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Cheese Fondue Recipe

Cheese Fondue Recipe

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  • 2 cloves of garlic, cut in half
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ pound Gruyère, cubed or grated if you have time,
  • ½ pound Emmentale, cubed or grated if you have time
  • Pinch of flour


Rub the cloves on the bottom and sides of a small pot. Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice to the pot and simmer. Then add the cheese cubes gradually. As the cheese begins to melt, add in the flour and stir to combine in a zigzag pattern (not in a circle), until it’s thick and creamy, cooking for about 5-8 minutes. Make sure not to let it boil. Remove from heat and keep warm over a flame.

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Chef John's Classic Cheese Fondue Is the Ultimate Cheese Lover's Recipe

Chef John displays his foolproof method for making amazing cheese fondue.

Cheese fondue is one of those iconic recipes that I&aposve received hundreds of requests to do over the years, but for one reason or another, I never got around to filming it. One of those reasons was the lack of a proper fondue set. We didn&apost get one at our wedding, and unless you&aposre Swiss, who buys themselves a fondue set? But all that changed after a trip to the local second hand store.

I was walking through aisles piled high with old this and vintage that, when I saw the fondue pot of my dreams, in all it&aposs mid-century glory. So that excuse for not doing a fondue video disappeared, and I was down to finding an authentic recipe that would be both easy, and foolproof.  

I&aposm happy to report that was easier than finding a cool fondue set. Thanks to all the Swiss fondue lovers willing to share their recipes and techniques online, I was able to peruse several dozen methods, and after a little bit of experimenting, and tweaking ingredient amounts, I ended up with what I think is the perfect recipe. Of course, I&aposll let you decide whether that&aposs true or I was just high on cheese, but I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!  

Get the recipe for Chef John&aposs Classic Cheese Fondue.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pound Swiss cheese, diced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons potato flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch (cherry brandy)
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf French or Italian bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

Rub the inside of the fondue pot (or a casserole/chafing dish) with a clove of garlic. If using a chafing dish, add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan in order to protect it.

Dredge the diced cheese in potato flour and set aside.

Pour wine in the dish and heat. When the wine is heated, add the coated cheese. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring with a wire whisk until the cheese is melted and well-blended with the wine. Season with grated nutmeg, salt, and pepper. When ready to serve, whisk in kirsch. Serve with bread cubes.

A meatless yet rich dish that would make a perfect appetizer for a group dinner.

Good news—vegans can fondue too with this plant-based cheese.

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    1. Rub inside of a 4-quart heavy pot with cut sides of garlic, then discard garlic. Add wine to pot and bring just to a simmer over moderate heat.
    2. Stir together cornstarch and kirsch (if using otherwise, use water or wine) in a cup.
    3. Gradually add cheese to pot and cook, stirring constantly in a zigzag pattern (not a circular motion) to prevent cheese from balling up, until cheese is just melted and creamy (do not let boil). Stir cornstarch mixture again and stir into fondue. Bring fondue to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to fondue pot set over a flame.
    1. •Cubes of French bread
    2. •Cubes of apple and pear
    3. •Roasted potatoes
    4. •Julienned raw red bell pepper
    5. •Blanched broccoli florets
    1. •Dry white wine such as dry Riesling or Sancerre
    2. •German lager or Saison-style ale
    3. •Farmhouse cider
    4. •Fino Sherry

    There are a couple things missing (I married into a Swiss hotelier/restaurateur family) from this recipe a la Vaudois (canton in Switzerland): Mix the wine, Dijon mustard, cornstarch (or white flour), crushed garlic (use a garlic press, don't discard it), white pepper and black pepper in the fondue pot, bring to a simmer until thick. Then add the grated cheese stirring constantly until melted and then 5 full minutes further while it's bubbling. Mix the kirsch with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, have the fondue burner ready, add the kirsch mixture and stir rapidly, the fondue will increase in volume, transfer pot to the burner and enjoy, ideally with day old bread (baguette, or pain noir which is white bread made with part rye flour). Yes to cornichons, pickled pearl onions and viande seche if you can find it. You can vary by adding stewed tomatoes with fresh basil, thyme and marjoram, ladling it over boiled baby potatoes.

    This is a great cheese fondue. I added a bit more kirsch with the corn starch, as two teaspoons with 1 tbsp cornstarch was almost solid. Made it in an electric Cuisinart fondue pot from the start. Patience is needed to get the right consistency, and it was perfect. I baked homemade French bread as the main dipper, and added apples, pears, broccoli (cooked just to tender, then into an ice bath) and some red peppers. What I don’t get is how two people can finish up a pound of cheese and wish there was more!

