Have a little extra fun this weekend and impress your guests with this easy cheese fondue recipe. Learn how to make it, how to serve it, what type of things to dip in it, and why it’s more than just melted cheese!
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Warm, Easy, and Cheesy
Cheese fondue is such a fun shareable appetizer! It’s something a little different than the way most of us serve appetizers but special occasions call for a little something extra!
I never thought I’d see the day when cheese would be competing for my love of chocolate, but when it comes to making fondue, they both have my heart. Sometimes I just crave the melty cheesiness like my pretzel cheese dip, nacho cheese or queso blanco. It’s a great savory option when serving a crowd. You could even swap the chocolate fondue on valentine’s day and it would still be a hit!
It’s a rich and flavorful cheese dip that stays warm and melty until you’re done with it.
I love setting up a cheese fondue for New Year’s eve appetizer or on game nights with friends. As fancy as it appears, it’s an easy cheese fondue that anyone can whip up!
Why This Recipe Works
- Customizable. There are so many variations to an easy cheese fondue recipe. Starting with the type of cheese, the flavor additions, and what you dip in it. The options are endless.
- Can feed anywhere from two people to a small crowd. It’s a great easy way to serve a crowd something special. No one needs to know how effortless it is.
- Much easier to make than it looks! It’s really just a fancy way of melting cheese, so as the directions are followed, anyone can make it!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Garlic: All you need are half cloves. No need to mince, or grate them because all you’re using it for is to infuse the cheese melt with a subtle hint of garlic.
- Chicken broth: A yummy flavor addition in lieu of traditional dry white wine (but by all means use it if you’d like).
- Apple cider vinegar: Again, because we’re not using any alcohol in ours, we need a bit of acid to help keep the consistency of the cheese fondue nice and smooth. Otherwise, it might start to curdle.
- Cheese: The fun part! I use a combination of gruyere, fontina, and Swiss cheese. You can use whatever different types of cheese you prefer.
- Cornstarch: This helps to coat the grated cheese and stops it from becoming lumpy as it melts together.
- Nutmeg: A warm spice that adds incredible flavor and pairs so well with sharp, creamy cheeses.
- Hot sauce: A dash of your favorite sauce for heat is just the thing! Frank’s red hot is usually what I’ll use. If you like yours super spicy, add extra or use a bit of cayenne pepper instead.
Best Cheese for Fondue
There are no hard and fast rules about what type you must use, but you want to consider that it should melt easily. I’m talking buttery smooth and creamy.
If you’re not using one that is traditionally creamy, it’s great to pair it with one that is. Here are some great choices:
How to Make Cheese Fondue
- Flavor the pot. This is a neat trick to use if you just want to get a subtle hint of garlic into the fondue without overpowering the mixture. What you’ll do is rub the fresh garlic cloves all over the inside of a small pot. Then, discard the cloves.
- Add the liquids and prep the cheese. Pour in the broth and vinegar over medium heat and bring them to a simmer. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded gruyere, fontina, and Swiss cheese with the cornstarch to coat.
- Add it to the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in 1/2 cup at a time of mixed shredded cheese at a time until melted. It should be about 3 minutes until it’s all completely smooth and melted. Watch that it doesn’t burn.
- Stir in extra flavor. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in nutmeg and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Light the Sterno and set it on the fondue holder. Serve with desired dippers.
What to Dip in Cheese Fondue?
Oh, the fun we have when deciding what to dunk into a gooey, melty, cheesy sauce! Here are just a few ideas to get you started, but use your imagination!
- If the sauce is too thick, whisk in 1-2 Tablespoons of warm broth.
- Too thin? Whisk in a bit more cornstarch or add a little bit more cheese.
- Use either a fondue pot or a mini crockpot to keep warm and gooey.
- The sauce can get thick the longer it sits. If that’s the case, warm it up for 15 seconds in the microwave.
- Grate the cheese. There’s no room for packaged shredded stuff here! If you’re making fondue, be sure to grate your own fresh from a block. Pre-grate will not melt the same way.
It’s a French word that means “to melt.”
Since we are melting the ingredients for the cheese fondue on the stove, you will just need a fondue pot that keeps the cheese warm. Any fondue set that contains a pot that holds heat well and comes with a sterno works. If you don’t have a fondue pot, you can use a slow cooker and keep it set on warm.
First, shred your own cheese. Also, you want to make sure to follow the directions that say, to add 1/2 cup at a time, melting in between each addition. Don’t add too much at a time, and make sure to stir continuously.
It’s best to eat it right away, however you can keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the microwave or stovetop to enjoy it once again.
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- 1 garlic clove , halved
- ¾ cup chicken broth *see notes
- 3-4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ pound Gruyere cheese , shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
- ⅓ pound fontina , shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
- ⅓ pound swiss cheese , shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch , or all-purpose flour
- Dash nutmeg
- Dash hot sauce (I prefer Frank's) , plus more to taste
- Kosher salt , to taste
- Ground black pepper , to taste
- Lightly steamed vegetables
- Pear , sliced
- Granny smith apple , sliced
- French bread , cubed
- pretzel bites
- Tortilla chips or crackers
- Roasted potatoes
- Rub the garlic all over the inside of a small (1- to 2-quart) pot. Discard garlic. Add the broth and vinegar and heat over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the gruyere, fontina, swiss cheese, and cornstarch.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Whisk in 1/2 cup cheese at a time until melted. Repeat with remaining cheese, whisking gently until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Watch it carefully.
- Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper. If too thick, whisk in 1 to 2 Tablespoons warmed broth. If too thin, whisk in a bit more cornstarch.
- Light the sterno (if using a fondue pot) and set on the fondue holder or place in a mini crockpot to keep warm and gooey. If it thickens, reheat in the microwave 15 seconds. Serve with desired dippers.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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