A recipe for Älplermagronen (Swiss Alpine Macaroni)! Layers of pasta, cubed potatoes, shredded Gruyère cheese, and cream are baked until golden and bubbly, topped with caramelized onions, and served with applesauce.
Älplermagronen is a hearty and comforting pasta dish from the Swiss alps. While it is often made in one pot, this version layers the ingredients.
Pasta and potatoes are cooked until barely tender, layered in a casserole dish with shredded Gruyère or other Alpine cheese, coated in a seasoned cream mixture, and baked until golden and bubbly.
To add even more flavor, cover with the top with caramelized onions and pair with applesauce before serving. I personally prefer the applesauce on the side, but you can also mix them together for a combination of sweet and savory.
A Few Tips
I used dried penne pasta, but other options include the traditional Hörnli, Magronen, or another similar thin tube maccheroni-like pasta shape. The tube shape helps soak in all that flavor in every bite.
Let the potatoes boil for a bit before adding the pasta to keep the noodles from getting too tender. They will cook a little further as they bake. Arrange the casserole dish with three layers of pasta and finishing with a top layer of cheese.
I stuck simply to the pasta, potatoes, cheese, and onions, but you can also mix in some bacon, ham strips, or even Cervelat if you are looking for an addition of meat.
I caramelized the onions over low heat for about 30 minutes before scattering over the top of the Älplermagronen. You can also thinly slice the onions into rings, toss with about 1/4 cup flour, and fry them until crispy.
Looking for more comforting pasta dishes?
Älplermagronen (Swiss Alpine Macaroni) Recipe
Älplermagronen (Swiss Alpine Macaroni)
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter
- 2 large onions thinly sliced
- 1 pound (454 grams) waxy potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-1 inch (1.25-2.5 centimeter) cubes
- 12 ounces (340 grams) dried penne or hörnli, maccheroni
- 8 ounces (227 grams) shredded Gruyère or another Alpine cheese
- 3/4 cup (177 milliliters) heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Applesauce for serving
- Fresh parsley optional, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Lightly grease a large casserole dish.
- In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Add the onions, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized. This will take about 30 minutes.
- Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Once water comes to a boil, add the cubed potatoes. As they begin to soften, after about 5 minutes, add the dried penne. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and pasta is barely tender, about 7 minutes. The pasta will cook a little further as it bakes. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, season cream with salt, pepper, and about 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.
- Add 1/3 of penne and potatoes to the bottom of prepared dish. Evenly cover with 1/3rd of the grated cheese. Top with another 1/3 of penne and potatoes. Top with another 1/3rd of the cheese, then remaining penne and potatoes. Top evenly with the remaining shredded cheese. Pour the seasoned cream over the layers.
- Bake in preheated oven until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and evenly top with the caramelized onions.
- Serve the Älplermagronen hot either over the applesauce or with the applesauce on the side. If desired, top with a little fresh parsley or chives.