    I’m surprised by the good reviews on this. I’ve followed it twice (honestly forgot I had used it already the second time), and both times I ended up with fondue that was way too thin. Had to take some emergency measures to salvage it. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I followed the recipe exactly. ::shrug::

    Excellent. I made a half recipe for the two of us, and after it was cooked, put it on a Japanese butane burner. We used forks to put the bread and apple pieces into the pot. The apples are a great idea (we used Cosmic Crisp) because they cut down the richness but are very, very tasty with the cheese.

    We hosted a fondue party for our 20-something sons and a large group of their friends last night and used this recipe for the main course. It was a hit. We overheard a few of them comment it was better than what they had at The Melting Pot. Three of the guests were visiting from Sweden and gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up. This will be our go-to fondue recipe from now on!

    I'm only giving it three forks b/c for some reason, the cheese kept blobbing up in the center. I think this may've been due to the Sterno - it kept getting too hot, I think, and so we kept having to put it out and re-light it and I think it affected the texture of the fondue. The taste was great, though. I added a healthy tablespoon of Dijon mustard to it, and instead of Kirsch, I used Sherry (all I had). We did get the crust up from the bottom and that was delicious! We dipped balanced broccoli, cauliflower, fingerling potatoes, Honey Crisp apple and bread.

    Perfect! Smells like Switzerland. We used a Chablis for wine and regular brandy instead of kirsch (although apparently kirsch is good in your clafoutis in the summer if you feel like investing in a bottle) . We don't have a fondue pot, so we just made it in our dutch oven, turned the gas burner way down, and ate it standing over the oven. This will definitely become a Christmastime tradition for our family!

    CASSYMC14 FROM ONTARIO - you can use beer instead of wine. I've used both Guinness and a local craft gold in different fondues. It's all good.

    I am such a sucker for cheese, and this hit the spot. I added the step that others recommended of tossing the grated cheese with cornstarch. I also substituted Jarlsberg for the Emmental and added a little bit of grated cheddar just for fun. I also simmered a finely chopped shallot with the wine. This came out so rich and velvety. we served it with soft pretzels, crusty bread, cubed apples, and some pickled vegetables (used the "Quick Winter Pickled Veggies" recipe from Southern Living). I was craving a cheese appie as football food, and this was much nicer than I anticipated. I see a lot of people saying they make this for Xmas Eve, and I think we might follow suit this year.

    I'm sure this recipe is great, due to the other reviews I've read. Somehow I managed to make it taste heavily of wine. Any suggestions? Maybe the wine should boil longer before adding the other ingredients. Soooo annoying! Stupid wine! I rated it a 4 because I made it taste like poo

    Followed receipe as is and it was very good. Will double the recipe next time. It was not enough as main dish.

    Perfect! I tossed the shredded cheeses (four - a mix of Comte, aged and fresh Gruyere, and some First Konig) with half the cornstarch as suggested, used the kirsch, and made it in advance and transported it warm to a friend's - it was so good that four of us ate almost all of it! Dipped apple, pear, bread, and roasted potatoes. Simply fantastic!

    I like the idea of the garlic but just to even it out, I would add some salt and/or pepper

    As others have said, this recipe is the real thing. It is canonical Swiss fondue. Nice to see a couple of the tweaks others have suggested: nutmeg, herbs de provence. Not both of course. Serve with cornichon pickles, pickled pearl onions, and sliced fruit, usually apples. Somebody said it reheats. I have never seen a fondue that reheats but the best thing to do is that if there is ever any left - rare in my house - scrape out the rubbery pieces, cut them up, and use them in omelets. Oh. my.

    really delicious and fun recipe. i wondered if the cheese was going to come together but in the end it was smooth and silky. my family loved it. we got it on the table in about 30 minutes so much faster than i imagined all the prep would be. guess we will have to buy our own fondue pot now.

    I'm Swiss and this recipe is nearly perfect. Do NOT omit the Kirsch and add a little nutmeg as you cook. The "crust" truly is a delicacy, and you don't need to wait until the end to enjoy it - just gently scrape it from the bottom of the pot every ten minutes or so. For a true Swiss experience, serve with a shot glass of Kirsch for dipping and sipping, and Fendant wine, if you can find it. And don't forget the classic Swiss rule - if you drop your bread in the pot, you must go around the table and kiss each member of the opposite sex.

    WOW. This is a spectacular recipe. I just returned from Geneva, and this recipe is spot on authentic. I added a little Herbs Du Provence. My guests were highly impressed.

    My favorite fondue. A Christmas Eve tradition. It never disappoints.

    Easy and excellent! As other reviewers have noted, make certain you use good wine!

    First time making fondue. This recipe is spot on!! I followed a reviewers suggestion on mixing the shredded cheese with the corn starch and stick with the slurry of a little corn starch with kirsch. Keep stirring-- added a few house made sausages, grilled and sliced from whole foods for a man's type meal. Awesome!!

