Can you Substitute Gouda for Gruyere Cheese?

Can you substitute Gouda for Gruyere cheese

Can you Substitute Gouda for Gruyere Cheese? Gouda suited to be melted and served with cheese-boards, it can be a good substitute for gruyere

Any food aficionado knows that it’s a rule of thumb that cheese can make any dish infinitely better. Primarily serving cheese with hot foods, like melting shredded cheese over some fresh pasta or a freshly grilled cheese sandwich, can send the dish over the top. This is true for all types of cheese, but even more so for Gruyere, an excellent Swiss cheese best served hot and melty. Gruyere is a pinnacle of Alpine cheese-making and can enhance any cooking.

If you have no luck finding gruyere in any supermarket, don’t worry, because there are many readily available substitutes you can find. But before we get to the alternatives for gruyere, let’s take a look at the cheese’s flavor profile and what makes gruyere stand out from other cheeses.

So what is that makes gruyere, well, gruyere?

Gruyere is a semi-hard cheese that offers an intricate blend of sweet, savory, and nutty flavors. It provides a rich, creamy taste with a nutty earthiness and notes of sweetness. The texture is hard but supple a retains a perfect balance of moisture. Gruyere is made from whole, unpasteurized cow’s milk is typically cured for six months or longer. 

It can have an off-putting smell due to the process that creates its rind. The rind is washed with brine during maturation and develops quite a strong odor and bacterial growth, which is responsible for developing its fruity flavor profile. 

Although the strong smell can put you off from trying the cheese, it should never be the reason for rejecting the cheese since it is a delectable cheese.

Gruyere has a beautiful melting texture and is therefore commonly used for baking and is an excellent cheese for Fondues (a Swiss dish of melting cheese used for dipping). Aged gruyere typically tastes less creamy and develops a more nutty, earthy taste.

Can gouda be substituted for gruyere?

Gouda is also a semi-hard cheese and offers a slightly soft, sweet flavor with a mild fruitiness. As gouda cheese becomes older, it becomes harder and darker and develops a more robust, buttery, and nutty flavor note. Gruyere takes on a similar mildly fruity flavor but offers more nuttiness and is a little saltier than gouda since it is cured in brine.

Due to the moisture and semi-hard texture of gouda, it melts excellently, especially if cooking with younger gouda. Gouda melts best at medium heat, and if it is heated at very high temperatures, it can become stringy. Gouda can also be consumed as a snack with cheese-boards, crackers, fruits, and a deep red wine. Since gouda is suited to be melted and cooked and served with cheese-boards, it can be a good substitute for gruyere. Although they may have slightly different flavors, the similar moist but firm texture gouda can be a good alternative if you are in a rut.

Other alternatives for gruyere cheese

Gruyere cheese is an exclusive cheese that can sometimes be hard to find in your local supermarkets. If you can’t find it anywhere or can’t consume it due to any other reasons, then here are some substitutes you can use for cooking or baking.

Emmental cheese

Emmental is a yellow, semi-hard cheese that is also of Swiss origin. Emmental offers an intricate layer of flavors that features nutty, sweet notes with a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste. It is made from cow’s milk, which allows it to have a creamy texture. Emmental can be identified by the large, cherry-sized holes that can be found scattered in the cheese.

Emmental has excellent melting properties, which makes it a perfect substitute for gruyere. It can pair well with cheese fondue and dishes like gratins and casseroles that require melted cheese. It can also be great for grilled cheese sandwiches and pasta sauces. Some people may even prefer to use Emmental cheese for melting over gruyere. It can also be served cold by slicing and layering in sandwiches or served on a cheese-board with crackers, nuts, and fruits.


Jarlsberg is a mild Norwegian cheese that can be identified with its large irregular holes and a distinct nutty flavor reminiscent of gruyere.

It has a semi-hard texture and is made from cow’s milk, which gives it a buttery rich creaminess, with a mildly sweet flavor. It is a mild but delicious cheese that melts well and is excellent for grilled recipes and hot dishes, as well as fondues.

