Making French onion soup from scratch is easy, and it tastes like heaven. More often than not, Gruyere cheese is used to make this tasty dish, but what if you don’t have any of this type of cheese on hand? Fortunately, there are numerous substitutes you can use that taste just as good.
Emmental cheese, mozzarella, provolone, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan are just some of the reliable cheese substitutes for Gruyere cheese in French onion soup.
Here’s a list of 10 Gruyere cheese replacements to choose from:
Gruyere Cheese Substitutes for French Onion Soup
1. Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar is a great go-to cheese because it does well in so many dishes. This includes being a substitute for Gruyere cheese in dishes such as onion soups, casseroles, omelets, and even certain sandwiches. Cheddar melts well and makes the perfect sauce for some types of fish and meat, so it is definitely a very versatile cheese.
2. Emmental Cheese
This cheese is a Swiss hard cheese made from the milk of Alpine cows. It is light yellow in color, and it has a sweet almond flavor and a light-brown crust. One of the reasons it’s so good for your onion soup is that it has a light nutty flavor and is a tad spicy as well. In addition to soups, many different sandwiches are made better with this type of cheese, and you can even use it in a fondue or on a yummy cheese platter.
3. Fontina Cheese
Fontina cheese is a type of semi-hard cheese that goes great with red wines. It tastes and smells good and contains lots of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy snack. When it’s young, this cheese makes a great appetizer, while older Fontina cheese is used to make main dishes. It also shreds well and, therefore, can be used in all types of baking projects.
4. Gouda Cheese
Gouda has excellent melting properties and a soft creamy taste, making it the perfect substitute for Gruyere cheese in numerous dishes, including onion soup. Gouda is also less expensive than Gruyere cheese, so it tastes great and can save you a little money. In the Netherlands, people often eat this type of cheese dipped in mustard, and it pairs very well with port wine, Merlot, and unfiltered light beer.
5. Jarlsberg Cheese
Jarlsberg is another type of Swiss cheese, and it is made from pasteurized cow’s milk, which makes it melt very well. In addition to onion soup, Jarlsberg cheese is great for making sandwiches, salads, mashed soups, and so much more. The name is taken from a town in Norway, and it is a very popular cheese throughout Europe and the US.
6. Monterey Jack Cheese
This is a very popular cheese type that is usually made with either cow’s milk or goat’s milk. Lots of Mexican and American foods use this cheese, and it often includes seasonings such as pesto and jalapeño pepper. Monterey Jack cheese is similar in texture to cheddar and Colby, and you can even cut it into strips and eat it with foods such as nuts, crackers, breads, and dried fruits.
7. Mozzarella Cheese
This might not sound like a good substitute for Gruyere cheese, but its creamy taste and its ability to melt well make it work just like Gruyere cheese in your soup. Even when mozzarella cheese melts, it keeps its fibrous texture, which makes it perfect for soups and many Italian dishes, including pizza and lasagne. This melty cheese is great for all types of dishes, not just Italian ones, and it complements the rest of the ingredients in these foods.
8. Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan cheese has a grainy texture and a salty taste. It is a bit on the spicy side and is used in tons of Italian dishes, including soup, lasagne, pasta, and even balsamic vinegar. Americans often sprinkle Parmesan cheese over their spaghetti sauce, but it is a very versatile type of cheese that you can use for so much more than that.
9. Provolone Cheese
Provolone is creamy with a smooth texture, making it an excellent cheese for your French onion soup. Some of the many foods it is paired with include honey, mustard, jams and jellies, bread, fruit wines, and even veggies such as olives and radishes. You can also use it to make picante sauce, which tastes great with everything from scrambled eggs to sandwiches and so much more.
10. Raclette Cheese
Raclette cheese is a semi-hard and delicious cheese that shares its name with a famous Swiss dish. If you love cheese that perfectly complements onion soup due to its mushroom-like taste, raclette cheese is a great choice. You can use this type of cheese when making stews, casseroles, and hot dishes. It has a unique taste and the perfect texture for your onion soup.
What Substitute Will You Choose?
If you experiment, you can often find other types of cheese that will go great in your onion soup. Start with a cheese that has a mild taste and a chewy, easy-to-melt texture similar to Gruyere cheese. Most of these cheeses go well with white wines and fish dishes, as well as many other foods you often bake or cook in your kitchen. The bottom line is that French onion soup doesn’t have to have Gruyere cheese in it to taste fantastic.