Not sure what to serve at your next party? How about fondue! It may take a bit of work to prep all the food beforehand, but it’s well worth the effort and sure to be a hit with guests.
Ingredients can be as basic or as fancy as you like and most recipes are so easy to whip up that even beginner cooks can confidently tackle the job. It can be served as an appetizer, entree or as a dessert and if you can slice, dice and stir a few ingredients while they’re melting, you can do this.
Don’t have a fondue set? No worries! After heating ingredients on the stove, pour into a small crockpot to keep warm (low heat).
Here’s a page full of tips, dipper ideas and recipes to help get you started (desserts are separated from the rest for easier browsing), have fun!
First, here are a few tips…
- Prevent cheese from being ruined by cooking slowly over low heat and do not overcook (or it will become rubbery). Once it has melted, transfer to fondue pot.
- If cheese pots get too thick after awhile, try stirring in a bit of milk to thin.
- When making a chocolate version, melt it first in a double boiler (on the stove) and then transfer to pot. Once melted, the chocolate needs to be just warm enough to stay melted (105°F will do the trick), if it gets too hot it will be ruined.
- No dipping forks or not enough for all the guests? You can use bamboo skewers, just make sure they’re long enough to prevent anyone from getting burned.
- Worried about double dippers? You can provide small ramekins to guests so they can fill with individual portions of sauces and dips or provide each guest with an extra fork for eating.
- All food items to be dipped (such as fruits and vegetables) need to be completely dry or the fondue won’t stick and will slide right off.
- Portion planning: You should be safe with 1 cup each of bread cubes, vegetables or fruit and 1/2 pound of meat cubes per person.
- Make sure to have a wire mesh ladle on hand to scoop out bits of food lost in hot oil pots, this will prevent items from getting burned in the oil and affecting its taste.
- Use cubes of dense bread that aren’t crumbly or easily fall apart. Day-old bread works well, slice a couple hours before guests arrive so it will dry out a bit.
- Did you know: the cooking oil can be re-used, simply strain it then store in a cool location until needed.
- Which oils to use for deep frying? Canola or peanut oils are great since they can be heated to high temperatures before starting to smoke.
*Unless providing a hot oil pot for deep frying (won’t work for slow cookers, an electric fondue pot is your best bet), make sure all meats are fully cooked before serving
This isn’t an exhaustive list but there are lots of ideas here to get you started:
|Cheese & Main||Dessert|
|Bread cubes (sourdough, rye, garlic, Italian, French baguettes, ciabatta, pumpernickel)||Strawberries|
|Mini-meatballs||Pineapple (cut into spears or chunks)|
|Sausage cubes||Apple wedges (also good with cheese fondues)|
|Steak cubes||Cantaloupe chunks|
|Fresh mushrooms||Cake cubes (pound cake, angel food cake)|
|Red pepper strips||Brownies|
|Potato cubes or wedges (cooked or roasted)||Cookies (try biscotti, shortbread)|
|Artichoke hearts||Pretzel sticks|
|Zucchini chunks||Kiwi fruit|
Toppings To Try: shredded coconut, crushed nuts, crushed cookies, candy sprinkles, minced dried fruit, shaved chocolate.
Ready to check out some recipes? Here you go…
- French Onion: Ingredients include butter, finely chopped onions, apple juice, dry white wine or water, American cheese, freshly ground pepper. From Land O’Lakes.
- Whiskey Cheese: Ingredients include extra-sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, cornstarch, garlic cloves, dry white wine, whiskey, salt and freshly ground pepper. From Food & Wine.
- Blue Cheese: Ingredients include Cambozola, pungent blue cheese, cornstarch, dry white wine, fresh thyme, heavy cream, cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper, fresh chives. From Williams-Sonoma.
- Irish Blue Cheese: Ingredients include Cashel blue cheese, all-purpose flour, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, Irish lager, half-and-half, coarse salt. From Martha Stewart.
- Classic Swiss: Ingredients include a garlic clove, Gruyere, Emmentaler (or other Swiss cheese), dry white wine, cornstarch, fresh lemon juice, kirsch, ground pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. From Food & Wine.
- With Wine: Ingredients include full-bodied red wine, sugar, dry fruit pectin (cheese cubes are the dippers). From Land O’Lakes.
- Pizza: Ingredients include butter, chopped onion, ground beef, pizza sauce, fennel seed, leaf oregano, garlic powder, cheddar, mozzarella. From Wisconsin Cheese.
- Chipotle, Chorizo & Dark Beer: Ingredients include chopped chorizo, dark beer, mozzarella, cheddar, cornflour, chipotle chilies, adobo sauce. From Food52.
- Garlic, Spinach & Cheddar: Ingredients include butter, minced garlic, dry white wine, shredded triple cheddar, cornstarch, cream cheese and fresh spinach (finely chopped). From Kraft Recipes.
