This easy cheese fondue is made with just a few basic ingredients. Learn how to make it along with some tips for how to host a fondue party!
In my opinion, melted cheese is one of life’s great joys, and there’s no better way to appreciate it than with an easy cheese fondue. I only wish I had realized sooner how simple it is to prepare at home!
While you can find a ton of recipe variations online, this is one instance where I think it’s best to stay close to the classic Swiss flavors.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel free to experiment with some extra spices. Consider this recipe a baseline you can potentially build from. But start simple first. You might not want to change anything. I sure didn’t.
Easy Cheese Fondue – Ingredient Notes
- Cheese – I use an even blend of Swiss and Gruyere, but feel free to experiment with your own combinations. Spend the extra money for something high quality, and grate it by hand since shreds melt faster and more easily than cubes or slices.
- Wine – Choose a dry white wine with high acidity, like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Not only will it add a bright, crisp flavor for balance, but the acid helps to give the dip a smooth, even texture.
- Garlic – Everything is better with garlic, and this easy cheese fondue is no exception! For a subtle hint, rub a smashed clove along the inside of the pot to transfer the oil. Or, leave the whole clove inside and remove just before serving for a more intense flavor.
- Lemon – Use freshly squeezed juice for best results. Again, this simply ensures a creamy texture and keeps the ingredients from separating.
- Spices – Nutmeg complements the nuttiness of the Swiss and Gruyere, while freshly ground pepper adds a touch of heat. For a more uniform appearance, use ground white pepper instead.
- Cornstarch – This acts as both a thickener and a stabilizer for the dip, and it cooks faster than alternatives such as flour. Coating the shreds thoroughly with cornstarch also prevents any lumps in the finished product.
Fondue Ideas For Dippers
First, make sure that all of your dippers are small enough to fit on the skewing forks without being pulled off by the weight of that cheesy goodness. When it doubt, go smaller.
- Bread – High-quality loaves will taste significantly better than cheaper options. Or, try homemade soft pretzel buns!
- Meat – Any options should be cured or cooked in advance for food safety. Steak can be seared quickly on the stove, otherwise, stick with sliced sausage, cubed deli meats, or even rotisserie chicken.
- Fruit – Choose firmer varieties or even dried stone fruit. Since fresh apples and pears will oxidize once you slice them, I recommend tossing them in a bit of fresh lemon juice to keep them from browning.
- Vegetables – If you’d serve it on a party platter, it’s fine to keep it raw. However, things like potatoes and mushrooms are best if they are roasted first.
Tips for Hosting a Great Fondue Party
Hosting the perfect party, regardless of the theme, is all about being prepared. Getting organized, buying groceries, and cleaning in advance will help keep you focused and ready for a good time. Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t run out of fuel! If your fondue pot uses gel cans, have extras on hand to replenish them mid-party if needed.
- More is better. If you’re serving more than four people, plan on having at least two pots available. You don’t want to keep guests hungry, and it will be more fun if everyone can have access all at once.
- Have vegetarian guests? Be sure to designate at least one meat-free pot if you’ll be serving meat dippers.
- Stir frequently. This will help to keep the dip from separating or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Find drink recommendations. Beer and wine go very well with this easy cheese fondue, but the best options can vary by location. I recommend asking for pairing suggestions from your neighborhood liquor store.
- Don’t forget dessert! May I recommend this easy, wonderful chocolate option from Simply Recipes? You could also serve my Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. They’re keeping in the same spirit, but it’s one less thing to clean up.
Above all else, have fun!
Classic Cheese Fondue
For the Fondue:
- 6 ounces Emmi Emmentaler AOP cheese, grated (2 cups)
- 6 ounces Emmi Le Gruyére AOP cheese, grated (2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (white pepper may be substituted, see notes)
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons chardonnay or similar dry white wine (keep more on hand, see instructions)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Good quality bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Soft pretzels, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Apple and/or pear slices
- Cherry tomatoes
- Broccoli and/or cauliflower, raw or blanched
- Roasted fingerling potatoes
- Roasted mushrooms
- Assorted meats (seared steak, cubed ham, kielbasa slices)
- In a medium bowl, combine the Emmentaler, Gruyére, cornstarch, nutmeg, and pepper.
- Smash the garlic clove or break it in half to expose some of the oils. Rub along the inside of the fondue pot. You can then discard the clove or leave it in the pot until right before serving for a more intense garlic flavor.
- Add the wine and lemon juice to the fondue pot and turn the heat to medium. Once the liquid is simmering, around 4-5 minutes, turn the heat to low and slowly add handfuls of the cheese mixture while stirring. Continue stirring until the cheese is completely melted and smooth, around 8-10 minutes. Remove the garlic clove.
- Enjoy cheese fondue with dippers immediately. Keep the heat on low and stir frequently to keep the cheese from separating or sticking to the bottom of the fondue pot. If the fondue becomes too thick, stir in an additional 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of wine.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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