2 ratings

Cheesy Baked Spaetzle with Butternut and Bacon

The perfect weeknight meal
E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/Food styling

This traditional German dish is the perfect weeknight dinner meal when you're craving comfort food. Made with smoky bacon, Swiss Gruyere cheese and butternut squash, this recipe is sure to be a new family favorite. 

This recipe by JeanMarie Brownson was originally published in the Chicago Tribune

Ready in
1 h and 20 m
30 m
(prepare time)
50 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


  • 8 Ounces Swiss Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese, with rind removed
  • 4 to 6 thick slices (about 6 ounces) smoky bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 Cup (about 6 ounces) peeled butternut squash, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1/4 Cup whipping cream, optional
  • 1 package (8 or 9 ounces) spaetzle or small orecchiette or pasta shells
  • 4 Cups arugula
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Small parsley leaves


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Generously butter an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.

Shred the cheese on the largest holes of a 4-sided box grater.

You’ll have about 2 ½ loosely packed cups.

Put bacon into a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat.

Cook, stirring often, until bacon starts to crisp and brown, about 10 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer crisp bacon to a plate.

Add onion and butternut to the bacon drippings.

Cook, stirring often, until vegetables start to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.

Season with ¼ teaspoon salt, and stir in cream if using.

Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot of well-salted water to the boil.

Add the spaetzle (or pasta) and boil, stirring often, until al dente (still a bit toothsome to the bite), 10 to 12 minutes. (Always check suggested cooking time on package.) Drain well.

Arrange one-third of the cooked spaetzle in the buttered baking dish.

Top with half of the onion mixture, half of the arugula, half of the crisp bacon and a generous sprinkling of pepper.

Top with one-third of the cheese.

Top with half of the remaining spaetzle, all the remaining onion mixture and arugula.

Top with pepper and half of the remaining cheese.

Layer on the remaining spaetzle bacon and cheese.

Bake in the center of the oven until everything is hot and melty, about 20 minutes.

Serve hot, sprinkled with small parsley leaves.