Fondue is not nearly the wintertime staple food it should be – perhaps because it’s as 80s as a nice Chablis. But don’t let this reason put you off it. It’s fun, absolutely delicious, takes nothing in the way of chef skills, and you can go way off the books in your choice of what to fondue.
Start savory with Japanese-inspired Shabu-shabu, throwing thin slices of meat and veggies in boiling water or Swiss-inspired with cheese. Finish things off with a pot of chocolate. Enjoy all your favorite simple, staple foods cooked in a fun new style. Here are ten we’ve tried.
Considering their ease of consumption, you’d think meatballs would get used in more dishes. Here is one more opportunity. Just make sure they are on the smaller side, packed tight, and dip them in cheese. Bam! Protein delight—no bread required.
Carnivores will cook any meat in a boiling fondue pot, but pescatarians may struggle. If you want animal protein but not one that bleeds, precooked shrimp are super-easy and quick – just stick one on the fondue fork, swirl around, and done. Try it with ponzu sauce.
For the real veggies among us, tofu’s the fondue staple of your dreams. Extra firm is best, cut into bite-sized chunks. Stick it into the hot pot straight away, or if you’re putting it in cheese, you may want to brown it a little first.
4. Boiled Small Potatoes
Cut-up bread is the most obvious thing to have with cheese fondue, and where one starch works, another will too. Potatoes fried in oil are DIY cousins of the French fry. Boiled small potatoes fondued in cheese are somewhere between a baked potato and potatoes au gratin in the carb-comfort-food spectrum.
5. Steamed Broccoli
This one will work with either water or cheese – and will make naysayers STHU about fondue being unhealthy. Anything with broccoli is healthy. It’s a law of the natural universe. Note: Broccoli tends to fall off a fondue skewer quite easily, so you may want to swap in your fork for the cheesy dipping procedure.
6. Guava Paste Candy
Moving to desserts, here’s food that can get dipped into either cheese or chocolate. It’s the tropical fruit guava made into a thick, sweet jelly—like the center of a fruit candy. This Brazilian food typically gets served with queso. If it’s weird on the palate, use chocolate instead.
7. Brownie Bites
The classic chocolate fondue champ is a pound cake, but chocoholics should swap in dense, rich brownie chunks—possibly ones featuring a peanut butter layer. Or cream cheese. Or a cookie dough swirl. Basically, any brownie variation. This dessert is so rich you won’t want a whole brownie.
8. Tangerine Slices
People think of strawberries and chocolate as the ultimate fondue combo, but sweet, juicy sections of tangerine are equally delicious and not so obvious. Note: Canned ones are too soft to stay on any utensil, so stick with fresh for this.
9. Frozen Bananas
As obvious as strawberries—give them a freeze to firm the fruit and lend a custardy texture. Turns out, frozen bananas are nature’s version of an ice-pop, and much improved by a chocolate shell.
10. Coconut Chunks
Fresh coconut chunks might be hard to find but definitely, stop by your local healthy grocery store. This duo is a DIY candy bar that puts Mounds to shame. It’s healthier than all the baked treats, and if you Instagram it, everyone will be impressed by your awesome chef abilities—not realizing you only had to dip item #1 into item #2 to get it done.