Cheese fondue is a melted cheese dish.
It is prepared in a communal pot by slow-cooking white wine and shredded cheese, to which cornstarch or another thickening agent may be added.
During the melting process, the starch in the cheese causes it to thicken.
The fondue usually consists of emmental, gruyère, appenzeller cheeses, white wine (usually dry), kirsch (optional), salt, and pepper.
Cornstarch or arrowroot may be added as a thickening agent; fondue bourguignonne sometimes contains tomato paste.
When the fondue is almost done, Kirschwasser (cherry brandy) is added to make it smoother and richer.
Whipped cream is sometimes used as a topping to make the fondue extra light and fluffy.
That being said, there are many variations of fondue, and although the essential ingredients remain the same, the dish is prepared differently depending on what region it is from.
Also, what is served with fondue varies from region to region.
It is common in the United States and Switzerland to serve fondue as an appetizer with bread cubes, or sometimes small boiled potatoes or vegetables, for dipping into the cheese.
In this article, we will list seven of the most common sides served with cheese fondue.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Cheese Fondue?
As we mentioned earlier, what side dishes you consider serving with your fondue will determine which region it hails from and what type of cheese is used.
For example, the classic cheese used for Swiss fondue is Emmental cheese.
However, this same dish in France may use Camembert as the main ingredient for its fondue.
As far as the flavor of the side dishes, people tend to enjoy sweet and savory combinations with fondue.
These can include fruit chutneys or jams, honey roasted nuts, or other pickled condiments with a strong flavor profile to contrast against all of the cheese.
Different traditional sides for fondue include potatoes boiled in broth, steamed broccoli florets, or rice.
One good reason to consider serving side dishes with your cheese fondue is to cut the richness.
For example, if you have an appetizer course before dinner (and not a full meal), you may want to consider serving some fruit or vegetable that lightens things up and does not overpower or clash with the flavors of the cheese dish.
Also, serving a side dish with your fondue means that there will be less cheese and more of something else to balance against the robust and intense flavor.
What to Serve with Cheese Fondue? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Once again, there are many side dishes that one may consider serving with their fondue.
Below are our recommendations for the best seven.
1 – Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a type of cabbage that is named after the capital of Belgium.
It has a slightly bitter taste and holds up well to roasting.
On its own, it may be too bitter for some people’s tastes, but pairing it with cheese fondue will help cut some of that flavor and also add variety to the meal.
After all, it is always nice to change things up to keep your dinner guests interested in what they are eating.
Roasted brussels sprouts go well with fondue because the flavor of the cheese compliments that of the cabbage.
When placed in the oven and cooked at a high temperature, the edges of the sprouts will crisp up and become golden brown, with the inside remaining crunchy and fresh.
This creates a nice texture to contrast against all of that gooey cheese we talked about earlier.
2 – Artichoke Hearts
Artichokes are thistle-like plants that consist of a spiny center and edible, fleshy petals and leaves at the top.
They grow in most areas of the world, and their texture is similar to that of an asparagus stem when cooked.
If you are looking for something flavorful to serve with your fondue, artichoke hearts may be just what you need.
The flavor of artichokes goes well with cheese and adds depth to your side dish.
Artichoke hearts go well in fondue because they add a softer meaty texture than something like broccoli or cauliflower, which may be added to the dish.
Artichoke hearts also pair well with cheese in that they contain a naturally creamy, buttery taste that compliments cheeses like mozzarella and Parmesan.
3 – Green Beans
A vegetarian staple. Green beans are immature pods of the common bean, harvested while still tender and not yet fibrous or mature.
They go well with fondue because their flavor pairs well with cheese dishes, and they add some variety to the meal.
Green beans pair well with fondue because they offer a crisp texture and some fiber, which can excitingly contrast against the cheese.
Depending on how you would like to prepare them, green beans may be lightly cooked or served at room temperature – either is fine.
4- Sweet Potato Fries
Crunchy, flavorful, and healthy. Sweet potato fries are thin strips of sweet potatoes that have been fried or baked until crispy.
They go well with cheese fondue because they provide a nice change in texture as the main course melts and becomes creamy.
Additionally, their flavor is milder than that of white potatoes and compliments the cheese nicely.
Sweet potatoes are a great complement to fondue because they offer a nice change of pace from the stringiness and gooeyness of the melted cheese.
They also pair well with cheeses like mozzarella, Parmesan, Brie, or Gruyere because of their sweet, earthy flavor that compliments the richness of the cheese.
5 – Bread and Crackers
Bread and crackers go well with cheese fondue primarily because they scoop up the melted cheese from the pot.
They also offer a nice crunchy texture that contrasts against the softer pasta, rice, potatoes, or broccoli you may be serving it with.
Bread and crackers pair well with cheese fondue because they can be used to pick up the cheese and then dunked into the pot, providing you with a tasty combination of warm, gooey cheese and crunchy bread.
Bread is also traditionally served with fondue to sop up any remaining cheese in the bottom of the pot.
6 – Grilled Beef or Chicken
Grilled meat goes well with fondue because you can pair it with the bread or crackers mentioned above.
Additionally, some cheeses contain red or yellow food coloring, so if your guest is not a fan of these, it might be nice to have something on the side that is more visually appealing.
Meat tastes great paired with cheese fondue.
Some cheeses can be quite rich and flavorful, so it is nice to have something on the side more simplistic in flavor.
Grilled beef or chicken goes well with fondue because they provide a nice change of pace from the different cheeses you will undoubtedly encounter during the meal.
7 – Boiled Veggies (Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower)
Boiled veggies are a great side dish for fondue because they can be served with or without the cheese.
If you are looking for something healthy to offer your guests, boiled vegetables may be just what you need.
Boiled vegetables may be an excellent option for those who want to avoid certain cheeses for dietary reasons.
Blanch or parboil them, depending on how you would like to prepare them.
Then serve with the cheese fondue, and you have a complete meal.
If you are looking for something creamy, try adding some butter before serving.
This will impart flavor and provide the vegetables with extra fat, so they don’t dry out during cooking.
In conclusion, cheese fondue is a dish that goes well with many different side dishes.
If you are looking for something simple and easy to prepare, bread, crackers, olives, or green beans may be just the thing.
Additionally, if you want to offer your guests a flavorful but simple side dish, boiled veggies work great as well.
Cheese fondue offers many options for side dishes because all of them go well with the melted cheese.
Additionally, if you want to stick with simple and straightforward choices, bread and crackers or boiled veggies both work well.