Ooey-Gooey Molten Cheese Recipes to Get You Through the Rest of Winter

Broccoli Potato and Cheddar Soup
Photo: Nico Schinco

Find some cozy comfort with friends and one of these mouthwatering melted cheese dishes.

01 of 08
Anna Williams

Is there anything more deliciously warm and comforting than a dish that's oozing with melted cheese? Pick up a good cheddar, rich Gruyère, luscious Camembert, or nutty Parm, and invite your family and friends over for a meeting of the rinds.

If you're like us, you love cheese, and whether it's in the form of an epic cheese board for a weekend gathering or a quick snack standing in front of the refrigerator, there's no wrong way to enjoy it. You're already well-acquainted with the idea of spreading cream cheese on bagels, pairing goat cheese or ricotta with avocado for your toast, sand slicing cheese for every sandwich, but what are some other ways you enjoy your favorite dairy product? In our opinion, heating, melting, and using cheese for comfort food dishes is the way to go. The following recipes, all starring cheese, will help you do just that. We've created stellar recipes that put cheese at the forefront, and they're all worth trying next time a craving strikes.

If you're the type of cheese fiend that's hoping to enjoy your favorite food at every meal, consider this your go-to guide for recipes. At breakfast or brunch, our Cheesy Butter-Bean Shakshuka never fails; for lunch, go ahead and make our Broccoli, Potato, and Cheddar Soup. If you're look for a cheesy bite to enjoy with drinks, the Arancini with Sage that's pictured here is an an absolute winner; our Mozzarella-Stuffed Garlic-and-Herb Bread is another good choice, and it really is as epic as its name suggests. End the night with a dinner of our Winter-Vegetable-and-Gouda Gratin or our French Onion Mac-and-Cheese, which is a next-level mash-up that satisfies the soul.

We think you'll find that this collection of recipes proves that meltingly delicious cheese really does make everything better. So, what are you waiting for?

02 of 08

Mozzarella-Stuffed Garlic-and-Herb Bread

Mozzarella Stuffed Garlic and Herb Bread
Nico Schinco

For this guaranteed people-pleaser, we glorified the best part of a stuffed-crust pizza: the stuffed crust. First, you divide a simple dough into two pieces, and form one half into an oval. Load it up with thinly sliced low-moisture mozzarella, then stretch out the second half, lay it on top, and pinch the edges together. Now comes the flavor-packed finale—a generous flurry of garlic, Italian seasoning, fresh parsley, sesame seeds, and grated Parmigiano, which provides a sharp, savory counterpoint to the ooey-gooey filling. Seal the deal with a side of marinara sauce.

03 of 08

Broccoli, Potato, and Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Potato and Cheddar Soup
Nico Schinco

If your ideal comfort food is a fully loaded baked potato, this soothing soup is for you—and the happy folks who come for lunch. The steps are sophisticated yet surprisingly easy. You sauté aromatics, cook the potatoes and broccoli in chicken broth, then mash half of the spuds against the side of the pot to create a gluten-free thickener. Buttery Havarti and bolder cheddar get stirred in next and also sprinkled on top of the ovenproof bowls. A quick stop under the broiler, and satisfaction is served.

04 of 08

Cheesy Butter-Bean Shakshuka

Cheesy Butter Bean Shakshuka
Nico Schinco

Shakshuka is a North African word that means "mixture," and in that spirit you can customize all the components to your taste, from the tomatoes (fresh or canned) to the butter beans (canned or dried) to the greens (baby kale or spinach) to the cheeses that unite them. We like French or Bulgarian feta on the creamier side—the kind packed in brine is less dry and crumbly—and super-melty mozzarella. Simmer it all together, then crack four or five eggs on top and bake until they set. It's a one-dish wonder for brunch, lunch, or dinner—up to you.

05 of 08

Baked Camembert With Cherry Jam

Baked Camembert With Cherry Jam
Nico Schinco

Here's a shockingly easy way to elevate an impromptu gathering: Scatter herbs over a little round of your favorite soft cheese—any mild, creamy Brie or Camembert is perfect—add a small pour of vermouth for fondue-y flair, and park it in the oven for 10 minutes. Spoon on sour-cherry jam and bake a few more minutes, top with nuts, and ta-da! Molten magic to put out with whatever crudités, crunchy fruits, or crackers you have on hand.

06 of 08

Squash-and-Charred-Poblano Quesadillas

Squash and Charred Poblano Quesadillas
Nico Schinco

Think quesadillas are casual? Here, they're dinner-party royalty, with edges filigreed like frico and elegant vegetables on top. Our cheese of choice is mellow Monterey Jack, which quickly melds the tortillas as they crisp in the skillet. Top them with cumin-jolted roasted squash and blistered poblanos (the latter get charred over the stove top, a step that can be done ahead of time), and offer an array of sides—salsa, sliced avocado, a quick cabbage-and-radish salad—so friends can accessorize as they please.

07 of 08

Winter-Vegetable-and-Gouda Gratin

Winter Vegetable and Gouda Gratin
Nico Schinco

To put colorful winter produce on full display, prepare it in a light gratin. Cream-based recipes can be overwhelming, so here sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and greens get par-boiled first, then arranged in a pan and baked in a shallot-scented broth with layers of grated young Gouda. The creamy Dutch cheese goes into the dish in two batches: It mingles (and melts) among the vegetables, and then more is scattered across the top, where it bubbles and browns into a lacy blanket.

08 of 08

French Onion Mac-and-Cheese

French Onion Mac and Cheese
Nico Schinco

Two soul-warming classics become soulmates in this mash-up of a quick mac-and-cheese and a crock of French onion soup. Use torn bread (jagged, rustic) and a triple-billing of big cheeses: Gruyère gives earthy notes, fontina provides a sweet undertone, and Emmentaler hits with some tart tang. And don't forget the crumbled bouillon cube when sautéing the onions (we like Knorr); it adds a subtle base note of beefy, simmered-all-day flavor.

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