A recipe for Ghackets mit Hörnli (Swiss Macaroni with Meat Sauce)! A flavorful meat sauce with vegetables and herbs is served over macaroni and alongside applesauce for a comforting and easy meal.
Ghackets mit Hörnli (I have also seen the dish spelled as Ghacktes mit Hörnli and Ghackets und Hörnli) is an incredibly comforting noodle dish from Switzerland topped with a rich meat sauce and served with applesauce (Apfelmus). Over the years, it has continued to be a personal favorite as the weather gets cooler and on days when I am looking for a full meal that is easy with minimal effort.
The meat-based sauce comes together in about 40 minutes. Ground beef is combined with sautéed vegetables (I used onion, carrot, celery, and garlic), broken apart, and simmered in a red wine beef sauce with herbs until tender and reduced. During the last few minutes of cooking, the noodles are boiled in another pot until just tender, al dente. Macaroni works especially well as a pasta shape since the small holes help soak up the applesauce and toppings.
Either serve the applesauce all in the same bowl with the macaroni and meat sauce or in a small dish to the side so you can dip each bite. Having a small bowl to the side is the preference with the kids. They sometimes like to dip every single individual piece of macaroni at a time.
Immediately before serving, I topped the Ghackets mit Hörnli with a little grated Gruyère cheese. You can also use freshly grated Parmesan.
If desired, sprinkle the tops with a little parsley. I simply added a couple of extra thyme sprigs for a pop of color.
Looking for more Swiss recipes?
- Älplermagronen (Swiss Alpine Macaroni)
- Basler Brunsli (Swiss Chocolate Almond Cookies)
- Meitschibei (Swiss Hazelnut Horseshoe Pastries)
Ghackets mit Hörnli (Swiss Macaroni with Meat Sauce) Recipe
Adapted from Caitlin Ball
Ghackets mit Hörnli (Swiss Macaroni with Meat Sauce)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 1 carrot peeled and finely diced
- 2 celery ribs finely diced
- 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
- 1 pound (450 grams) ground beef
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) red wine
- 1 cup (240 ml) beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound (450 grams) dried macaroni
- 2 cups (400 grams) applesauce
- Freshly grated Gruyère or Parmesan for garnish
- In a large saucepan, drizzle oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Stir in the minced garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the beef and cook, stirring to break apart with a spoon, until browned. Stir in the tomato paste.
- Pour in the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze and remove any browned bits. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce slightly, then add the beef stock, bay leaf, paprika, and thyme.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has reduced, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni when the sauce is almost done and cook until al dente, just tender. Drain and divide among serving bowls.
- Top the tender macaroni with the meat sauce and garnish with Gruyère or Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with applesauce.