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Beer & Cheddar Fondue

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 5 cups.

Servings: 6-8

If fondue seems like a project, you might be surprised at just how easily it comes together. In fact, it’s a perfect dish for casual entertaining, even on a busy weeknight. Just grab a fondue pot, set out a few dippers (see Serving Suggestions, below), and invite friends over to dig (or rather, dip) in.


  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, minced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. Emmentaler cheese, coarsely grated (about 3 lightly packed cups)
  • 8 oz. extra-sharp white Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 2 lightly packed cups)
  • 4 oz. Gruyère, coarsely grated (about 1 lightly packed cup)
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard (such as Coleman’s)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds, coarsely ground in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle
  • 1-12-oz. can lager-style beer, preferably Budweiser
  • 3 Tbs. Amontillado sherry
  • Kosher salt

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on eight servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 380
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 250
  • Fat (g): 27
  • Saturated Fat (g): 17
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 90
  • Sodium (mg): 450
  • Carbohydrates (g): 6
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 23


  • Melt the butter in a 1-1/2- to 2-qt. flameproof fondue pot over medium-low heat. (If you don’t have a fondue pot that’s flameproof, use a heavy, narrow saucepan.) Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely soft and beginning to caramelize, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the Emmentaler, Cheddar, and Gruyère with the cornstarch, mustard, and pepper.
  • Add the caraway seeds to the pot and stir to toast them slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the beer, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer to mellow the flavor of the beer, about 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the cheese mixture into the pot a large handful at a time, stirring each batch in a back and forth pattern so that the cheese doesn’t ball up as it melts. Continue adding and stirring until all of the cheese is melted, smooth, and thick, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain barely a simmer. Stir in the sherry and season to taste with salt. (If using a saucepan, transfer the fondue to a fondue pot.) Set the fondue pot over a low flame at the table to keep it warm. Serve with the dipping ingredients.

What to dunk: You can make cheese fondue a more balanced meal by serving some or all of the following as dipping options: Sourdough or ciabatta bread cubes,  pear and apple slices, steamed carrots and cauliflower, boiled baby or fingerling potatoes, cornichons or baby pickles, grilled or broiled sliced sausage.


Amontillado, a medium-dry sherry, provides a nice contrast to the bitter beer and the sharp cheddar.


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • Chayska | 12/29/2012

    My whole family loves this recipe, and guests who ate it a few nights ago have requested a copy; that's why I'm back looking at it online. This cheese fondue is different from most I have encountered. All the others used wine and tasted, well, cheesy; this one is still cheesy, of course, but it has a greater depth of flavor that I think comes from caramelizing the onions and garlic, and using mustard, caraway seeds (which I hadn't anticipated liking), beer, and sherry. The dunking items we've liked best have been: bread, seedless grapes, ham cubes, apple chunks, and Genoa salami.

  • ValerieR | 12/12/2008

    Very easy to make. I added some marsala wine in addition to the sherry to give it a bit more kick and some sweetness to balance out the sharpness of the cheese. I would make this again.

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