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Fontina Cheese: 5 Best Alternatives for Your Dishes

Fontina Cheese

Did you know that Fontina cheese is a popular choice in many dishes, but sometimes it can be hard to find or maybe you’re just looking for something different? Luckily, there are several great alternatives that can be used in its place. Let’s explore the top 5 Fontina Cheese alternatives that will still deliver the unique flavor and texture you desire in your recipes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Vacherin cheese is a creamy and buttery alternative to Fontina, perfect for melting in dishes like fondue or savory pies.
  • Provolone cheese provides a similar flavor profile and is ideal for recipes that require melted Fontina, such as grilled sandwiches or pizzas.
  • Gruyere cheese offers a rich, nutty flavor and is excellent in gratins, quiches, and mac and cheese as a substitute for Fontina.
  • Gouda cheese, with its smooth and creamy texture, is a great choice for dishes like grilled sandwiches, casseroles, and soups.
  • Cheddar cheese, known for its sharp and tangy flavor, can be grated or melted to replace Fontina in dishes like pasta bakes or omelets.

Vacherin Cheese

Vacherin cheese, especially the French style known as Mont d’Or, is an excellent alternative to Fontina cheese. With its mild, creamy flavor and buttery texture, Vacherin cheese makes for a fantastic substitute for young Fontina. Whether you’re looking to enhance the taste of sauces, pasta dishes, fondue, or savory pies, Vacherin cheese is the perfect choice.

This French cheese is a delightful addition to a variety of recipes where melted cheese plays a vital role. Its smooth and luscious texture adds richness and depth to your favorite dishes. Use Vacherin cheese in your fondue for a delectable and dipping experience or melt it into a creamy sauce to elevate the flavors of your pasta dishes. The possibilities are endless!

Why Vacherin Cheese?

Vacherin cheese is a versatile alternative that offers a delightful taste experience similar to Fontina. Its creaminess and buttery flavor blend beautifully with various ingredients, creating a delightful harmony of flavors in your culinary creations. From rich and hearty recipes to lighter and more delicate dishes, Vacherin cheese shines through as an exceptional choice.

Vacherin cheese adds a touch of elegance and indulgence to your recipes, making it an ideal substitute for Fontina.

For those who enjoy experimenting with flavors, Vacherin cheese brings a unique twist to traditional recipes. Its mildness allows other ingredients to shine, while its velvety texture creates a luxurious mouthfeel. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or an adventurous home chef, Vacherin cheese opens up a world of culinary possibilities.

So, when Fontina cheese is unavailable or you’re looking for a change, reach for the delightful Vacherin cheese to bring a new dimension of taste and texture to your dishes.

Stay tuned for the next section of our article, where we’ll explore another fantastic alternative to Fontina cheese.

Provolone Cheese

Mild provolone cheese can also be a suitable substitute for Fontina. It offers a similar flavor profile and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Provolone cheese melts well, making it a good choice for recipes that call for melted Fontina, like grilled sandwiches or pizzas.

Provolone Cheese

Provolone cheese is a versatile option that can add a rich and creamy taste to your dishes. Whether you’re making a classic Italian sub or a comforting baked pasta dish, provolone cheese can deliver the flavor and texture you desire. Its smooth meltability makes it an excellent choice for recipes that require the cheese to be melted to perfection.

Taste and Texture

Provolone cheese has a mild, slightly tangy flavor with nutty undertones, which is similar to Fontina cheese. Its semi-soft texture allows it to melt smoothly, creating a creamy and delightful consistency in your dishes. This cheese is available in different varieties, ranging from mild to sharp, so you can choose the one that best suits your taste preferences.

Uses in Cooking

Provolone cheese can be used as a substitute for Fontina cheese in various recipes. Some popular dishes that can be enhanced with provolone include:

  • Grilled sandwiches: Provoloone cheese can add a gooey, melt-in-your-mouth goodness to your favorite grilled sandwiches, such as paninis or classic grilled cheese.
  • Pizzas: Whether you’re making homemade pizza or ordering takeout, provolone cheese can be a delicious replacement for Fontina. It melts beautifully and adds a rich flavor to your pizza toppings.
  • Italian-inspired dishes: Provolone cheese works well in traditional Italian recipes like baked ziti, lasagna, or eggplant Parmesan. Its creamy texture blends seamlessly with other ingredients, creating a harmonious flavor profile.

