Cheese fondue is one of those dishes that ebbs and flows. Sometimes it’s popular as a dish to serve at parties or any type of celebration, while other times it’s out of style and almost entirely ignored. Thankfully, fondue has seen a resurgence of late, giving you plenty of chances to try it out for yourself.
To do so, we must consider what to serve with cheese fondue. Bread is the most popular option, especially if you have stale bread that you want to revive. However, there are many other things you can serve with cheese fondue, including vegetables, mushrooms, pretzels, chicken, and even apples. For that matter, any ingredient that works well with cheese will be delicious with your cheese fondue.
Then there’s the fondue itself to think about. Look for high quality and tasty cheeses, as these will determine how good the finished meal tastes. The traditional version relies on Swiss cheese, gouda, gruyere, and similar cheeses, which blend together well. However, you can certainly try out your own combo.
Many people also add a little brandy or kirsch to their fondue. This provides some interesting flavor notes and makes the fondue even more exciting.
Bread is the go-to option for cheese fondue. Some families won’t even consider serving anything else with their fondue. It’s easy to see why too, as bread and cheese are a match made in heaven.
While any type of bread will work in your cheese fondue (including stale leftover bread), a high quality fresh product is always the best, particularly homemade loaves or those made by artisan bakers. Think about options like sourdough, focaccia, ciabatta, baguettes, and the like.
Some breads will have extra ingredients, like rosemary, parmesan cheese, poppy seeds, olives, and fruit. These don’t just make the bread taste better. They also pair excellently with the cheese in your fondue.
This Sourdough Parmesan and Rosemary Bread shows how a few extra ingredients can make bread much more exciting. Because this is sourdough, the recipe doesn’t rely on traditional yeast. You need to make a sourdough starter instead, which gives the bread its distinct characteristics.
Don’t worry if you’ve never made sourdough before. The linked recipe takes you through every step of the process, providing plenty of photos along the way. This includes information about how you can shape the bread and different flavor variations to try.
Mushrooms mightn’t be standard cheese fondue fare, but they’re an addition you should certainly try. One reason is the flavors, as mushrooms and creamy cheese taste stunning together.
Even simple grilled mushrooms taste amazing here. You can also take things further and season the mushrooms. Plenty of seasonings pair well with cheese, so it’s difficult to go wrong here.
Don’t forget about the different types of mushrooms, either. These vary in their flavors and textures, giving you an exciting experience for your fondue.
These Steakhouse Garlic Butter Mushrooms are designed to mimic the delicious mushrooms you often find at a steakhouse. They’re perfect if you want strong flavors to pair with your cheese fondue.
The recipe may look complicated at first glance, but that’s only because there is a decent number of flavoring ingredients. The selection includes chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion powder, dried oregano, and more. These ingredients all help to create delicious mushrooms that are absolutely packed with flavor.
Apples Or Pears
Apple and pear slices are surprisingly common ingredients additions to cheese fondue. This is partly because of their acidity, which cuts through the creamy fattiness of the cheese fondue.
There’s also a fantastic texture contrast, as apple and pear slices are crisp. This makes them much more interesting than soft bread and soft cheese.
The idea isn’t as surprising as it might seem anyway. Fruit and cheese are a classic pairing on charcuterie boards and as snacks. Using melted cheese fondue instead can only make things better.
You could simply use slices of fresh apples or pears with your cheese fondue. Where’s the fun in that when you can make experiment with different styles and seasonings?
These Cinnamon Apple Chips have been dehydrated, so they’ll last longer than fresh apples. The flavor combination of cinnamon and apple is a classic one anyway, so you know it will taste amazing. Just be sure you allow enough time, as it takes a few hours to sufficiently dehydrate the apples.
The combo of chicken and cheese is already a classic, featuring in various recipes. So, why not dip pieces of chicken in your cheese fondue?
Chicken has another advantage too – it’s a decent source of protein. This gives you a more filling meal than simply combining cheese and bread.
Besides, there are endless ways to prepare chicken and season it. You could even turn to recipes like chicken meatballs or crumbed chicken tenders. It’s hard to go wrong, as most types of chicken will work well with your cheese fondue.
These Garlic Parmesan Chicken Bites are an amazing alternative to plain chicken. Plus they’re already bite sized, which is perfect when you’re serving fondue.
