Gruyere cheese is a hard cheese that’s known for its sweet and salty flavor that changes with age.
Unlike other hard cheeses, gruyere cheese has a creamy, almost gentle flavor to it, which becomes stronger and more pronounced as time passes.
Gruyere cheese can age for anything from 5-12 months, though it’s not uncommon to eat it before or after.
This delicious cheese is relatively easy to find and affordable, but it’s not a staple of anyone’s kitchen repertory, which means that sometimes you will need a gruyere cheese substitute because you won’t have it on hand.
Whether you’re looking for a gruyere cheese substitute because you ran out or because you simply don’t like this cheese, the following cheeses can act as good substitutes for gruyere cheese.
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Substitute For Gruyere Cheese: Top 5 Replacements
GRUYERE CHEESE SUBSTITUTE #1: Beaufort Cheese
This semi-firm cheese works wonders when substituting gruyere, thanks not only for its similar texture but for also for its taste.
Beaufort cheese is particularly good when used in recipes that require to be baked or broiled and only true cheese connoisseurs will be able to tell the difference.
The one downside of Beaufort cheese is that it’s actually not all that common and you might have a hard time finding it. In fact, you’re more likely to find gruyere cheese than beaufort cheese, so keep that in mind.
GRUYERE CHEESE SUBSTITUTE #2: Comte Cheese
Since gruyere cheese is French, it makes sense to use other French cheeses as close as possible. After all, the ingredients are relatively similar, amongst other things.
This peculiar cheese is made with pressed cow milk and it’s usually found either in cube or slices.
It doesn’t have a similar texture, in fact it’s much softer, but it does have a similar taste as the recipe is very close to that of gruyere cheese. In fact, you could even say they’re cousins!
GRUYERE CHEESE SUBSTITUTE #3: Swiss Cheese
Swiss cheese has a stronger flavor than gruyere but it can be used as a good substitute, particularly because it’s easy to find.
It works particularly well when replacing gruyere in fondues and in fact it tends to work a bit better because it has a creamier texture altogether.
That said, make sure you’re purchasing original Swiss cheese, also known as emmentaler, as this cheese is the one that can be used as a substitute.
There are knock-off versions of swiss cheese, usually sold in slices for sandwiches, that you should avoid altogether.
GRUYERE CHEESE SUBSTITUTE #4: Jarlsberg
A strong nowergian cheese, this cheese is often mistaken for Swiss cheese thanks to the holes inside it.
It has a rich taste that you’ll definitely notice but not strong enough to be overpowering, making it a perfect replacement for aged gruyere cheese.
Jarlsberg cheese isn’t necessarily hard to find, but it’s not as popular as gruyere cheese so you might find the later before you find the former.
GRUYERE CHEESE SUBSTITUTE #5: Cheese Blends
Last, but not least, there’s always the option of using more than one cheese in order to get close to Gruyere’s particular flavor.
Obviousy, this should only be done in fondues or recipes that require the cheese to be melted one way or another (baking and broiling, for example) as this will help the flavors and textures mix.
The goal is to find a cheese that’s strong to give its flavor and a cheese that’s creamy to give the proper texture.
While there are many possible combinations you can use, a personal favorite is mixing parmesan and fontina cheese.
Parmesan will contribute with its strong flavor, giving the blend the “kick” it needs and fontina will share its creaminess, making this a good, if a bit last minute, substitute to gruyere cheese.
Tips For Gruyere Cheese Substitute
Something you need to keep in mind is that different recipes call for different things and the best gruyere cheese substitute is the one that can approximate the cheese’s flavor and texture depending on the way it was cooked.
In this sense, Swiss and cheeses similar to swiss ones are your best bet, as they act very similar to Gruyere. French cheeses are also a very good option.
Another thing to always keep in mind is the age of the cheese, both in the recipe and when it comes to your substitutes. Young gruyere cheese has a very particular texture and flavor and the same can be said for aged gruyere cheese.
If you’re substituting a young, fresh cheese then go for a substitute with a similar age. If you’re substituting aged gruyere then go for something a bit older.
More than anything, make sure not to use a cheese with too-strong a flavor. Gruyere has a noticeable taste, yes, but it blends well with other foods while other cheeses are overwhelming and can overshadow the flavor of your food.
Now that you know what you look for in a gruyere cheese substitute, you’re ready to cook all kinds of delicious food so go ahead and surprise everyone with your culinary talents.