Baked Fontina with Garlic and Thyme

We dare you try this baked fontina and not grin from ear to ear. A bubbling, garlicky skillet-full of melted cheese is a magical thing, friends. A loaf of your favorite bread is all you’ll need to make it disappear.

A cast-iron skillet filled with baked fontina cheese, nearby is a hunk of bread

This is a streamlined, simplified version of fondue without the fondue pot, without the cans of Sterno, and without the wine, cornstarch, or other supporting ingredients. You just take some cubed fontina cheese, top it with slivered garlic, thyme leaves, and olive oil, and broil until it’s melted and bubbly enough to scoop up with hunks of bread. It’s a great appetizer, and, paired with a green salad and a glass of wine, a pretty nifty lunch or dinner as well. (In fact, my writing partner, Andrew Friedman, and his wife, Caitlin, have that for dinner at least once a week at The Red Cat’s bar.)–Jimmy Bradley and Andrew Friedman

LC Fickle About Fontina Note

Author Jimmy Bradley says to be sure to use an Italian fontina in this recipe. As he explains, “The Danish varieties don’t melt right for this recipe.” You heard the man.

Baked Fontina

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Preheat the broiler.

If making individual servings, divide the fontina among four 6-inch cast-iron pans.

If making a single large skillet full of ooey gooey goodness, dump the fontina in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.

Drizzle the fontina with olive oil and scatter with the garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 6 to 7 minutes.

Plunk the skillet(s) on a trivet or folded cloth towel on the table with bread on the side for dunking, dipping, and otherwise enrobing in cheesiness.

Print RecipeBuy the The Red Cat Cookbook cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Tips

My husband and I DEVOURED this dish along with some gluten-free bread I’d made. Sure, in theory it serves four, but it was a perfect amount for two hungry people — we just had the bread and the cheese and were completely satisfied. Just picture bubbling Fontina flavored with olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper! The easiest fondue you'll ever make. You just broil it.

As fontina is so mild, I can imagine all sorts of additions, such as a few oven-roasted tomatoes scattered on top, other fresh herbs such as basil, or perhaps a bit of mint with a brief squeeze of lemon juice. Not that I am looking for a way to improve this awesomeness, but my creative mind is always seeking options. I seriously don't think that the dish could be improved—just modified here and there, but not necessarily made any better. This is pure comfort food. My husband and I will be eating this in front of the fireplace on winter evenings, I just know it.


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  1. We love this recipe! Great for the 25th. Be sure to use Italian Fontina. We have been tempted to double the recipe, but it is pricey. Also, if you are lucky to have any left over, it’s good unheated open face on French or Italian bread.

  2. Made this last night as the first course of a casual meal with friends–who now love me very, very much! What a stunningly simple and gorgeously delicious dish. Brilliant.

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