6 Tasty Choices for an Emmental Cheese Substitute

Emmental is one of the best kinds of cheese to use in recipes like fondue, gratins, and casseroles. Its smooth, creamy texture is perfect for any dish requiring melted cheese. This Swiss favorite has a nutty, buttery flavor that ranges from mildly salty when young to fruity and sharp when aged. 

Emmental cheese can be found at local grocers and specialty cheese shops. If you’re fresh out or can’t find it, you may be asking what you can use as an Emmental cheese substitute? 

There are six comparable kinds of cheese to Emmental that melt well and have a similar distinctive flavor. They are Gruyere, Fontina, Raclette, Jarlsberg, French Comte, and Maasdam. These cheeses can be used interchangeably as an Emmental cheese substitute in many recipes. 

6 Best Substitutes for Emmental Cheese

The key to substituting Emmental cheese is finding one with a similar flavor profile and silky texture when melted. Six different kinds of cheese can hold their own when used in place of  Emmental cheese. 

Read on to find out more about these delicious alternatives, and the recipes where each performs best as an Emmental cheese substitute.

1. Gruyere

Gruyere is a smooth, creamy cheese first produced in 1655 in the Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. It is higher in salt content because it is heavily brined before aging.  It has a similar nutty, earthy, flavor to Emmental.

Gruyere has a high water to oil ratio so it melts smoothly without being greasy or clumpy. Both Emmental and Gruyere are a stretchy, gooey delight on top of French Onion Soup, in fondue, or on a sandwich.

2. Fontina

Fontina cheese is a semi-soft cheese originating in the Valle de Aosta in Italy. Aosta Fontina has a medium sharp taste and semi-hard consistency that resembles Emmental cheese. 

Fontina cheese made outside Italy is semi-soft in texture with a milder flavor and fewer holes. Fontina is best used in baked dips or can be substituted for Emmental cheese in fondue.

3. Raclette

Raclette is an Alpine cheese known for its melting capabilities. It originated in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. Because of its nutty flavor and smooth melting properties, Raclette is another favorite in fondue recipes. It is best served in baked dishes because of its sharper flavor.

4. Jarlsberg

Jarlsberg is a Norwegian cheese developed in the 1850s that resembles Emmental cheese with large, open holes. It has a sharp, nutty flavor that is sweeter and stronger than Emmental and is good for making sandwiches, fondues, and baked or melted dishes.

5. French Comte

Comte is a smooth, firm cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, originating in the Jura Massif region of Eastern France in the 12th century. It ranges in flavor from mild and nutty to fruity and smokey with a creamy texture.

Traditionally Comte is used in soufflés, quiches and omelets. It is best used as an Emmental cheese substitute when melted in dishes like the popular Croque Monsieur (grilled cheese sandwich), and fondue.

6. Maasdam

Maasdam is a Dutch cheese that was created in The Netherlands in 1984 and is often used as an inexpensive Emmental cheese substitute. It has a subtly sweet, nutty flavor similar to Emmental, but has a higher water content making it slightly softer. Maasdam can be used in sandwiches or any dish requiring melted cheese.

There are many available options for an Emmental cheese substitute. Most are available locally and come in a wide range of prices. Try one of these varieties in your next cheese dish and enjoy a taste of the world.