Jarlsberg works well in recipes like grilled sandwiches, quiches, or when melted on top of dishes such as potatoes, pasta, and cheese souffle. It is suitable for cooking as well as snacking. The slice can serve it with fruits, nuts, crackers, and some wine.

Consider using this carefully, though, since Jarlsberg can have a sharper, more robust flavor than gruyere. 


Beaufort is a firm Alpine cheese made up of cow’s milk from the gruyere cheese family. Along with the buttery, nutty flavor that is characteristic of almost all cheeses, Beaufort features floral and herbal flavor notes distinctly. Along with its distinct aroma, it has a strong, mildly pungent smell.

It has a rich, creamy consistency, which goes very well with a range of recipes. Since it is associated with the gruyere cheese family, it is the next best substitute for gruyere cheese.

Because of its excellent melting properties, Beaufort works great for fondue. Beaufort also pairs well with fish, especially salmon, toasted cheese dishes, tarts, and gratins. It also works great for dishes that require baking since it has a high melting point. It goes incredibly well with white wine.


Comte is a semi-hard and smoother type of French cheese that strongly resembles gruyere. The taste and texture of Comte change as it gets older. Younger comte typically offers the aroma of fresh butter, caramel, and dried apricots. Aged Comte has a more spicy, fruity, and nutty flavor note. Gruyere and comte are almost identical in texture and taste, making comte an excellent substitute for gruyere.

Comte is perfect for melting since it provides a brilliant melting texture and flavor. Comte is very versatile and pairs well with a bowl of mac and cheese, egg dishes, or baked cheese dishes like gratin and casseroles. It has a firm texture that allows it to be sliced, shredded, or grated. It can also be served on a cheese platter with roasted garlic, nuts, cured meats, and crackers. Its delicate aroma also makes it perfect to be served with wine.


Edam is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk, with a beautiful creamy texture. Young Edam cheese has a mild, salty, and nutty flavor and has almost no smell. As the cheese gets older, it develops a sharper flavor and a firm texture.

This cheese pairs well when grated over potatoes or eaten with bread, beer, or wine. It is ideal for sandwiches, cheese dips, roulades, and soups. Old edam pairs well with fruits like apples, pears, apricot, and peach. It also goes well with crackers and bread, dark beers, and wines.

Edam is more affordable than other gruyere substitutes and offers a similar flavor and texture to traditional gruyere, which makes it more accessible and friendly on a budget. 


Raclette is cow’s milk cheese that originated in France and has a creamy texture. Raclette offers slightly sweet, salty, and nutty flavors, which are similar to gruyere. It has a distinct aroma and becomes more pungent as it gets older. It can have an off-putting smell, which is identical to that of gruyere.

Raclette has a high melting point, which makes it excellent for melting and grilling. It is typically served with steamed or boiled potatoes, pickled gherkins, olives, and pickled onions. It also pairs well with cured meats like ham, prosciutto, and salami. It is not intended to be eaten raw.

Fontina and Parmesan cheese

A combination of fontina and parmesan cheese gives the consistency and flavor, which resembles that of gruyere. Both the cheeses have dense, nutty, and thick flavor notes. Fontina is excellent for melting since it has a higher melting point. Fontina and parmesan can provide a nutty creaminess to any dish and are suited for cooking and serving with cheese-boards. Fontina and Parmesan are also more easily accessible and are more affordable than other gruyere substitutes.

It is best to use both the cheeses in equal parts. Gruyere is a versatile ingredient with a delectable taste that can be used for melting and eating cold. With these alternatives, though, you can simply substitute gruyere while following recipes and still have an excellent result. Moreover, since you now know the flavor profile and texture this cheese offers, you can use your own choice of semi-hard cheeses with a similar flavor. Just consider that flavors and textures vary and can impact how your dish turns out.

Can you Substitute Gouda for Gruyere Cheese?

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