The Best Simple Gruyère Cheese Substitutes

Gruyere cheese substitutes

Looking for an alternative to Gruyère Cheese? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Gruyère Cheese Substitutes both dairy-free and dairy based.

What is Gruyère Cheese?

Gruyère is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland. It’s typically aged for 5-12 months and has a slightly sweet, cheesy, nutty flavor.

It’s a great melting cheese that is used in the classic dishes Fondue, French Onion Soup and the other French classic Croque-Monsieur (toasted ham and cheese sandwich).

The Best Gruyere Cheese Substitutes – Dairy

1. Cheddar

Cheddar has a similar semi-hard cheese texture and flavor to guryere so it would be my number one choice. It will melt in a similar manner in cooked dishes.

2. Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese is slightly softer and sweeter than Gruyère but it generally won’t be a problem in most dishes. Other Swiss types of cheese like Raclette cheese or Appenzeller Cheese or Dutch cheeses like Edam cheese or Gouda or Jarlsberg cheese from Norway or American Swiss cheese can all be substituted.

3. Emmental Cheese

With a similar flavor profile to Swiss cheese, Emmental is a good melty cheese alternative to Gruyère.

4. Comté Cheese

Like cheddar and swiss cheese, the French Comte cheese has a very similar flavor profile and semi-hard texture to Gruyère so makes an excellent substitute.

5. Mozzarella Cheese

This go-to melting Italian cheese is milder in flavour and gives a stringier texture when melted but will be a good match for Gruyère.

6. Provelone Cheese

Another semi hard Italian cheese, provelone will melt into cheesy goodness in a similar manner to Gruyère.

7. Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan is harder than Gruyère so it won’t melt as well in a toasted sandwich or fondue. But for recipes like a quiche where the Gruyère is providing cheesey flavour, Parmesan can be used instead.

8. Halloumi

While the texture of halloumi is dryer and the flavour much saltier, it will melt well to be a surprisingly good substitute for Gruyère.

9. Feta

The Greek cheese Feta is saltier and won’t melt as well as Gruyère – but will give an intense boost of flavour so will be better than no cheese. Good in dishes like quiche where Gruyère is being used for flavour only. Not so good on a grilled cheese sandwich.

10. Goats Cheese

Fresh goats cheese is tangier, creamier and less salty than Gruyère but will add some cheesy goodness. Goats cheese won’t melt in the same way as Gruyère so may not be great in cooked dishes.

The Best Dairy-Free Gruyère Cheese Substitutes – Plant Based

If you’re looking for vegan or non-dairy alternatives to Guryere, it can be a challenge to match the melty cheesy texture of Gruyere. But if you’re willing to think laterally here are my favourite options:

1. Hummus

No hummus isn’t going to melt into a fondue, gratin or croque-monsieur like Gruyère BUT it will provide the substance and that delicious nutty flavour. A big dollop of hummus in a bowl of onion soup is just as tasty as melted Gruyère.

2. Dairy-Free Pesto

Works in a similar manner to hummus. Again it won’t melt into oozy cheesy goodness but a dairy-free pesto will add loads of flavour and freshness and makes a great alternative to the cheesiness of melted Gruyère.

My Tomato Almond Pesto recipe or this Sicilian Nut Pesto recipe are my 2 favourite non-dairy pestos.

Use instead of Guryere as the saucey component of your favourite gratins.

3. Brazil Nuts

Can be grated with a miroplane to make a dust that looks a lot like grated Gruyère. I also make a sprinkle I call Brazil Nut ‘Parmesan’ which is delicious sprinkled over pasta dishes or any where you’d normally grate over some Gruyère.

4. Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Aren’t as salty as Gruyère and won’t melt but they do add a similar hit of deeply savoury umami flavours. Use sparingly.

5. Olives

If you’re looking for a salty burst of flavour, a handful of olives is a good dairy-free and vegan alternative to Gruyère.

6. Sun Dried Tomatoes

A similar idea to olives, sun dried tomatoes are bursting with flavour and will add a little sweetness to your quiche instead of a cheese hit.

7. Salted Roast Almonds

For texture and salty taste roast almonds will take your dish in a different direction but it won’t be lacking in flavour or crunch.

8. Sea Salt Flakes

Another option to replace the salty hit from Gruyère is to sprinkle your dish with sea salt flakes. It won’t provide the same visuals or substance as grated or melted cheese but you will appreciate the salty flavour explosions.

9. Capers

Work in a similar way to olives. Salted capers will be the best choice although capers in vinegar are better than nothing.

10. Toasted Breadcrumbs

In Italy toasted breadcrumbs – called ‘pan gratato’ are also known as poor mans Parmesan. They are great for adding crunch and visual interest when sprinkled over pasta.

How to Store Gruyère

Gruyère can be stored for months in the refrigerator. I generally ignore the best before date and eat it even weeks after it is out of date. As long as there’s no mold growing on it. Gruyère can be frozen although there’s generally no need because it lasts so long in the fridge.

Gruyère Cheese Goes with…

  • Onions & Gruyère
  • Macaroni (Mac) & Gruyère
  • Thyme & Gruyère
  • Chicken & Gruyère
  • Tomato & Gruyère
  • Olives & Gruyère

More Ingredient Substitutes

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x