Fontina cheese is a semi-soft Italian cow’s milk cheese with a mild, nutty flavor.
It’s often used in pasta dishes, pizzas, and even salads.
But what if you don’t have any fontina on hand?
What are the best substitutes for this delicious cheese?
We’ve compiled a list of 12 great substitutes that will give your dish the same creamy texture and subtle flavor.
From cheddar to Gruyere, each alternative brings something unique to the table.
Keep reading to learn more about these tasty alternatives and how to incorporate them into your favorite recipes!
What is Fontina Cheese?
Fontina cheese is a semi-soft Italian cheese, with a distinctive flavor that’s slightly sweet and nutty.
It typically has an ivory to pale yellow hue, with small holes scattered throughout the cheese.
The rind of Fontina is usually covered in wax to prevent it from drying out but can also be found as a natural rind variety.
This cheese pairs well with cured meats and fruits, making it perfect for charcuterie boards or snacks on its own.
It melts easily when heated so you can use it for pizzas, pasta dishes, gratins and more!
Aged Fontina has a strong aroma but still retains the same mellow taste that makes this one of Italy’s most beloved cheeses.
The 12 Best Substitutes For Fontina Cheese
Fontina cheese is a type of Italian cheese that has a distinctive flavor and texture.
However, it can be tough to find in some areas.
If you’re looking for an alternative, here are twelve substitutes that offer similar taste and texture:
1 – Gruyere Cheese
Gruyere cheese is a great substitute for fontina cheese.
It has a similar nutty, slightly sweet flavor and creamy texture.
Gruyere is an aged Swiss cow’s milk cheese that originated in the Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland.
It has a semi-firm texture with small holes throughout it and can range from mild to sharp in flavor depending on its age.
It melts beautifully and works well when grated over dishes or melted into sauces or casseroles.
Gruyere also pairs nicely with other flavors such as ham, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and herbs like thyme and rosemary.
This makes it perfect for adding depth of flavor to quiches, gratins, souffles, macaroni and cheese dishes, sandwiches or even just melted onto toast!
2 – Gouda Cheese
Gouda cheese is a semi-hard Dutch cheese that has been around since the 12th century.
It has a mild, nutty flavor and creamy texture that makes it perfect for melting on sandwiches or adding to salads.
Gouda is made from cow’s milk and can be aged anywhere from one month to two years, depending on the desired flavor profile.
The longer the aging process, the more intense its taste becomes.
As an alternative to fontina cheese, Gouda can be used in place of melted fontina in recipes like macaroni and cheese or grilled sandwiches.
Its unique flavor will add depth and complexity to any dish without overpowering other ingredients.
3 – Munster Cheese
Munster cheese is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese that has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
It is similar to Fontina in texture and color, but it has its own unique flavor profile.
Munster cheese is often used as an alternative to Fontina because of its creamy texture and nutty taste.
The cheese can be melted or grated over dishes for added flavor, or it can be eaten on its own as part of a snack platter.
The rind of Munster cheese is edible and adds a nice contrast to the soft interior when included in dishes such as macaroni and cheese or grilled sandwiches.
The rind also helps keep the interior moist during cooking so that it doesn’t dry out too quickly.
Munster pairs well with fruits like apples, pears, grapes, and figs; vegetables like mushrooms, onions, peppers; meats like ham or bacon; nuts like walnuts or almonds; and other cheeses like cheddar or Swiss.
It also works nicely in sauces for pasta dishes or pizza toppings — just make sure you grate the Munster first before adding it into your recipe!
4 – Feta Cheese
Feta cheese has a similar creamy texture and salty flavor.
Feta is a crumbly, brined white cheese made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat’s milk.
It originated in Greece but is now produced all over the world.
Feta has a tangy, sharp flavor that pairs well with other ingredients like olives, tomatoes, and herbs.
It can be used as an ingredient in salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and more.
Unlike Fontina cheese which melts easily when heated, Feta does not melt very well so it’s best to use it as an ingredient in cold dishes or sprinkle it on top of cooked dishes just before serving.
It also works well as part of a pizza topping or mixed into scrambled eggs for added flavor and texture.
Feta can also be crumbled onto baked potatoes or roasted vegetables for extra flavor and crunch.
5 – Provolone Cheese
Provolone is an Italian cheese made from cow’s milk that has been aged for at least two months.
It has a mild, slightly sweet taste with hints of nuttiness.
The texture of Provolone cheese can range from semi-soft to hard depending on how long it was aged.
The younger the cheese, the softer and more pliable it will be.
Provolone can be used in many dishes such as sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, salads and more.
It melts well and adds a creamy richness to any dish you use it in.
It also works well when grated over dishes like lasagna or baked pasta dishes for added flavor and texture.
Provolone pairs nicely with other ingredients such as tomatoes, olives, peppers and mushrooms which makes it perfect for topping off pizzas or adding to paninis or grilled sandwiches.
6 – Emmental
Emmental cheese is a great alternative to Fontina cheese.
It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and a creamy texture that makes it perfect for melting.
It’s also very versatile and can be used in many different dishes such as fondue, macaroni and cheese, grilled sandwiches, omelets, quiches, soups and more.
The flavor of Emmental cheese is quite mild compared to other cheeses like cheddar or gouda so it won’t overpower the dish you’re making.
It also melts nicely when heated which makes it ideal for adding creaminess to dishes without having to add extra fat or dairy products.
In terms of texture, Emmental cheese has small holes throughout which gives it an interesting look when melted on top of food.
