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11 Surprising Fontina Cheese Substitute To Finish Your Recipe

The flavors of Fontina Cheese are sweet and strong, with tones of butter and roasted almonds emerging as it lingers in your mouth. It has a significant flavor and aroma that is unique from other cheeses, which is why it is loved by chefs and food experts around the world, most especially in Italy.

As much as it is an essential component to certain dishes, there are instances when you don’t have it in your pantry. Here are some alternatives you can consider immediately

  1. Gruyere Cheese
  2. Gouda Cheese
  3. Provolone Cheese
  4. Edam Cheese
  5. Havarti Cheese
  6. Mozzarella Cheese
  7. Parmesan Cheese
  8. Emmental Cheese
  9. Vacherin

Read on if you are still unable to find any suitable alternatives above and will want to know the full comprehensive list of the best Fontina Cheese substitutes,

But first, let us find out some brief history regarding this popular ingredient.

11 Best Substitute For Fontina Cheese 

Fontina Cheese Substitute

Fontina is a type of cheese that is popular in Italy, Denmark, France, Sweden, the United States, and other parts of the world. It is a mild to medium-sharp Italian cheese with a semisoft to hard texture but mild flavor.

Fontina cheese is basically made from cow’s milk and has approximately 45% fat. It has a creamy light yellow color with several tiny holes and a mild, nutty flavor that varies depending on how long it has been cured.

Fontina Cheese typically works with everything. Whether you’re making pizza, fondue, cheese sandwiches, or you’ll just use it to top off your gnocchi, fontina cheese evidently improves the overall taste and texture of your dish. 

We find Gruyere cheese to be one of the best substitutes for fontina cheese as it has similar texture and flavor.

However, if you do not have it , this article will provide you with the best fontina cheese substitutes that you can use when you can’t get your hands on the real thing. Let’s start.

Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere cheese is a semi-soft Swiss cheese created in a town where it was named after. It is one of Fontina’s best alternatives given its texture and flavor profile that is buttery and nutty, similar to that of Fontina. 

Gruyere cheese is made from hard cow’s milk. It’s quite common and can be found in most stores, so it’s a convenient alternative to Fontina. With regards to quality and consistency, Gruyere is a good cheese to grate. 

You can use it as a topping for soups and pasta meals, for instance, or it can also be melted to make a tasty cheesy sauce.

However, because it melts too fast, it may not be an ideal choice for making fondue. Overall, for many recipes that call for non-melted Fontina, it’s recommended that you stick to Gruyere cheese.

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Gouda Cheese

Vegan gouda cheese Recipe

Gouda cheese is one of the most popular cheeses in the world. It is made from full-fat cow’s milk and has a unique, mild flavor.

Although there is substantial debate over the actual nature of Gouda; others feel it is a larger form of cheese rather than a single sort.

Regardless, there are a few ways to tell if it’s Gouda or not as the flavor will always be mild, but not overly sweet or salty. Hence, its taste resembles Fontina. 

When a Gouda cheese is young, it develops a moderate nuttiness similar to that seen in Fontina cheeses but when it ages, it develops a distinct flavor.

So if you are looking to substitute Gouda for Fontina, be sure that you choose young Gouda to achieve a close tang of the nuts

Provolone Cheese


Provolone cheese, preferably the unsmoked variety, can be used as a substitute for Fontina since both are fresh cheeses with mild qualities that originated in Italy.

While Fontina cheese can be a little bit milder in taste, Provolone cheese, on the other hand, has a distinct pungent hint to it.

Provolone cheese, like Havarti or Emmental, is widely available in supermarkets and can be used easily in a variety of ways.

It works nicely as a topping for salads and many Italian recipes, and it is actually perfect for sandwiches. Because provolone melts so beautifully, it can even be used to produce a fantastic sauce.

However, because of its soft texture, it cannot be grated easily compared with other cheeses. Simply get it sliced and finely cut if you plan to use it in Italian meals such as on top of pasta or in a pizza cheese blend. 

Edam Cheese


Edam cheese is a semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands that is popular for being one of the oldest commercial cheeses in Europe. If you are looking for a good substitute for young Fontina, you can definitely go for Edam cheese. Comparable to Fontina, it has a slightly nutty flavor that you can easily notice upon tasting.

What’s more, Edam cheese is also a healthier option with only 28% fat content compared to other cheeses that has higher fat content. So, if you don’t like the rich texture of Fontina or want to reduce your fat consumption, Edam is the way to go.

Best served cold, Edam cheese is perfect for salads, cheese boards, sandwiches, and even desserts. For the perfect combo, you can use it with stone fruits like peaches, plums, and cherries or you can also pair it with apples and pears.

