Home » Ingredient Substitutes » Emmental Cheese Substitute (10 Best Options)

Emmental Cheese Substitute (10 Best Options)

Finding Swiss cheese in some parts of the world can be challenging. The good news is that there are Emmental cheese substitute options you can use instead.

Emmental cheese is a culinary staple that adds a pleasant nutty flavor and a distinct texture to various recipes. If you can’t locate this cheese, join us as we explore the best alternatives you can choose from. Who knows, you might even find a new favorite.

sliced Emmental cheese served with crackers and spread.

What Is Emmental Cheese?

Emmental cheese, also called Emmentaler, is a yellow, medium-hard cheese. It uses raw cow’s milk and has a rich, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor profile.

The cheese has a pale yellow color and a firm yet slightly elastic texture.


Emmental cheese is a type of Swiss cheese that originated in the Emmental region of Switzerland. It is named after the Emme River Valley, where it was traditionally produced.

The overall look

This cheese is known for its distinctive large holes (called “eyes”) that are scattered throughout the cheese, which are formed during the fermentation process.

This cheese has an inedible rind.

How it used

You can use this cheese it in risotto, casseroles, fondue, and burgers. Emmental is also a traditional ingredient in cheese fondue.

Best Emmental Cheese Substitutes

Whether you’re looking for dairy-free options or cheeses with similar flavors and textures, we’ve got you covered with a selection of delicious substitutes.

Choose an option for the list below and carry on with your recipes.

1. French Comte Cheese

French Comté cheese is an excellent substitute for Emmental cheese as well.

It is similar to Emmentaler in many ways. For instance, it also uses raw, unpasteurized milk from cows.

As a result, its flavor is almost the same, and its melting ability is also superb.

You can use it in various recipes, including casseroles and fondues, or enjoy it paired with fruits, nuts, and cured meats.

Comté cheese is readily available in major supermarkets and specialty stores. It is an easily accessible option for cooking and snacking.


When using Comté as a substitute, grate it first for even melting and a better substitution experience.

2. Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere cheese is an excellent substitute for Emmental cheese due to its nutty flavor and texture.

It’s made from cow’s milk and of Swiss heritage; Gruyere is a delicious cheese that melts well, just like Emmental.

You can use it for dishes such as fondue, macaroni and cheese. Grating it over salads and pasta also works.

Gruyere has a creamy texture, nutty flavor, and a slightly sharper taste than Emmental. Still, it makes a delightful addition to various recipes.


Gruyere is firmer than Emmental, but when melted, both take on a creamy and gooey texture, making the swap unnoticeable. Use this sub in recipes like fondue, quiches, and gratins.

3. Jarlsberg Cheese

If you are looking for cheese that looks exactly like Emmental, try Jarlsberg cheese.

Jarlsberg has large “eyes,” too, so it can pass as an Emmental swap in cheese boards.

It is also a fantastic alternative for Emmental cheese due to its semi-soft texture, mild nutty flavor, and versatility.

The flavor is slightly stronger than Emmentaler, but you can incorporate it into any dish that calls for Emmental.

Serve Jarlsberg with red wine like Pinot Noir or Merlot. If white wine is more your style, try Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.


This Norwegian cheese melts easily, making it perfect for grilled cheeses and melted toppings. It also works as a substitute in burgers and gratins.

4. Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is a great replacement for Emmental cheese because it is widely available. This sub is found in most grocery stores, making it a quick replacement.

Cheddar has a sharp taste that intensifies as it ages. For this reason, young and mild Cheddar is your best bet if you’ll use it to replace Emmental in recipes.

Note that even a young Cheddar has a stronger flavor than Emmental. That said, there might be a slight flavor shift in your recipe. For people that find Emmentaler too mild, this is a perfect option.


Cheddar melts, but not as well as Emmental does. To ensure even melting and get the best results, shred the Cheddar first before use.

5. Fontina Cheese

Fontina cheese is another excellent Emmental cheese substitute. This semi-soft Italian cheese melts well and has a rich buttery flavor. 

It has a harder texture without holes. Fontina shines best when you use it in melting applications such as grilled sandwiches, sauces, fondues, quiches, cheese platters, and au gratin dishes.

Its mild and slightly sweet taste complements roasted vegetables, soups, and pasta dishes, enhancing the overall flavor profile.


Before using fontina, remember to remove the rind. Its rind is edible but is not flavorful and will not do your recipes any favor. Try pairing Fontina with cured meats and fresh fruits to bring your charcuterie board experience to the next level.

6. Manchego Cheese

Manchego cheese has excellent melting properties and a delicious flavor profile, making it a good Emmental swap. Its salty and nutty taste, with the slightest touch of acidity, can add depth to your recipes.

Like Emmental, its slightly nutty flavor makes it a versatile choice. You can eat it with bread or use it as a pizza topping. This Spanish cheese also makes a great addition to casseroles and salads.

