This cheddar cheese fondue made with French onion dip is an easy, cheesy, tangy, and delicious cheese sauce that makes the perfect party appetizer.
Thanks to Reba for this cheddar cheese fondue recipe.
I have never found this recipe anywhere online, and I’ve never known anyone else who is familiar with it. I got the recipe more than 35 years ago from a friend Reba. Our families would have Auburn tailgates together, and this was my favorite thing on the menu. Reba gave me the recipe, and I’ve been making it ever since. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve made this, I’d have a small fortune!
What is fondue?
Fondue is a combination of melted cheese (such as Swiss cheese and Gruyère) usually flavored with brandy or wine. It is typically served in a fondue pot or small warming pot with burners underneath to keep the cheese melted and smooth. This fondue does not contain any alcohol, and the cheese is cheddar. It is a very unique version of fondue.
French onion dip is a key ingredient.
Prepared French onion dip is a key ingredient in this cheddar cheese fondue. The dip (which is basically onion flavored sour cream) gives a smooth, creamy consistency. It also gives a fabulous onion flavor. My favorite French onion dip is Deans, which is available at most grocery stores.
Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup.
Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup adds a subtle cheese flavor and great meltability to the fondue. It is a cream soup that has the color and flavor of a mild cheese. Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup is not interchangeable with Campbell’s nacho cheese soup, so make sure you check the label when shopping for the soup.
What cheese is best in this fondue?
Sharp or extra sharp cheddar gives the best flavor to this fondue. I love Cabot Seriously Sharp white cheddar. Packaged shredded cheese will work, but the BEST outcome is when you grate your own cheddar cheese from a block. A food processor isn’t necessary. I use a simple box grater like this one to grate the cheese in less than one minute. It is simply the best when you use freshly grated cheddar. If you use white cheddar, your fondue will be more “white” than yellow.
What is the best box grater?
I did a bit of research on the best box graters and found a few recommended by Cook’s Illustrated. One of the recommendations is for a paddle style grater. I am not fond of this type of grater, as you have to use one hand to hold it in order to grate. With an upright box grater, It is easier to grate the cheese and just “steady” the grater lightly with one hand. Although you can get a box grater with a bowl attachment to catch the grated food, I prefer grating my cheese on top of a paper plate. It is easier, and it is one less thing to wash:-). The top box graters are listed below.
How do you serve cheese fondue?
Cheese fondue needs to be served in a pot or dish that has a warming function to keep the cheese melted. I have a Cuisinart fondue pot (linked below) that I love; however, it is corded and requires an outlet. An electrical pot does an excellent job at keeping the cheese melted, but a cord is not the best for aesthetics. Another appliance option is a small melting pot. Crockpot makes a mini pot that works for this fondue. If you plan to serve this to just a few people, individual melting pots or butter melting bowls are a novel way to serve the fondue. Keep in mind that long forks or dipping sticks are helpful for guests to use to dip their items into the cheese.
Make Cheddar Cheese Fondue Ahead of Time
This cheddar cheese fondue can be made a day or two ahead and kept in the fridge, covered, until an hour or two before serving. Simply place the fondue in a small crockpot, fondue pot, or ceramic butter melter. Allow it to warm thoroughly before serving.
What foods taste great dipped into this fondue?
My favorite foods to dip into this cheese fondue are mostly salty savory dippers. Tortillas or corn chips are great dipped into the fondue. Cubes of crusty French bread are another favorite dipper. Crudites that go particularly well with this cheese fondue are bite-sized portions of cauliflower, broccoli, and apples. Of course, you can drizzle or pour this cheese fondue as well. It is basically like a smooth “cheese sauce” that can go with anything. I love it drizzled onto taco salad or baked potatoes.
Recipes using this cheese fondue as a secret ingredient.
- Best Ever Mac & Cheese (with a Secret Ingredient)
- French Onion Potato Casserole (made with frozen hash browns)
- Cheddar Bacon Ranch Potato Casserole (made with tater tots or potato puffs)
Watch a short video of me making this cheese fondue.
I hope you’ll give this cheese fondue a try; I think you’ll love it as much as we do! If you try it, please leave comments with your thoughts. It is so fun to hear from readers far and wide. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a blessed and savvy day!!!
- 1 can Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup (don't substitute nacho cheese soup)
- 8-10 oz block sharp or extra sharp white cheddar
- 1 cup prepared French onion dip (I use Dean's)
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Grate cheese so that it will melt easily (a box grater is easiest).
- In a saucepan over low-medium heat, melt cheddar cheese soup & dip until smooth, stirring often.
- Add shredded cheese; heat until melted and smooth.
- Add mustard and cayenne pepper, stirring well.
- Serve from a fondue pot or small warmer.
- Serve with bread chunks, crudites, tortilla chips, etc...
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1021Total Fat: 84gSaturated Fat: 47gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 250mgSodium: 1795mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 55g