Less expensive substitutes for gruyere

Updated July 20, 2017

Gruyere is a hard yellow cheese found in Gruyeres, Switzerland. It is a firm and smooth Swiss cheese (without holes) and has a distinctive buttery, nutty, salty flavour. At the time of publication, the price of Gruyere ranged from £5 to £9 per pound, depending on the age of the cheese. Aged gruyere makes the flavour sharper and more complex (and more expensive). Several comparable less-expensive substitutions can be used without significantly compromising the quality and flavour of your dish.


Fontina cheese is also a cow's milk for the Alps. As of the date of this publication, it is more mild than Gruyere cheese and melts well. Fontina can be found for £3 per pound, but can get as expensive as £11 per pound.

Comte' or Compte

Comte' or Compte is a French cheese made from unpasteurised cow's milk. Comte also has a complex flavour and melts and shreds well. It costs about £9 to £14 per pound, as of the date of this publication, therefore the price is very comparable to Gruyere. However, Comte' is more readily available than Gruyere, and you may find a small piece for a deal in your local supermarket's speciality cheese case.


Jarlsberg is a cow's milk cheese originating in Norway. You can find it for as low as £3 per pound, as of the date of this publication. Although it is slightly more mild than Gruyere, it is a fine substitute, especially for any recipe that calls for melting the cheese into a larger casserole dish. Jalsberg blends and holds it's flavour well.


Appenzell is an aged Swiss cheese known for a distinctive spicy flavour that comes from a secret herbal brine used during production. As of the date of this publication, it can be found for as little as £5 per pound, and as much as £24 per pound. You can buy Appenzell in small quantities in many grocery speciality cheese sections. Keep a little on hand to mix with other cheeses like Jarlsberg to deepen the flavour of less-expensive and milder cheeses.

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About the Author

Aimee Rebekah Shea, M.A., C.C.Ht., is a holistic health therapist, teacher, writer and nonprofit director. She is currently studying to receive her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Walden University. Shea is passionate about how health, diet, nutrition and the environment affect people emotionally and mentally.