This type of cheese pairs well with fruits such as apples or pears as well as vegetables like mushrooms or tomatoes so you can get creative with how you use it in your recipes!
7 – Havarti
Havarti is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese that originates from Denmark.
It has a mild, buttery flavor with a slightly acidic note and creamy texture.
Havarti is an excellent replacement for Fontina because it melts well and has a similar taste profile.
The two cheeses also have similar textures when melted, making them ideal for recipes like macaroni and cheese or fondue.
Havarti can be used in place of Fontina in any recipe where the cheese needs to be melted or added as part of the mix.
It works especially well in dishes like grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, lasagna, pizza toppings, and casseroles.
It can also be used as part of an appetizer platter or served on its own with crackers or bread slices.
Havarti pairs nicely with fruits such as apples and pears as well as nuts like walnuts and almonds.
8 – Taleggio
Taleggio is a semi-soft Italian cheese that has a mild, slightly salty flavor and creamy texture.
It is made from cow’s milk and aged for at least two months.
Taleggio is an excellent substitute for Fontina cheese as it has a similar mild taste with a hint of sweetness.
The texture of Taleggio also makes it ideal for melting, making it perfect to use in dishes such as grilled cheese sandwiches or macaroni and cheese.
The rind of Taleggio can be quite pungent so you may want to remove the rind before using the cheese in your dish.
You can also rub the cut sides with olive oil to reduce the strong odor if desired.
When substituting Taleggio for Fontina, you should note that Taleggio will have more moisture than Fontina due to its higher fat content, so you may need to adjust cooking times accordingly or use less liquid in your recipe if necessary.
9 – Vacherin
Vacherin is a semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk that has a nutty flavor and creamy texture.
It is similar to Fontina in terms of its mild, buttery taste but it has a slightly more pungent aroma.
Vacherin can be used as an alternative to Fontina in dishes such as fondue, pizza, pasta, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
It also makes for an excellent table cheese when served with crackers or bread.
The cheese melts well and adds a nice flavor to any dish without overpowering the other ingredients.
Its creamy texture also helps bind sauces together for added richness and depth of flavor.
When shopping for Vacherin, look for wheels that are firm yet supple with no cracks or discoloration on the rind.
The interior should have small holes throughout and should be pale yellow in color with some orange hues around the edges.
For best results, let the cheese come to room temperature before serving so that you can enjoy all its flavors fully!
10 – Edam
Edam is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk that has been aged for at least four weeks.
It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a creamy texture.
It melts easily and can be used in many dishes as an alternative to Fontina cheese.
Edam is perfect for adding creaminess to sauces, soups, and casseroles without overpowering the other flavors in the dish.
It also works well when melted on top of pizzas or grilled sandwiches, giving them an extra layer of flavor.
When grated or cubed, Edam adds a nice textural contrast to salads and pasta dishes.
The cheese pairs well with fruits such as apples and pears as well as nuts like walnuts or hazelnuts.
It also goes nicely with cured meats like prosciutto or salami and can be served alongside olives or pickles for an easy appetizer platter.
11 – Grana Padano
Grana Padano is a hard, cow’s milk cheese that is similar to Parmigiano Reggiano but with a milder flavor.
It has a nutty and slightly sweet taste, and its texture is firm yet crumbly.
Grana Padano can be used in place of Fontina cheese for dishes like macaroni and cheese, lasagna, pizza, or fondue.
The cheese can also be grated over salads or soups for an added layer of flavor.
When substituting Grana Padano for Fontina in recipes, it’s important to note that the two cheeses have different melting points; Grana Padano melts more slowly than Fontina does.
To get the most out of this substitution, you may need to adjust your cooking time accordingly so that the cheese doesn’t burn before it has had enough time to melt properly.
12 – Mozzarella
Mozzarella is a great substitute for Fontina cheese.
It has a mild, creamy flavor and a soft, stretchy texture that makes it perfect for melting.
Mozzarella is made from cow’s milk and is usually sold in blocks or pre-shredded packages.
It can be used in many of the same dishes as Fontina cheese, such as pizza, lasagna, and grilled sandwiches.
The biggest difference between Mozzarella and Fontina cheese is the fat content: Mozzarella contains more fat than Fontina does.
This means that when melted, Mozzarella will have a creamier texture than Fontina would.
In terms of taste, Mozzarella has a milder flavor than Fontina does; it won’t overpower other flavors in your dish like some cheeses can do.
Additionally, because of its high moisture content, it melts easily and evenly when heated which makes it ideal for dishes like pizza or lasagna where you want an even layer of melted cheese on top.
Overall, if you’re out of Fontina cheese but still want to enjoy the same creamy texture with a mild flavor then try using Mozzarella instead!
In conclusion, Fontina cheese is a unique semi-soft Italian cheese with a mild, nutty flavor.
It melts easily when heated and adds a creamy richness to dishes like macaroni and cheese, pizza, fondue, and more.
If you don’t have any Fontina on hand, there are many great substitutes that can offer similar taste and texture.
These include Gruyere, Gouda, Munster, Feta, Provolone, Emmental, Havarti, Taleggio, Vacherin, Edam, Grana Padano, and Mozzarella.
Each of these cheeses has its own unique flavor profile and texture, so you can experiment with them to find the perfect substitute for your dish.
The 12 Best Substitutes For Fontina Cheese
- Gruyere Cheese
- Gouda Cheese
- Munster Cheese
- Feta Cheese
- Provolone Cheese
- Grana Padano
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.