This post is a sponsored collaboration with Emmi USA, who I’ve teamed up with to bring you a simple, decadent cheese fondue recipe as well as some of my favorite tips for how to host a fondue party! Classic Swiss cheese fondue is quick and easy to prepare, with just a few basic ingredients.
In my opinion, melted cheese is one of life’s great joys, and there’s no better way to appreciate it than with a classic cheese fondue. I only wish I had realized sooner how easy it is to prepare at home!
Fondue brings back so many memories. My college town had a fondue restaurant on the main drag, and it was the perfect place for us to gather in circular booths, catch up, and try various combinations and dippers.
We loved the experience because it was more fun than a traditional restaurant, and that’s exactly why hosting a fondue party is such a great idea. It’s fun, sometimes humorous, and always a tasty crowd pleaser!
While you can find a ton of cheese fondue recipe variations online, this is one instance where I think it’s best to stay close to the classic Swiss flavors. You all know I love getting creative with flavor combinations, but there is something so incredibly amazing about classic cheese fondue.
Sometimes simple is best. Why mess with success?
Emmi USA’s Emmentaler (a Swiss cheese) and Gruyére are so harmonious together; you get a balance of sweetness, acidity, nuttiness, and earthiness. They blend beautifully together, and aren’t overpowered by the additions of white wine, lemon juice, pepper and nutmeg.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel free to experiment with some extra spices. Consider this cheese fondue recipe a baseline you can potentially build from. But start simple first. You might not want to change anything. I sure didn’t.
Tips for Hosting a Great Fondue Party
Hosting the perfect party, regardless of the theme, is all about being prepared. A fondue party is no different! 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:
- If your fondue pot uses gel cans, have extras on hand! You don’t want to run out of fuel mid-party.
- If you’re serving more than four people, plan on having at least two fondue pots. You don’t want to keep guests hungry, and it will be more fun if everyone can have access to the fondue pot at once.
- Along those lines, if you’re thinking about serving meat dippers, be mindful about whether any of your guests are vegetarian. If so, you’ll definitely want to keep one of the fondue pots meat-free.
- Beer and wine go very well with cheese fondue. I recommend asking for recommendations at your neighborhood liquor store, as the best options can vary by location.
- If you’d prefer not to make cheese fondue from scratch, that’s ok! Emmi offers a fantastic ready-to-serve Fondue.
- 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.
- Apples and pears will oxidize once you slice them, which means the fruit will slowly turn brown once exposed to air. You can slow this process by tossing the slices in a bit of fresh lemon juice.
- Stir the fondue frequently while enjoying it. This will help keep the cheese from separating or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- No fondue party is complete without dessert! May I recommend this easy, wonderful chocolate fondue from Simply Recipes? You could also serve my Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. They’re keeping in the same spirit as fondue, 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.
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