Mac and cheese is probably one of the most beloved dishes worldwide. It isn’t only a dish, but it is an entire experience. Nothing reminds us of simpler times like the smell of this wholesome meal. Since mac and cheese is an oven-baked dish, you need cheese that melts well to bond the mac part of the meal. As a cheese that melts perfectly well with a full flavor and aroma, the Gruyere cheese has made a name in the mac and cheese department. However, it is always good to have a few tricks up your sleeve. So, what are the best Gruyere cheese substitutes for mac and cheese?
Cheddar, Mozzarella, Emmentaler, Parmesan, Manchego, Muenster, Asiago, Roquefort, Pecorino, and Mascarpone cheese are great Gruyere cheese substitutes for mac and cheese.
To know how to substitute for Gruyere cheese, you must first know what makes it so perfect for mac and cheese and what qualities you need to be looking for in its substitutes. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, I will give you some ideas on which cheeses work best substitutes for gruyere cheese in mac and cheese.
Due to its melting properties, Cheddar is a well-known and widely used ingredient in mac and cheese. Usually, mac and cheese contain several types of cheese, but it is also common for it to contain one, which more often than not is Cheddar.
Cheddar cheese melts amazingly well, creating a nice silky consistency that not only bonds the macaroni but also creates an incredible taste flavor fusion with the pasta. You can add a few bacon bits to the story, and its happy ending is not far.
Mozzarella is not what you would call a well-melting cheese, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t do a good job substituting for gruyere cheese in mac and cheese.
Mozzarella is a gooey and soft cheese but less flavorful and miler than gruyere cheese. It tends to curdle into small soft, cheesy balls that will pleasantly surprise your palate with each bite.
You can make up for the lack of taste by spicing up the mac and cheese with black pepper and salt, accentuating the flavors that are already present in the dish.
Parmesan cheese is a well-known addition to pasta, and since macaroni is a type of pasta, it is no wonder that it goes perfectly well here too. Depending on your preference, you can use shredded or grated parmesan, but each parmesan form will produce a unique and rich result.
Parmesan melts in a rather specific way. It doesn’t melt, becoming creamy all over, but it tends to have small cheesy lumps, making your mac and cheese even more delicious and alluring.
Spanish-made, Manchego cheese is probably one of the best-melting cheeses. It is flavorful, rich, and memorable. Manchego is a solid cheese that melts excellent when heated, which is why it made its way on this list.
It probably melts the same way as gruyere cheese and is, subsequently, an excellent substitute for gruyere in mac and cheese. It will not only bond the macaroni but will also bring sophistication, elegance, and refinement to this otherwise simple family dish.
The muenster cheese originated in France, and later on, it got its American version. It is made of pasteurized cow milk, and depending on the type of milk and region of making, it can vary in taste, but it is always delicious nevertheless.
This is a semi-soft cheese with a slightly smoky crust and a very rich and even interior. When heated, this cheese melts remarkably well, and it is an ideal substitute for Gruyere cheese in mac and cheese. The particular and recognizable flavor of the muenster cheese transfers onto the macaroni, giving it a luxurious dimension to the dish.
The Asiago cheese has different variants depending on how long it has aged. The older the cheese, the crumblier its texture. When cut or bitten, it tends to fall apart and is pretty soft. However, the aged Asiago cheese doesn’t melt that well.
On the other hand, the less aged, i.e., young Asiago or Asiago pressato, melts amazingly well and is, therefore, one of the best substitutes for Gruyere cheese in mac and cheese. The flavor of the Asiago pressato cheese is milder than that of the gruyere cheese and most of the cheeses on this list. Still, nevertheless, it infuses the meal with buttery creaminess and richness you can’t even imagine.
Emmentaler is regarded as an excellent substitute for gruyere cheese, not only for mac and cheese but also for quiche, fondue, and other dishes that require cheese that melts well. It is nutty and buttery and decadently rich.
Emmentaler is a solid cheese, but when heated up, it melts amazingly, becoming creamy and tender, giving you the impression that you have cheesy pudding.
In mac and cheese, Emmentaler does an excellent job substituting for gruyere, with a similar consistency when melted and similar flavor features.
Although mascarpone is most frequently used as a filling base for cheesecakes and other desserts that call for the recognizable Mascarpone creaminess, still, it is an excellent substitute for gruyere cheese in mac and cheese.
Even though mascarpone is creamy as it is, it is even creamier, so it will enrich and improve the mac and cheese flavor, rounding it up nicely.
However, mascarpone is a mild-testing cheese, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t intensify its flavor with some extra salt and cream.
Pecorino is a rich and flavorful cheese, and of all cheeses mentioned here, it resembles Mozzarella most. It is gooey and soft and melts in a very similar way to Mozzarella. In your mac and cheese, it will delight you with the small cheesy chunks on the soft macaroni.
Although it doesn’t melt as well as the Gruyere cheese does, it is still a valuable addition to your meal and will add some class and refinement.
This exquisite blue cheese is so full of flavor that it will dominate your mac and cheese. The Roquefort mac and cheese is not the same as the gruyere version of the dish, but if you like stronger and more particular flavors, you will enjoy it.
Soft and creamy as it is, the Roquefort cheese doesn’t melt as well as the gruyere, but it does melt to a degree sufficient to be regarded as melted cheese. The Roquefort cheese is even more intense in flavor and aroma when hardened after being melted.