When using provolone cheese as a substitute for Fontina, you may need to adjust the quantity according to your taste preference. Some people prefer a stronger cheese flavor, while others may prefer a milder taste. Feel free to experiment and find the right balance for your recipes.


Provolone cheese is widely available in most grocery stores and specialty cheese shops. It comes in different forms, including deli slices, blocks, or shredded varieties. Look for high-quality provolone cheese to ensure the best flavor and texture in your dishes.

Provolone Cheese Fontina Cheese
Mild and tangy flavor Mild and nutty flavor
Smooth meltability Smooth meltability
Versatile for various dishes Versatile for various dishes
Available in different varieties Available in different varieties

Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere cheese is a wonderful alternative to Fontina and offers a unique combination of flavors and textures. With its rich, nutty taste and creamy texture, Gruyere cheese brings a distinct character to any dish that requires melted cheese.

One of the best aspects of Gruyere cheese is its versatility. It can be used in various recipes, including gratins, quiches, and even a comforting homemade mac and cheese. The creamy and melty nature of Gruyere adds a delightful depth and richness to these dishes.

Gruyere vs. Fontina: A Comparison

If you’re considering substituting Fontina cheese with Gruyere, it’s useful to understand the similarities and differences between the two. While both cheeses have a creamy texture, Gruyere showcases a stronger and more pronounced nutty flavor compared to Fontina.

Recipes Using Gruyere Cheese

Here are a few mouthwatering recipes that can be enhanced by the addition of Gruyere cheese as an alternative to Fontina:

  • Baked Potato Gratin: Layer sliced potatoes with Gruyere cheese, cream, and seasonings for a delectable and comforting side dish.
  • Gruyere and Mushroom Quiche: Combine sautéed mushrooms and Gruyere cheese with eggs and cream, filling a buttery pastry shell for a delightful brunch or lunch option.
  • Gruyere Mac and Cheese: Prepare a luscious mac and cheese by combining cooked pasta, a creamy Gruyere cheese sauce, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping.


Gruyere cheese is a fantastic alternative to Fontina, offering a rich, nutty flavor and creamy texture that elevates various dishes. Its versatility makes it a wonderful addition to gratins, quiches, and mac and cheese recipes. Whether you’re looking for a substitute for Fontina or simply want to explore new flavors, Gruyere cheese is definitely worth considering for your culinary creations.

Gruyere Cheese Fontina Cheese
Rich, nutty flavor Milder taste
Creamy texture Softer texture
Ideal for gratins, quiches, and mac and cheese Great for melting in various dishes
Strong and distinctive character Delicate and subtle

Gouda Cheese

Gouda cheese is a versatile and delicious alternative to Fontina in various recipes. It offers a smooth and creamy texture, complemented by a subtly sweet and nutty flavor. The distinct characteristics of Gouda make it an excellent choice for dishes that call for melted cheese, such as grilled sandwiches, casseroles, or even soups.

What sets Gouda apart is its meltability, which allows it to create a luscious and gooey texture when heated. This makes it perfect for dishes where a stringy, stretchy cheese is desired, such as a gooey grilled cheese sandwich or a warm and comforting bowl of cheesy soup.

Gouda cheese

Delicious Gouda Cheese Recipe: Gouda and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

If you’re looking for a mouthwatering appetizer that showcases the delectable flavors of Gouda cheese, try these Gouda and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms:


  • 12 large mushrooms, stems removed
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup of Gouda cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the mushroom caps on a baking sheet.
  2. In a bowl, combine the crumbled bacon, grated Gouda cheese, and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the bacon and cheese mixture into the mushroom caps, filling each one generously.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve hot, garnished with additional chopped parsley if desired.

This delightful recipe combines the smoky goodness of bacon with the rich and creamy Gouda cheese, resulting in irresistible stuffed mushrooms that will impress your guests.

Gouda cheese opens up a realm of culinary possibilities, providing a delectable alternative to Fontina in your favorite dishes. Whether it’s a comforting casserole, a melty grilled sandwich, or a savory soup, Gouda adds its own unique flavor and texture to elevate your culinary creations.

Gouda Cheese Fontina Cheese
Smooth and creamy texture Creamy and semi-soft texture
Subtly sweet and nutty flavor Mild and buttery flavor
Great for melting Also melts well
Ideal for grilled sandwiches, casseroles, and soups Perfect for sauces, pasta dishes, fondue, and savory pies

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is a versatile option that can be used as a substitute for Fontina in some recipes. It offers a sharp and tangy flavor profile, which provides a delightful contrast to the milder taste of Fontina. Whether grated or melted, cheddar cheese can be a delicious alternative in various dishes, adding its distinct character and texture.