It’s a surprisingly easy recipe. You just need a handful of ingredients, including garlic powder, minced garlic, parmesan cheese, and chicken. This could even become your new favorite chicken dish.
Now we’re up to vegetables. Not only are these excellent with cheese, but there are also many types to choose from.
You could try the classic raw dipping vegetables, like sliced bell peppers, carrots, and celery. Other raw vegetables work well too, including broccoli, cauliflower, and snow peas. Why not experiment?
If you don’t like raw vegetables or find them difficult to digest, try cooked vegetables instead. Roasted vegetables are a great place to begin. Most will be perfect with cheese fondue. You could even season them to improve the flavor.
These Rainbow Veggie Skewers aren’t complicated, nor do they need to be. They simply consist of carefully chosen vegetables threaded onto a skewer and then grilled.
The style is fun for fondue, as you can just dip the end of the skewer into your fondue. You could even do so multiple times as you make your way down the skewer (as long as the other guests don’t mind a bit of double dipping).
Well… there is one other interesting feature: the fact that the vegetables are soaked in a vinaigrette before being grilled. This vinaigrette makes the vegetables much more flavorful. It isn’t difficult to prepare either.
Chicken isn’t your only protein-based option for cheese fondue. Most types of cured meat work exceptionally well too. You’ll often get a delicious contrast between salty meat and creamy cheese.
This is also a chance to experiment with different types of cured meat. There are many types out there, not to mention all the flavors and styles. You could even join a charcuterie of the month club to find new and exciting products.
How To Make A Salami Rose
A Salami Rose is a simple way to make your salami much more interesting. These roses are most often used to elevate charcuterie boards, but they’re excellent for dipping into cheese fondue as well.
The linked recipe doesn’t just focus on salami roses, either. It also showcases some other designs, including prosciutto fans and salami chains. Even if you don’t plan to dip the whole rose in your fondue, preparing the salami this way is an excellent way to impress guests.
There’s no doubt that pretzels go with cheese. So, dipping pretzels in your fondue makes complete sense. You can do this with hard pretzels or soft ones.
With hard pretzels, you get a fantastic texture contrast, as they’re crunchy while your fondue is smooth and creamy. Soft pretzels don’t have the same crunch, but their softness works with your fondue too. In some ways, they’re a little like serving bread with your fondue.
The trick is to focus on decent pretzels, ones that have been well-made using quality ingredients. If you can’t find these locally, try a pretzel of the month club. Some of these clubs will even send you out flavored pretzels.
Instead of whole pretzels, why not serve these Buttery Soft Pretzel Bites instead? The small size is perfect for dipping and serving a crowd. Plus, the style means there’s much more pretzel crust than normal.
The recipe is similar to many other pretzel recipes, relying on ingredients like water, sea salt, butter, flour, and yeast. The most significant difference is simply the shape of the bites.
Let’s step away from ingredients to dip into your fondue for a minute and discuss what to serve alongside it. Salads are the classic option here, as they’re light, refreshing, and an excellent contrast.
After all, cheese fondue is decadent and filling in its own right. This is even more true if you’re pairing it with protein-rich ingredients. A light side is perfect to balance out all that richness.
This Strawberry, Blueberry, and Greens Salad with Honey Vinaigrette manages to be beautiful, vibrant, and delicious all at once. Including both strawberries and blueberries in this salad is an amazing idea. The berries make the salad much more exciting, while also providing plenty of antioxidants.
The dressing is what makes the salad stand out. It relies on white wine vinegar, honey, and extra virgin olive oil. That ingredient combination creates a tangy-sweet flavor contrast. You could even borrow the dressing recipe and use it with a different type of salad.
Now we’re back to ingredients you can dip into your cheese fondue, starting with meatballs. Meatballs are a classic party food anyway, so they’re a logical choice for your fondue.
It’s important to choose your recipe well here, as meatballs can easily be dry or flavorless. Herbs and spices can help with the flavor profile, while eggs help with moisture and binding.
Small meatballs are especially good with fondue, as the small size gives you a great ratio of cheese to meat.
Instead of using beef, why not try these Baked Chicken Meatballs? The use of chicken makes them much lighter, while there’s still a decent amount of flavor. The recipe even includes half a cup of parmesan cheese.