The fruit’s richness wonderfully offsets the cheese’s slight saltiness. Undeniably, Edam is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a number of ways.

Havarti Cheese


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Havarti cheese is holey, just like Fontina and Emmental cheeses, even though its pores are smaller than Emmental’s and more numerous than Fontina.

Because it hails from the same country as Fontina, this soft Danish cow’s milk cheese may be considered a close match. It also has mild, creamy qualities that are comparable to young Fontina, making it one of the best options to try.

Havarti cheese melts easily due to its soft texture, but it also works nicely when cold. It’s great on deli subs, pasta, or even cheese boards, and it pairs well with a wide range of alcoholic beverages.

Havarti is widely available in grocery stores and can easily be bought in a variety of forms like slices, large cuts, and blocks.

Mozzarella Cheese


Mozzarella is another option if no Fontina or no other cheese is available. While Mozzarella bears the least resemblance to Fontina, it can be used in comparable ways.

When compared to the texture and consistency of Fontina, Mozzarella is a fairly soft cheese. However, this Italian cheese, which is regularly sourced from cow’s milk, also has a sweet and mild flavor similar to that of a young Fontina.

So in terms of taste, we can say that Mozzarella is something good to be considered as an alternative. 

However, the aftertaste will only be the distinction between mozzarella and fontina. The flavor is nutty and savory at first, with a little bit of sweetness.

The finish, on the other hand, is far richer than the typical fontina. When mozzarella is used as a substitute in acidic dishes like those with a lot of tomato sauce, the aftertaste issue is commonly overlooked.

While mozzarella may not be the best option for a fontina substitute, it will suffice at certain times.

Parmesan Cheese


Parmesan cheese is also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano is solid, thick, and pungent, which might also be perfect if you want to use it as a substitute for Fontina.

You can never go wrong with parmesan and that’s for sure because it basically goes with everything, from pasta to soups to any dish that you can think of. It 

Parmesan cheese has a nutty flavor that is comparable to that of Fontina cheese. But in terms of saltiness, Parmesan has a lower salt concentration, making it the best Fontina alternative for anyone watching their sodium intake.

Emmental Cheese


Emmental, also known as Emmentaler or Emmenthal, is a yellow-colored medium-hard Swiss cheese that has an extremely mild flavor.

When eaten, its texture is almost similar to that of cheddar with small amounts of grits. Emmental is a very old cheese that has been used in various recipes since hundreds of years back. Although it is well-known in Northern Europe, it has also gained popularity in other countries such as Italy and France.

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Among other types of cheeses, Emmental has a low melting point, which is why it is frequently used to make fondues. It is very practical to use since it pairs up with almost any recipe.

Thus, chefs from all over the world use it as a substitute when they don’t want to change the mild, inconspicuous flavor of a dish.

The fact that Emmental does not stretch just like fontina is an important thing to note.

Since the variation in texture is not noticeable when mixed with dishes, it can be a perfect substitute for Fontina when making soups, stews, fondues, and other dishes. 

Vacherin Cheese

Vacherin Cheese

Vacherin cheese is another type of cheese from France and Switzerland that is also being associated with Brie for having a rich and creamy texture and taste.

But aside from that, it is also known for being a good substitute for young Fontina. According to Greedy Gourmet, the French style of Vacherin, Mont d’Or is the best Vacherin alternative to Fontina.

This is due to the fact that this type is creamier and more buttery than the Swiss version. Plus, it also has the same fat level as that of Fontina.

Vacherin cheese is best used in pies, pasta, and any dish that involves torching. When melted, Vacherin cheese will bubble and form a wonderful stringy crust.

Cheddar Cheese


When it comes to cheddar, the first thing that comes off in our minds is the orange-colored American cheddar. While it is more popular and more commonly used in several cuisines, it may not be as good as an equivalent to Fontina as the original British white cheddar.

White cheddar’s tastes on the front and rear end of the taste spectrum pair well with fontina. But since cheddar has a somewhat grittier texture, it would be used best in recipes where the cheese is emulsified.

Cheddar is a full-fat cow’s milk cheese that is only created in one settlement in Cheddar, England. Because the flavor profile, texture, and taste of American cheddars are so dissimilar, they must be labeled as such. In pasta dishes, open-faced sandwiches, and other dishes, white cheddar can be substituted for fontina.

Nutritional Yeast


You may be surprised that nutritional yeast is included in the list, but it actually is a good replacement to Fontina if you are going vegan! When sprinkled on top, nutritional yeast adds a hint of mushroom and earth flavors to your dish. 

Aside from that, it has a strong and cheesy aroma that, surprisingly, enhances the flavor of your food as if you are eating the actual thing.