One way to enjoy cheddar cheese as a Fontina alternative is by using it in pasta bakes. Its bold flavor pairs well with the richness of the dish, bringing a satisfying depth to each bite. Cheddar cheese can also be utilized in omelets, infusing them with its robust taste and creating a hearty breakfast or brunch option.

Additionally, cheddar cheese can shine on a cheese board, offering both flavor and visual appeal. Its vibrant orange color provides an attractive contrast to other cheeses, while its sharpness complements the milder selections. Guests will appreciate the diverse range of tastes when paired with fruits, nuts, and crackers.

“Cheddar cheese, with its sharp and tangy flavor, adds a delightful twist to dishes that call for Fontina. It’s a versatile option that can be grated or melted to satisfy your culinary cravings.”

Moreover, cheddar cheese can be a fantastic Fontina substitute for savory recipes like grilled sandwiches. The sharpness of cheddar cheese pairs well with various fillings, delivering a satisfying contrast in every bite. Whether you’re making a classic grilled cheese or exploring creative combinations, cheddar cheese can elevate the flavor profile of your sandwich.

Advantages of Cheddar Cheese as a Fontina Alternative
Diverse Flavors: Cheddar cheese brings a sharp and tangy taste to dishes.
Versatile Usage: It can be grated, melted, or enjoyed on a cheese board.
Richness in Savory Dishes: Cheddar cheese adds depth to pasta bakes and grilled sandwiches.
Visual Appeal: Its vibrant orange color adds aesthetic appeal to cheese boards.

Cheddar cheese offers a delightful alternative to Fontina, bringing its own unique flavor profile to the table. From pasta bakes to grilled sandwiches, its versatility and sharpness make it a suitable choice for various recipes. Whether you’re seeking to replace Fontina or simply looking to diversify your cheese selections, cheddar cheese is a delicious option to consider.

Origin and Types of Fontina Cheese

Fontina cheese, a delicious and versatile cheese, is beloved by many for its unique flavor and texture. In this section, we will explore the origin of Fontina cheese and the different types available.

Fontina cheese originated in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta region, nestled in the stunning Alps. It has a long and rich history, tracing back to the 12th century. The cheese is traditionally made from cow’s milk, which contributes to its creamy and smooth texture.

The popularity of Fontina cheese has led to the creation of different variations, each with its own distinctive characteristics. The Italian and Danish varieties are the most common:

Italian Fontina Cheese

The Italian Fontina cheese is renowned for its robust flavor and firm texture. It is aged for a minimum of three months, allowing the flavors to develop and intensify. This type of Fontina cheese is often used in cooking and pairs beautifully with a range of ingredients.

Danish Fontina Cheese

The Danish Fontina cheese, on the other hand, is milder and softer compared to its Italian counterpart. It has a delicate flavor profile with subtle nutty undertones. Danish Fontina is often enjoyed as a table cheese and works well in sandwiches or alongside fruits and crackers.

Both the Italian and Danish varieties of Fontina cheese offer their own unique culinary experiences. Whether you prefer the boldness of the Italian version or the milder taste of the Danish variety, Fontina cheese is sure to elevate your dishes.

Experience the rich history and diverse flavors of Fontina cheese by exploring both traditional and innovative recipes. From heavenly pasta dishes to delectable grilled sandwiches, Fontina cheese adds a touch of sophistication and indulgence to any meal.

How to Store Fontina Cheese

Properly storing Fontina cheese is essential to maintaining its quality and flavor. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your Fontina cheese stays fresh and delicious.

  1. Refrigeration: Fontina cheese should always be stored in the refrigerator. The cool temperature helps to slow down any bacterial growth and keeps the cheese from spoiling.
  2. Wrapping: It is crucial to wrap Fontina cheese tightly to prevent it from drying out or absorbing other odors in the refrigerator. Use plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to maintain its freshness.
  3. Isolation: To avoid cross-contamination, it’s best to store Fontina cheese separately from other strong-smelling foods. This helps to maintain its unique flavor and prevents unwanted flavor transfer.

Tip: If you have a large piece of Fontina cheese that you won’t finish in one go, consider dividing it into smaller portions and wrapping each portion separately. This will help preserve the integrity of the remaining cheese.

