Gruyere cheese is widely considered to be one of the most delectable Swiss cheeses out there. It melts beautifully at a relatively low temperature, becoming a delicious gooey mess of nutty, salty, and sweet cheesy goodness. In this state, it is one of the most versatile cheeses out there. We struggle to find things that it won’t improve. It really is amazing how many things you can cook with it. Pizza, sandwiches, fondue, soups, lasagna, pasta dishes – you name it, it goes well with gruyere. But, what if you have run out of gruyere and found yourself in a pinch? Well, this little guide should see you right. There are actually loads of decent gruyere substitutes out there. We’ve picked the best ones and also given you some tips on what to avoid. So, if you’re looking to experiment with your cooking, you’ve come to the right place!
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Cheddar cheese makes a terrible substitute for gruyere. The texture is totally different and it melts at a much higher temperature than gruyere. American versions of Swiss cheese can also have this very same characteristic, and so should be avoided if possible. If you are based in America, the best idea is to check to see do any of the stores around you import cheeses from Europe.
Common uses for gruyere cheese
Gruyere cheese works great in pretty much every dish that will require the cheese content to have a ‘gooey’ texture. Here are a few of our personal favorite dishes that incorporate a gruyere style cheese. All of our listed substitutes will fare just fine if used for these recipes.
- French onion soup
- Sausage and Swiss chard lasagna
There are infinite other dishes where gruyere type cheeses would make a welcome addition to the overall recipe. Seeing as it is the case that the flavor of these cheese is inherently mild, it is hard to offend anyone with the flavor. In this way, it is sort of a cheese for everyone, and for pretty much every occasion.
Finding authentically produced gruyere can be quite problematic in many parts of the world, but fear not, there are actually probably hundreds of cheeses out there that possess similar qualities. Because of this, it was quite hard to narrow our list down to a mere 5 cheeses. The cheeses that have made the list, we consider to be the best ones out there that you actually get your hands on with relative ease.
So, without any further ado, here are our top best 5 substitutes for gruyere cheese that money can buy!
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the ones that work best. Emmental, or Emmenthaler, is named after the region is Switzerland that it hails from. It is probably best described as a medium-hard cheese with subtle nutty undertones. So, this will already sound quite similar to gruyere on quite a few counts. And, it is remarkably similar. The flavor isn’t as rich as gruyere perhaps, but the list of recipes that it complements is just as long as gruyere’s.
Emmental melts at a pretty low temperature, making it a decent stand-in for dishes such as fondues, pastries, pasta dishes, and lasagna. In fact, the list most definitely goes on longer than this. Try experimenting with it a little. It has such a subtle flavor that the chances that it will offend your palette are very slim – especially if you are fond of gruyere to begin with. Emmental won’t cost you all that much either. A decent example of Emmental should cost around 15$ per pound.
Some of you may never have heard of Jarlsberg before, and this will be that it hasn’t quite attracted quite the same amount of fame as the other options on that list. We can’t figure out why this is. Sure, it doesn’t come from a country that we would typically associate with cheese production – Norway. But, we haven’t been giving the Norwegians enough credit as this is an absurdly good melting cheese. It is pretty soft in texture and seems to almost melt on the tongue. It also has the same nutty and sweet tones in its flavor. Essentially, the lesser-known Jarlsberg can do everything that gruyere can do. And it is cheap! This excellent substitute will only set you back about 13$ per pound.
Comte is pretty much just the French version of gruyere, so there’s no real difficulty when adapting to suit the recipe that you are putting together. Comte is produced from unpasteurized cow’s milk and melts at a similar temperature to gruyere. The recipe is protected, so the name Comte only applies to cheese that comes from a certain type of cow. The flavor is best described as a slightly more decadent version of gruyere. But, don’t fret that the flavors will be so strong as to dwarf the other flavors in your recipe. This simply won’t happen. Feel free to use it on everything that you would use gruyere on as well as part of a cheeseboard or a carpaccio. Comte is quite a bit pricier than gruyere, but still worth it in our humble opinion. A pound of Comte will set you back at least $25.
4. Roth’s Grand Cru
This cheese is THE American go-to option when substituting for gruyere. Roth’s, a Wisconsin company, make a gruyere cheese according to the original Swiss recipe and technique. Because of this, they are allowed to use the protected term ‘gruyere’. When using this, the first thing that you will notice is that it possesses the exact same traits as a Swiss gruyere does. It melts at the same temperature and holds quite a bit of that nutty and sweet flavor that you would expect it to. It is also quite reasonably priced and can come in at a paltry 15$ per pound – an excellent price for such a high-quality cheese!
Made in both Switzerland and France, this semi-soft and versatile cheese has a wonderfully complex flavor palette. We love to use this cheese as a topping for pretty much everything. It belongs on top of a lasagna, or even on chips. It can also add quite a bit of flavor to baked vegetarian dishes. Raclette melts at a similar temperature to gruyere and can almost be indistinguishable from it when used in certain dishes. For example, when you use a raclette as part of a French onion soup, it doesn’t alter the overall flavor of the dish whatsoever.
All of that being said, it may not be as easy to source as quite a few of the other cheeses here. But, don’t let that put you off using it in the future. Cheese fanatics are often on the search for a new delicacy, and this one is definitely worth trying. Raclette cheese is best served with a warm drink. The hot liquid helps the body to digest it and avoids it hardening up again in the stomach. We realize that this might be a little off-putting, but give it a go regardless if you get the chance. A delectable raclette will set you back anywhere from 16 to 20$ per pound.
So, at this point, you might well be wondering how exactly does substituting for gruyere work. Well, luckily, there are no great hurdles that you will have to face by using any of these replacements. Just always remember to keep it stored in the appropriate way in the fridge, and use it before it spoils. When it comes to substituting, the best move is to start small. Familiarize yourself with the subtle flavors of the replacement cheese before fully committing to it. After all, there is a chance that you won’t be that keen on the new cheese. It doesn’t happen often, but it can happen. When you have established whether or not you’re into the flavor, all of these cheeses will work at a 1:1 ratio with gruyere.
Naturally, some of the more fanatical cheese lovers out there will immediately want to douse the recipe in cheese entirely. To this we say, why not?