The Best Cheese for French Onion Soup (+ 10 Alternatives)

French onion soup is a classic dish that is beloved by many.

This delicious soup is made with caramelized onions, rich broth, and, of course, melted cheese.

But what is the best cheese for French onion soup?

The best cheese for French onion soup is Gruyère. This Swiss cheese is mild, nutty and creamy, with a slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the caramelized onions in French onion soup. Provolone can also be used for a bolder taste.

This is a question that has been asked by many, and the answer is not as simple as you might think.

In this article, we’ll explore the best cheese for French onion soup, as well as alternatives and tips for choosing the right cheese for your soup.

Whether you’re a cheese lover or just looking to make the perfect French onion soup, read on to discover everything you need to know about selecting the perfect cheese for this iconic dish.

Read Also: 10 Best Salads To Serve with French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup
Source: www.simplyrecipes.com

The Best Cheese for French Onion Soup

Gruyère is widely considered to be the best cheese for French onion soup, and for good reason. This semi-hard cheese from Switzerland has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the rich, savory broth and sweet caramelized onions in French onion soup.

Gruyere

It also has excellent melting properties, which means it creates a smooth, creamy layer on top of the soup that is both delicious and visually appealing.

One of the key factors that makes Gruyère so well-suited for French onion soup is its texture.

Gruyère is a firm cheese that doesn’t completely melt into the soup but rather forms a cohesive layer on top that is easy to eat and has a satisfying mouthfeel.

Its nutty and slightly sweet flavor also complements the umami-rich broth and sweet onions of the soup, adding an extra layer of depth to the dish.

When selecting Gruyère for your French onion soup, be sure to choose a high-quality, aged cheese that has been properly stored and handled.

This will ensure that the cheese melts properly and has the best possible flavor. While Gruyère is the classic cheese for French onion soup, there are other cheeses that can be used as well, as we’ll explore in the following sections.

Alternatives to Gruyère for Your French Onion Soup

When it comes to French onion soup, the texture and flavor of the cheese can make a big difference in the final result.

As we discussed before, Gruyère is an excellent cheese for French onion soup because of its firm texture and nutty, slightly sweet flavor.

However, there are other cheeses that can be used as well, depending on your personal preferences and the flavors you want to highlight in the soup.

  1. For example, Comté is a French cheese that is similar in texture and flavor to Gruyère, but has a slightly nuttier and sweeter taste.
  2. Swiss cheese is another good option, as it has a mild, nutty flavor and melts well.
  3. Provolone is a cheese with a smooth texture and a slightly tangy flavor that can add a bit of zing to your French onion soup.
  4. Fontina is another cheese with a rich, nutty flavor that melts well and complements the sweetness of the onions.
  5. Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and Gouda can also be used, but they have softer textures and milder flavors, so they may not stand out as much in the soup.
  6. Jarlsberg is a Norwegian cheese with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that melts well and can be used as a substitute for Gruyère.
  7. Raelette is a French cheese with a slightly spicy flavor that can add some complexity to the soup.
  8. Finally, Beaufort is a French cheese with a nutty, fruity flavor that is a good alternative to Gruyère.
See also  15 Best Cheeses for Lasagna Recipes

Ultimately, the choice of cheese depends on your personal taste and the specific flavors you want to highlight in your French onion soup. Be sure to experiment with different cheeses to find the one that works best for you!

Cheese Pairings

Blue Cheese

While Gruyère is the classic cheese for French onion soup, there are other cheeses that can be paired with it to add extra flavor and depth to the dish.

One popular pairing is to combine Gruyère with Parmesan cheese, which has a sharp, salty flavor that complements the nutty, sweet flavor of Gruyère. Another good pairing is to use a bit of blue cheese, which adds a tangy, savory flavor that can balance out the sweetness of the onions.

If you’re looking for a milder cheese to pair with Gruyère, try using Swiss cheese or Comté. These cheeses have similar textures and flavors to Gruyère, but can add extra depth and complexity to the soup. Fontina is another good option, as its nutty flavor pairs well with the sweetness of the onions.

For those who prefer a bit of spice, Provolone and Raelette can be used to add a zing to the soup. These cheeses have a slightly tangy flavor that can balance out the sweetness of the onions and add an extra layer of flavor.

When choosing cheese pairings, be sure to experiment with different combinations to find the one that works best for you. Whether you stick with the classic Gruyère or try a new cheese pairing, the right cheese can take your French onion soup to the next level!

Cheese Substitutions

Comte Cheese

While Gruyère is the classic cheese for French onion soup, it may not always be available or may not be to everyone’s taste. Fortunately, there are many other cheeses that can be substituted for Gruyère in French onion soup.

When substituting Gruyère, it’s important to choose a cheese with a similar texture and melting properties.

Comté and Swiss cheese are two good options, as they have a similar texture and flavor to Gruyère. They also melt well and create a smooth, creamy layer on top of the soup. Provolone and Fontina are also good substitutes, as they have a rich, nutty flavor and melt well.

