Best Substitutes for Gruyere Cheese in French Onion Soup

Best Substitutes for Gruyere Cheese in French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a creamy, strong, and flavorful delicacy you won’t be able to forget. The caramelized onions give the soup an irresistible zest, but the signature ingredient, cheese, make this soup even better. The most famous French onion soup cheese is Gruyere cheese, but chances are you don’t have it lying around. The cheese in French onion soup makes this soup extra creamy and remarkably delicious. However, no cheese fits this combination, so you must choose your cheese wisely. So what are the best substitutes for Gruyere cheese in French onion soup? 

The best substitutes for Gruyere cheese in French onion soup are Mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago, Chihuahua, Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Pecorino, Comte, Ricotta, Burrata, Cottage cheese, and Fontina. 

Since French onion soup is not what it is supposed to be with just any cheese, you need the proper knowledge to substitute wisely for Gruyere cheese, which is the best option for French onion soup. In the following paragraphs, I will explain which Gruyere substitutes work best in French onion soup. 

Mozzarella 

Spongy, gooey, and absorbent, the mild, almost neutral-tasting mozzarella will absorb the abundance of flavors that the French onion soup has. Here, the not-melting-well mozzarella comes in handy as it makes the soup even richer, if that’s possible. 

Not only will your soup be creamier, but the mozzarella pieces floating in your pizza taste heavenly. 

Parmesan 

It is no secret that Parmesan and soup are one of the best combinations. The rich-tasting Parmesan will thicken your soup and spread its deliciousness through its consistency, enriching it without overwhelming the flavor. 

Whether you shred or grate your Parmesan, it will do its magic, creating a fusion of tastes you could not have imagined. 

RELATED: What Sandwich Goes with French Onion Soup? 15 Ideas Included

Asiago 

Even though young Asiago cheese is better for melting, the aged Asiago is not to be underestimated in French onion soup. 

Here you don’t necessarily need a cheese that melts all the way, so a nice crumbly and soft cheese will do the job excellently. Due to the aging process, the aged Asiago has a mild smoky flavor. 

The young Asiago is for you if you like gentler, milder, and more refined tastes. The young Asiago melts perfectly, making your soup creamier and silkier. 

Using the aged asiago cheese will give you the most delicious and seductive cheese lumps, eliminating the need to have croutons in your soup. Both asiago versions, the aged and the young do a great job as a gruyere substitute for French onion soup. 

Best Substitutes for Gruyere Cheese in French Onion Soup

Chihuahua 

No, not the dog breed, but delicious cheese bearing its name. This Mexican cheese is spicy and fiery, characterized by its strong and playful flavor and bright yellow color. Combining this cheese with your French onion soup will either be the best decision you have ever made, or it could be the worst. 

Unless you like combining two compatible but very strong flavors, you should go for this French-Mexican fusion, but if you like a more balanced flavor, you shouldn’t risk it with this combination. 

This cheese is a great gruyere substitute for its texture and impact on the soup’s consistency, though the flavor is not even similar, let alone the same. 

Roquefort 

This cheese is probably the most suitable gruyere substitute for French onion soup. Even though stronger and more intense than most of the cheeses on this list, the Roquefort cheese tends to balance out very nicely when paired with equally or more intensive flavors

It will be noticeable in your soup but won’t dominate, allowing each flavor note to shine in its own time. Regarding consistency, this is a soft cheese that doesn’t melt all the way, but it melts enough to make your soup richer and creamier.  

Gorgonzola 

Similar looking as the Roquefort, the Gorgonzola cheese is a young cheese with a similar consistency as the Roquefort cheese but with a very similar melting capacity. 

Just like the soft mozzarella gets even softer when heated but doesn’t melt until it becomes creamy enough to scoop with a spoon, the gorgonzola cheese also softens up. Still, it retains its integrity to a certain extent. 

In terms of flavor, the gorgonzola cheese is noticeable but not as strong as the Roquefort. However, it will do nicely as a gruyere substitute in your French onion soup. 

Pecorino 

Pecorino is a solid and dry cheese that is ideal for grating; therefore, it is famous for its use in pasta delicacies. Its taste is remarkably cheesy, noticeable, and recognizable, making this cheese earn its place on this list. 

It melts excellent when heated, becoming creamy and sticky, bonding the ingredients together and adding a much-welcomed creaminess to the soup. In addition, the onion flavor and aroma mash amazingly well with the pecorino flavor, giving your French onion soup a whiff of elegance. 

Comte 

Swiss-made with irresistible and easily recognizable Swiss cheese holes, the Comte cheese is a versatile product that tastes nutty, mildly sweet, and buttery. It is a solid cheese with amazing melting properties turning into a silky and creamy substance when heated up. 

The Comte cheese is probably the one on this list that is closest to the gruyere cheese. Sometimes referred to as Comte Gruyere, this cheese will make your French onion soup creamy, silky, and elegant. 

Fontina

This cheese melts semi-soft, delicious, and aromatic until it becomes soft but consistent. Adding fontina cheese in your French onion soup would mean having a soft, warm, and delicious piece of cheese in your soup, soaking in the soup’s flavors and adding some of its magic. 

Although not as similar to the Gruyere cheese, the fontina cheese does an excellent job as a gruyere substitute for French onion soup. 

Manchego 

Manchego cheese is another semi-soft cheese with a charismatic aroma and flavor, recognizable yet not overwhelming. It melts to a creamy consistency, transferring that creaminess to the soup, making it even more delicious. 

Best Substitutes for Gruyere Cheese in French Onion Soup

Cottage Cheese 

Soft and grainy, cottage cheese doesn’t even have to make to become creamy. It will thicken your soup and add structure and texture, absorbing the flavors of the soup and combining them with its own signature tang. 

Cottage cheese is mild, but some varieties are more flavorful, salty, and tangy, which I recommend you use in your French onion soup. 

Ricotta 

Ricotta is another exquisite cheese, creamy as it is, and well-known for its use as a thickener in soups, sauces, and dips. It is very smooth, with a slightly grainy structure that will surprise your palate and tease your taste buds with each new spoonful. 

Burrata 

Safely secured in a mozzarella shell, just waiting to be opened and enjoyed, the tasty burrata creaminess will fit perfectly in your French onion soup. Even though the Gruyere is incredibly creamy when melted, the burrata cheese is even creamier as it is. 

It tastes exquisitely rich and perfectly creamy. It is a mix of several types of milk, making each bite, or scoop, taste differently but equally delicious.

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!