If you have the time, order Manchego cheese from an online retailer in advance. While you’re at it, explore the different ages of Manchego as they vary in texture and flavor intensity.


The biggest downside is that Manchego is not usually readily available. You may have to scour specialty food stores to find it.

7. Raclette Cheese

Raclette cheese is another great substitute for Emmental cheese. Its creamy, slightly nutty flavor makes it a close match to Emmental’s taste.

Plus, Raclette cheese fits the bill if you want a good melting cheese. Made from cow’s milk (and sometimes goat’s milk), it pairs well with many other foods that taste great with Emmental.

Raclette cheese can be creamier than Emmental, but that is a good thing in most recipes. However, another difference you might have to consider is that the raclette is a bit saltier. It may not be the best if you are looking to reduce your sodium intake.


Look for raclette cheese in grocery stores or specialty food stores. When you do find it, try having it with pickles and cured meats for the best experience.

8. Swiss Cheese

Although Emmental is often referred to as “Swiss cheese” in many countries, Swiss cheese varieties such as Baby Swiss or Lacy Swiss can be used as substitutes.

These varieties have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a similar holey texture.


Use this substitute just as you would use original Emmental cheese.

9. Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan is of Italian origin; you will usually see it in Italian dishes, such as pasta and pizza. It is another alternative you should consider for an Emmental replacement. That is, however, if your recipe only calls for grating the cheese.

After all, the texture of Parmesan is much harder than Emmental. It is a drier cheese, so it is best for grating and not for melting.

Flavor-wise, though, it has a nutty flavor similar to Emmental but more intense. However, this flavor difference is barely noticeable if you won’t eat the cheese alone.


If you can find fresh Parmesan cheese, it is the best variety to use. If you’re in a pinch, get a block of regular Parmesan from the store and grate it yourself. It will do a better job replacing Emmental than pre-grated ones.

10. Provolone

Provolone is an Italian cheese that comes in mild or sharp varieties. It has a smooth texture and a slightly smoky flavor.


Although it may not be an exact match for Emmental, it can work as a substitute in recipes like sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas.

Cheese wedge with holes on top of wooden cutting board.
What Cheese Tastes Like Emmental?

Several kinds of cheese taste like Emmental, including Gruyere, Comte, and Havarti. These cheeses are similar in texture and melting properties, too. For this reason, they are all excellent Emmental cheese alternatives.

Is Emmental Similar To Cheddar?

No, Emmental is not similar to Cheddar. Emmental is a Swiss cheese, while Cheddar is of British origin. Emmentaler has a distinct nutty flavor and characteristic large holes, while Cheddar lacks eyes and has a rich, sharp taste. Nevertheless, Cheddar melts and is widely available, making it a great replacement for Emmental.

Does Emmental Cheese Melt Easily?

Yes, Emmental cheese melts easily because it has high moisture content. When heated, Emmental cheese becomes creamy and smooth, making it great for fondues, grilled cheese sandwiches, and baked dishes.

Is Emmental Cheese Salty?

No. Emmental cheese is actually among the few cheeses that have a low sodium content. Still, it does not taste bland – it is flavorful but not salty at all. This flavor profile is the reason why it melds well with many other foods. It is also why people who watch their sodium intake loves this cheese.

What is Emmental cheese called in USA?

In the United States, Emmental cheese is commonly referred to as “Swiss cheese.” However, it’s important to note that the term “Swiss cheese” in the U.S. encompasses a range of cheese varieties, and not all of them are the same as Emmental.


Emmental cheese is a versatile ingredient that adds a unique flavor and texture to many dishes, but it may not be readily available in some areas. Some of the best Emmental cheese substitutes you can try include French Comte cheese, Gruyere cheese, and Jarlsberg cheese. Other swaps not mentioned above include Gouda cheese and Havarti cheese.

While there is no exact swap because Emmental is unique, you should not hesitate to try out these substitutes. They’ll enable you to cook your recipes even if you’re missing Emmental cheese.

Cheese wedge with holes on top of wooden cutting board.

Best Emmental Cheese Substitute.

Natalia-Flavorful Home
There are several kinds of cheeses that can be substituted for Emmental cheese, depending on the specific recipe or dish you're making.
No ratings yet


  • Gruyère
  • Jarlsberg
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Fontina
  • Provolone
  • French Comte
  • Cheddar
  • Manchego
  • Raclette
  • Parmesan


  • Pick the best Emmental cheese substitute from our list.
  • Use it in your recipe.


Remember, while these cheeses can serve as substitutes, they each have their own distinct flavor profiles.
It’s always a good idea to consider the specific recipe and personal preferences when choosing a substitute for Emmental cheese.
Tried this Recipe? Leave us a Comment!

More Cheese Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
pinterest instagram instagram

Get new recipes and tips via email
when you subscribe!

Have a comment? I love hearing from you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.

Recipe Rating

As seen in:

Eating WellmashededibleWomans WorldTasting TableHomes and Gardens
Back to the Top