Austrian recipes

My family is close to its Austrian roots, and I truly enjoy cooking and exploring Austrian cuisine. Here I share some of the Austrian recipes which my family has been making for generations.

Strudel is a fundamental part of Austrian cuisine as well as its famous coffee culture. Who couldn’t love flaky apfelstrudel (apple strudel) as a delicious breakfast or midday snack with a cup of coffee? I can personally enjoy it any time of day – kind of like its savory relative, cabbage strudel.

Cabbage sauteed in olive oil and caraway seasoned with salt and pepper is folded into the paper-thin strudel dough, brushed in butter, and baked until crispy. Cabbage strudel is incredibly inexpensive to make and is deeply comforting.

I always love hearing my mom’s stories about her grandmother rolling out the strudel dough on a large tablecloth and how she would help roll it up. Something about this just makes my soul feel warm. 

Here, I split the dough into two smaller portions to make it more manageable while retaining that classic strudel flavor and texture.

Note about flour: my family always used Hecker’s flour, but any high-protein flour, like King Arthur, will work. 


for the dough

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup lukewarm water
  • Flour for rolling out dough

for the apple filling

  • 4 tart, crisp apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs

for the cabbage filling

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ large head of cabbage (about 2 cups) cut into ½ inch strips
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

for brushing the strudel

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted

dough steps

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the paddle. Slowly add in the water and 3 tablespoons of the oil and mix until combined. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is soft and pliable. Coat a medium-sized bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and place the dough inside. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to let the gluten relax.

apple filling steps

In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon zest, sugar, raisins, and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly and let sit.

cabbage filling steps

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the caraway seeds and toast them for 5 minutes, then add the cabbage, salt, and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally.

assembly steps

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Divide the dough in half and starting with the first half, roll out as thinly as possible on a lightly flour surface, using a rolling pin. Lift the dough from the surface and slowly and carefully stretch it by rotating it in the air. Place the thin dough on a piece of parchment paper and brush with butter. Cover ⅓ of the surface area with breadcrumbs and layer on the apple mixture. Fold over the sides and slowly roll the dough over itself from the filled side. Place on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter.

Repeat the rolling process with the second piece of dough, place on a sheet of parchment paper, and brush with butter. Then add the cabbage, fold over the sides, and roll up the dough. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with butter.

Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and flaky. Dust the apple strudel with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy the strudel hot or cold!

Breaded chicken, also known as “schnitzel” in German, is a real culinary delight. I am sure you have heard of wiener schnitzel, which is quite popular in Austria, one of the countries my family descends from. And who can forget the timeless song “My Favorite Things” in which Julie Andrews sings “schnitzel with noodles”. Thus, pastrami chicken schnitzel is a new take on an old classic.

Schnitzel meat is typically pounded to a thin slice, dredged in flour, dipped in egg, and covered with a fine layer of breadcrumbs, then fried up to crisp perfection.

For this pastrami chicken schnitzel, I have omitted the flour and opted to bake the schnitzel instead of frying it for a lighter, less laborious process. In place of the flour is a pastrami spice blend that has been finding its way into our cooking quite often. We use the smoker to make hot smoked salmon, all kinds of jerky, and meat — so we decided to create a pastrami spice mix to compliment it.

The best part of this pastrami chicken schnitzel recipe is that you will have leftovers of the pastrami spice mix after making this recipe, which you can use for other meat, potatoes, veggies, fish!

Note: The proportions on this spice blend are suggestions — feel free to add or subtract to your liking — but this is the essence of a pastrami seasoning.

serves 4


for the pastrami spice mix

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seed
  • 1 heaping teaspoon juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish style smoked paprika 
  • 1 pinch of Aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

for the chicken

  • 2 8-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs

In a saucepan, toast coriander, juniper berries, caraway seed, and black peppercorns individually, each for 3 minutes. Add to spice grinder and grinder until powdered. Add to a bowl and mix in the smoked paprika, aleppo pepper, mustard powder, salt, and brown sugar. Set aside.

Butterfly chicken breasts by running your knife alongside the middle and splitting in half. You will have 4 pieces.

Place one piece into a plastic freezer bag and pound it with a mallet or a rolling pin until it is about ⅛ inch thick. Repeat with 3 remaining pieces.

Generously season the chicken with pastrami mix and and let sit for 10 minutes.

Place the egg in a small shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a second small shallow bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Dip one piece of chicken in the egg then immediately in the breadcrumbs. Place on the sheet pan. Repeat with remaining chicken. Cook for 10 minutes then flip schnitzel on pan and cook for another 10 minutes on the other side. Schnitzel is finishing when it begins to turn golden brown. It will cook fairly quickly since the pieces are so thin.

Serve with noodles!

Growing up, friends and family devoured these Austrian cream cheese cookies every Christmas, Easter, and even on holidays in between. They are light but textured, and traditionally filled with lekvar which is an Austrian prune butter or apricot jam. I filled these with a mixed wineberry and mulberry jam that I had made back in the summer from berries I picked locally, but apricot has always been my favorite.

The dough, which is somewhere between cookie and pastry, is rolled super thin. When baked, it puffs ever so slightly and becomes flaky.

Though I am an avid proponent of my kitchen aid stand mixer, I have found that the power of the mixer causes the gluten to develop, making the dough too tough for these delicate cookies. So just like my ancestors made it for generations, the dough must be made with your hands.

So squeeze away and get the added benefit of stress relief! Isn’t that what baking is really about anyway?

Makes about 5 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups jam or preserves
  • Powdered sugar


Mix the butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Add the sugar  and egg yolks. Add in the flour and pinch and squeeze the dough with your hands until it comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the dough in quarters and working with one piece at a time, roll out dough as thinly as you can. Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut into squares.

Fill each square with a dollop of jam at the center. Fold one side into the center then fold the other side over it. I keep a bowl of water nearby to wet the corners of the dough so they stick together.

Bake until golden, 16 minutes, and let cool. Dust with powdered sugar. 

As the first major snowstorm of the season hits the east coast, I am grateful to be warm and snug indoors. I am also grateful to be cooking, and spaetzle is the ultimate snowstorm food – easy, cozy, and comforting.

Growing up, my grandma often made us a dish she called “cheese noodles.” It was exactly that: egg noodles with cottage cheese and a bit of butter, similar to the Austrian spaetzle that her mother made from scratch. I never met my great grandmother, but she was known for being an amazing cook and sharing many authentic dishes from her home country of Austria with her family. My mom remembers her spending full days drying out homemade egg noodles on the bed and stretching strudel dough paper thing to fill with apples, sweet cheese, nuts, and cabbage. More on that later.

My mom frequently made frozen spaetzle when I was younger, and I’ve learned, over the years, that it’s actually pretty easy to make from scratch. I love it served simply, with butter, salt and pepper, an ode to my childhood. But feel free to jazz it up with greens, cheese, mushrooms, or meat! 

The ingredients are simple, and the spaetzle cooking process comes with the added benefit of an arm workout. 

Serves 4


  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup half and half (or milk)


Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil.

Place the flour into a bowl and add the eggs and half and half to the center. Mix until it forms a batter.

Place a colander with ¼ inch holes, a large slotted spoon, or a spaetzle board over the pot and press the batter through the holes directly into the boiling water. It helps to slightly wet the dough with the boiling water to help soften it as it moves through the holes.

Cook the noodles until they float to the top, around 4 minutes.

Strain and add butter to prevent them from sticking together.

The noodles will float to the surface when they are finished cooking – about 4 minutes!