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Best Substitute for Gruyere Cheese in Quiche

Need a substitute for Gruyere cheese in quiche? This mushroom and onion quiche has lots of hearty flavor but I don’t always have the traditional gruyere cheese on hand. Here are a few other ways to substitute!

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When it comes to making quiche I find I have a lot of cheese varieties in my house but Gruyere, a traditional Swiss cheese, is not usually among them.

I always ask myself why, because I love its flavor, but usually I just have the basic varieties like Cheddar cheese, Monterey Pepper Jack or feta laying around.

Plus usually some Gouda, some Brie and always Parmigiano Reggiano.

Who am I kidding?

Honestly, I have way too much cheese in my cheese drawer!

This doesn’t even count the cream cheese or the mascarpone and where does creme fraiche fall?

Manservant loves Swiss cheese for his ham and cheese sandwiches and sometimes Havarti, so you can see I’m really in trouble!

Truly I love just about any cheese, but when it comes to making quiche a good melting cheese with a creamy texture and lots of flavor is what you are after.

First things first.

substitute for gruyere cheese in quiche with quich and serving utensil
slice of mushroom quich on white plate with fork and substitute for gruyere cheese in quiche

What is Gruyere Cheese?

Gruyere cheese is a Swiss cheese but it comes from a region very near the French border.
​Perhaps this is the reason you often find it being used on French Onion Soup.
Gruyere tastes rich with nutty flavors and is slightly sweet with caramel overtones.
It is a  pale yellow, semi-hard cheese and as it ages it becomes more complex.
Just try tasting a young gruyere and one that has aged, and you will be able to tell the difference.
Gruyere cheese is not inexpensive, so looking for a great alternative with a similar flavor profile might be able to save you a little.

Since a quiche is primarily made up of pie crust, heavy cream and eggs, it seems that the best gruyere cheese substitutes are cheeses with a lot of flavor.

Gruyere cheese is often described as tasting nutty and caramelly, but honestly it depends on how old the gruyere is.

No need to get hung up on using just gruyere cheese.

I love it, but there are so many other ways to go when it comes to quiche, mac and cheese or even French onion soup!

However there are many that say when it comes to French onion soup do not deviate from gruyere!

The next time you make a cheese board, experiment with some new cheeses and you will quickly see that often the best substitute is the one you like best.

Just keep in mind that you want a cheese with a lot of flavor or a similar nutty flavor, a somewhat sweet taste and it should melt well.

Grocery stores now have so many cheeses to choose from that the sky is the limit.

And remember, that cheese that is brought to room temperature has more flavor than cold cheese!

slice of mushroom quiche on white plate and how to substitute gruyere cheese in quiche

Emmental cheese is often used as a substitute in quiche, as it is also a Swiss cheese, though gruyere has a stronger flavor profile.

It looks like an American Swiss cheese with its big holes.

Often used in French onion soup  or quiche recipes, this cheese isn’t quite as sweet and rich as Gruyere but makes an excellent substitute.

Jarlsberg cheese is another popular choice when substituting for gruyere.

It is a Norwegian cheese, melts well and is a bit sweet and nutty.

Some use raclette cheese but it is a bit saltier. 

Comté cheese, a French cheese, could also be substituted but it does have a bolder flavor.

Gouda cheese is not a great substitute because it doesn’t melt well, but fontina cheese (an Italian cow’s milk cheese) would be an excellent choice because it is semi-hard and also is very creamy.

Just stuck with Cheddar? Though it tastes different than a nutty gruyère cheese, it will melt well.

Feel free to add a little parmesan with it to give your cheese quiche more of a distinct flavor.

slice of mushroom quiche and how to substitute gruyere cheese in quiche

Begin by blind baking your crust. 

After it is light golden in color, remove it from the oven.

Then sprinkle your cheese of choice over the bottom of the crust.

Top with mushrooms sauteed with a bit of onion. using your preferred method, but there are two links in the recipe card that work.

Make an egg custard by combining the eggs and heavy cream and some salt and pepper.

Keep in mind that the cheese you use will determine how salty your quiche is. 

Feel free to add other seasonings such as hot sauce or even a dash of Worcestershire or fresh herbs.

In this case, I added sauteed mushrooms that add a ton of flavor.

Sticking with classic quiche Lorraine? The bacon adds salt so watch your seasonings.

Bake until quiche is golden on the top and the custard has risen.

This recipe is designed to be made in a pie dish so if you use a tart pan you will most likely have extra egg custard left over.

substitute for gruyere cheese in quiche with slice of quiche on white plate

Salad. Plain and Simple. 

OR fruit. Slices of melon. A berry salad. Pineapple wedges.

French Bread. Just because.

Asparagus works

And somehow I think quiche should always be served with flowers on the table!

​Dessert. Something chocolate. Or fruit, if you didn’t serve it with the quiche.

And wine. Red or white. Depends on what is in the quiche recipe.

Quiche is so easy to make and should be served more often.

Do real men eat quiche?

Well Manservant does and he always asks for seconds!

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substitute for gruyere in quiche with slice of quiche on white plate

Mushroom and Onion Quiche

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  • Author: Abbe
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course/Breakfast
  • Cuisine: American


This mushroom and onion quiche, made with or without Gruyere is satisfying, creamy and delicious. Perfect for brunch or lunch or a simple dinner, this easy quiche even makes Manservant ask for seconds.



1 blind baked pie crust

1 lb assorted mushrooms for sauteeing or roasting

1 c chopped onions sauteed with mushrooms

1 c freshly shredded Gruyere cheese or your choice

5 eggs

1 3/4 c heavy cream

Salt, Pepper, Fresh Nutmeg


Blind bake the pie crust according to package directions.

After blind baking the crust turn it down to 375.

Saute mushrooms and onions while the crust is in the oven using your preferred method or see the links above. They are both good!

After removing crust from oven brush with a little egg white so the crust doesn’t get soggy from the custard. (I separate one egg, with the white in one dish and put the egg yolk into a medium bowl to use in the egg custard. After brushing the crust, pour the leftover egg white back into the bowl with the eggs.)

Place the shredded cheese on the bottom of the crust. Top with roasted or sauteed mushrooms.

Mix the egg custard with your favorite whisk by combining the eggs and the cream. Add salt and pepper to the cream. Pour the custard over the mushrooms. Grate some fresh nutmeg over the top.

Place in preheated oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the custard can’t rise anymore and it only has a very slight jiggle or no jiggle at all. It will be golden brown.

Remove, let sit a few minutes and serve.


See links for two ways to cook mushrooms. Other veggies will work also. Think sauteed peppers, zucchini, artichoke hearts and you could also add crisp bacon, ham or whatever leftovers you might have in the fridge.

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