Best Gruyere Substitutes for Mac & Cheese


Gruyere cheese is fatty and high in calories, which is an indisputable advantage in the preparation of many dishes in cooking. Gruyere is widely used for cooking mac and cheese. However, this type of cheese is not very common due to its price and the fact that it is only produced in Switzerland. What kind of cheese can you use in place of Gruyere when cooking mac and cheese? What is the best substitute for Gruyere cheese in mac and cheese? Read on.

What can I substitute for Gruyere cheese in mac and cheese? Use Raclette, Emmental, Comte or Parmesan in mac and cheese instead of Gruyere. Their nutty flavor and excellent melting properties will make mac and cheese soft, creamy and buttery. You can also use Manchego or Gouda cheese for mac and cheese to make it salty and creamy. 

Best Alternatives to Gruyere Cheese in Mac and Cheese

  • Parmesan
  • Ricotta
  • Mozzarella
  • Cheddar
  • Pecorino
  • Manchego
  • Comte
  • Gouda
  • Brie

Parmesan for Mac and Cheese Instead of Gruyere

Parmesan is a classic Italian pasta cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a bright aroma and piquant taste with nutty-fruity notes. Parmesan goes well with any pasta dish as well as mac and cheese. This variety belongs to boiled hard cheeses. Parmesan has a spicy taste with a light sweetish-nutty flavor which is just perfect for mac and cheese if you ran out of gruyere. The salinity of the cheese is harmonious, and the aroma is deep, sweet with characteristic fruity notes.

Parmesan is an integral part of Italian cuisine, so soups and salads are abundantly sprinkled with cheese. Grated parmesan is often added to pizza and risotto. Parmesan will add spicy notes to baked meat and poultry.

Ricotta for Mac and Cheese Instead of Gruyere

Ricotta is made from cow’s or sheep’s milk. Ricotta is used not only in mac and cheese instead of gruyere but also for making desserts, lasagna, cakes, savory pastries and salads. Ricotta is ideal for making light, tasty, healthy sandwiches. Ricotta is great in sauces and creams, is good in combination with pasta and meat, fish and poultry, vegetables and fruits. This cheese is ideal for baking, both as a dough ingredient and as a filling.

Pecorino Romano for Mac and Cheese Instead of Gruyere

Pecorino is a pungent, pressed cheese made from sheep’s milk that pairs best with aromatic olive oil-based pasta sauces and mac and cheese. Young Pecorino cheese has a sweet, creamy taste. Depending on the degree of maturity, the cheese acquires a strong, salty, slightly spicy taste. Pecorino Romano cheese can be served as an appetizer for Chianti wines and Italian Carasau bread and used to make Italian pasta, risotto.

Mozzarella for Mac and Cheese Instead of Gruyere

Italians use delicate white mozzarella balls to make pizzas, salads, lasagna, casseroles and pies. The classic combination is mozzarella, tomatoes and green basil. However, mozzarella makes a perfect match for mac and cheese instead of gruyere.

Mozzarella melts perfectly, does not release fat, does not “dry out” in mac and cheese and retains its characteristic stringiness even after the dish has cooled down. Mozzarella has such remarkable melting and stringing qualities due to its fibrous structure and therefore is indispensable for making pizza, lasagna, mac and cheese and hot sandwiches. Mozzarella has a very delicate milky taste, without any harsh notes. That is, it does not clog the flavor of the main ingredients that were used to prepare the dish itself.

Cheddar for Mac and Cheese Instead of Gruyere

Cheddar is a long-maturing cheese with a spicy, slightly pungent taste and a rich aftertaste reminiscent of hazelnuts. The cheese melts easily and stretches well due to its high protein content, which is why it is used to make mac and cheese, various sauces, sandwiches, fondues and pasta casseroles.

Cheddar is a popular English cow’s milk cheese that comes in many varieties. Cheddar needs to be grated as finely as possible, and then it will have time to completely melt and transfer its unique taste to the dish.

Manchego for Mac and Cheese Instead of Gruyere

Manchego cheese is used in Spanish cuisine, such as quesadillas, served alone or as a snack. However, manchego can also be used for mac and cheese instead of gruyere cheese. Manchego’s taste depends on aging: soft, delicate and fresh, or strong, full-bodied, with a savory farmhouse flavor. Manchego has a special salty taste. It is cream cheese with a slight hint of piquancy. Manchego leaves a characteristic aftertaste like any other sheep’s cheese.

Comte for Mac and Cheese Instead of Gruyere

Comte cheese is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk in the Franche-Comte region. It is also called Gruyère de Comté, so it can be used instead of gruyere in mac and cheese. The taste of Comte cheese is rich and persistent. The younger the cheese, the softer it is. The rich taste is complemented by the aroma of nuts, fruits, herbs, mushrooms, caramel, spices. Mature Comte has a spicy flavor.

Gouda for Mac and Cheese Instead of Gruyere

Gouda cheese is one of the most popular cheeses in the world. Today, it is made by cheesemakers all over the world. Gouda has a moderate, slightly sweetish cheesy flavor with spicy notes and is very good to use for mac and cheese instead of gruyere cheese. Gouda cheese is widely used in cooking — for making pasta, vegetable dishes, soups. In addition, this cheese goes well with fruits, vegetables and other products – and will be very useful as part of a cheese plate.

Cheese goes well with all types of meat and poultry, potatoes and vegetables. The Dutch often serve gouda with vegetable marinades, boiled tongue and sausages. Having become popular all over the world, gouda has harmoniously entered many national dishes of other nations. Gouda is added to pizza, mac and cheese, pasta and risotto, and fondue.

Brie for Mac and Cheese Instead of Gruyere

Brie, with its creamy flavor with nut and mushroom notes, is another good gruyere substitute in mac and cheese. The taste of a young Brie is very soft, and a mature one is more flavorous. Brie has a fruity, nutty taste, and the crust has a slight ammonia smell. According to French tradition, Brie cheese is most often consumed with freshly baked goods such as a crispy baguette or unfilled croissant, but can also be used for mac and cheese instead of gruyere.

Best Substitute for Gruyere Cheese in Mac and Cheese — Conclusion

What is a good substitute for Gruyere cheese in mac and cheese? Comte, manchego, ricotta and parmesan are the best substitutes for Gruyere cheese in mac and cheese as they have excellent melting properties and creamy, buttery flavor that will make mac and cheese’s taste better.

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