If you want to cook classic Swiss food at home, here are simple recipes in English for the most popular dishes in Switzerland. I explain special ingredients and techniques so you can replicate these dishes in your kitchen anywhere in the world. My hope is that you can recall happy memories in the Swiss alps by cooking this food for your own family. En guete!
Classic Swiss Recipes
I don’t claim to be an expert on traditional Swiss cooking methods. But I have the outsider perspective, knowing what non Swiss need to know to cook Swiss food. I’ve learned in the kitchens of Swiss friends and I also worked part-time for 8 years cooking at a Swiss community center café, where I learned recipes from the other cooks. Now I can make my kids’ favorite Swiss food they’ve eaten at mountain huts and friend’s homes.
My goal here is to give you enough info to recreate a tasty version of these classic dishes at home, not necessarily the most authentic (in some cases, awkward and antiquated) version of the recipe. I hope you have fun and eat well.
Swiss Cooking Blogs
Here are a few websites we like, that focus on Swiss recipes. These have been great resources for me in my Swiss cooking journey. Thank you!
- Helvetic Kitchen – also author of Swiss Cookies
- Little Zürich Kitchen
- Cuisine Helvetica – also the author of the Swiss Bread book
- Betty Bossi (German only) – the Betty Crocker of Switzerland
Swiss Food in the alps
My Swiss cooking experience
Like many bloggers, I’m a self-taught hobby cook, obsessed with well-researched detailed recipes. After I moved to Switzerland, I found Swiss recipes extremely frustrating because the instructions are short, vague and imprecise. They assume you know a variety of cooking techniques, without explaining them or telling you when to use them.
When I cooked with my Swiss friends, I paid close attention to the things they did that weren’t in the recipes, things that were obvious to them but not to non Swiss cooks.
In 2012, I started cooking Wednesday lunch at the café in our neighborhood community center. Most Swiss kids don’t have school on Wednesday afternoons. So many community centers offer an inexpensive lunch for families.
I had eaten there for years with my own kids. Then I started helping out for free in the kitchen because I wanted to learn how to make Swiss & German food from the current cook. She taught me to make all sorts of traditional foods. One day I make 6 kg of spätzli, rubbing dough into boiling water for over an hour.
My favorite thing about cooking there was that the recipes were all very simple and no fuss, a stark contrast to my fussy detailed oriented American Cook’s Illustrated ways.
After a few months, the cook got another job and I took over. For the next 8 years, I cooked a mixture of Swiss classics and my own SoCal food including tacos. It was a great experience.