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5 Best Substitutes for Fontina Cheese: Cheesy Delights

Ah, Fontina cheese! Imagine the rich, nutty aroma wafting through your kitchen, the creamy texture as it melts into a luscious sauce, the slightly sharp but sweet taste that complements countless dishes.

Fontina cheese is not just a staple of Italian cuisine; it’s a versatile ingredient that elevates recipes across the globe.

However, what happens when you’re preparing a meal and find that your pantry lacks this fundamental cheese? Fear not, for there are substitutes aplenty that can mimic the essence of Fontina.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore five top contenders that you can use in a pinch without compromising on flavor or texture.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fontina cheese is a staple in Italian cuisine, but it can be substituted with other delicious cheeses.
  • Taleggio, Gouda, Gruyere, Mozzarella, and Montasio are all excellent substitutes for Fontina cheese.
  • When substituting, use a one-to-one ratio or adjust according to taste and recipe.
  • Each substitute offers its unique flavor and texture, so don’t be afraid to experiment in your cooking.

5 Best Substitutes for Fontina Cheese

As much as we love Fontina cheese, it is not always readily available or affordable. Fortunately, there are many equally delicious alternatives that can fill in for Fontina without sacrificing flavor or consistency. Here are our top five picks:

1 – Taleggio Cheese

Taleggio cheese fondue

Hailing from the same Aosta Valley region in northwestern Italy, Taleggio is a semi-soft, washed-rind cow’s milk cheese. It’s named after the Val Taleggio and has implications dating back to the 10th century. Taleggio is a DOP cheese, which ensures its traditional production and guaranteed origin.

Taleggio has a strong aroma, but its flavor is mild with a tangy good finish. It’s renowned for its great meltability, which makes it a perfect choice for sauces and toasties. The rind of Taleggio is usually scraped off.

For every ounce of Fontina cheese, you’ll want to use one ounce of Taleggio. It’s an ideal Fontina substitute for dishes like fonduta, where you need a creamy and tangy addition.

2 – Gouda Cheese

Another semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk, Gouda, originates from the Netherlands and is among the world’s most popular cheeses. It comes in various ages and textures, each offering a unique taste.

Young Gouda is has a mild, slightly sweet taste and a creamy texture, similar to that of Fontina. The flavor intensifies and the texture becomes more crumbly with age.

When substituting Gouda for Fontina, use a one-to-one ratio. Whether you’re making grilled sandwiches or incorporating it into a robust macaroni and cheese, Gouda provides the creaminess and savory profile that Fontina brings to the table.

3 – Gruyere Cheese

A hard yellow Swiss cheese, Gruyere, is named after the Swiss village from which it originates. It’s also very popular in French cuisine and is a favorite when it comes to fondues.

Gruyere offers a nutty, slightly sweet taste with a creamy yet slightly grainy texture. While it melts beautifully, it retains a delightful chewiness that adds depth to your dishes.

For those wanting to use Gruyere as a Fontina replacement, maintain a one-to-one ratio. It can gracefully take the place of Fontina in recipes like quiches or au gratin dishes, enhancing them with its distinctive flavor.

4 – Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella cheese is an Italian cheese, known for its superb melting capability. It’s often made from buffalo milk but can also be crafted with cow’s milk.

The flavor of mozzarella is subtle and slightly tangy, with a characteristic stretchy texture perfect for pizzas and lasagnas.

When using mozzarella as a Fontina stand-in, you may need more of it due to its mild flavor. For each ounce of Fontina, consider utilizing about two ounces of mozzarella. This cheese is an excellent choice for dishes where you want a stringy and melty texture, such as a classic lasagna.

5 – Montasio Cheese

A cheese originating from Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the surrounding area, Montasio, is a hard, unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese. It’s flavorful and ideal for both cooking and snacking.

Montasio offers a fruity, slightly sharp taste with a firm texture. It’s similar to young Fontina and lends itself well to recipes that require a slightly nuttier and more robust flavor.

To substitute Montasio for Fontina, use a one-to-one ratio. Montasio is perfect for dishes like frittatas or baked pasta where a toothsome texture and a more pronounced flavor are welcome.


In the culinary world, flexibility is key, and the ability to substitute one ingredient for another is the hallmark of a skilled cook.

The substitutes we’ve explored here are not only for the times when Fontina is unavailable but also for those who wish to experiment with new flavors and textures in their cooking.

Each of these cheeses brings its character to the dish, so don’t be afraid to mix and match or to create new twists on old favorites.

Taleggio cheese fondue

Taleggio Cheese Fondue Recipe

This fondue recipe is a delicious substitute for traditional Fontina cheese fondue, using Taleggio cheese as the base. It's perfect for a cozy night in or as an appetizer at a dinner party.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 205 kcal


  • 1 Fondue pot or small saucepan
  • 1 Heat source (stove or fondue burner)


  • 8 oz Taleggio cheese rind removed and diced into small cubes
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp truffle oil for added flavor and aroma


  • In a fondue pot or small saucepan, heat the minced garlic over medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add the diced Taleggio cheese and stir until melted, about 3-4 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch or flour with the lemon juice to create a slurry.
  • Slowly pour in the white wine and continue stirring until well combined with the melted cheese.
  • Gradually add in the cornstarch or flour slurry, stirring constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.
  • If using truffle oil, add it in at this point and stir until well incorporated.
  • Continue cooking and stirring until the fondue reaches a smooth and creamy consistency, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot if not already using one, and serve with your choice of dippers such as bread cubes, vegetables, or cured meats.


  • For a more robust flavor, you can also add in some shredded Gruyere cheese along with the Taleggio.
  • If the fondue becomes too thick, you can thin it out by adding in a splash of white wine or chicken broth


Serving: 30gCalories: 205kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 10gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 670mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 0.04gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 1106IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 310mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword taleggio cheese fondue
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating