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The Best Nokedli Recipe (Hungarian Dumplings)

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Learn how to make Nokedli or Hungarian dumplings, the perfect side dish for goulash, paprikash, or pörkölt. A fool-proof nokedli recipe for the best dumplings. And you will not need a spaetzle maker.

These are the best Hungarian nokedli I’ve ever had! They are easy to make, perfect every time, so delicious and comforting!

bowl of dumplings for goulash or paprikash with a spooon beside it.

What are nokedli?

Nokedli or Hungarian dumplings are fresh pasta made with eggs and flour, the Hungarian version of a small Central European dumpling, related to the German Spätzle, the Romanian galusti, Swiss Chnöpfli or Slovak Halusky. They are a traditional Hungarian specialty, which is very popular in Transylvania as well. I grew up with my grandma’s nokedli, a family recipe that we always had with Chicken Paprikash.

Why will you love this recipe?

  • Fool-proof: The one issue I had with making nokedli ages ago when I started cooking was that my grandmother’s recipe was vague; she never knew how much flour she added, “just enough flour to get the batter right,” she used to say. Those are unhappy instructions if you’ve never made the nokedli batter before; it took many tries to get a consistent recipe. But now it’s perfect; if you follow these instructions, you will get excellent dumplings each time.
  • Larger: These Hungarian dumplings are a bit larger than the standard small noodles. You can make them smaller, of course, but once you’ve had them this size, you’ll probably never go back. They are so incredibly fluffy and comforting!
  • No equipment needed: There is no need to stress yourself with a Spaetzle maker, potato masher, or knife. These amazing Hungarian noodles are shaped with a teaspoon.
  • Versatile: You can serve nokedli with any kind of goulash or stew (meaty or vegetarian). They are also great in a simple chicken soup.
overhead view of a bowl of nokedli sprinkled with parsley.

Expert tips

Every time, the secret of making perfect nokedli dumplings lies in the egg-flour proportion. That’s why it’s better to weigh the flour with the digital kitchen scale; it eliminates variations (Amazon affiliate link). Using a cup to measure flour is adventurous, and in this case, a slight variation will affect the quality of the dumplings.

I saw many recipes using a Spaetzle maker to form the dumplings. We never used that in our family; we always form “galuste” with a teaspoon. This way, these Hungarian nokedli are larger than the German Spätzle but equally delicious.

Another bonus of using a teaspoon is that the procedure is easier, faster, and less messy; the chances of batter landing on the stovetop or the floor are zero. That’s never the case when you use a dumpling maker.

Recipe ingredients

flour, eggs, salt, yogurt on the table.

There are only four simple ingredients: all-purpose flour, eggs, yogurt or sour cream, and salt.

  • Eggs: I use German medium eggs, the equivalent of large eggs in the US.
  • Dairy: Smetana would be the dairy you would use in Romania. I buy the German Schmand from time to time, but not especially to make nokedli; I just use it if I happen to have some leftovers in the fridge. Otherwise, use full-fat Greek yogurt or a bit of sour cream.

Two easy steps

Make the batter:

  • Combine eggs and dairy using a fork. Mix well and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Slowly start adding the flour while beating with the fork and incorporating the flour until the batter is smooth (1).
  • Depending on the size of your eggs, you might need one extra tablespoon of flour. Or 1/2 – 1 tablespoon less if your eggs are small. See the pictures below; that is the batter consistency you should achieve. The nokedli dough should be relatively thick and slowly fall off the fork (2).
collage of two pictures of dumpling batter showing how the consistency should be.

Cook nokedli:

  • Bring a big pot of water to a boil on high heat. Add salt to the boiling water. Turn the heat down and let it come to a simmer; it should not boil when you add the dumplings.
  • Scoop a small amount of dough using a teaspoon; it should only be half full with batter. Add to the hot water.
  • Let the nokedli simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir a couple of times carefully in between to turn them on the other side.
  • Once ready, they will be puffed and larger and will swim at the top of the pot.
  • Drain well in a sieve or remove them with a large slotted spoon.
  • Serve immediately.
collage of two pictures of nokedli before and after puffing up.

Recipe FAQ

Why do you use yogurt or sour cream?

Adding a bit of yogurt, smetana, or sour cream to the batter makes the Hungarian nokedli exceptionally soft and fluffy.

How about the portion size?

Apparently, nokedli made from 2 eggs should be enough for 4 portions. Well, they were never enough for us, not at least since our children have reached 3 years of age anyway, so I always make the double portion with 4 eggs.

