Der Rheinlander Swiss Cheese Fondue

Ever since I can remember my family has eaten cheese fondue on Christmas Eve.  My Grandmother made it when we all went to her house.  Then when the Christmas Eve festivities moved to my Mom‘s house, she made it.  Now that Christmas Eve is at my house… well… I can’t break tradition.  It brings back so many great memories for me.

I’m not sure where my Grandmother originally got this recipe.  It might have come from the Oregonian (the Oregon paper) years ago when Horst Mager, the master chef and founder of The Rheinlander Restaurant in Portland, Oregon published it one year.  However she got it, I’m so glad.  It really is amazing!

I’m surprised by how easy is it to make.

* 1/2 cup white wine
* 3/4 cup water
* 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
* 2 Tbsp. butter
* pinch of nutmeg
* 2 packages (24 ounces total) of processed Swiss Cheese.  DO NOT use Swiss Cheese that you buy at the deli counter, it won’t work!  It has to be processed Swiss cheese.  (Trust me on this one.)

I had my son (who loves, loves, loves this) help out.  I have such great helpers!

In a medium saucepan, add all of the ingredients except the cheese.  Unwrap the cheese slices and tear them into pieces, adding a couple at a time.  Stir until melted and then add some more.  It looks pretty weird at first with so much liquid and not very much cheese, but it will soon look wonderful and the smells will make your mouth water!  I promise!

Stir until well blended.

Cut up fresh French bread and start dipping!!!   You can also dip vegetables (raw or steamed).  Amazing!

If you don’t have a fondu pot (gasp!) you can either use a small crockpot and put it on the lowest setting, or just keep it in the sauce pan.  it will thicken a lot as it cools so you’ll need to put it back on the stove often to keep it warm.

My son absolutely loves it.  He’s asking that this now be a New Year’s Eve tradition as well.  (I think he threw in a “and my birthday too” in there.)  =o)

I hope you try this recipe out.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!


I’m linking to the parties on my sidebar!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. I am so drooling over this! A big pot of melted cheese! Can’t go wrong with that!

  2. This is the most delicious, foolproof recipe for fondue you will ever find. It wouldn’t be Christmas without a big pot of it that everybody can dip into. If you love cheese fondue you must try this recipe. It would be a great thing to serve on game day.

  3. That sounds like such a great New Year’s Eve tradition! We don’t really have a food tradition… might be time to change that!

  4. Forgive my ignorance, but what is “processed” swiss cheese? Like Velveeta? Thanks.

  5. Nicole – processed cheese is the cheese that kind of looks like rubber =o) and is individually wrapped. (Like American Cheese except white instead of orange.) Does that help?

  6. Oh, YUM!!! What a fun Christmas tradition~ Happy New Year, Erin!

  7. Love fondue, all kinds 🙂 We do homemade hot chocolate every Christmas for sure but lately we have been doing it as soon as a cold front runs through 🙂

  8. Years ago when I got this recipe, a worker told me to toss the cheese with some flour to thicken it. I have done this ever since. We make this fondue every New Year’s eve.

  9. I loveee cheese fondue! Really nice! And your son’s adorable! Stoped by to follow your blog as well.

    Wishing you and your family a Happy 2012.

  10. Your son is so cute! This sounds really delicious. Can you believe I have never had fondue?! I would love to try this….it looks sooo good.

    Wishing you and your family a very happy new year:)

  11. We do cheese fondue every New Years Eve! Love that your recipe doesn’t call for super expensive cheese with names I can’t pronounce! This year I’m trying a pizza fondue recipe. Pinning this for next year!

  12. Thanks for coming to the party! Happy crafting in 2012!

  13. Hi Erin,
    Your little guy is just adorable! We love fondue and this recipe looks delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year and Abundant Blessings in 2012!
    Miz Helen

  14. Oh yeah! I love fondue! This looks incredible! 🙂

  15. Yummy fondue recipe! Thanks for linking up to “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We would love to have you come back next Saturday and share more delicious recipes. -The Sisters

  16. No way! That is so awesome that I can make my own! Never thought about it! Thank you for sharing! You HAVE to come back tomorrow and share another tip!

  17. how many does this feed? I’m hosting a fondue party and plan to make this. Thanks!

    • It’s quite a bit! We make it every Christmas Eve and always have leftovers (and there are usually 6 of us). If you’re having a fondue party I would double the recipe at least. It’s THAT good! =o)