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How To Make a 3 Course Fondue Meal

How To Make a 3 Course Fondue Meal

Photo of a sterno heating a fondue pot. The title "How to Make a 3 Course Fondue Meal" is over the photo, along with the Big Plate logo.

Have you wondered how make a fondue meal? Do you have to have a fondue pot? What kinds of foods can you use to fondue? How do you keep the cheese from separating in a cheese fondue? Where did the idea of fondue even come from? We have the answers to all your fondue questions.

The word fondue comes from the French word “fondre” which means “to melt.” Usually, the fondue is prepared over the stove and then served in a fondue pot that is warmed electrically, with a candle, or with a sterno.

Fondue is a unique way to share a meal because it’s different from everyone’s norm. Fondue (especially three courses of it) is a slow process, making time for good conversation and laughter. Therefore it’s a great option for entertaining.

We’re going to share recipes for a three course fondue meal for four, an extensive list of dippers for each course, and suggestions for beverage pairings (wine, beer, and non alcoholic). Furthermore, if you’d like to learn more about pairing beer with food, read our blog post How to Pair the Right Beer with the Right Food. These fondue recipes are easy to halve, if you’d like to make fondue for two. Similarly, you can easily multiply them for bigger parties. Just keep in mind that one large fondue pot can generally support a maximum of eight people. If your party gets bigger, plan for more than one fondue pot.

Make sure to read to the end because we’ve included some extra tips for fondue success!

Two hands are dipping bread on fondue forks into a fondue pot of cheese. Bowls of dippers surround the fondue pot. Glasses of wine are nearby.

Fondue Course 1: Appetizer

This cheese fondue recipe serves four. Pair it with Riesling, a Pilsner, or hot tea at your fondue meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups            Emmentaler cheese, grated
  • 2 1/2 cups            gruyere cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp                   flour
  • a clove                  garlic, halved
  • 1 cup                     dry white wine (or apple cider)
  • 3/4 Tbsp               lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp                   kirsch (cherry brandy)
  • ½ tsp                     dry mustard
  • Pinch                     nutmeg, freshly grated
  • Dash                      white pepper

Dippers

  • French bread (day old), cubed
  • Cooked ham, cubed
  • Cooked bratwurst, cut in chunks
  • Broccoli, blanched
  • Cauliflower, blanched
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Apples, sliced
  • Pears, sliced
  • Grapes
  • Olives
  • Sun dried tomatoes

Instructions

First, mix the grated cheeses together and toss with the flour. You’ll want to use a heavy bottomed 4 quart saucepan to make the fondue. Next, rub the inside of the saucepan with the garlic clove halves, then discard the garlic. Bring the wine and lemon juice to a low simmer over medium heat. Slowly stir in the flour-coated cheese, stirring constantly but gently. Slowly melt the cheese; remove from heat as soon as the cheese is melted. Do not boil. Finally, stir in the kirsch, dry mustard, and nutmeg. Serve in a fondue pot with several dippers for an excellent start to your fondue meal.

A fondue fork with a shrimp hovers over a fondue pot. A plate of raw meal is visible in the background. A glass of wine and a bowl of sauce are nearby.

Fondue Course 2: Main Course

This beef broth fondue serves about four. Pair it with Pinot Noir, an IPA, or cranberry juice at your fondue meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 large                  onions, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp                   butter
  • 32 oz                     beef broth
  • 1 head                  garlic, sliced in half
  • 3/4 Tbsp               soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp                   Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup                    chili sauce
  • 1                            bay leaf
  • 3/4 tsp                  black pepper
  • 1 cup                     red wine

Dippers

  • Shrimp (raw)
  • Chicken (raw), cubed
  • Steak (raw), cubed
  • Mushrooms
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Roasted brussels sprouts
  • Cubed sourdough bread (day old)
  • Cubed French bread (day old)

Instructions

First, sauté onions in butter until golden. Next add other ingredients and bring to a simmer. Finally, strain into fondue pot and keep warm. Serve with a selection of dippers. Note that the foods cooked in this broth will have great flavor, but you may also want to serve dipping sauces on the side. Examples are: horseradish sauce, chimichurri, cocktail sauce, peanut sauce, curry, etc. for a spectacular main course at your fondue meal.

A fondue fork with an orange wedge is dipping into a pot of chocolate fondue. Kiwi, grapes, and pomegranates are visible in the background.

Fondue Course 3: Dessert

This chocolate fondue serves four. Pair it with a port, a stout, or a coffee at your fondue meal.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup                    heavy whipping cream
  • 1 11.5 oz bag      semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp                   butter
  • 3 Tbsp                   cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp                     vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp                     cinnamon

Dippers

  • Strawberries
  • Banana slices
  • Kiwi slices
  • Marshmallows
  • Grapes
  • Orange wedges
  • Cookies
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Berries
  • Graham crackers
  • Cake, cubed (day old)
  • Dried fruit

Instructions

First, heat cream to almost boiling. Next stir in chocolate and butter until melted. Finally, stir in other ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a fondue pot and serve warm with dippers for an elegant ending to your fondue meal.

Photo of two women and two men dipping fondue forks into a fondue pot, enjoying their fondue meal. Glasses of wine and bowls of dippers are on the table.

Tips for Fondue Success

  1. For a three course meal, have three fondue pots. You can purchase them, borrow them, or even get them from thrift stores. Your party will go more smoothly if each course is ready and warm in its own fondue pot, versus having to empty and wash the fondue pot in between courses.
  2. Prep all your dippers and side sauces in advance.
  3. Turn your beef broth into soup after the fondue party. Add eggs for egg drop soup or noodles for a beef noodle soup!
  4. For the main course, heat the broth as hot as possible to cook the meats and veggies quicker.
  5. There are alternatives to fondue pots. You can use a crock pot, a double boiler, or a heavy bottomed pan over a candle or sterno.
  6. Use the fondue forks for cooking, not eating. This is a safety issue, as the fondue forks can get dangerously hot. It’s also a sanitation issue, as no one wants the germs from others’ mouths back in the fondue dip.
  7. Squeeze lemon juice over your cut fruit and veggies so they don’t brown.
  8. Keep your fresh fruit and vegetable dippers separated from your raw meat dippers. In theory, everything will be cooked so you don’t have to worry about cross contamination. But in reality, some of your hungry or impatient guests may want to eat the fruit and vegetables raw, so you don’t want them to have touched raw meat.
  9. Fondue is not a time for bargain ingredients. Use high quality cheeses and chocolates for the best experience.
  10. Make sure your fruits and veggies are cold before dipping them. This helps the fondue to stick.

Tips for Cheese Fondue

  1. Be gentle with the cheese fondue. Don’t overheat it. Don’t mix it too vigorously. The cheese wants to separate, and you have to baby it to keep the fondue smooth. This is why our recipe calls for coating the cheese in flour before stirring it in; the flour acts as a binder to help keep the cheese from separating. Adding alcohol to the cheese fondue also helps keep it from separating.
  2. If your fondue is too thin, combine half a teaspoon of cornstarch with wine and whisk it into the fondue.
  3. For fondue that is too thick, add a little bit of wine and whisk it into the fondue.
  4. If your cheese fondue starts to curdle, whisk in some fresh lemon juice or a splash of wine to save it.
  5. The crust of cheese left in the bottom of the pot after you’ve eaten cheese fondue is called “la croute” and is considered a delicacy. Dig it out of the fondue pot and serve it to your guests!
  6. Cheese fondue is not hot enough to cook raw meat. All dippers for cheese fondue need to be completely cooked in advance.

We hope these recipes and tips make you feel confident about trying fondue at home. Let us know about your fondue success!

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