Best Substitutes For Gruyere Cheese

best substitutes for gruyere cheese

Gruyere cheese is a popular cheese known for its distinct nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Originating from Switzerland, it is often used in fondue, quiches, sandwiches, and gratins. However, if you find yourself without this versatile cheese, there are several substitutes that can mimic its flavor and texture. In this article, we will explore the best substitutes for Gruyere cheese and provide tips on how to make the most out of them in your cooking.

Key Takeaways

  • Gruyere cheese is a nutty and sweet cheese from Switzerland, commonly used in fondue and other dishes.
  • If you don’t have Gruyere cheese, several substitutes can mimic its flavor and texture.
  • Emmental, Comté, Jarlsberg, and Fontina are some of the best substitutes for Gruyere cheese.
  • Consider the flavor, texture, and melting properties of the substitute when choosing the right one.
  • Substitutes for Gruyere cheese can be used in a variety of dishes, including quiches, gratins, sandwiches, and more.
  • Proper storage and handling can help extend the shelf life of your substitute cheese.

Why You Need A Substitute For Gruyere Cheese

While Gruyere cheese is a delicious addition to many dishes, it is not always readily available or may not suit everyone’s taste preferences. Having a substitute on hand allows you to still enjoy the flavors and textures that Gruyere offers, even if you don’t have the real thing.

Additionally, some individuals may have dietary restrictions or allergies that prevent them from consuming Gruyere cheese. Substitutes can provide an alternative for those who need to avoid certain types of cheeses.

Types Of Substitutes For Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere cheese slices

When selecting a substitute for Gruyere cheese, it is important to consider the flavor, texture, and melting properties of the cheese. Here are some cheese options that can be used as substitutes for Gruyere:

  1. Emmental: Emmental cheese, also known as Swiss cheese, shares many similarities with Gruyere cheese. It has a mild and nutty flavor with a slightly sweet undertone. Emmental cheese also melts well, making it suitable for dishes such as fondue and quiches.

  2. Comté: Comté is a French cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. It has a nutty and slightly fruity flavor that closely resembles Gruyere. Comté has a firm and creamy texture, which makes it ideal for sliced sandwiches or as a topping for gratins.

  3. Jarlsberg: Jarlsberg cheese, originating from Norway, is often compared to Swiss cheeses like Gruyere. It has a mild and nutty taste, with a slightly sweet and buttery finish. Jarlsberg is an excellent cheese for melting, making it suitable for recipes requiring Gruyere cheese’s melting properties.

  4. Fontina: Fontina cheese is an Italian cheese with a mild and nutty flavor that is similar to Gruyere. It has a semi-soft texture that melts beautifully, making it suitable for dishes like quiches, sandwiches, and casseroles.

Best Substitutes For Gruyere Cheese

Now that we have explored the different types of substitutes, let’s dive into the best substitutes for Gruyere cheese:

  1. Emmental: Emmental cheese is a popular substitute for Gruyere due to its similar flavor and melting properties. It can be used as a one-to-one replacement in recipes. However, keep in mind that Emmental has a milder taste, so you may want to add a bit more seasoning to compensate for the difference in flavor.

  2. Comté: Comté cheese is an excellent substitute for Gruyere, offering a similar flavor profile and texture. It is a great choice for dishes that require Gruyere’s unique taste. Use Comté in the same quantity as specified in the recipe, as the two cheeses are quite similar.

  3. Jarlsberg: Jarlsberg cheese is a close match to Gruyere in both flavor and texture, making it an ideal substitute. It melts well and can be used interchangeably with Gruyere in most recipes. Be cautious with the quantity of Jarlsberg used, as its flavor can be slightly milder than Gruyere.

  4. Fontina: Fontina cheese is another excellent substitute for Gruyere, with its similar nutty and mild flavor profile. It melts beautifully and can be used as a direct replacement in recipes. Keep in mind that Fontina has a slightly creamier texture, which can add a delicious richness to your dishes.

Choosing The Right Substitute For Gruyere Cheese

gruyere cheese

When selecting a substitute for Gruyere cheese, consider the flavor intensity, melting properties, and texture of the substitute. Some substitutes may have a milder or stronger flavor, which should be taken into account when adjusting other ingredients in the recipe. If a specific recipe calls for Gruyere’s distinct nuttiness, choose a substitute that closely resembles that flavor, such as Emmental or Comté.

If the melting properties of Gruyere are essential for the recipe, make sure to select a substitute that has similar melting qualities, like Jarlsberg or Fontina. This will ensure that your dish has the desired texture and consistency.

Lastly, if the texture of Gruyere is integral to the recipe, choose a substitute that matches that texture as closely as possible. For example, if the recipe requires thinly sliced Gruyere for a sandwich, opt for a substitute like Comté, which has a similar firm and creamy texture.

Cooking With Substitutes For Gruyere Cheese

Now that you have chosen the right substitute for Gruyere cheese, it’s time to explore how to use it in your cooking. Here are some tips and ideas:

  • Fondue: If you’re making a fondue recipe that calls for Gruyere cheese, simply replace it with your chosen substitute, such as Emmental or Jarlsberg. The substitute cheese should melt smoothly and create a deliciously cheesy and creamy fondue.

  • Quiches: Gruyere cheese is a common ingredient in quiche recipes. When substituting, use an equal amount of Emmental, Comte, or Fontina cheese. The substitute cheese will provide a similar flavor and texture to your quiche.