See also  The 10 Best Cheeses for Grits (+7 Alternatives)

If you’re looking for a cheese with a bit more tang, try using a bit of blue cheese or goat cheese. These cheeses have a stronger flavor than Gruyère, but can add an extra layer of complexity to the soup.

For those who prefer a milder flavor, Monterey Jack or mozzarella can be used as a substitute. These cheeses have a softer texture and milder flavor than Gruyère, but can still melt well and add richness to the soup.

The Science of Cheese Melting

When it comes to French onion soup, the way that the cheese melts can make a big difference in the final result. Some cheeses melt better than others, and choosing the right cheese for melting can help create a smooth, creamy layer on top of the soup.

The ability of cheese to melt depends on several factors, including its moisture content, fat content, and pH level.

Cheeses with a higher moisture content and lower pH level tend to melt better than those with lower moisture and higher pH levels. Cheeses with a higher fat content also tend to melt better, as the fat helps to lubricate the cheese and promote even melting.

Gruyère is an excellent cheese for melting in French onion soup because it has a high moisture content, moderate fat content, and low pH level. Other cheeses that melt well include Comté, Swiss, and Fontina.

When melting cheese for French onion soup, it’s important to use low heat and stir the cheese frequently to prevent it from burning or separating. Grating the cheese finely can also help it to melt more evenly.

Cheese Grating Techniques

Parmesan

Grating cheese is an essential step in making French onion soup, as it helps the cheese to melt evenly and creates a smooth, creamy layer on top of the soup.

However, not all cheese graters are created equal, and choosing the right grating technique can make a big difference in the final result.

When grating cheese for French onion soup, it’s important to use a fine grater or microplane to create small, uniform shreds of cheese. This helps the cheese to melt more evenly and creates a smoother layer on top of the soup.

It’s also important to use the right technique when grating cheese. Hold the cheese firmly and grate it in a downward motion, using quick, even strokes.

Avoid pressing too hard or grating too quickly, as this can cause the cheese to clump together and create an uneven layer on top of the soup.

Finally, be sure to measure the grated cheese carefully to ensure that you have the right amount for your recipe. Too much cheese can overwhelm the soup, while too little can leave it feeling thin and underwhelming.

How To Keep Your Cheese from Sinking

One common problem when making French onion soup is that the cheese can sink to the bottom of the bowl, rather than creating a smooth, creamy layer on top.

Fortunately, there are several techniques you can use to prevent your cheese from sinking and ensure that your soup looks and tastes its best.

  1. One simple trick is to make sure that your soup is hot when you add the cheese. This helps the cheese to melt more quickly and create a cohesive layer on top of the soup. Be sure to ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls, leaving a bit of space at the top to prevent overflow, and then add the grated cheese on top.
  2. Another technique is to use a thicker layer of cheese on top of the soup. This creates a barrier that helps to keep the cheese from sinking to the bottom. Be sure to use enough cheese to create a thick, even layer on top of the soup.
  3. Finally, broiling the cheese can also help to create a smooth, even layer on top of the soup. Place the bowls of soup under a broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Be sure to keep a close eye on the soup while broiling, as the cheese can burn quickly.
See also  What Meat Goes with Beans and Cornbread? (9 Kinds of Meat)

Should You Broil the Cheese Before or After Adding it to The Soup?

One question that often arises when making French onion soup is whether to broil the cheese before or after adding it to the soup. While there is no right or wrong answer, there are some advantages and disadvantages to each method.

Broiling the cheese before adding it to the soup can help to create a crispy, golden-brown crust on top of the cheese. This can add extra flavor and texture to the soup, and can also help to keep the cheese from sinking to the bottom. However, pre-broiling the cheese can also make it more difficult to melt evenly on top of the soup.

Broiling the cheese after adding it to the soup can help to ensure that the cheese melts evenly and creates a smooth, creamy layer on top. It can also help to keep the cheese from sinking to the bottom. However, broiling the cheese on top of the soup can also make it more difficult to achieve a crispy, golden-brown crust.

Ultimately, the choice of whether to broil the cheese before or after adding it to the soup depends on personal preference and the specific recipe you are using. Be sure to experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for you and your taste buds.

Conclusion: Choosing the Best Cheese for Your French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a classic dish that is beloved by many, and the right cheese can make all the difference in creating a delicious and satisfying soup.

So, what cheese goes well in French onion soup?

Gruyère is the classic cheese to use for French onion soup. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the caramelized onions in the soup. Other good options include Provolone, Mozzarella, or Parmesan.

While Gruyère is the classic cheese for French onion soup, there are many other cheeses that can be used as well, depending on your personal taste and the specific flavors you want to highlight in the soup.

When choosing a cheese for your French onion soup, be sure to consider factors such as texture, flavor, melting properties, and pairing options. Grate the cheese finely and use the right technique to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the soup. Broil the cheese as desired to create a crispy, golden-brown crust.

By following these tips and experimenting with different cheeses, you can create a French onion soup that is rich, flavorful, and perfectly complemented by a delicious layer of melted cheese.