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!
Table of contents
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.
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.
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).
- 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.
Adding a bit of yogurt, smetana, or sour cream to the batter makes the Hungarian nokedli exceptionally soft and fluffy.
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.
You can, but it makes life more difficult and the procedure messier.
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.
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.
More Hungarian recipes
The Best Nokedli Recipe (Hungarian Dumplings)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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).