  • Gratins: For dishes that require Gruyere cheese to create a crispy and golden crust, choose a substitute that melts well, such as Emmental or Jarlsberg. These cheeses will mimic the flavor and texture of Gruyere while creating a deliciously cheesy and gratin topping.

  • Sandwiches: When using a substitute cheese in sandwiches, opt for a cheese with a similar texture to Gruyere, such as Comté or Emmental. These substitutes will provide the desired creaminess and meltability, enhancing the flavor of your sandwich.

  • Casseroles: In casseroles that call for Gruyere cheese, any of the previously mentioned substitutes like Comté or Fontina can be used. These substitutes will pair well with other ingredients, ensuring a delicious and cheesy casserole.

Recipes Using Substitutes For Gruyere Cheese

gruyere cheese

Now that we have discussed the best substitutes and how to use them, let’s explore some recipes that can be made using these substitutes:

Recipe 1: Cheesy Spinach And Mushroom Quiche


  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup substitute cheese (Emmental or Comté), grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat and sauté the sliced mushrooms until they release their moisture and turn golden brown. Set aside.
  3. In the same pan, wilt the spinach until it has reduced in size. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the pie crust in a pie dish and spread the mushrooms, spinach, and grated substitute cheese evenly.
  6. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the ingredients in the pie dish.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the quiche is set and golden brown.
  8. Allow the quiche to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe 2: Mushroom And Gruyere Croque Monsieur


  • 8 slices of bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 8 slices substitute cheese (Fontina or Jarlsberg)
  • Dijon mustard (optional)


  1. Preheat a pan over medium heat and melt the butter.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and sauté until they release their moisture and become tender.
  3. Spread Dijon mustard on one side of each slice of bread (optional).
  4. Place a slice of the substitute cheese on four slices of bread.
  5. Divide the sautéed mushrooms evenly and place them on top of the cheese slices.
  6. Top each sandwich with another slice of bread.
  7. Preheat a pan or griddle over medium heat.
  8. Carefully place the sandwiches on the pan or griddle and cook until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown on both sides.
  9. Cut each sandwich in half and serve.

Storage And Shelf Life Of Substitutes

To ensure the longevity of your substitute for Gruyere cheese, proper storage is essential. Follow these tips for storing your substitute cheese:

  • Refrigeration: Store your substitute cheese in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before placing it in the refrigerator. This will prevent it from absorbing odors and drying out. Keep the cheese in the coldest part of your refrigerator, such as the vegetable drawer or cheese compartment.

  • Freezing: Some substitutes for Gruyere, like Emmental and Comté, can be frozen. Cut the cheese into smaller portions and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped portions in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Frozen cheese can be stored for up to six months.

  • Thawing: When you are ready to use the frozen cheese, transfer it to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly. Avoid microwaving or thawing at room temperature, as this can negatively affect the texture and flavor of the cheese.

  • Shelf Life: The shelf life of substitutes for Gruyere cheese can vary. Fresh substitutes like Emmental, Comté, and Jarlsberg will typically last two to three weeks when refrigerated properly. Harder substitutes like Fontina can last up to six weeks. Always check the cheese for signs of spoilage, such as mold or an off smell, before using.


Having a substitute for Gruyere cheese on hand can save the day when you don’t have the real thing or need an alternative due to dietary restrictions. Emmental, Comté, Jarlsberg, and Fontina are some of the best substitutes that closely resemble the flavor, texture, and melting properties of Gruyere cheese. By considering the specific needs of your recipe and the characteristics of each substitute, you can make a suitable and delicious substitution. Experiment with these substitutes in your favorite recipes and explore new culinary possibilities. Enjoy the delightful flavors and textures that these substitutes bring to your dishes!


What Makes A Good Substitute For Gruyere Cheese?

A good substitute for gruyere cheese should have a similar flavor profile, melting capacity, and texture. Consider cheeses such as Comte, Emmental, Appenzeller, or Beaufort, which are all semi-hard cheeses with nutty, creamy flavors.

Is There A Vegan Substitute For Gruyere Cheese?

Yes, several vegan cheeses can serve as substitutes for gruyere cheese, including Daiya Swiss-style slices or Violife mature cheddar block. Nutritional yeast flakes mixed with cashews, almond milk, and seasonings can also mimic the flavor of gruyere cheese.

Can I Use A Sharp Cheddar As A Substitute For Gruyere Cheese?

While sharp cheddar has a different flavor profile than gruyere cheese, it can still work as a substitute in dishes such as macaroni and cheese or cheese souffle. However, it may not work as well in recipes that specifically require the distinct flavor and texture of gruyere cheese.

What Is The Best Way To Store A Substitute For Gruyere Cheese?

Store any substitute cheese for gruyere in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or wax paper to prevent it from drying out and losing its flavor.

Can I Substitute Any Cheese For Gruyere In A Recipe?

While several cheeses can serve as substitutes for gruyere, it ultimately depends on the recipe. Be sure to consider the specific flavor and texture of the cheese required for the dish. For example, Asiago or parmesan may work well in some recipes, but not in others.

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  • About the Author Jenny

    I'm Jenny, a housewife with an unwavering passion for food. My culinary journey began with my grandmother's kitchen, and it's now a full-fledged food blog. I've turned my love for cooking into a creative outlet, sharing recipes and stories with a global community of fellow food enthusiasts. It's proof that being a housewife can also mean pursuing your passions and savoring life's delectable moments.