Sour lentils with Spätzle

Sour lentils with Spätzle- a classic Swabian meal

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Lentils are some of the most versatile legumes I ever came across. In the south of Germany, we have a dish which loosely translates as sour Lentils with Spätzle and Frankfurters- or simply: Saure Linsen mit Spätzle und Saitenwurst.

The origin of the dish is from Swabia/Germany-where I am from- and it used to be a poor peoples’ meal as lentils were easy to grow and available. They were also cheap, nutritious and filling. Which they still are today, so they are the ultimate super food.

It is a bit different to my hearty lentil stew as we add vinegar to our sour Lentils with Spätzle. It really has a tangy taste and is perfect for any cold autumn/ winter day, it really keeps you warm and comfy.

The dish is sooo filling and leaves that happy feeling in your belly. The lentils and veggies in there makes it very nutritious as well.

I have some Spätzle left- what can I do?

And if you just made the super delicious Kässpätzle and have some Spätzle left-awesome! Go ahead and use them for the sour Lentils with Spätzle. Simply pan fry the Spätzle with some butter, and you are good to go.

Again, as usual with treasured recipes, this is my family recipe. And every family has their own way of preparing it. Some use a roux to bind it, some don’t. If you want it to be a tad thicker, you can just add a bit of cornstarch mixed with water to it towards the end to get a thicker consistency.

But be aware, this recipe sure is a big portion!

You will most likely have leftovers of the lentils. But you can freeze them easily in portions, and you will always have some ready for later. Big time saver- and it’s such a food for days dish :-).

If you want to learn more about food for days, have a look here.

Any secret ingredient for lentils with Spätzle?

Oh yeah! If you also happen to have some mustard at home, try to eat the sausage with it.

What you do is, you cut of a bit of the frankfurter, dip it in the mustard and then add some lentils and spätzle.

It’s so worth it, and it brings the Lentils with Spätzle to another level. Now we are talking about some serious comfort food level. Any mustard will do, just not the sweet one, please. That’s reserved for Weißwurst.

Last but not least for the vegetarians: Just leave the bacon and the sausages out. It will cut a bit on the smoky flavour, but it will still be delicious.

Enjoy my Swabian cuisine!


sabrina x

Sour Lentils with Spätzle

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Swabian comfort food

  • Prep time:
    30 minutes
  • Cook time:
    1 hours
  • Total time:
    1 hours 30 minutes


6 servings
500 g lentils
1 onion
200 g celeriac -root celeriac works best, but you can also use celeriac sticks
2 medium size Carrots
15 g butter
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
150 ml red wine
1.5 l beef broth, sometimes I use a vegetable broth depending on what I have at home
250 g smoked pork belly / bacon also works well
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
6 Frankfurter Sausages 1 per Person-when you are really hungry, go for 2 per person
spice sachet filled with:
4 cloves
5 juniper berries, squeeze them with the back of a knife so they are a bit crushed
3 bay leaves
salt & pepper-  I use around 1-2 tsp of salt towards the end
400 g flour
4 eggs
2 Tbsp semolina
1 Tsp salt
0.25 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 shot of sparkling water
Mustard if you like


  • Spätzle maker

Steps of preparation

Sour lentils

  1. Wash, peel and cut the vegetables into small cubes.
  2. Heat the oil with the butter in a large saucepan and fry the vegetables in it for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils & tomato paste and mix well.
  4. Add half of the red wine and let it reduce for about 2 minutes. Pour the rest of the red wine and the broth.
  5. Put the spice bag and the pork belly in the pot and fill up with water so that all the lentils are covered.
  6. Let the lentils simmer for about 30 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the Spaetzle.


  1. Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add salt and mix well. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, semolina and the ground nutmeg, attach a dough hook to the food processor and knead the dough for 5 minutes until the flour is incorporated into the dough.
  4. Add a dash of mineral water and mix. Work the dough with a wooden spoon until bubbles appear, then the dough is ready.
  5. The dough must be viscous. It was traditionally scraped into hot water with a damp board and a knife.
  6. 1 shot of sparkling water

finishing touches

  1. See if the lentils are cooked and season with plenty of salt to taste. 
  2. Add the vinegar & balsamic vinegar and stir well.
  3. Add the Frankfurter and let the lentils steep for another 10 minutes over low heat. Take out the spice sachet and add salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Let the dough rest, and in the meantime bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  5. With a Spaetzle maker – I use a “spaetzle schwob” – press the noodles into the boiling water and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles float on top.
  6. Put the Spätzle in a sieve with a slotted spoon. Repeat the process until all the batter is used.
  7. Remove the spice sachet
  8. Place the Spätzle and lentils on a deep plate and add your sausages and bacon and enjoy!


Add some Mustard on the rim of your plate and dip your sausage in it. 

How do you like the recipe?

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You tried this recipe?

Then link @sabrinastable on Instagram or use the hashtag #sabrinastable.


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