Top 10 Emmental Cheese Substitutes for Your Recipes – Out of Stock? Try These!

So, you’ve got a recipe that calls for Emmental cheese, but surprise, surprise, your fridge is empty. Emmental might be the king of Swiss cheeses, but let’s face it, it can be a pain to find.

Don’t worry, though—I’ve got your back with a list of ten fantastic substitutes that’ll keep your dish from going to ruin. Trust me, no one will even notice.

A Quick Look

Cheese Flavor Texture Best Uses
Gruyère Nutty, slightly sweet Smooth, creamy Fondue, quiche, gratin
Jarlsberg Mild, nutty, sweet Semi-soft, holes Sandwiches, cheese boards
Swiss Cheese Mild, nutty Semi-soft, holes Sandwiches, melting, salads
Comté Rich, nutty, fruity Firm, melts well Cooking, cheese boards, melting
Raclette Buttery, fruity Semi-hard, melts Raclette, melting, cooking
Fontina Mild, nutty, tangy Semi-soft, creamy Melting, cooking, cheese boards
Havarti Buttery, tangy Creamy, smooth Sandwiches, melting, cheese boards
Provolone Sharp, tangy Semi-soft, melts Sandwiches, melting, cooking
Edam Mild, nutty Semi-hard, smooth Cooking, cheese boards, melting
Mozzarella Mild, milky Soft, stringy Pizza, melting, cooking

1. Gruyère

Emmental cheese substitutes

First up, Gruyère. It’s a classic and, honestly, probably the closest you’re going to get to Emmental without booking a flight to Switzerland.

Gruyère has that same nutty flavor and melts like a dream. Perfect for fondues, quiches, and gratins. Just swap it in a 1:1 ratio, and you’re golden.

Aging Process

Gruyère is aged for at least three months, but it can be aged for up to a year or more. The aging process contributes to its distinct flavor profile, which ranges from sweet and nutty to earthy and complex.

Historical Significance

Gruyère cheese has a rich history. It’s so cherished that there have been disputes over its production and naming rights. This cheese has even been a point of contention in historical conflicts.


  • Flavor: Nutty, slightly sweet
  • Texture: Smooth and creamy when melted

2. Jarlsberg

Jarlsberg is like Emmental’s cousin from Norway. It’s got the same characteristic holes and a similar taste profile. It’s a bit sweeter, but honestly, who’s complaining?


Jarlsberg cheese was created in the 1950s in the small Norwegian village of Ås. It was developed as part of a long-term research project at the Agricultural University by Professor Ole Martin Ystgaard.


Although it originates from Norway, Jarlsberg cheese is now also produced in Ireland and the USA. Despite the different production sites, the secret recipe and bacterial culture come from TINE’s factory in Norway.


  • Flavor: Mild, nutty, slightly sweet
  • Texture: Semi-soft, holes

3. Swiss Cheese

Emmental alternatives

Yeah, I’m being a bit generic here, but ‘Swiss cheese’ in the American context usually refers to a type of cheese that mimics Emmental pretty well. It’s available everywhere and gets the job done.


Swiss cheese is a broad term that includes many different varieties. Some of the most famous Swiss cheeses are Emmental, Gruyère, and Appenzeller.

There are over 500 varieties of cheese produced in Switzerland each year.

Production and Characteristics

  • Traditional Swiss cheeses are known for their distinctive holes or “eyes,” which are formed during the fermentation process. The holes are created by carbon dioxide gas released by bacteria.
  • Swiss cheese can vary in flavor from mild and buttery to strong and nutty, depending on the specific type and aging process.


  • Flavor: Mild, nutty
  • Texture: Semi-soft, holes

4. Comté

For the fancy people out there, Comté is a French cheese that’s a bit more complex in flavor than Emmental. It’s aged longer, giving it a deeper, nuttier taste. It’s perfect if you’re looking to impress.

  • Comté is a raw milk cheese, meaning the subtle notes from the milk (from grass and hay) are more apparent.
  • It is aged from 4 months to over 24 months, with flavors becoming more intense and complex with age.


  • Flavor: Rich, nutty, slightly fruity
  • Texture: Firm but melts well

5. Raclette

If you’re into melted cheese (and who isn’t?), Raclette is your go-to. It’s smooth, gooey, and fantastic for, well, raclette. But it also works in any dish that requires a good melting cheese.

Historical Origins

Raclette cheese has origins dating back to 1291 in the canton of Valais, Switzerland, near the Matterhorn. It has a significant historical background with mentions found in medieval texts from Swiss-German convents.

Name and Tradition

The name “Raclette” comes from the French verb “racler,” meaning “to scrape.” This refers to the traditional way the melted cheese is scraped off a heated cheese wheel onto food items.

