This classic German dish is a must try! Al dente noodles are pan fried with ham and finished with egg and cream. Easy comfort food!
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- Read on for relevant tips and step-by-step demonstration (1 min)
Schinkennudeln – Germany’s Favorite Fried Noodles
In Germany this pan fried pasta dish with egg is most often made with ham (even though bacon is a close second) and is known as Schinkennudeln (Schinken=ham and nudeln=noodles, pasta).
It is an ubiquitous pasta classic, a staple on many home tables faithfully loved by children and adults alike, but it is also a beer garden favorite. In fact you can find ham noodles on the menu of almost every Biergarten and Wirtshaus (pub). The crispy pasta and ham along with the creamy egg mixture and fresh herbs topping the dish is a light alternative to heavier pork dishes like Schweinshaxe or Schnitzel.
- Al dente pasta. Use any short cut pasta such as elbow (gomiti), spirals (fusilli), penne, bow ties (farfalline), gemelli (used here). Cook it according to instructions on the packaging, enough for 4 servings, then drain, rinse and let cool down a bit.
- Butter. Preferably clarified, but regular unsalted butter works fine. It adds a lot of flavor and a nice color to the fried pasta.
- Ham. Thick boiled ham is most often used. Get ham steak in the US – it has the perfect thickness to cube for this dish.
- Eggs. Schinkennudeln is typically finished off with beaten eggs.
- Heavy cream. Whisked into the eggs, as it sets the mixture coats the crispy pasta.
- Seasonings and herbs. Salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of nutmeg and fresh, finely chopped chives and/or parsley.
NOTE: Locals of Munich, the capital of Bavaria and the biergarten culture of Germany often jokingly refer to it as the northernmost of Italian cities. This is due to Munich’s proximity to Northern Italy and also due to the great crowds of Italians who visit the Oktoberfest or ‘festival della birra’ as they call it. Therefore in Bavaria the love for all types of Italian noodles is strong and many pasta dishes are part of the German culinary tradition.
Step by Step
- Prep. Begin by whisking the eggs and heavy cream together, set aside. Dice the ham, chop up the herbs and make sure the cooked pasta you will be using is nicely drained.
- Pan fry. Over medium high heat melt the butter in a large skillet (or use two smaller ones, simultaneously) and add the pasta and ham. Fry until they begin to get golden brown and crispy here and there and be sure to stir gently, but constantly, making sure that all noodles get a chance to be in contact with the skillet.
- Finish with egg. Lower the heat to medium and season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour the egg & cream mixture over the pasta, stir a bit and let cook until the mixture has set. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the herbs over the Schinkennudeln.
Popular Variations of Schinkennudeln
- Cheesy version. Instead of adding egg and cream to the pan fried pasta and ham some people add a handful or so of grated good melting cheese such as Gouda or Emmentaler. It melts over the hot pasta and the dish is served immediately.
- Bacon & onions version. Here chopped bacon is rendered until crispy, then diced onion is sauted in the fat. The al dente noodles are added once the onion are soft, then after some time of all these ingredients cooking together the egg
- Casserole version. The cooked pasta and the ham are placed in a very well buttered casserole dish, then the egg and cream mixture is poured over them. Sometimes a topping of grated cheese is sprinkled on top. The dish is baked until the eggs have set nicely.
- Vegetarian version. Instead of ham a vegetable such as asparagus or zucchini is added. Mushrooms work great too.
Other Recipes You Might Like
- 4 servings of cooked al dente pasta, rinsed and drained (such as gemelli, macaroni, bow ties etc.)*
- 6 oz cooked ham
- 3-4 tbsp butter
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- pinch nutmeg
- salt, to taste for seasoning
- pepper, to taste for seasoning
- chives or parsley (or both) for garnish
1. Whisk the eggs and heavy cream together and set aside. Dice the ham; finely chop the chives and/or parsley; make sure the al dente pasta is nicely drained.
2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and ham and pan fry until they begin to get golden brown and crispy. Stir them and turn over while they are cooking to ensure even contact with the bottom of the skillet.
3. Lower the heat to medium and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir, then add the eggs and heavy cream mixture, stir again and let cook until set. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the chopped herb(s) over the Schinkennudeln.
*cook the pasta in salted water as per the package instructions. A serving is about 1/2 cup dry short pasta which ends up being about 1 cup cooked. It depends on the shape of the noodle.
For other popular variations of this dish see the post.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 588Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 338mgSodium: 1104mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 19g