Home » Ingredient Substitutes » Substitute For Swiss Cheese: 10 Ideal Options to Choose From

Substitute For Swiss Cheese: 10 Ideal Options to Choose From

Have trouble finding Swiss cheese? The good news is that you can easily find a substitute for Swiss cheese. There are plenty of alternatives to Swiss cheese that won’t ruin your dish’s flavor. 

Swiss cheese is one of the most famous cheeses around. It is always sought-after by professionals and home cooks alike, which is why it is not surprising that most recipes that require cheese often call for it. In this post, we’ll show you swiss cheese alternatives that you can use instead. 

sliced swiss cheese arranged on the plate

What is Swiss Cheese?

Swiss cheese is an umbrella term for cheese that resembles Swiss Emmental cheese, famous for its holes called ‘eyes.’ It has a yellow color, and is made from cow’s whole milk.

This cheese, as the name suggests, is originally from Switzerland. However, American versions of Swiss cheese also exist, and they mimic the Emmental cheese – the only difference is that the production does not happen in Switzerland.

You can find Swiss cheese in most grocery stores.  

What does Swiss Cheese taste Like?

Swiss cheese has a slightly sweet and nutty taste to it. It’s mostly milky, sweet, and nutty. It has a flavor that isn’t overpowering, so it complements most of the other ingredients in many dishes.

The texture of Swiss cheese is smooth, creamy, and slightly crunchy.

How It’s Used

Swiss cheese pairs well with fruit, bread, and wines. It also melted well, making it a great cheese for fondue and other dishes.

A versatile food item, people use Swiss cheese in various ways and in different dishes. You can use Swiss cheese to make cheese and pasta sauce, grilled cheese Reuben sandwiches, and shepherd’s pie.

It’s also frequently used with ham in Chicken Cordon Bleu.

10 Best Substitutes For Swiss Cheese

Finding out that you do not have Swiss cheese on hand doesn’t mean that you cannot proceed to cook a particular dish anymore. What you need to do is take a look at this list and see if you have some of these items in your fridge.

Here are 10 of the best substitutes for Swiss cheese:

1. Cheddar Cheese

Unlike Swiss cheese, this English cheese does not have small holes, but that doesn’t mean that cheddar is not a good Swiss cheese replacement.

Since they are both made from cow’s milk, both kinds of cheese melt well, so you can use cheddar cheese in cheese sauces and on grilled cheese sandwiches instead of Swiss.

However, fully-aged cheddar cheese has a high melting point, so shredding it before heating it may be necessary. Cheddar cheese is also a bit crumbly when compared to Swiss, choose a different option if you prefer less crumbly cheese. 

2. Fontina Cheese 

Fontina cheese is an excellent alternative to Swiss cheese because it has the same nutty flavor as Swiss cheese.

Young Fontina cheese has impressive melting properties like Swiss cheese, so many people use it in soups and sauces. However, older Fontina is a bit hard, so it is not ideal for melting.

If you’re going to melt whatever substitute for Swiss cheese you are looking for, then a young Fontina would be best. 

3. Edam

Best known for its red wax coating, Edam is also made from cow’s milk and has a mild, nutty taste.

Since its flavor is also subtle and not too salty, it makes an excellent sub for Swiss cheese.

Edam’s consistency is perfect for slicing and making sandwiches. It is worth noting that Edam is flowy while Swiss cheese is stringy, so if you need a stringy substitute, you’ll be better off with other replacements here. 

4. Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella cheese is an Italian cheese originally made with buffalo milk. Famous for its satisfying cheese pull, mozzarella cheese can easily replace Swiss cheese.

Remember that mozzarella is much more stringy than Swiss cheese. If you’re making soup or any other dish that won’t work with stringy cheese, you’ll want to add a little cornstarch or flour.

5. Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone is yet another cheese made out of cow’s milk and is most commonly known for its mild savory taste, smooth texture, and spreadability, perfect for pastries like cheesecake and tiramisu.

This cheese makes a good alternative to Swiss cheese because it has a creamy taste that will complement your favorite dishes.

Some even say that mascarpone cheese also has a buttery taste, which makes it even more perfect for soups.

However, if your recipe calls for sliced cheese, you should stay away from mascarpone. 