    This fondue is delicious. I love garlic, so I wouldn't dream of discarding it. Instead, I minced and cooked the garlic, and included it in the fondue (just before adding the wine). Since the recipe has so few ingredients, make sure the wine you use tastes good on its own (to avoid the whole "garbage in, garbage out" scenario). If you find that you want a smoother fondue, try making a slurry of cornstarch (

    1 tablespoon) and water and adding this as you heat and stir the fondue in the last step. This recipe reheats well if you have leftovers or want to prepare it in advance. Make it, you'll love it.

    This recipe is spot on to what my Swiss friend gave me years ago. I use a mix of Emmental, Gruyere & Appenzeller, put the cheeses in a ziplock bag with the cornstarch & shake it-it makes it easier to prepare the cheeses ahead of time. When it comes time for the kirch addition, I'll make a paste out of an additional 1/2 tbl.

    Outstanding authentic fondue recipe. just like my Aunt's recipe from Switzerland. except you'll need to add 1/4 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg, stir and serve! Excellent!

    Excellent fondue recipe. We probably could have used a little bit more white wine. Also, it took us a while to realize that emmental cheese is swiss cheese. This could have saved us a bunch of time at the grocery store.

    Recipe Summary

    • 1 garlic clove, halved
    • 1 pound Gruyère cheese, grated
    • 1/2 pound Emmentaler cheese or other Swiss cheese, grated
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons kirsch
    • Freshly ground pepper
    • Freshly grated nutmeg

    Rub the inside of a cheese fondue pot or medium enameled cast-iron casserole with the garlic clove discard the garlic. Combine the grated Gruyère and Emmentaler with the wine, cornstarch and lemon juice in the fondue pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the cheeses begin to melt, about 5 minutes. Add the kirsch and a generous pinch each of pepper and nutmeg and cook, stirring gently, until creamy and smooth, about 10 minutes don't overcook the fondue or it will get stringy. Serve at once.

    Best-Ever Cheese Fondue

    Editor's Note: We adjusted the amount of cheese and wine in this recipe to improve flavor and consistency on February 2, 2021. We are currently evaluating reader feedback and will re-test and update the recipe accordingly.

    Few foods are more fun to eat than a good old-fashioned cheese fondue. Not only is it a fun throwback to the fondue craze of the 70's but it is up there in some of the best foods for a small party. What makes this fondue better than the rest? The *slightest* hint of garlic flavor, achieved by rubbing the inside of your pot with a cut garlic clove. GENIUS. If you're looking for the other kind of fondue (or want to have a full fondue meal!) check out our ultra-decadent recipe for chocolate fondue, it does not disappoint. 😋

    Cheese Fondue

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    There’s a reason cheese fondue never really goes out of style: It’s delicious. The accouterments can be anything that benefits from a dip in some cheese: olive and walnut breads, apples and pears, salami, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, or sautéed mushrooms. Be sure to include a few palate-cleansing pickles, like cornichons, to help cut the richness.

    What to buy: When purchasing the cheese, buy 1-pound pieces to account for the unused rinds’ weight.

    Special equipment: You will need a fondue pot for this recipe. They can be purchased at most cooking stores and online. If you don’t have a fondue pot, you can serve this in a slower cooker set on low. Note: The slow cooker will get hotter than a fondue pot, so you will need to stir the cheese mixture often.

    Top tips to make Easy Cheese Fondue Recipe with White Wine

    • You’ll need about 1 cup of wine per pound (450 grams) of cheese. It’s important to use a dry white wine like Big Banyan’s Chardonnay for your fondue. The acidity in the wine helps the cheese’s proteins from clumping together and turning the fondue into a stringy broken mass. Fresh lemon juice squeezed into the fondue can also help stabilize it, and add acidity and freshness that balances out the cheese.
    • Since cheese is the key ingredient in this recipe, it’s a good idea to dole out a bit on good quality cheese. Well ripened cheese is best and a classic combination of Emmentaler which melts easy, and Gruyere which packs in flavor always works really well. Other cheeses that can be a good addition are cheddar, mild blue cheese, jarlsberg, fontina etc.
    • You must make sure the cheese is at room temperature. Adding cold cheese to warm wine can be a sure shot way to break the fondue. It’s also important to grate the cheese so that it melts faster, and add a little cornstarch which creates a wonderful, creamy fondue.

    What to Dip in Cheese Fondue

    If you don’t know what to dip into your cheese fondue, we’re going to offer you some inspiration:

    • Bread – better when it’s a bit crusty cut into cubes.
    • Apples – tart varieties
    • Bacon
    • Roasted baby potatoes
    • Broccoli – steamed

    Of course, you can go wild and try tons of options here, but these seem to be the most popular.


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