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Delicious Traditional Cheese Fondue

I cannot tell you how much I love cheese fondue. This simple recipe is quick to make and is always a hit with everyone.

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Fork with a chunk of bread dripping cheese fondue.

I love a party of finger foods an appetizers. This traditional cheese fondue is one of my favorites, as is a complementary chocolate fondue for dessert – along with my guacamole and buffalo chicken dip.

This is perfect party food because it takes minimal prep and is ready super fast. Plus, it’s another one that looks like you worked really hard even though you didn’t.

This is one of those items I don’t make often and then think to myself every time: WHY don’t I make this for dinner more regularly?

So make cheese fondue for a New Year’s party, a girl’s night out, or just for a fun dinner with your family. They’ll thank you.

Traditional cheese fondue setup with pots veggies and bread.

What cheese should I use for cheese fondue?

The traditional cheese for cheese fondue is gruyere. I love the nutty taste of it, but you can use other cheeses, as well.

Emmantaler is another great choice, as is a baby Swiss. Jarlsberg works, as well.

You can even mix your cheeses, including cheddar or a little goat cheese, to come up with the perfect flavor you prefer.

Can I make cheese fondue without alcohol?

When you make cheese fondue, you typically use a dry white wine and kirsch. However, the kirsch is always optional – though it adds great flavor – and you can substitute chicken broth for both alcohols.

If you do use wine, make sure you choose a wine you want to drink. Not only do you use only a cup and a half of wine, but you taste what you use in the fondue.

I like to use a sauvignon blanc or a not oaky chardonnay or a pinot grigio. Find your favorite, and no, it doesn’t have to be expensive wine.

Just promise you won’t use “cooking wine” – that’s an abomination.

Is cheese fondue gluten free?

This traditional cheese fondue is absolutely gluten free. The only ingredient to watch is the cornstarch, but so long as you choose a brand that is pure cornstarch and not made on shared equipment, you’re fine.

This is another reason to grate your own cheese, too. Not only does it melt better overall, but you don’t have to worry about the additives that keep it from sticking.

When I grate a pound of cheese, I generally don’t use my wide ribbon grater. Instead, this is when I reach for my food processor or my tumbling box shredder.

Do I need a fondue pot to make cheese fondue?

A fondue pot makes controlling the heat as you melt your ingredients easier, and it ensures you maintain the proper heat so it doesn’t congeal. I always use one.

You can, however, use a heavy cast iron pot over low heat on your stove, but you will need to continue to reheat it as it cools.

Once upon a time, I used a traditional fondue pot with the sterno heat. However, I’ve since invested in an electric fondue pot that lets me control the heat far more easily and never runs out of fuel.

If you can, definitely purchase an electric fondue pot. You can use it to gently melt chocolate for dipping cookies in or making truffles, etc, as well.

Dipping bread into traditional cheese fondue with a fondue fork.

How to Make Traditional Cheese Fondue

If you have a fondue pot, awesome (I love my electric one because I can control the heat really well). If not, you can do this in a heavy pot on the stove.

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Mix together the shredded cheese and cornstarch and set it aside for a few minutes. You want this prep done first.

As noted above, please buy a block of cheese and shred yourself one way or another; it makes a difference!

Heat the wine and kirsch together until they start to steam but do not let it boil. Turn down the heat just a little bit, then add a small handful of cheese and stir until melted.

Keep adding cheese and stirring until it’s incorporated until all your cheese is gone.

If you add a hunk of cheese at one time, you will have a hunk of cheese and the liquid alcohol and it will be very hard to incorporate properly (although it is possible to do so if you make a mistake, but it takes patience and a really good whisk).

Once your cheese is fully incorporated and smooth, add nutmeg and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately while still hot. I serve mine with chunks of bread and apples, along with baby carrots.

It always goes quickly. This enough for a main-ish course for four people or up to eight people as an appetizer.

And if there are leftovers? Yes, you can reheat it and enjoy it yourself the next day, just reheat it in small servings so you don’t burn the cheese or cause it to separate.

Do not use your microwave, as cheese separates once it hits 160 degrees. Instead, use your electric fondue pot or stove on low heat, and stir as it stars to warm up.

Bookmark this so you remember the next time you want to make traditional cheese fondue

Fork with a chunk of bread dripping cheese fondue.

Traditional Cheese Fondue

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This traditional cheese fondue is a fun party food but also delicious as a just for fun dinner with family. Serve it with cubed bread, broccoli, carrots, apple slices, and more.


  • 1 pound gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/8 cup kirsch
  • nutmeg and pepper to taste


  1. Mix together the shredded cheese and cornstarch, then set aside.
  2. Heat wine and kirsch together until they start to steam but do not boil. Turn down heat just a bit, then cheese a bit at a time, stirring to melt between each addition.
  3. Once smooth, add nutmeg and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately with chunks of bread and apples, along with carrots and broccoli.


  • This enough for a main-ish course for four people or up to eight people as an appetizer.
  • If you have leftovers, reheat them gently over low heat on the stove or in your fondue pot. If cheese exceeds 160 degrees, it separates, so do not use your microwave.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 appetizer serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 373mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 13g

This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate the recipe above and save it on Pinterest so you can find it to make again and again. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think about it, too!

Table of cheese fondue pots and dip items with text The Perfect Cheese Fondue.

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Monday 9th of April 2012

Heather - It is sooooo good. It's gone now, and I think I need to make some more soon because now I have a taste for it!

Sandra - Ohhhhh yum! I love Geja's but haven't been there in forever. It absolutely isn't, so go for it!

Kelly - :)

Pat - Yep, they were popular then (or so I hear), but they're still good. It's amazing how much easier it is now with the electric controls instead of the Sterno!

Jen - You could do a chocolate one with good dark chocolate that's dairy free and coconut milk. That would be a great combo. Otherwise you'd have to do the oil/meat ones. Those still happen - you just need to make sure the meat is thin so it cooks well. Ahem.

Jen @ BigBinder

Thursday 5th of April 2012

Yummmm..... we had a fondue night last year and the kids LOVED it! We are avoiding most dairy now so I'm not sure what we would put in the pot though; when I was a kid and there were no rules, we actually cooked our own meat in boiling oil in fondue pots, but that is probably not a Good Choice in 2012.


Thursday 5th of April 2012

Oh, so yummy! This brought back memories of the early 1970s when fondue parties first became popular, at least, as far as I knew.


Wednesday 4th of April 2012

Oh, I'm saying CHEESE!!


Tuesday 3rd of April 2012

OMG you're making me so hungry. We used to go to Geja's in the city every anniversary. I miss that. This brings back so many great yummy memories. I should try to make it. It doesn't seem hard.

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