that kind of texture.
Reheating Spaetzle: From your Fridge in your Microwave
If you are not interested in sauteing Spaetzle on your stovetop with butter or oil, reheating it in the microwave is another viable option for you to choose.
Keep in mind that results can vary when using a microwave to reheat since the heat is not evenly distributed throughout the entirety of the food. Also, some microwaves have cold spots that will not receive as much heating as others.
If your Spaetzle is mixed with other foods, they might heat at a slower or faster pace than the Spaetzle, so be prepared for some foods coming out colder or hotter than others.
In order to optimize the taste of the spaetzle coming out of the microwave, the best thing to do is cover it and microwave it in 20-second increments, mixing in between. This will allow the heat to get distributed as much as possible.
Here is the step by step guide for reheating Spaetzle from your fridge in your microwave:
Step 1: Remove the spaetzle from the fridge and place it on the counter or table.
Step 2: Cover the Spaetzle with a napkin or paper towel and place it into the microwave.
Note: While covering the Spaetzle is optional, this is recommended because it will prevent moisture and thus flavor from escaping the Spaetzle, keeping it moist and flavorful.
Step 3: Microwave spaetzle on high for 20 seconds.
Step 4: Remove spaetzle from the microwave and stir.
Step 5: Repeat until the spaetzle has reached your desired temperature.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy!
Reheating Spaetzle: From your Freezer
If you have spaetzle that has been stored in your freezer, simply thaw it in your refrigerator for about 24 hours and then follow the reheating instructions outlined above for reheating from your fridge on your stovetop or using your microwave.
Note: While spaetzle is safe to store in the freezer for up to 6 months and is generally known to retain its flavor and texture quite well, if the spaetzle was not covered or sealed properly prior to being placed in the freezer, it might have developed freezer burn.
Freezer burn is where frost spreads on the surface of the food, causing the food to lose its moisture and flavor. While it is perfectly safe to reheat food that has experienced freezer burn, keep in mind that it might not taste quite as succulent or flavorful as you might be expecting.
How to Reheat Spaetzle: Related Questions
What is the Difference Between Pan Frying and Sauteing Spaetzle?
When considering the reheating process for spaetzle on the stovetop, there is no major difference between pan frying and sauteing the spaetzle.
We recommend sauteing (which is when you use less fat and cook it at a higher temperature) over frying because spaetzle is already a high-calorie food, so the less fat we add the better.
Also, spaetzle can be reheated fairly quickly by sauteing at a medium-high temperature, so there is really no need to take the extra time to pan fry it.
Can I Reheat Spaetzle More than Once?
Yes, you can reheat spaetzle more than once. Keep in mind, however, that pasta such as spaetzle tends to get a tougher texture after being reheated in the microwave. Thus, if you reheat it more than once in the microwave, the texture will continuously get harder and harder.
If your spaetzle is mixed with sauce or gravy, it’s always a good idea to add a few tablespoons of water (or extra sauce or gravy) before reheating it in order to add a bit of moisture and help the texture stay soft.