If you’re a fan of French onion soup, you know it’s best with a good cheese.
But what cheeses are best?
The best cheeses to put on French onion soup are Gruyere and Provolone. These cheeses are known for their ability to melt well, which makes them perfect for dishes like French onion soup. They also have a mild flavor that will not overpower the dish.
If you’ve ever been to a restaurant and ordered French onion soup, then you know how disappointing it can be when your cheese is just not up to snuff.
So we’ve put together this list of 18 cheeses that go well on top of French onion soup so that next time you order it at a restaurant or make it at home, your dish will be perfect!
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18 Cheeses that Go Well on French Onion Soup
A good cheese will add a richness to your broth that makes it taste even more delicious, but there are certain types that work better than others.
Here are 18 cheeses that go well on top of French onion soup:
1. Gruyere Cheese
If you’re looking for a cheese that goes well on top of French onion soup, look no further than Gruyere.
Gruyere is a Swiss cheese that’s rich, creamy, salty, and nutty in flavor—but the flavor does vary depending on age.
Aged five months to a year, this cheese has a very distinct taste that’s perfect for accompanying hearty soups like French onion.
See Also: 50 Best Soups with Turnips
2. Provolone Cheese
Provolone cheese is another great option for French onion soup.
It’s creamy yellow interior is smooth and pliable, and it has a mild, nutty flavor that pairs well with the strong onion broth.
It’s also commonly smoked to impart a light, distinctive aroma and flavor.
This cheese will add a richness to your broth that makes it taste even more delicious!
3. Parmesan Cheese
To really make your soup stand out from the crowd, try grating some Parmesan cheese on top.
Parmesan cheese is a hard, gritty texture with a fruity and nutty taste that works perfectly in soups and other dishes to add an extra layer of flavor.
It’s also great on its own as a snack!
Parmesan cheeses are usually aged for 2–4 years before being sold as fresh produce.
4. Mozzarella Cheese
If you’re looking for a mild cheese that goes well on top of French onion soup, then consider mozzarella cheese.
Mozzarella cheese is a somewhat bland tasting, elastic textured cheese that melts easily.
It’s favored by many chefs and cheese consumers because it offers a relatively neutral flavor that won’t clash with your broth.
Although mozzarella is considered bland, it has some interesting characteristics when compared to other cheeses: its elastic texture and ability to melt easily.
These factors make it a popular choice for many chefs and consumers who enjoy eating melted cheese.
If you haven’t heard of Jarlsberg, you’re in for a treat.
This delicious cheese is made in Norway and has been around for a long time.
It’s great on French onion soup because it has a unique semi-firm texture that melts well into your broth.
The taste is mild and reminiscent of Swiss cheese, which makes it perfect for this dish because it goes well with onions.
Jarlsberg has large irregular holes in its interior and a distinct nutty flavor that makes it perfect for eating by itself or using as an ingredient in other recipes.
You can also shred it or grate it when making dishes like salads or tacos!
Gouda is a cheese that goes well on top of French onion soup.
Gouda is a Dutch cheese with a smooth texture and mild flavor. It has a pale ivory color and dense, springy texture.
The cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a bland and creamy taste.
The Gouda you choose should be firm enough to grate but not so hard that it can’t be sliced thinly without crumbling.
The interior of the cheese should be smooth and creamy, not crumbly or grainy.
Emmental is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese that has a firm, dense body and boasts tones of ripe fruit and hazelnuts, with no traces of acidity.
See Also: 20 Emmental Cheese Recipes I Can’t Resist
This cheese is particularly well-suited for use in French onion soup because of its sweetness and rich flavor, which adds to the deliciousness of the broth without overpowering it.
Fontina is a semisoft to hard cheese that goes well on top of French onion soup. It has a mild but distinctive nutty and savory flavor, and its texture is semisoft to hard.
Fontina has a 45% milk fat content, which means it’s got great flavor and will add a richness to your broth.
Fontina is an excellent choice for adding more depth to your French onion soup!
9. Monterey Jack
Monterey Jack is a semi-hard American cheese that is mild, buttery, and pale yellow in color.
It has a compact and supple texture with a slightly pungent flavor.
This type of cheese goes well on top of French onion soup because it adds flavor without overpowering other ingredients in the dish.
It also melts well so that it can be used as an ingredient for homemade French onion dip or fondue.
Cheddar cheese is a crowd-pleaser, and it’s no surprise why: it’s got a slightly buttery, moist, and melty texture that goes well on top of French onion soup.
Plus, its earthy notes make it perfect for pairing with red wine—it’s the perfect cheese for a date night.
But what if you want to use cheddar in a different way?
Cheddar is also great for making grilled cheese sandwiches, salads, and quesadillas (the possibilities are endless!).
Cheddar is relatively hard, so you’ll need to be careful when handling it.
It melts well when heated over low heat or in the microwave, but not when baked or grilled at high temperatures.
Also note that cheddar has a tendency to harden quickly as it cools down; if this happens, just pop your leftovers back into the oven or microwave until they’re warm again!
Raclette is a cheese that’s perfect for topping French onion soup.
It’s an Alpine cow’s milk cheese, so you can usually find it in specialty stores.
It has a firm, smooth and creamy texture, and its ivory-pale yellow color makes it really visually appealing.
Its small irregular holes add to its unique look—and don’t worry about too many holes: the flavor will still be delicious!
The rind of raclette is edible, so you don’t have to worry about cutting off any part of the cheese when serving.
This cheese also has an orange-brown rind that adds another layer of flavor (and texture!) to your dish.