6. Gouda

Gouda is one of the best Swiss cheese substitutes because it also has a sweet and mild flavor.

Young Gouda is best sliced or melted, making it a perfect accompaniment to bread or crackers. On the other hand, aged Gouda is harder and has a more intense flavor, suitable for grating.

Whether your recipe calls for sliced, melted, or shredded Swiss cheese, Gouda will be able to take its place.

7. Jarlsberg

Jarlsberg is a famous Norwegian cheese that combines Gouda and Emmental, which is why it also has eyes.

Like Swiss cheese, it also has a subtle flavor and a great melting quality. Jarlsberg will complement instead of overpowering the herbs and spices in your dish.

That being said, Jarlsberg can be considered another excellent substitute for Swiss cheese. 

8. Provolone

Another Italian cheese, Provolone works almost the same as Swiss cheese, so you can use it in place of Swiss cheese in grilled cheese sandwiches and pizzas

Unlike Swiss cheese, which is considered a semi-hard cheese, this particular cheese is a semi-soft cheese.

Remember that you might need to chill provolone before slicing it due to its softness. 

9. Gruyere

Gruyere cheese like Swiss cheese and other kinds of Swiss cheeses hail from the Alps. It has a mild, nutty flavor which is known for melting well, making it an excellent Swiss cheese substitute.

However, it does not always have the eyes associated with Swiss cheese. On the other hand, Gruyere may have tiny cracks, which means it has undergone an aging process. You need to be aware though, that this cheese can have a pungent aroma.

10. Manchego

Made using only Manchega sheep’s milk, manchego comes from Spain. It is best known for its rind, which has a herringbone or zigzag pattern.

Manchego cheese will taste different from Swiss cheese made from cow’s milk. In contrast to Swiss cheese’s mild and nutty flavor, it has a strong taste with a fruity and sometimes grassy flavor. 

Nonetheless, because it melts well, you can use manchego in place of Swiss cheese. Plus, it is also stringy. However, if you prefer a mild cheese flavor in your dish, manchego may not be the best for you.

How To Pick The Best Substitute for Swiss Cheese

Replacing Swiss cheese is easy, but with the plethora of substitutes for Swiss cheese that I’ve listed, you might find it overwhelming to choose. But not to worry, we have prepared a quick guide to help you. 

Here are two tips on how to pick the best substitute for Swiss cheese:

1. Consider the flavor. 

Since Swiss cheese is best known for its mild taste, you should consider how strong the flavor of your substitute is going to be.

If you want to preserve the original flavor of your dish, then go with other mild cheeses like Mozzarella and Provolone.

However, if you’re going to put a little twist on your dish and experiment with different flavors, go with cheeses with more intense flavors like older Gouda and Manchego.

2. Take note of the stringiness.

If your recipe needs a stringy cheese, in particular, opt for cheeses that will be able to give you that satisfying cheese pull, like Fontina, Cheddar, and, of course, mozzarella.

However, if you’re not after the stringiness, you can go with a Swiss cheese substitute like mascarpone. 

Best Swiss Cheese Substitute When Making Cordon Bleu

Swiss cheese is undeniably the best cheese to make Chicken Cordon Bleu. Swiss cheese melts beautifully, giving you a satisfying cheese pull. It also goes well with chicken and ham due to its mild flavor. 

With that in mind, if you’re making Chicken Cordon Bleu and can’t find Swiss cheese, a stringy cheese like cheddar, provolone, or mozzarella is a great substitute. 

Tip: Using stringy cheese instead of flowy cheese ensures that your cheese stays in place during the cooking process, rather than melting and collecting at the bottom of your pan and outside your chicken roll. 

Final Thoughts

Swiss cheese is not difficult to find, but if you cannot obtain it for whatever reason, you can use a substitute for Swiss cheese and still produce a delicious dish. 

Keep in mind that some cheeses have more robust flavors that may slightly alter your dish’s taste, which isn’t always a bad thing. You might even find that the substitute works better for that dish than Swiss cheese.

Also, keep an eye out for how stringy your replacement is, as this can make or break the feel you’re going for in a dish.  

More Ingredient 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.

As seen in:

Eating WellmashededibleWomans WorldTasting TableHomes and Gardens
Back to the Top