The recipe also includes details about how to make sure your meatballs remain moist, rather than drying out. Plus, because the meatballs are baked, they’re much healthier than normal.
Like apples and pears, the acidity of pickles cuts through some of the richness of the cheese fondue – giving you a more balanced meal. If you want contrast, you could serve the pickles alongside your cheese fondue.
Or, you could dip the pickles directly in the cheese. As strange as it sounds, pickles dipped in cheese really do taste amazing. They’re especially good if your cheese sauce is rich and very creamy.
We’re not just talking about pickled cucumbers either. Other types of vegetables can be pickled too, including cauliflower, beets, asparagus, and many others. You can also add spices into the pickle mixture to make the flavor profile even more exciting.
These Giardiniera Pickled Vegetables aren’t as strange as they sound. The name simply refers to an Italian pickled vegetables dish, which uses a variety of vegetables and rich brine.
The selection of ingredients is impressive, including cauliflower, carrots, celery, green olives, red pepper, and more. Then a selection of spices add an extra layer of flavor to the pickled vegetables. If you’re trying these for yourself, you could easily remove any vegetables you don’t like or even add new ones.
While we’ve already talked about vegetables, potatoes are special enough to deserve an entry all of their own. They’re an excellent replacement for bread, as both sides are starchy with a mild flavor.
The simplest options are either roasted potatoes or boiled potatoes (particularly boiled new potatoes). You could turn to something more complex as well, like fries or even curly fries. The only requirements are that your potatoes are dippable and pair well with cheese. Many potato dishes will meet those criteria.
Aren’t these Roasted Garlic Butter Parmesan Potatoes stunning? They rely on a combination of garlic, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese for flavor, plus bacon bits to make the potatoes even more exciting.
You end up with delicious and crispy potatoes that could be easily speared on the end of a fork. The recipe goes into depth about how to ensure your potatoes turn out perfectly every time, along with the best time and temperature to focus on.
Steak is a brilliant protein-packed option for your cheese fondue. Any cut of steak will do the trick, along with whatever level of doneness you prefer. Don’t forget about seasonings either. Even a little steak and pepper is enough to make your steak taste stunning.
To make things even more interesting, try dipping bread and steak at the same time. Doing so will taste much like a mini burger.
These Cajun Butter Steak Bites are too good to miss. They’re even the perfect size for dipping in fondue.
The most important part of this recipe is the Cajun seasoning. This uses ten ingredients to create a complex flavor profile that pairs well with your steak. While the seasoning mix takes a while to make, it’s well worth the effort. You could even use it for other dishes as well.
If you’re a seafood lover, why not dip shrimp in your cheese fondue? The pairing of shrimp and cheese is surprisingly good. It’s even better if you’ve used some garlic when cooking your shrimp.
Steaming your shrimp is the best way to go here, as this is a gentler technique that helps to maintain the flavor of your shrimp. The shrimp could be left plain, as you’re getting plenty of flavor from the cheese sauce. Or, you can run with your favorite seasonings. Don’t be afraid to experiment – it’s hard to go wrong with shrimp and cheese.
Speaking of seasonings, what do you think of these Gochujang Honey Shrimp? The seasoning gives them a spicy-sweet flavor balance that pairs well with cheese fondue.
There are two parts to the recipe. One covers the basic seasoning for the shrimp, which includes garlic powder and black pepper. The other part is the sweet-spicy Gochujang sauce. Don’t worry, even with two parts, the shrimp are easy to prepare and should come out perfectly.
Finally, we have cooked pasta. Here we’re focusing on large pasta shapes, as these are best for scooping up rich cheese fondue. The idea is similar to bread and potatoes, as you have a bland and starchy ingredient that you can easily cover with cheese.
Cooking the pasta to al dente works best, as al dente pasta will be firm enough to easily dip into the cheese fondue. Try to avoid any sauce on the pasta, as that will make it soggy and difficult to dip.
Pasta is easy enough to buy, but why not make your own pasta instead? This How to Make Pasta Shapes at Home post shows you exactly what to do.
The post also links through to a pasta dough recipe, in case you don’t already have a favorite. Homemade pasta always tastes better than the store-bought version and isn’t difficult once you get the hang of it.