Can I use a dumpling maker?

You can, but it makes life more difficult and the procedure messier.

How to store?

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Freeze in freezer bags or an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge and reheat before serving.

How to reheat them?

You can reheat them directly in the goulash or paprikash sauce. Or in the soup.
You can also reheat them in a frying pan. Melt some butter in a large skillet and cook the Hungarian nokedli until hot and lightly browned.

How to serve?

I serve them with Chicken Paprikash most of the time. But I often serve them with Hungarian Beef Goulash, Pörkölt, or chicken soup. You can also have them with melted butter; it’s something your kids will adore. 

close up of fluffy hungarian dumplings for goulash.

More Hungarian recipes

Do you like this recipe?

Please leave a good rating in the recipe card below. Stay in touch through social media: Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me #whereismyspoon when you try a recipe!
overhead view of a bowl of nokedli sprinkled with parsley.

The Best Nokedli Recipe (Hungarian Dumplings)

Learnhow to make Nokedli or Hungarian dumplings, the perfect side dish forpaprikash, goulash, or pörkölt. A fool-proof nokedli recipe for the bestdumplings.
4.50 from 16 votes
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Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Hungarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 

  • 4 eggs medium Germany, large US
  • 2 tablespoons smetana/ Greek yogurt/sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 180 g all-purpose flour + or – 1 tablespoon 6.5 oz/ 1 ½ cups (Note 1)

Instructions

  • Beat the eggs and the sour cream/ yogurt/ smetana with a fork.
  • Add the salt and slowly start adding the flour while beating with the fork and incorporating the flour until smooth.
  • Adjust batter: Depending on the size of your eggs, you might need one extra tablespoon of flour. Or 1/2 – 1 tablespoon less if your eggs are small. See the pictures; that is the batter consistency that you should achieve. The batter should be relatively thick and slowly fall off the fork.
  • Boil water: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about ½ tablespoon salt to the boiling water. Turn the heat down and let it come to a simmer.
  • Cook nokedli: Add the nokedli to the water using a teaspoon, which should only be half full with batter. Let the nokedli simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Drain well.

Notes

  1. I recommend weighing the flour, it’s all about the balance between the dry and the wet ingredients, and slight variations are not optimal. A digital kitchen scale will give you the most precise measure ensuring the best results (Amazon affiliate link).

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 336mg | Fiber: 1g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating




Barbara Adamd

Wednesday 8th of June 2022

The flour measurement is confusing!

Adina

Thursday 9th of June 2022

You need 180 g, but you might need one tablespoon more or one tablespoon less to get the right consistency, depending mostly on the size of your eggs.

Jen

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Oh my gosh, this cracks me up. My gram's recipes are the same. Sadly she's been gone a while and I can't call her up to complain! I'm making paprikas tonight (finally figured out the right amount of paprika and sour cream. That only took a few fails), but I can never, never, never duplicate the dumplings. She just put the most basic instructions, of course as you said, known only to her. THANK YOU for this. I loved it.

Adina

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Hi Jen. Thank you for your comment. My grandma is gone too, quite a while now. But her recipes are still the best, even if never precisely the same due to lack of more precise information. I am glad you liked the dumplings.

Christine Ryder

Friday 2nd of April 2021

Hello Adina. I just found your site and I thank you for posting a traditional recipe . As a Hungarian granddaughter, I grew up with "enough flour" or "egg sized" amounts of whatever (I, too, have a "scribbled notes" recipe book). My Oma never used yogurt, but I'll try it, as I always just use flour, egg & water. I made them to go with my porkolt last night. Thank you again.

Adina

Friday 2nd of April 2021

Thank you for your nice comment, Christine.

Al

Friday 5th of February 2021

Very tasty- I love the way they pop up in the pan when cooked! I thought it was 10 mins to cook each batch but it was 10 minutes to do the lot , hooking out the floating ones!

Adina

Saturday 6th of February 2021

So glad to hear you liked them, Al. Especially together with the goulash.

Tracy Marks

Friday 29th of January 2021

Thanks so much for the Nokedli recipe. It looks like my mom's. She always made Xtra sauce for the paprikash and just dropped them right in the sauce to cook than added the chicken back in. Which is what I will attempt now that I found the right recipe.

Adina

Friday 29th of January 2021

Thank you for the feedback, Tracy. Let me know how that works. :)