Considered one of the very finest Swiss cheeses, Gruyere’s nutty, salty flavor and melting properties make it an ideal cheese for dishes where a melty cheese is crucial to the final product, from fondue, pizza, and sandwiches to souffles and tarts. If you’re unable to find Gruyere at your local grocery store or you’re just trying to find a different cheese that still has the same meltability, there are a variety of options to choose from that have similar flavor profiles to Gruyere that will compliment your food, or even your wine.
When looking for cheese alternatives, be aware; even cheeses that make for great stand-ins will taste differently, so when picking out your Gruyere alternative, make sure to start with a small amount and work yourself up to more to make sure you like the taste. With cheesy options hailing from Switzerland, France, and Norway, our guide to the 6 best substitutes for Gruyere cheese will introduce you to some delicious, cheesy options that can stand in for Gruyere in all of your favorite cheese-laden dishes.
If you’re hoping to find a cheese substitute for Gruyere that’s also in the Swiss family, try Emmentaler. A medium-hard cow’s milk cheese, Emmentaler makes for a great alternative to gruyere in a variety of cheesy dishes, from bruschetta and fondue to tarts, pastries, and in raviolis. Emmentaler cheese is aged anywhere from two to 18 months, so when using Emmentaler as a gruyere substitute, be sure to find an aged version that you like.
Another swiss cheese with serious melting power is raclette, which can be aged anywhere from three to six months and gets its name from a dish where the cheese is melted and then scraped onto a plate. Mostly enjoyed with warm beverages, raclette is the best gruyere substitute when it comes to dishes where extra melted cheese is crucial, like lasagna, pizza, sandwiches, and fondues.
A semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Norway, Jarlsberg has a nutty, sweet flavor that pairs well with beer and white wine, but also makes for a fantastic gruyere replacement. Whether you need gruyere for cooking, baking, or just a quick afternoon snack, Jarlsberg’s mild flavor and melting abilities is an ideal stand-in.
A French cheese, comte is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and makes for a great gruyere substitute when it comes to melty cheese dishes that rely on the cheese as the focal point for flavor, like fondue, souffle, pizza, or pasta. It is brine-washed to enhance the strong, slightly sweet taste, and can be aged anywhere from eight to 12 months.
Another French cheese, Beaufort is also made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and has great melting properties, meaning it can stand-in for gruyere in any dish where the meltiness of the cheese is important. While Beaufort is a delicious cheese, it can run on the more expensive side, so if you are looking to this cheese as your gruyere replacement, be prepared to pay a little more.
Appenzeller Swiss cheese is a bit more expensive in comparison to gruyere, but when it comes to flavor it is a great substitute if you’re willing to spend a bit more. Each coated in a brine containing wine or cider, there are three varieties of this hard cheese to choose from in stores: classic is aged for three to four months; Surchoix is aged for four to six months; and extra is aged for at least six months.