Cultural Significance

Raclette is not just a type of cheese but also a traditional Swiss dish. Historically, farmers would heat a piece of cheese over an open fire for a hearty meal. Today, Raclette is enjoyed with potatoes, pickles, bread, and sometimes meats.


  • Flavor: Buttery, slightly fruity
  • Texture: Semi-hard, melts well

6. Fontina

Fontina might be from Italy, but it knows how to handle itself in a Swiss role. It’s creamy, a bit nutty, and melts beautifully. Great for anything from pasta dishes to grilled cheese.

  • Production: Made from whole cow’s milk, Fontina cheese has a milk fat content of around 45%. This high-fat content contributes to its creamy consistency and rich taste.
  • Varieties: While true Fontina cheese comes from the Italian Alps, specifically the Aosta Valley, it is now produced in various countries worldwide, including the United States, Denmark, and Sweden.
  • Uses: Fontina is versatile in culinary applications. It melts well, making it an excellent choice for fondues, grilled sandwiches, and pasta dishes. It can also be enjoyed on its own or with bread and fruits.


  • Flavor: Mild, nutty, slightly tangy
  • Texture: Semi-soft, creamy

7. Havarti

Emmental replacement

Here’s one from Denmark. Havarti is a bit creamier than Emmental, but it’s mild and buttery. It’s super versatile and works great in almost any dish where you’d use Emmental.

  • Varieties: There are several variations of Havarti, including dill Havarti and chili Havarti, which infuse additional flavors into the cheese.
  • Uses: This cheese can be enjoyed on its own, added to sandwiches, melted on dishes, or paired with fruits and wines.


8. Provolone

Provolone is that cheese you didn’t know you needed. It’s a bit sharper and more robust than Emmental, but it melts well and adds a nice depth to your dishes.

  • Origins: Provolone cheese originates from Southern Italy, specifically the Campania region.
  • Varieties: There are two main types of Provolone: Provolone Dolce (mild) and Provolone Piccante (sharp). The difference lies in the aging process and the use of lipase enzymes.
  • Shape and Aging: Traditionally, Provolone is made in distinctive shapes such as pear or sausage, which help in the aging and maturation process. The flavor profile of Provolone changes significantly with aging—young Provolone is milder and creamier, while aged Provolone has a more robust and sharper taste.
  • Production Method: Provolone is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk and falls under the category of pasta filata, or stretched-curd cheeses. This method involves stretching the curd while hot to achieve the desired texture.


  • Flavor: Sharp, tangy
  • Texture: Semi-soft, melts well

9. Edam

Best Emmental alternatives

Edam is a mild, semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands. It’s not as nutty as Emmental, but it’s smooth and melts nicely. Plus, it’s usually pretty easy to find.

  • Origin: Edam cheese originates from the town of Edam in the Netherlands. It is named after this town located in the northern regions of the country.
  • Appearance: Edam cheese is known for its distinct red wax coating, although it can also come in a yellow wax coating.
  • Historical Significance: From the 14th until the 18th century, Edam was one of the most popular cheeses globally, especially favored for long sea voyages due to its excellent aging properties.
  • Milk Sources: Edam cheese can be made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk, which allows it to attain its savory flavor.


  • Flavor: Mild, slightly nutty
  • Texture: Semi-hard, smooth

10. Mozzarella

Mozzarella is like the Swiss Army knife of cheeses. It doesn’t have the nutty flavor of Emmental, but its melting properties are top-notch. Use it in a pinch when you need something that’ll melt into gooey perfection.

  • Popularity: Mozzarella is one of the most consumed cheeses globally, with a significant presence in various culinary dishes.
  • Etymology: The word “mozzarella” comes from the Italian verb “mozzare,” meaning “to cut off,” which refers to the process of shaping the cheese.
  • Types of Milk: Traditionally made from water buffalo milk, mozzarella can also be made with cow’s, goat’s, or sheep’s milk.
  • Historical Origins: The history of mozzarella dates back to the 16th century in southern Italy. It was supposedly first made when cheese curds accidentally fell into hot water in a cheese factory near Naples.


  • Flavor: Mild, milky
  • Texture: Soft, stringy when melted

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it—life’s too short to be searching high and low for Emmental when you’ve got these ten stand-ins. They might not all be exact matches, but they bring their own charm to the table. Plus, who knows? You might just discover a new favorite.

So next time your recipe demands Emmental, and you’re fresh out, don’t panic. Just reach for one of these trusty substitutes and keep cooking. Your taste buds will thank you, and your dinner guests will never know the difference.

Feel free to play around with these cheeses and find your perfect match. And remember, cooking is supposed to be fun, not stressful.