Kässpätzle, © SMG, Jean-Claude Winkler

From Spätzle to Maultaschen

From Maultaschen to Spätzle (noodles) or onion tart – Swabian cuisine is popular far beyond the bounds of Baden-Württemberg. And no wonder! Check out some of the must-try mouthwatering traditional dishes!

Linsen and Spätzle (Swabian Lentil Dish)

Lentils and spaetzle - the traditional dish of Swabian cuisine. An absolute classic with sausages. Don't forget: Provide vinegar and mustard at the table for seasoning!

Recipe for Lentils with Spätzle (serves 4):

  • 250 g brown lentils
  • 80 g diced bacon
  • 400 ml meat stock
  • 60 ml red wine vinegar
  • 50 g flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 l Trollinger (red wine)
  • 1 onion

Soak the lentils over night in cold water.

The next day, chop the onion finely and fry in oil along with the diced bacon until transparent. Add the drained lentils and tomato paste, then stir in the flour to make a roux. Stir in the red wine and meat stock. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are soft. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Sprinkle over some chopped parsley and serve with buttered Spätzle and a pair of frankfurter-style sausages per person.

Swabian Pretzel

The pretzel is a traditional snack in Stuttgart and should not be missed - even if it does not have a recipe!

According to old Swabian stories, the pretzel was born out of necessity: Count ´Eberhard im Barte´  demanded that a sacrilegious baker in Bad Urach create a pastry through which the sun would shine three times. This was the only way the baker could escape execution. The baker was finally inspired by his wife, who stood before him with her arms folded. Following this example, the baker shaped the pretzel - and was acquitted.

The pretzel is a traditional snack in Swabia and is eaten at any time of day: plain, with butter, with a tasty topping or as a side dish. You can get the salty pretzel pastry at any bakery. The pretzels are especially delicious fresh from the oven!


Legend has it that a Cistercian monk in the monastery of Maulbronn did not want to give up meat despite the fasting period...

Without further ado, he mixed the forbidden meat with a spinach and vegetable mixture and wrapped it in pasta dough. This was to hide the meat from the Lord God: Hence the nickname "Herrgottsbescheißerle". The Maulbronn noodle pockets were well received and were copied by housewives in the country in a wide variety of ways: "Maulbronner Nudeltasche" became "Maultasche", which was traditionally eaten on Maundy Thursday.

Whether melted with onions, cooked in broth or roasted with egg - the Swabian speciality is so delicious that today it is on the menu in many different combinations. The classic consists of spinach, tartar, onions and herbs, among other things, but vegetarian versions or treats like salmon maultaschen are also popular.

Recipe for Swabian Maultaschen

For the pasta dough:

  • 150 g flour
  • 150 g coarse-ground flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the filling:

  • 170 g minced pork
  • 160 g minced beef
  • 170 g belly of pork
  • 50 g smoked Schinkenwurst (ham sausage)
  • 100 g white bread
  • 190 g onion
  • 180 g spinach
  • 180 g parsley
  • 20 g leek
  • 30 g liquid whole egg
  • 15 g salt
  • "Linde" seasoning mix (secret ingredient)

Step 1:
Knead the pasta ingredients firmly to form a smooth dough, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour (vacuum-pack if possible, this relaxes the dough more quickly).

Step 2:
Peel, chop and gently fry the onion. Clean and wash the parsley, spinach and leek. Soak the white bread. Mince the meat, spinach, Schinkenwurst (ham sausage), white bread, onion, parsley and leek. Add the seasonings and liquid whole egg and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Step 3: 
Roll out the pasta dough thinly and brush with a little egg. Put the filling into a pastry bag and make small heaps along one side of the dough. Fold over the other half of dough and divide off the Maultaschen using a round-handled spoon to press the dough together. Cut the Maultaschen into separate pockets and cook in boiling water.