You’ll want to try this one out if you haven’t already!
12. Your Favorite Vegan Cheese
Vegan cheese is a great option for those who want to keep their diet clean and animal-free.
Vegan cheese can be made with components derived from vegetables, like soybeans or nuts.
It’s 100 percent animal-free, so it’s perfect for vegans and vegetarians alike!
Not only does vegan cheese taste great, but it also contains healthy fats—like omega 3 fatty acids—which are good for your heart.
Brie is a soft, creamy cheese that’s perfect for topping French onion soup.
It has a buttery flavor and a creamy texture that pairs perfectly with the rich broth of French onion soup.
The flavor should be fresh and mild, not too strong or too salty. It should smell like fresh milk and cheese!
Brie is considered a soft-ripened cheese, which means it’s been allowed to ripen more slowly than other cheeses.
This gives it its creamy texture and subtle taste.
14. Blue cheese (Roquefort, Gorgonzola)
Blue cheese is a sharp, piquant cheese with a creamy texture that can range from soft and crumbly to semi-firm.
It’s often quite salty, but it shouldn’t be overly so.
The flavor should be sharp, but not bitter.
The color of blue cheese can vary from a pale yellowish-white to bluish-gray and even blackish blue; it’s usually soft enough that it can be sliced or crumbled easily.
It goes well on top of French onion soup because the piquant flavor contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the broth and onions underneath it.
Blue cheese is also good served with fruit or crackers as an appetizer at parties or events where you want something savory but not too heavy.
You can’t go wrong with feta on top of French onion soup.
It’s a brined, white cheese with a soft and creamy texture.
Feta is low in calories and fat, making it a healthy choice for your next meal.
It also contains a high amount of B vitamins, which help keep you feeling energized throughout the day.
This cheese pairs well with many other ingredients as well.
Try adding some crumbled feta to your next salad or pasta dish for an extra kick of flavor!
Comte is a semi-hard cheese that’s perfect for topping French onion soup. It’s made in the Jura Massif region of eastern France and has a unique taste and aromatic nature.
Related: 12 Comte Cheese Recipes I Can’t Resist
The cheese has a 45% fat content and is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk.
Comte can be eaten on its own, but it’s most commonly used as a grating or melting cheese.
It pairs well with white wines, nuts, fruit preserves, or even honey!
If you’ve never tried Comte before, we highly recommend trying it on top of French onion soup—it will make your taste buds sing with joy!
Camembert is a soft, white cheese made from cow’s milk.
It has a characteristic creamy, ivory-coloured interior with a downy white surface that resembles that of Brie.
The cheese itself is soft ripened and has an edible white mold rind.
Camembert is excellent on French onion soup because it melts well when heated.
The cheese also has a mild flavour which complements the strong taste of onions in the soup.
In addition, the rind can be removed before serving so that people who don’t like the texture of cheese in their meals can still enjoy its taste without having to chew through its casing.
18. Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is low in casein, which makes it easier to digest than many other cheeses.
Plus, the tart, earthy flavor of this cheese is hard to describe; you’ll have to try it for yourself!
Goat cheese has a higher concentration of fatty acids than most other cheeses, which makes it creamy and smooth.
This also means that if you’re looking for a soft texture and creamy mouthfeel, goat cheese is the way to go.
We recommend pairing goat cheese with French onion soup because it’s so versatile—you can add it to any dish and create a whole new flavor profile!
What Can I Use Instead of Gruyere in French Onion Soup?
Gruyere is a delicious and nutty cheese, but if you can’t find it or don’t feel like spending the extra cash on it, you have some other options.
Swiss, mozzarella, gouda, or parmesan are all good replacements for Gruyere in French onion soup.
You could also go with provolone—it’s a little milder than the other cheeses on this list, so it might be a better choice if you’re looking for something milder-tasting.
Can You Put Mozzarella Cheese on French Onion Soup?
You can absolutely put mozzarella cheese on French onion soup.
It’s a great way to add a little creaminess and flavor to an otherwise traditional dish.
We recommend using fresh mozzarella cheese, which is softer and creamier than the kind you get in the deli section of your grocery store.
Feel free to use as much or as little as you like!
If you want to make this recipe even easier, you can use shredded mozzarella instead of grating it yourself.
Just make sure that it’s not low-fat or fat-free cheese—you want the full-fat goodness for best results!
Can You Use Cheddar Cheese in French Onion Soup?
Yes, you can definitely use cheddar cheese in French onion soup!
2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese should be enough to give your soup a nice, cheesy flavor.
Just remember that the more cheese you add, the more salty it will be—so if you’re planning on serving this as a side dish, keep it to 2 tablespoons or less.
Can You Use Gouda Cheese for French Onion Soup?
Gouda is a hard cheese that melts beautifully, so it’s perfect for French onion soup.
It won’t break down the way some softer cheeses might, and it adds a nice smoky flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in this dish.
What Is a Good Substitute for Cheese in French Onion Soup?
A good substitute for cheese in French onion soup would be to use a vegan cheese.
You can find the most popular brands in your local store: Daiya, Follow Your Heart, and Kite Hill.
Another option is to use a dairy-free cheese sauce or a cashew cream to replace the dairy.
This will also make the soup gluten-free as well.
18 Cheeses that Go Well on French Onion Soup
- Gruyere Cheese
- Provolone Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Monterey Jack
- Vegan Cheese
- Blue cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Pick your favorite cheese from this list to put on your French onion soup.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
- Be ready to munch in no time!