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Nokedli – Hungarian Dumplings for Goulash or Paprikash

 

How to make Nokedli or Hungarian dumplings, the best side dish for pörkölt, goulash or chicken paprikash.

 

NOKEDLI OR HUNGARIAN DUMPLINGS RECIPE

What are nokedli?

Nokedli are flour dumplings or a type of fresh pasta made with eggs and flour, the Hungarian version of the German spätzle, the Romanian galusti, Swiss Chnöpfli or Slovak Halusky.

Nokedli are a Hungarian specialty, but still something you will find very often in the Transylvanian kitchen.

 

nokedli hungarian dumplings

 

My grandmother made “galuste pentru paprikash” all of her life and so does my entire family. Chicken paprikash used to be one of my favorite meals as a kid. Well, it still is one of my favorite Romanian meals and I am glad to say that my kids love it as well.

And they do love the chicken paprikash dearly, but mostly they love the dumplings. Spätzle with cheese for Bruno and spätzle with pesto for Perla is one of the most requested meals in our house. Or I just make a chicken soup with nokedli or spätzle instead of the more usual Romanian semolina dumplings.

HUNGARIAN NOKEDLI RECIPE

I remember the first time I’ve made chicken paprikash with dumplings myself, it was shortly after getting married.

I had scribbled down the recipe given by my grandmother in my first recipe notebook, a small thing with only 32 pages or so… Nowadays, my recipe notebooks are huge, I always buy the thickest ones I can find.

I still have that thin notebook, all yellow and battered, but I love it, it contains all the recipes my grandmother ever gave me. With dozens of scribbled extra notes concerning the quantities my grandmother was never able to give precisely.

 

 

Like mentioned before on this blog, my grandmother was a good cook, her food – although very limited in the choice of dishes or ingredients – always tasted delicious. But, she never wrote down any of her recipes and she never used a scale or a measuring cup or anything of the sort.

She had been cooking her 20 or 30 dishes her entire life, she knew everything by heart and it never occurred to her that other people (like me, who was a total beginner) would not know what she meant with “enough flour to get the batter right”.

 

chicken paprikash

 

So, the first time I made the chicken paprikash with nokedli I was really frustrated. The paprikash was good, almost like the one I used to know, but the dumplings were no dumplings, they were lethal weapons. Rock-hard and impossible to eat.

I have a short temper sometimes and I got so frustrated I called my grandmother to complain about her recipe and I remember she was quite unhappy about it. I felt sorry afterward and we discussed the recipe again in a more relaxed manner, but still I did not make the dumplings again for years.

Until my cousin Georgiana came to visit about 4 or 5 years ago. She cooked the paprikas with dumplings for us and I stood by weighing the flour and watching her cook.

She never weighed the flour quantity when making the dumplings either, she had learned in her mother’s kitchen how the batter should look like, but I stood by and measured everything just to be sure. And my dumplings never went wrong again afterward.

After making them about a million times, I am proud to say I definitely don’t need a scale anymore when making the nokedli, but still, I have made these dumplings 3 times before this post and measured everytime, just to be sure I can give you as good instructions as I can. The dumplings came out perfectly each time!

 

nokedli hungarian dumplings

 

HOW TO MAKE NOKEDLI?

I saw many recipes using a Spätzle maker to form the dumplings. We never used that in our family, our “galuste” have always been formed with a teaspoon.

This way these Hungarian nokedli are larger than the German Spätzle, but equally delicious.

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

Ingredients for nokedli:

Eggs:

  • I use German medium eggs, as far as I know those are 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 nokedly, I just use it if I happen to have some leftovers in the fridge.
  • Otherwise, you will be fine with Greek yogurt, preferably full-fat or sour cream.

Nokedli step by step:

  1. Beat the eggs and the smetana or yogurt together using a fork. Add salt.
  2. Sowly start adding the flour while beating with the fork and incorporating the flour until the batter is smooth. Depending on the size of your eggs, you might need one extra tablespoon flour. Or 1/2 – 1 tablespoon less if your eggs are small. See pictures below, that is the batter consistency that you should achieve.
  3. The batter should be rather thick and slowly fall off the fork.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the nokedli to the water using a teaspoon, which should only be about half full with batter.
  6. Let the nokedli simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir carefully a couple of times in between.
  7. Drain well and serve.

 

how to make nokedlihow to make nokedli

 

HOW TO SERVE NOKEDLI?

Most of the times I serve the Hungarian nokedli with Chicken Paprikash.

But you can also serve nokedli with any of these dishes (or similar dishes of your choice):

 

Pörkölt Recipe – Hungarian Stew

Onion Pork Stew with Chickpeas and Beef Bone Broth

Vegan Soy Granules Vegetable Stew with Wine

Comforting and Tender Beef Apple Goulash

Tender Spinach and Pork Stew in Tomato Sauce

 

nokedli hungarian dumplings

 

 

nokedli hungarian dumplings

Nokedli - Hungarian Dumplings for Goulash or Paprikash

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

How to make Nokedli or Hungarian dumplings, the best side dish for pörkölt, goulash or chicken paprikash.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs (medium Germany, large US)
  • 2 tablespoons smetana/ Greek yogurt/sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 180 g/ 6.4 oz/ 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (+ or - 1 tablespoon)

Instructions

  1. Beat the eggs and the smetana or yogurt together using a fork.
  2. Add the salt and slowly start adding the flour while beating with the fork and incorporating the flour until the batter is smooth.
  3. Depending on the size of your eggs, you might need one extra tablespoon flour. Or 1/2 - 1 tablespoon less if your eggs are small. See pictures above, that is the batter consistency that you should achieve. The batter should be rather thick and slowly fall off the fork.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the nokedli to the water using a teaspoon, which should only be about half full with batter.
  6. Let the nokedli simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Drain well and serve with chicken paprikash or goulash. Or give them to soup.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 336mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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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. :)

Paul

Saturday 25th of January 2020

I am making these tomorrow night!

Adina

Saturday 25th of January 2020

Great! I hope you like them!

kathi

Monday 20th of January 2020

How much water should be added to the dough? Without water, this is like cement

Adina

Monday 20th of January 2020

Hi Kathi. There is no water in the batter. And they will not be like cement if you measure the right amount of flour.

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