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Easy Cheese Fondue Recipe

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!

Cheese fondue and bread on a fork.
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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!

Recipe Ingredients

Cheese fondue ingredients on a marble counter.

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:

  • Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Swiss
  • Fontina
  • Emmental
  • Raclette
  • Gruyere
  • Beaufort

How to Make Cheese Fondue

Showing how to make cheese fondue in a 4 step collage.
  • 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!

Expert Tips

  • 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.
Forks dipping bread into a pot of cheese fondue.

Recipe FAQs

What does fondue mean?

It’s a French word that means “to melt.”

What is the best pot to use?

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.

How to keep cheese fondue smooth?

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.

What else can I dip in this easy cheese fondue recipe?

Load up your plate with chunks of chicken, juicy shrimp, Lil smokies, and cooked bacon strips. You’ll love them all!

Can you store leftovers?

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.

Fork dipping bread into cheese fondue.

Looking for more cheesy appetizers? Baked brie, cheese ball bites, and sausage cream cheese Rotel dip are must-try recipes.

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Fork dipping bread into cheese fondue.

Cheese Fondue

5 from 9 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
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!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 garlic clove , halved
  • ¾ cup  chicken broth *see notes
  • 3-4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • pound Gruyere cheese , shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • pound fontina , shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 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

Fondue Dippers

  • Lightly steamed vegetables
  • Pear , sliced
  • Granny smith apple , sliced
  • French bread , cubed
  • pretzel bites
  • Tortilla chips or crackers
  • Roasted potatoes

Instructions

  • 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.

Video


Notes

Broth: You can use dry white wine in place of the broth, if preferred. 
Spices: If you prefer a little spice, add in extra hot sauce and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. 
Pretzels: These are my favorite homemade pretzels and pretzel bites
Breads: I love to serve it with cubed french bread, french baguette or artisan bread
Storage: This dip is best served the first day. You can store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warm. 

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 404mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 0.02g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 509IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 465mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian

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