Upgrade Pasta Night with Our Expert Tips on How to Make Homemade Noodles
Homemade noodles are much easier to make than you think. You don't even need a pasta machine (though you can use one if you like). Here's your all-in-one guide for making the best homemade noodles. Check out our master homemade noodles recipe, and use your handcrafted creations in homemade beef and noodles, homemade chicken noodle soup, and other recipes that call on egg noodles.
Noodles come to the table in many countries around the world, like glass noodles in China, soba noodles in Japan, and the scores of pasta types and shapes common in Italy. What makes North American noodles (found in or served with classic comfort foods like chicken noodles) different than most other noodles is that they are often enriched with egg or egg yolks. It's true that homemade noodles take more time to prepare than store-bought. But they reward cooks and their lucky guests with fresher, richer, better-tasting noodles to serve with all kinds of dishes (beef stroganoff, chicken noodle soup, and casseroles, to name a few). Once you learn how to make noodles, you'll find all kinds of satisfying ways to enjoy them. Fresh pasta can be cut long or short, thick or thin, but (thanks to the eggs) they're among the richest noodles around.
How to Make Noodles from Scratch
For this demonstration, we're using our homemade noodles recipe. The pasta recipe makes enough egg noodles for five servings, so multiply the measurements as needed to serve your group.
1. Gather the Noodle Ingredients
To make the homemade noodle dough, grab your flour, salt, eggs, oil, and water. Yes, that's all.
2. Mix the Dough
In a large mixing bowl ($8, Bed Bath & Beyond) stir together flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. In a separate small bowl combine egg yolks and whole egg, the water, and oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring to combine. The dough will be sticky at this point. That's OK; it will become smooth as you knead it.
3. Knead the Dough
Sprinkle a clean kneading surface with the remaining flour. Turn dough out onto the floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total). To knead the dough, fold dough and then push it with the heel of your hand. Turn the dough and repeat folding and pushing until the dough reaches a smooth and elastic consistency. Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
Make-Ahead Tip: You can make the dough in advance to this point. Transfer the dough to an airtight container; freeze up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator, then continue with the next step.
4. Roll the Dough
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 12x9-inch rectangle. (Or pass it through a pasta machine until ¹⁄₁₆ inch thick.)
- Dust both sides of the dough portions with additional flour.
- Let the dough stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes.
Rolling Pin or Pasta Machine?
The easiest way to get homemade noodles to the desired thickness (which is pretty thin!) is by passing the dough through a pasta maker ($80, Crate & Barrel), so if you are nuts about homemade noodles, you might want to invest in one. However, you can also use a rolling pin ($12, Bed Bath & Beyond). It just takes a little more work.
5. Cut the Noodles
There are several shapes you can turn your homemade pasta into (see our guide for bowtie, lasagna, and more). Here's how to make traditional long noodles.
- Loosely roll the dough into a spiral.
- Cut the spiral crosswise into ¼-inch-wide strips for fettuccini or ⅛-inch for linguine.
- Unroll the strips to separate.
- Cut the strips into 2- to 3-inch lengths.
- At this point, you can cook the noodles immediately (more on that below), or dry and store them (see next steps).
6. Storing Homemade Noodles
- To store in the refrigerator: Let the noodles dry for 2 hours. Place in an airtight container and chill for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: Dry the noodles for at least 1 hour; place them in a freezer bag or freezer container and freeze for up to 8 months.
How to Cook Homemade Noodles
You can use homemade noodles whenever hot cooked noodles are called for. To substitute fresh homemade egg noodles for dried pasta in a recipe, use 6 to 8 ounces fresh for every 4 ounces dried called for in the recipe. If serving your fresh homemade noodles recipe as a side dish, plan on 1½ to 2 ounces for each side-dish serving. For main dishes, plan on 3 ounces fresh homemade egg noodles per serving. Here's how to cook homemade egg noodles for serving and for adding to recipes.
- Fill a large pot ($25, Target) with 3 quarts water. Bring the water to boiling; if desired, add 1 tsp. salt.
- Add noodles a few at a time so the water does not stop boiling. (This also prevents the noodles from sticking together.)
- Reduce the heat slightly and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1½ to 2 minutes or until the pasta is al dente (flexible but still slightly firm at the center).
- Drain the noodles in a colander ($10, Target), giving them a good shake to remove all the water.
Test Kitchen Tip: Be sure to test often for doneness near the end of cooking time. Fresh noodles can go from stiff to perfect to overly soft in a matter of seconds.
Using Homemade Egg Noodles
Once you've mastered our homemade noodles recipe, flavor them with one of our fantastic variations such as herb or roasted red pepper. You can also get creative by using homemade egg noodles for more than just chicken noodle soup or chicken noodles. Try making some homemade beef and noodles or add them to your pot roast. Skip takeout and make noodle bowls or from-scratch ramen soup.