- Italian: Serves 8. Ingredients include dry white wine, garlic clove, dried basil, dried oregano, crushed red pepper, cornstarch, water, shredded Italian cheeses, minced sundried tomatoes (optional). From Vegetarian Times.
- Three Cheese: Ingredients include Havarti, sharp Cheddar, shredded American, all-purpose flour, dry white wine, garlic powder. From Betty Crocker.
- With Best Brown Ale: Ingredients include Gruyere, sharp white cheddar, cornstarch, garlic clove, good quality ale, cayenne pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. From The Washington Post.
- Seafood: Ingredients include canned lobster, crab or shrimp bisque, butter, chopped fresh dill (or dill seed), Wisconsin Aged Swiss, salt, dry mustard, freshly ground pepper and cooked, cleaned shrimp (for dipping). From Wisconsin Cheese.
- Irish: Ingredients include butter, all-purpose flour, spicy mustard or prepared horseradish, lager beer, chicken stock, shredded Swiss. From Rachael Ray.
- Easy Brie: Ingredients include Brie, sliced prosciutto or country ham, chopped parsley, sliced almonds and a large sourdough round bread. From Whole Foods Market.
- Havarti-Cheddar: Ingredients include shredded Havarti, sharp Cheddar, all-purpose flour, chicken broth, milk, sun-dried tomatoes (in oil), green onions. From Betty Crocker.
- With Artichoke: Ingredients include process American cheese loaf, milk, Worcestershire sauce, all-purpose flour, ground mustard, sharp Cheddar, artichoke hearts, roasted red bell peppers (or diced pimientos). From Betty Crocker.
- Homestyle Swiss: Ingredients include chicken broth, cornstarch, garlic clove, dry white wine, lemon juice, Swiss, ground nutmeg, ground black pepper. From Campbell’s Kitchen.
- Coconut Cajeta: Ingredients include coconut milk, light brown sugar, Kosher salt, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla or coconut extract, dark rum, coconut rum or cognac (optional). From Food52.
- Cafe Caramel: Made with Caramels, double-strength coffee (brewed) and milk. From Kraft Recipes.
- Nutty Rum: Made with heavy cream, bittersweet chocolate, dark rum, finely chopped macadamia nuts. From Kitchen Daily.
- Caramel: Ingredients include sugar, corn syrup, water, heavy cream, unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract. From Food & Wine.
- For Cupcakes: How fun! Basic ingredients listed, this page is loaded with color and inspiration. From How Sweet It Is.
- Mocha: Made with heavy whipping cream, semisweet chocolate and coffee flavored liqueur. From Paula Deen at Food Network.
- White Chocolate: Made with heavy cream, unsalted butter and premier white morsels. From Food Network.
- Spiced: Ingredients include heavy cream, whole milk, crushed cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, whole cloves, black peppercorns, ground ginger, freshly grated nutmeg and coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate. From Food & Wine.
- Special Dark Fudge: Ingredients include Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips, vanilla extract and light cream. From Hershey’s.
- Choco-Caramel-Raspberry: (also has a choco-peanut version) Ingredients include butter, seedless raspberry preserves, caramels, semi-sweet real chocolate chips and evaporated milk. The Choco-Peanut: butter, semi-sweet real chocolate chips, evaporated milk and peanut butter-flavored chips. From Land O’Lakes.
- Sticky Toffee: (scroll down page to see recipe) Ingredients include dark brown sugar, butter, Lyle’s Golden syrup and cream. From Dinner With Julie.
- Ultimate: Ingredients include a milk chocolate baking bar, milk or heavy cream, vanilla extract, unsalted butter and chocolate liqueur (optional). From Ghirardelli.
- White Chocolate: Ingredients include unsalted butter, double cream, vanilla extract. From BBC GoodFood.
- Banana Dessert: Ingredients include dry white wine, Swiss, flour, salt, nutmeg, freshly ground pepper. Banana chunks for dipping then topped with cornflake crumbs. From Wisconsin Cheese.
*Originally published January 30, 2008 and moved to this page for better organization
12 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
3 TBS butter
- Cut or break chocolate into pieces and place in the crock pot.
- Add butter, cream and rest of the ingredients. Stir it up to mix.
- Cover the slowcooker and set to low, allow to heat for about 2 hours until the chocolate is melted. Stir once or twice while heating.
- Once melted, whisk for a bit to completely mix the ingredients. Serve with pieces of fresh fruits, nuts and thin cookies.
Yield: Approximately 6 servings.
- Fresh fruits such as strawberries, cherries, banana & orange slices, pineapple chunks
- Dried fruit, Figs
- Thin cookies, Shortbread, Lady Fingers, Biscotti
- Whole nuts
- Cake cubes
Optional Flavorings (choose one):
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 3 TBS Brandy or Irish Cream, or Amaretto or Rum
- 3 TBS Coffee Liqueur, Orange Liqueur, Mint Liqueur
- Selected fruits can be grilled first if you wish (grilled pineapple slices and grilled banana are especially good).