Traditional Swiss Älplermagronen recipe


The traditional Swiss Älplermagronen recipe, a Swiss Alpine classic, is a hearty and comforting dish that brings together the wholesome flavors of pasta, potatoes, cheese, and onions. Originating from the Alpine regions, particularly the canton of Uri, Älplermagronen was historically a staple for Swiss mountain farmers. This dish perfectly embodies the robust and sustaining qualities required for a day’s labor in the Alpine fields. In this detailed exploration, we will unravel the secrets behind crafting the perfect Älplermagronen – from selecting the finest ingredients to mastering the art of achieving that harmonious blend of flavors that defines this Alpine delight.



Choose a short pasta variety like elbow macaroni or rigatoni. The pasta should be cooked al dente to maintain its texture when combined with other ingredients.


Opt for waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or Charlotte. Waxy potatoes hold their shape well during cooking, contributing to the dish's overall texture.


Gruyère and Emmental cheeses are the stars of Älplermagronen. Gruyère adds a nutty and slightly sweet flavor, while Emmental contributes a mild and buttery taste. The combination of these Swiss cheeses creates a rich and gooey texture.


Yellow onions are commonly used to add a sweet and savory note to Älplermagronen. They are typically caramelized to enhance their natural sweetness.

Milk and Cream:

A combination of milk and cream is used to create a luscious and creamy sauce. The milk provides a base, while the cream adds richness to the dish.


Unsalted butter is used for sautéing the onions and greasing the baking dish. It adds a velvety richness to the overall flavor.


Freshly grated nutmeg is a key spice that enhances the savory flavors of Älplermagronen. It should be used sparingly to provide a subtle warmth.

Swiss Älplermagronen recipe


  1. Cook Pasta and Potatoes:

    • Cook the pasta and potatoes separately. The pasta should be cooked al dente, while the potatoes are boiled until just tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Caramelize Onions:

    • In a skillet, melt butter and caramelize thinly sliced onions over low heat until golden brown. This process enhances the sweetness of the onions.
  3. Prepare the Cheese Sauce:

    • In a saucepan, heat milk and cream until warm. Add grated Gruyère and Emmental cheese gradually, stirring constantly until melted. Season with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
  4. Combine Ingredients:

    • In a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta, potatoes, and caramelized onions. Pour the cheese sauce over the mixture, ensuring even distribution.
  5. Bake to Perfection:

    • Transfer the combined mixture into a buttered baking dish. Bake in the oven until the top forms a golden-brown crust, and the interior is creamy and bubbly.
  6. Serve Hot:

    • Älplermagronen is best served piping hot. Portion onto plates, ensuring each serving has a mix of the crispy top layer and the creamy interior.

Curiosities about the traditional Swiss Älplermagronen recipe

älplermagronen Swiss Recipe
  • Alpine Farming Tradition: Traditional Swiss Älplermagronen recipe has its roots in the tradition of Alpine farming. It was a practical and sustaining dish for farmers working in the mountainous regions, providing a hearty and energy-packed meal.

  • Serving with Applesauce: In some regions, Älplermagronen is served with applesauce on the side, adding a sweet and fruity element to balance the savory flavors.

  • Älplerchilbi Festivals: Älplermagronen is often associated with Älplerchilbi festivals, where communities come together to celebrate Alpine culture. These festivals may include traditional music, costumes, and, of course, a feast featuring Älplermagronen.

  • National Dish Recognition: In 2019, Älplermagronen was officially recognized as part of Switzerland’s intangible cultural heritage, emphasizing its cultural significance and enduring popularity.

Scroll to Top