Älplermagronen or Swiss Mac and Cheese is a heartwarming comfort food, originating in the Swiss Alps. Also called Alpine Macaroni, a hearty meal loved both by parents and children! There's no better way to warm up on a cold winter day than with a hot plate of this creamy, cheesy dish.
You'll love this recipe because it's
- Comfort Food - an easy hit of carbs (potato and pasta) that's made from scratch
- Fancy Mac and Cheese - elevate your dinner by making this Swiss recipe that's familiar yet completely different
- Easy - no roux needed, plus you can make it stovetop or bake in the oven
- Potatoes - sliced or cubed, then boiled
- Pasta - smooth tube pasta called Magronen (substitute with Penne)
- Milk - whole milk
- Onions - caramelized and topped as a garnish
- Garlic - adds a bit of a flavor kick
- Bacon - fried bacon sprinkled when serving
Älplermagronen vs Mac n Cheese
There are are a few differences from American style Mac and cheese and Älpler Magronen. This Swiss dinner recipe uses grated Swiss Cheese as its cheese sauce, super easy. It's not made with a roux as a cheese base, like my Pumpkin Mac and Cheese. The other difference is the addition of sliced potatoes, bacon, and apple sauce.
Best Pasta for Älplermagronen
There is a specific pasta that's used when you make Aelplermagronen. It's a straight, tube egg pasta called Älplermagronen specifically sold for this recipe. However, it can be hard to find, so you can substitute with any tubular pasta shape available. I used Penne pasta or Pennette which is a thinner tubed pasta.
How to make Älplermagronen
- Cook Potatoes - slice potatoes into ½" slices. Boil in a saucepan until cooked
- Prepare Pasta - Cooked tubed pasta (penne), drain and set aside
- Fry Bacon - slice bacon, fry and set aside
- Caramelize Onions - fry onions in the bacon fat, add garlic
- Mix - in saucepan, mix cooked pasta and potatoes. Over medium heat add milk, grated cheese and spices. Stir until cheesy
- Serve - top with caramelized onions and crispy bacon
Swiss Mac and Cheese with Applesauce
Aelplermagronen is usually served with apple sauce, but sometimes people serve with dried apple pieces instead. Apple sauce adds sweetness that you can either enjoy alongside your Mac and Cheese, or eat after as a dessert.
This recipe is made like a one pot recipe, similar to traditional Mac and Cheese. However, you can layer the cooked potato and and pasta in a casserole dish that's cooked in the oven, like a Swiss Pasta Bake.
- Prepare - grease casserole baking dish. Combine together cooked potatoes, pasta and cheese.
- Pour - mix milk together with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour over pasta.
- Preheat - oven to 350°F/180°C and bake for 15 minutes until heated through.
- Caramelize - while baking, fry bacon and onions, ready to garnish when Älplermagronen is out of the oven.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Faster - to speed up the cooking time, cook pasta for a few minutes before you add potatoes into the same pot (cook pasta al dente)
- Heavy Cream - instead of milk, use a heavy cream or milk it 50/50 with milk for a creamier cheesy pasta
- Substitute Speck - instead of bacon, find a thick piece of European smoked Speck
- Extra Cheesy - double the cheese, super creamy!
- Crispy Onions - before frying onions, lightly toss onion rings in 2 tablespoons of flour. When you fry them, the will have a crispy crust
- Sweet Potato - make with sweet potatoes for flavor twist
Swiss Cheese Substitutes
If you can't find Swiss Cheese like Emmental or Gruyere, substitute with these cheeses.
- Sharp White Cheddar
- Jarlsberg Cheese
- Compté Cheese
- Fridge - place in airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Freezer - allow to cool and place in an airtight container. Place in freezer and enjoy within 3 months. To re-heat, defrost in the fridge and heat up in saucepan or microwave.
Comfort Foods You Need To Try
- Swiss Cheese Fondue
- Sheet Pan Gnocchi
- Veal Orloff - Meat and Potato Casserole
- Instant Pot Hamburger Helper
- Chicken Stroganoff
- Lasagna with Chorizo
- Linguine Vongole
- Osso Bucco
The ultimate comfort food, a classic from the Switzerland. Once you try this recipe, you'll never go back to American Mac and Cheese. Alplermagronen is perfect for lunch or dinner! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 lb (500g) potatoes sliced or cubed
- 16 oz (500g) pasta penne
- 2 onions thinly sliced in rings
- 1 clove garlic
- 1½ cups milk or ½ and ½ cream/milk
- ½ lb (250g) bacon sliced
- ½ lb (250g) Swiss Cheese Gruyere and Emmenthal
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg optional
- Slice the potatoes into ½" slices or small chunky pieces. Place in a saucepan, bring to a boil until cooked. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the tubed pasta (penne) according to al dente instructions, drain and set aside. (Do NOT overcook the pasta)
- Fry the sliced bacon in a frying pan, set aside, saving the bacon fat for the onions.
- In the same frying pan with the extra bacon fat, fry the onions until they are golden and really caramelized. Add the minced garlic just when the onions start to turn translucent for maximum flavor. Set aside.
- Mix together the cooked pasta and potatoes, and add milk over medium heat, stirring constantly. As the milk heats through, slowly add the grated cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Keep stirring until it turns into a cheesy sauce.
- Serve immediately, topped with the caramelized onions, bacon and apple sauce on the side.
©PetersFoodAdventures.com *originally posted Feb 2020, updated April 2023