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How to Make Cheese Fondue

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This is an easy recipe showing you How to Make Cheese Fondue. This is a smooth, creamy and delicious fondue to dip bread, veggies and fruit.

cheese fondue with bread dunked into it

April 11th is National Cheese Fondue Day! It’s tough to find a fondue restaurant nowadays, so the best option is to make it at home. This post shows you how to make cheese fondue, and you’ll find that it’s very easy to do.

Share your cheese fondue on social media today using the hashtags #NationalCheeseFondueDay, #CheeseFondueDay and #RecipesForHolidays. Be sure to follow my April Food Holidays page so you will never miss a food holiday in the month of May!

“Fondue is not good date food. You end up with cheese dripping down your face.”

-James Corden

The History of Cheese Fondue:

Legend has it that fondue originated in the 16th century during fighting between the Protestants and the Roman Catholic Swiss. A truce was declared, and they shared cheese and bread together.

A more likely story is that fondue was created by 18th century Swiss farm families. During the winter, resources were scarce, so farm families melted readily available cheese with a little wine in which to dip their stale bread. Dipping the bread softened it up, and turned it into a delicious meal. Making cheese fondue became a Swiss winter tradition.

The first written recipes for fondue appeared in 18th century cookbooks in France and Belgium.

Fondue made its way to America at the 1964 New York World’s Fair when fondue was featured at the Swiss Pavilion’s Alpine Restaurant.

In the 1970’s, serving fondue at parties became very popular when Swiss cheese makers convinced the world that dunking bread into pots of melted cheese was a great idea. It was a sociable meal, with everyone standing around a fondue pot dunking away.

Serving cheese fondue made a comeback in the early 2000’s, and you can still buy a wide variety of fondue pots today.

ingredients displayed for making cheese fondue

Ingredients needed:

  • Gruyere cheese
  • Swiss or Emmentaler cheese
  • cornstarch
  • garlic
  • dry white wine
  • kirsch (can substitute apple juice or cider)
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • grated nutmeg
  • white ground pepper
  • desired dunkers
four photos showing how to make cheese fondue in saucepan

How to Make Cheese Fondue:

The complete printable recipe is at the end of this post.

Toss together the shredded cheeses and cornstarch. 

Rub the cut side of the garlic clove on the inside of a 3-quart pot with a heavy bottom. Discard the garlic. 

Add the wine, kirsch, and lemon juice to the pot. Heat over medium heat until steaming. 

Once the liquid is steaming, add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to fully incorporate the cheese before adding more. 

Once all the cheese is added and the mixture is smooth, stir in the nutmeg and white pepper. 

cheese fondue in a pot surrounded by dunkers

Serve with the items of your choices, for dipping.

cheese fondue displayed with veggies fruit and bread

What are the best things to dip into fondue?

dunking bread chunk into cheese fondue

Of course, bread chunks are the traditional favorite. They soak up the fondue perfectly, and you will get plenty of melted cheese with your bread.

dunking broccoli into cheese fondue

We like fresh or lightly steamed vegetables and apple slices too. Now you know how to make cheese fondue, and you can make it at home. Enjoy!

Fun Facts About Fondue:

  • The word “fondue” comes from the French word “fondre,” which means “to melt.”
  • Fondue is traditionally made and served in an earthenware pot called a calquelon.
  • Gruyere (Swiss cheese) is the first type of cheese that was used to make fondue. Other popular cheeses that are used for fondue are gouda, fontina, comte, emmental and cheddar. A combination of two or three cheeses to make fondue is common.
  • The Swiss consider losing bread while dunking into a fondue pot as bad form. The person who does this is usually assigned some kind of penalty for doing so- like cleaning up.
  • The crusty cheese cooked on the bottom of the fondue pot is called “religieuse.” It’s considered a delicacy!
  • Fondue is rarely served in higher end restaurants because the smell of strong cheeses melting can consume the whole restaurant.
cheese fondue with bread dunked into it

How to Make Cheese Fondue

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 pound good-quality Swiss or Emmentaler cheese, shredded
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 of a large clove of garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch white pepper

Instructions

Toss together the shredded cheeses and cornstarch. 

Rub the cut side of the garlic clove on the inside of a 3-quart pot with a heavy bottom. Discard the garlic. 

Add the wine, kirsch, and lemon juice to the pot. Heat over medium heat until steaming. 

Once the liquid is steaming, add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to fully incorporate the cheese before adding more. 

Once all the cheese is added and the mixture is smooth, stir in the nutmeg and white pepper. 

Serve with the items of your choice for dipping. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 460mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 25g

Nutritional information was figured using a nutrition calculator. It includes the cheese only, not the dippers. It's not likely to be 100% accurate.

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