Schinkennudeln (German ham and noodles dish)

Schinkennudeln is a quick and satisfying ham and pasta casserole for hungry people. One of the best-loved German pasta dishes, just ham, eggs and noodles. This meal can be prepared in under 30 minutes, with pantry ingredients, and is guaranteed to be a winner with the kids.

schinkennoodles in a pan.  Around you can see loose pasta, a bowl with pasta, an egg carton, some sliced ​​ham and broken egg shells.
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What are Schinkennudeln

There are many recipe variations for Schinkennudeln but they tend to have 3 main components. Cooked pasta, cooked ham and egg. The boiled pastaare fried in the pan with the ham, and the eggs are poured over to create the sauce.

“Schinken” is the German word for Ham. “Nudeln” is the word for noodles /pasta. As an English speaker, you would pronounce it “SH-ENK-EN-NOO-DELL”.

It is similar to the Italian caborna but less creamy. Schinken noodles is a comfort food that makes a quick lunch or dinner. It is also one of the first dishes that students make after they leave home, as its so easy.

However, do not assume that because it is so easy, it is looked down upon. You will also find this dish on lunch menus in restaurants, as it is so popular.

Perfect for leftover pasta

I could not find the precise origins of this dish. It is no secret that Germans love Italian food, and especially in the 60 and 70s an influx of Italian pasta dishes can be seen. This is also when the famous German Pasta Salad began to appear.

It developed as a dish to use up leftovers, so the recipe is quite versatile. Fry the leftover pasta from the day before with ham and eggs and a whole new dish is created. It is similar to the German Bratkartoffeln (Fried Potatoes) where the same technique is applied to use up old potatoes.

A bowl of schinkennudeln pasta in the background a saucepan with noodles

How to make Schinkennudeln

Ingredients

  • Noodles/Pasta – any shape can be used. For example: Penne, Fussilini, Maceroni
  • Cooked Ham – in Germany you would use Kochschinken, a thickly cut cooked ham. In the UK I would select thicker cuts of ham, not the wafter-thin variety. You can also use leftover gammon or hams.
  • Onion
  • Eggs
  • Milk – but this can be substituted with cream if you want an especially creamy pasta.
  • Grated cheese – I used grated Emmental, but you can use any kind. Gouda, Gruyere, or medium to mild cheddar works well.
  • Spices – garlic granuals, sweet paprika powder, cayenne papper (only if you like a bit of spice)

Step by Step Instructions

Schinkennudeln recipe steps: 1 boil the pasta.  2. Finely chop onions and ham.
  1. Cook the noddles/pasta as per packet instructions in salt water until al dente. Drain well.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, cube the ham then finely slice the onions.
steps to make schinkennudeln.  Set of 3. Mix egg and milk and spices.  2 fry pasta with the bacon and 3. pour egg mixture over pasta.
  1. Add the spices and egg to the milk and whisk until you achieve a homogenous mass. Mix in the grated cheese.
  2. Heat the butter in the frying pan and fry the ham and onions until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the noodles/pasta to the pan and fry with the onions and ham briefly.
  4. Pour the egg-milk mixture over the noodles/pasta, and cook while stirring continuously. Once the egg is cooked and the cheese is melted, remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Before serving, sprinkle chopped chives or parsley. Serve immediatly.

Recipe Variations

  • Go Basic: to make the basic schinkenpasta recipe all you need is pasta, ham and eggs, salt and pepper. All the other ingridients are just refinements.
  • Turn it into a casserole: Instead of frying the ham noodles in the pan, you can place it in a casserole dish. Pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the top is cripy golden. This dish would be called Nudelauflauf (Ham and Pasta Casserole)
  • Add leeks: replace the onions with leeks. Leeks and ham is a classic combination and taste delicious in this recipe.
  • Use bacon instead of ham. This is not the classic Schinkennudlen recipe, but will still give the dish a lovley smokey flavour.
  • Add heavy / whipping cream or sourcream to the pasta instead of milk. This will give a more creamy texture.
  • Replace the spices with grated nutmeg.
  • Replace the garlic granules with a fresh garlic clove.
  • Add vegetables: You can add peas, grated carrot or green beans or mushrooms to this dish for some additional vitamins.
  • Make it vegetarian by replacing the ham with vegetables such as leeks and carrots.
Ham and noodle casserole in the background there are slices of ham and a carton of eggs.

How to serve

This ham and noodle casserole can be eaten as a quick meal by itself. However, if you want you can serve with a green side salad and an extra helping of parmesan.

It tastes great with a glass of German beer. This is how it is served in German pubs (Wirtshaus).

Storage Instructions

This German ham and noodle dish will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or pan.

You can freeze this pasta dish as well in an airtight container. Defrost at room temperature and then sprinkle with some water before reheating. This will help make the noodles soft again.

More German Dishes

Recipe

A frying pan with schinken noodles

Schinkennudeln (German ham and noodle dish)

Marita

Schinkennudeln is an easy one-pan recipe, consisting of fried pasta, ham and egg. A real comfort food that is quick to make and a favorite with kids.

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine German

Servings 4 people

Calories 513 kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 g pasta such as Penne, Fussilini, Maceroni,
  • 100 g cooked ham
  • 2 . butter medium size
  • 1 onion about 100 g
  • 4 eggs medium size
  • 100 ml milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ½ test sweet paprika powder
  • ½ test garlic granuals
  • ½ test Cayenne Pepper optional
  • 100 g grated cheese use Swiss Emmental, Guyere, Gouda or medium cheddar
  • 1 handful parsley or chives optional to garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the noddles/pasta as per packet instructions in salt water until al dente.

  • Cube the ham and finely slice the onions.

  • Add the spices and egg to the milk and whisk until you achieve a homogenous mass. Mix in the grated cheese.

  • Heat the butter in the frying pan and fry the ham and onions until the onions turn translucent.

  • Add the noodles/pasta to the pan and fry briefly.

  • Pour the egg-milk mixture over the noodles/pasta, and cook while stirring continuously. Once the egg is cooked and the cheese is melted, remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Before serving, sprinkle chopped chives or parsley. Serve immediatly.

Notes

Please check the step by step pictures in the main post for reference:

Recipe Variations

  • Go Basic: to make the basic schinkenpasta recipe all you need is pasta, ham and eggs, salt and pepper. All the other ingredients are just refinements.
  • Turn it into a casserole: Instead of frying the noodles in the pan, you can place them in a casserole dish. Pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the top is crispy golden.
  • Add leeks: replace the onions with leeks. Leeks and ham is a classic combination and tastes delicious in this recipe.
  • Use bacon instead of ham. This is not the classic Schinkennudlen recipe, but will still give the dish a lovely smokey flavour.
  • Add heavy/whipping cream or sour cream to the pasta instead of milk. This will give a more creamy texture.
  • Replace the spices with grated nutmeg.
  • Replace the garlic granules with a fresh garlic clove.
  • Add vegetables: You can add peas, grated carrot or green beans to this dish for some additional vitamins.
  • Make it vegetarian by replacing the ham with vegetables such as leeks and carrots.

Storage Instructions

This German ham and noodle dish will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or pan.
You can freeze this pasta dish as well in an airtight container. Defrost at room temperature and then sprinkle with some water before reheating. This will help make the noodles soft again.

Nutrition

Calories: 513kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 26gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonnounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 226mgSodium: 573mgPotassium: 385mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 937IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 257mgIron: 2mg

Keyword pasta and ham casserole, schinken noodles, Schinkennudeln

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