By following these storage guidelines, Fontina cheese can typically last for up to a month. However, always remember to check for any signs of spoilage such as mold, unusual odors, or texture changes before consuming.


Proper storage is key to maintaining the quality and flavor of Fontina cheese. Remember these important steps:

Storage Steps
Refrigerate Fontina cheese
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container
Store separately from other strong-smelling foods

Fontina Cheese Pairing Suggestions

Fontina cheese is a versatile and delicious cheese that pairs well with a variety of flavors. Whether you’re enjoying it on a cheese board, in a sandwich, or melted in a dish, there are many great pairing options to enhance the flavor of the Fontina cheese.


One delightful pairing for Fontina cheese is with fruits, particularly apples and pears. The natural sweetness and crisp texture of these fruits complement the creamy and slightly nutty flavor of the cheese. The combination creates a perfect balance of flavors.

Cured Meats:

Fontina cheese also pairs wonderfully with cured meats like prosciutto or salami. The savory and salty notes of the meats complement the rich and creamy taste of the Fontina cheese. Whether enjoyed on its own or in a sandwich, this combination is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Earthy Flavors:

If you’re a fan of earthy flavors, consider pairing Fontina cheese with mushrooms or truffles. The earthiness of these ingredients enhances the depth of flavor in the cheese, creating a unique and delightful combination. From pizzas to pasta dishes, this pairing is a match made in culinary heaven.

Fontina Cheese Pairing Suggestions

Pairing Description
Fruits Apples and pears complement the creamy and nutty flavor of Fontina cheese.
Cured Meats Prosciutto or salami’s savory and salty notes pair well with the rich taste of Fontina cheese.
Earthy Flavors Mushrooms or truffles enhance the depth of flavor in Fontina cheese, creating a unique combination.

Experiment with these pairing suggestions to discover your favorite way to enjoy Fontina cheese. Whether you’re hosting a gathering, preparing a meal, or simply indulging in a snack, these pairings will elevate your culinary experience.


In conclusion, Fontina Cheese is a delicious cheese that can elevate many recipes, but if it’s not available or you’re looking for a change, there are several great alternatives to consider.

Vacherin cheese, provolone cheese, gruyere cheese, gouda cheese, and cheddar cheese can all be used as substitutes for Fontina, depending on the specific recipe and personal preference.

Experiment with these alternatives to find the perfect match for your culinary creations. Whether you’re making a rich pasta dish, a gooey grilled sandwich, or a creamy casserole, these cheeses will provide the flavor and texture you desire in your dishes. Don’t be afraid to explore and discover new taste combinations with these Fontina Cheese substitutes!


What are the best alternatives to Fontina Cheese?

Vacherin cheese, provolone cheese, gruyere cheese, gouda cheese, and cheddar cheese are all great alternatives to Fontina cheese.

How does Vacherin cheese compare to Fontina Cheese?

Vacherin cheese is a suitable substitute for young Fontina cheese, with a mild, creamy flavor and a buttery texture.

Can provolone cheese be used as a substitute for Fontina Cheese?

Yes, provolone cheese can be a suitable substitute for Fontina cheese, providing a similar flavor profile and melting well.

What is a good alternative to Fontina Cheese for melting?

Gruyere cheese is an excellent alternative to Fontina cheese for melting, offering a rich, nutty flavor and creamy texture.

Can Gouda cheese be used in place of Fontina Cheese?

Yes, Gouda cheese can be a delicious substitute for Fontina cheese in certain recipes, with its smooth and creamy texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor.

Can cheddar cheese be used as a substitute for Fontina Cheese?

Cheddar cheese can be a versatile option for substituting Fontina cheese in some recipes, offering a sharp and tangy flavor that may differ from the milder taste of Fontina.

Where does Fontina Cheese originate from?

Fontina cheese originated in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta region.

What are the different types of Fontina Cheese?

There are different types of Fontina cheese, with the Italian and Danish varieties being the most common. Italian Fontina has a more robust flavor and firmer texture, while Danish Fontina is milder and softer.

How should Fontina Cheese be stored?

Fontina cheese should be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container to prevent drying out and absorbing other odors. It can typically last for up to a month when stored correctly.

What flavors pair well with Fontina Cheese?

Fontina cheese pairs well with fruits like apples and pears, cured meats like prosciutto or salami, and earthy flavors like mushrooms or truffles.

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