Gooey, creamy, amazing Cheese Fondue is actually really easy to make! It is a fast, impressive dish that works great as an appetizer, special occasion meal, or weeknight dinner! This recipe is your step by step guide to making delicious fondue.
Why We Absolutely Love Cheese Fondue
When I was little, I thought fondue must be for kids.
I couldn’t understand why those fun long forks with colorful plastic tips didn’t belong to my brother and me.
My parents did let me taste their fondue, once or twice; I remember dipping a slice of apple into the pot and feeling disappointed at the tang of wine and funky Gruyere.
Now that I’ve got kids of my own, I’ve taken on the task of creating an easy, kid-friendly version of fondue that everyone enjoys. And this is it! The flavor is rich and cheesy, with just a tiny bit of tang. The texture is smooth-as-honey, and the fondue stretches as high as little arms can reach. Is our version an authentic Swiss recipe? Nope. Does it turn family dinner into an ooey-gooey, cheesy, love-our-veggies party? You bet.
In fact, fondue can sometimes entice reluctant veggie-eaters (like my daughter!) to eat greens, because it’s so easy to enjoy broccoli when it’s skewered and dunked into melty goodness. Best of all, this recipe comes together with simple ingredients that you can pick up at any supermarket. So really, any night can be fondue night!
Ingredients for Cheese Fondue:
- Gouda Cheese– Gouda cheese is a creamy, nutty cheese that is aged for a more intense flavor that works beautifully in fondue.
- Gruyere Cheese– Gruyere is a Swiss cheese that has a slightly salty and nutty flavor, with a slightly sweet and caramel-like taste.
- Cornstarch– Cornstarch helps to thicken the fondue and create a smooth and creamy texture.
- Chicken Broth (or dry white wine)– Chicken broth is a mild liquid that keeps your fondue super kid-friendly. However, if you are feeding an adult crowd, the tang of the wine is delicious while also creating a smoother consistency.
- Minced Garlic– Fresh minced garlic works best here.
- Lemon Juice– Lemon juice adds a nice acidity that balances well with the cheese and also helps prevent the cheese from separating and becoming stringy.
- Dry Mustard– Dry mustard is used to add a nice tangy bite to the fondue.
- Ground Nutmeg– Ground Nutmeg really warms up and rounds out the flavor. Don’t be afraid of the nutmeg here! It is very subtle and delicious.
How To Make Cheese Fondue:
- Grate both cheeses. Put them in a large ziplock bag along with the cornstarch. Shake until well coated.
- Heat a small, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Bring the broth, lemon juice, and garlic to a gentle simmer.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and gradually add your cheese mixture, one handful at a time, to the simmering broth.
- Stir after each handful until the cheese is completely melted.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard and nutmeg.
- Pour into a fondue pot or serve directly from the pot.
- Serve with your favorite dippers and enjoy!
What to Dip in Cheese Fondue:
While you’re preparing the fondue, set out a colorful variety of foods for dipping. The more different kinds of veggies and fruits you offer, the more likely your kids will find something that they love to blanket with cheese and gobble up. Here are some of our favorites:
- Crusty Bread
- Green Beans
- Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Apple Slices
- Pear Slices
Tips & Suggestions
Use Good Quality Cheese
This will make all the difference in your final product. Do NOT use pre-shredded cheese here.
What Cheeses are Best for Fondue?
You want to go for creamy, buttery cheese that will melt smoothly. Gruyere, Gouda, and Fontina are your best bets. Other cheeses that are less traditional but also melt well are Cheddar, Havarti, Muenster, Colby, and Monterey Jack cheese.
Can You Re-Heat Leftover Fondue?
You can store leftover fondue for up to 3 days. Reheat in a small saucepan over medium low heat.
How Do You Keep Your Fondue Cheese Smooth?
Make sure you are adding your cheese by small handfuls and stirring constantly. Do not add more cheese until it has completely melted. Go slow, and don’t rush it! If your fondue is still grainy, you can add a bit of cornstarch to bind the cheese together and smooth it out.
What can I do if my Fondue Cheese is Too Thick?
If your fondue is too thick, you can add a bit more of the liquid you used at the beginning (broth or wine) to thin it out.
What is the Best Type of Fondue Pot?
There are a LOT of different types of fondue pots on the market, and it really depends on what you want or how often you plan on using it. An electric fondue pot is great for maintaining a steady temperature. This fondue pot is a simple, economical option that uses tea lights to keep the pot warm. This large, cast iron fondue pot is great for larger groups.
Looking for More Delicious Dips? Try These!
- Grate both cheeses and add to a large Ziploc bag along with the cornstarch. Shake until the cheeses are well-coated (this is a great task for kids!)
- In a small, heavy-bottomed pot (cast-iron is best) bring the broth (or wine), lemon juice and garlic to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
- When the broth mixture begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and add a small handful of cheese, one at a time, whisking the fondue after each handful until the shreds are completely melted.
- Once all the cheese is well-incorporated, remove the pot from the stove and stir in the mustard and nutmeg.
- You can pour into a fondue pot at this point, or just serve it directly from your pot. Serve with your favorite dippers!
- If you are serving this as an appetizer, this will make enough for 8 servings. If you are serving as part of a main meal, this will serve between 5-6 people.
- Using chicken broth will give you a more mild flavor and possibly not as smooth as if you using wine. A dry white wine is optimal.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie