fontina cheese substitute

Top 10 Fontina Cheese Substitutes For Decadent Flavors

If you are a cheese lover, then fontina cheese is in your repertoire. Yet, this cheese is not easy to come across all the time and can be unhealthy in excess. Instead, try using some similar types of cheese or even dairy-free alternatives.

What Is Fontina Cheese?

Fontina cheese comes from unpasteurized cow milk with a semi-hard texture, smooth surface, and many holes. The flavor is both sweet and pungent, and it has a great ability to melt. You may not know it, but most pizzas contain fontina cheese in addition to the traditional mozzarella. 

Since this cheese is soft, you may also see it in soups, dips, casseroles, pasta, and sauces. In Italy, though, fontina cheese tends to be a table cheese accompanying cured meats and other types of cheese.

Why Replace Fontina Cheese, Anyway?

  • Lactose Intolerance: Some individuals are intolerant to lactose in milk products. This means that fontina cheese may be too harsh for them to digest.
  • Price: Since this cheese isn’t one of the most common, it can be quite expensive at times. Its price can make it less accessible than other kinds of cheese.
  • Veganism: If a person follows a strict plant-based diet, then this cheese is not an option since it comes from cow’s milk.

What Can I Replace Fontina Cheese With?

These fontina cheese substitutes work best to create delicious dishes next time you cook: 

For Lasagna, Pizza, and Quiche

#1. Mozzarella

Since fontina is often part of recipes with mozzarella, then it makes sense to use this cheese as a substitution. Mozzarella is a very soft and mild cheese, and it goes well in making lasagna, pizza, quiche, and pasta. This option is also healthy and contains a good amount of protein for low fat.

#2. Gouda

This cow’s milk cheese is a bit creamier in color and has a bit more of a pungent flavor. Gouda is semi-soft, which makes it great for lasagna, quiche, sauces, and soups. This cheese is not Italian, though, it is from the Netherlands and it is quite common everywhere.

#3. Emmental

This popular Swiss cheese is virtually everywhere these days, as it is a very soft, mild, and easy to melt. You can use emmental in sandwiches, pizza, quiche, lasagna, and as an appetizer in cheeseboards. 

Keep in mind, however, that the smell of emmental is stronger than other cheeses, so it may overpower your dish or scent up your house.

#4. Provolone

While this isn’t the healthiest choice, it is a very tasty and decadent type of cheese. The flavor of provolone is not nearly as strong, so it goes well with any ingredients, and it melts great, especially over the grill. Use provolone when you make fondue, pizza, sandwiches, and quiche. 

#5. Parmesan

This is maybe the most popular cheese in this list, and also the healthiest. Parmesan is very high in protein, but also low in fat and lactose, so it can be safe for those with lactose intolerance. 

This choice is great for making pasta, baked mac and cheese, and sauces, but it may not be great for recipes that need a ton of melted cheese.

See More: Parmesan Cheese Shelf Life

For Fondue, Mac and Cheese, and Pasta

#6. Havarti

Havarti is an original cheese from Sweden, but it is now popular in salads, sandwiches, mac and cheese, and even fondue. As a tip, store this cheese at room temperature, as the flavor will set and it won’t go bad. 

Like fontina cheese, Havarti is also part of appetizer and charcuterie boards.

#7. Cheddar

This English and American cheese is a very nutritious choice that is high in protein, low in fat, and full of nutrients. You can use cheddar in almost every sandwich, dip, salad, and mac and cheese. 

Consider that the more aged the cheddar is, the safer it is to consume if you have lactose intolerance, but it is also more intense in flavor.

#8. Cashew Cheese

This is not real cheese, but rather a vegan option for those that don’t consume animal products. To get a similar texture and flavor to that of cheese, mix it with nutritional yeast or another active culture. 

Most commercial brands are good for fondue, mac and cheese, soups, pasta, and sauces.

#9. Taleggio

Taleggio is another semi-soft cheese, like fontina, which has a strong aroma and pungent flavor. Use this cheese when you make pasta, mac and cheese, fondue, sauces, and more. Keep in mind that this cheese is high in fat, so it isn’t the healthiest alternative.

#10. Gruyere

This is another Swiss cheese that is famous for its ability to melt, which makes it great in soups, sauces, pasta, fondue, and mac and cheese. The flavor is nutty, sweet, and only slightly pungent, so it mixes well with many ingredients. 

Gruyere may be safe for those with lactose intolerance, but always make sure you taste a bit first.

See more: Best Gruyere Cheese Replacements


What is the flavor of fontina cheese?

Fontina cheese is sweet and a bit pungent with a very rich and creamy texture. Some people regard this cheese as nutty and buttery, which makes it very appealing when melted. Fontina also mixes well with other flavors.

Can I substitute cheddar for fontina cheese?

Yes, you can use cheddar in place of fontina cheese in some dishes. Good recipes to use cheddar in, include sandwiches, salads, cheeseboards, sauces, and mac and cheese. However, cheddar may not be suitable for dishes like pizza, fondue, or lasagna.

Can you use fontina cheese on a pizza?

You can certainly use fontina cheese on pizza. Most of the time, fontina accompanies mozzarella in pizza, as it melts and toasts nicely. You can even use it in other Italian dishes, like lasagna, pasta, calzone, and cream sauce.


While fontina cheese isn’t the most popular cheese out there, it certainly is important in some dishes. If you can’t find it, it is too pricey, or you want a new flavor, try any of these substitutes for fontina cheese. The flavors are all great and some of these are truly health options!

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