Johanna’s Knöpfli

Knöpfli (a sort of Spätzli or Spätzle, as they’re called in Germany) are a firm staple in my family, but having grown up with them I have never questioned my tried and tested, traditionally Swiss recipes (either plain, with spinach or with pumpkin). It took an Australian lady who moved to Switzerland and her ingenious ideas of how to add more nutritionally valuable ingredients to the pasta dough to get some more nutrients into her picky eaters. Once living in Switzerland, Johanna started off with my basic recipe and has developed it ever since. I love so much what she has done with my initial recipe that I asked her whether she would like to have one of her Knöpfli recipes published on this blog. And she said yes, yay!

Johanna’s personal path in Switzerland is quite impressive too by the way; she came to Switzerland with her Australian husband, not knowing any German. First she studied German and then went on studying – partly in German – to become an IBCLC lactation consultant. Today she’s busy providing breastfeeding support to new mums in the Zurich area at Milk and Motherhood and enjoys Swiss life with her husband and two boys in her free time.

Thank you for your inspiring recipe, Johanna!

Knöpfli with broccoli, spinach, pumpkin, chickpeas and cottage cheese

  • 170g broccoli
  • 60g spinach (I used pre-frozen)
  • 360g pumpkin (I used butternut)
  • 150g chickpeas
  • 75g cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 300g Knöpflimehl or plain flour
  • 1,5tsp salt 


Steam the broccoli and pumpkin until soft, and defrost the spinach. Drain any excess fluid. Blend the steamed vegetables together with the chickpeas and the cottage cheese. Add the eggs, flour and salt and mix well. If the mixture is too runny, add some flour. If it’s too thick, add some water. Push through the knöpfli sieve (or however you prepare your knöpfli) into boiling water, cook for 2-3minutes.


Instead of spinach, use kale or baby spinach. Instead of pumpkin use sweet potato. Skip the cottage cheese.

9 Replies to “Johanna’s Knöpfli”

  1. Awesome! I like everything about this 🙂

  2. why is the recipe name knofli?

    1. Knöpfli are just like Spätzli – except for their shape. “Knopfli” means “little button” in german.

  3. Sounds delicious! Thank you for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it, I am sure it will be tasty.

  4. Well done my famous friend!!!!! A winner!!! x

  5. The recipe looks awesome! How many servings does it make?

  6. I’ll need to buy a knopfli sieve next time I’m in Switzerland

    1. Little Zurich Kitchen says: Reply

      Yes! Great investment for sure

    2. The spaetzli makers are readily available in the US!

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