Can You Substitute Mozzarella for Gruyere Cheese?

Gruyere cheese is a unique cheese and is classified as Swiss type cheese. It has a sweet, but salty, and a distinct creamy aged nutty flavor. Gruyere cheese is known as being one of the best cheeses to use in baking because it brings a unique taste, but is not overpowering. Mozzarella cheese is a much more common Italian cheese. Although some may say mozzarella has a bland taste, it brings a milky freshness to any dish it’s involved in. It also is loved for its melting abilities. 

When searching for a substitute for gruyere cheese, mozzarella is a possibility, though it’s not the best option out there. They both have similar textures and melt easily. They each have creamy salty flavors as well. However, gruyere has a much more bold flavor and that serves a purpose when it’s being called for in a dish. Mozzarella may be too bland for what you are making. 

Differences Between Gruyere and Mozzarella

It is important to understand and know the differences between gruyere and mozzarella cheese before substituting one for the other. Here they are listed.

  • Taste
    • Gruyere cheese has a much more bold, nutty flavor. Mozzarella on the other hand has a more mild, creamy, almost milky flavor to it. Many dishes that call for gruyere call for it because of its flavor. Replacing it with mozzarella will most certainly give the overall dish a completely different flavor.
  • Texture
    • Gruyere has a very hard texture, similar to parmesan. It’s often described as having an almost grainy texture as well. Mozzarella, as you may know, is a very soft cheese, almost rubbery to the touch. Similar to mozzarella, gruyere cheese does get stringy when it melts, however not nearly as soft and stringy as mozzarella does.
  • Looks
    • Gruyere is a firm yellow cheese, while mozzarella is white and usually comes in soft ball forms. 
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If the recipe calls for a melty cheese, you can easily replace gruyere cheese with mozzarella. However, the key difference with this and with all other recipes when replacing one with the other, is that the taste will be much different.

Better Substitutes for Gruyere Cheese

There are many better substitutes for gruyere cheese. Some may have a flavor that is more similar, or bring better flavor to the dish than you would get if you used mozzarella. Here are some better substitutes for gruyere cheese than mozzarella. 

Swiss Cheese

Swiss has a more mild flavor than gruyere, however it acts the same in any dish you are making. Swiss is the best and cheapest alternative to gruyere cheese that is very common and sold at most grocery stores. 

Emmental Cheese

Emmental is the most common replacement for gruyere cheese. It is actually often used with gruyere cheese in things like fondue because the flavors are so similar. 

Fontina/Parmesan 

Fontina is another common gruyere cheese replacement because of the creaminess and texture that is the same gruyere. Fontina can be combined with parmesan for an extremely similar flavor to gruyere. Parmesan alone is not a good substitute for gruyere. 

Jarlsberg 

Besides emmental cheese, jarlsberg has a very similar flavor to gruyere. It is a delicious cheese that is extremely versatile. 

Gouda

Gouda has a much more mild flavor than gruyere, however it can be a good replacement if there isn’t anything else. Gouda is also a very common grocery store cheese and is a good inexpensive option. Both cheeses melt similarly and have a similar taste. 

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Final Thoughts

When it comes to finding a good replacement for gruyere cheese, mozzarella isn’t the best pick. The textures are similar and the melt is similar as well, however the flavors are way off. Mozzarella won’t bring that punch to your dish that gruyere would, making the dish less flavorful. Use a better substitute instead.