What Pairs Well with Cheddar: The Ultimate Guide

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As one of the most popular cheeses worldwide, cheddar is loved for its versatility and rich flavor.

Ranging from mild to extra sharp, cheddar cheese offers various taste profiles that can be complemented by a wide array of foods and beverages.

Here’s your ultimate guide to pairing cheddar cheese:

Pairings for Mild Cheddar:

Mild cheddar, known for its creamy and subtle flavor, pairs well with the following:

  • Italian Salami: The earthy flavor of salami beautifully complements the creaminess of mild cheddar.
  • Apples: The crisp sweetness of apples balances the creamy texture of cheddar.
  • Walnuts: Add a crunch and nutty flavor that pairs well with the soft texture of mild cheddar.

Pairings for Sharp Cheddar:

Sharp cheddar, with its more pronounced and robust flavor, goes well with:

  • Dried Fruits: Figs, dates, pineapples, and mangos add a Mediterranean and island flair to the sharp cheddar.
  • Red Wines: A red pinot noir or Beaujolais brings out the depth of flavor in sharp cheddar.
  • Nuts and Honey: A drizzle of honey over cheddar paired with nuts offers a delightful mix of sweet and savory.

Pairings for Extra Sharp Cheddar:

Extra sharp cheddar, known for its intense and complex flavor, pairs well with:

  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan enhances the flavor of cheddar in dishes like macaroni and cheese or cheese grits.
  • Brown Ale: The caramel notes of brown ale pair perfectly with the strong flavor of extra sharp cheddar.

Simple Tips for Serving Cheddar Cheese Plates:

When serving a cheddar cheese plate, consider including a variety of flavors and textures.

Include dried fruits for sweetness, nuts for crunch, and salami for a savory touch. Don’t forget to add a drizzle of honey for a sweet surprise!

Also read: What’s the Difference Between Cheddar and American Cheese?

Cheddar Wine Pairing Guide and Suggestions:

Cheese TypeWine PairingDescription
Sharp, well-matured CheddarChilean Cabernet SauvignonThis red wine pairs well with the bold flavor profiles of a sharp, well-matured cheddar.
Aged CheddarCabernet SauvignonThe fattiness of aged cheddar matches up wonderfully with the mouth-drying tannins found in many Cabernet Sauvignons.
Sharp CheddarPinot NoirFor those who love the boldness of sharp cheddar, consider pairing it with a wine with earthy notes like Pinot Noir.
Mild Cheddar or Colby JackChardonnayPairing Chardonnay with Mild Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese is an excellent choice for those who appreciate a balanced and nuanced taste experience.
Cheddar with herbal and grassy notesSauvignon BlancWhile Sauvignon Blanc is often paired with “green” flavors, its citrus and tropical notes can complement cheddar well.
CheddarGamay BeaujolaisPair Cheddar cheese with red wines like a fruity Gamay Beaujolais.
CheddarRieslingCreate contrast with a fruity white Riesling when paired with cheddar.

Also read: Best Wine and Cheese Pairings: The Ultimate Guide

What Pairs Well with Old Cheddar?

Old Cheddar, with its rich, sharp flavor, pairs well with a variety of foods.

Here are some pairing ideas:

  1. Dried Fruits: Dried figs and dates pair well, adding a Mediterranean flair.
  2. Tropical Fruits: Pineapples and mangos can also be paired for an island touch.
  3. Italian Salami: The earthy flavor of Italian salami complements the taste of old cheddar well.
  4. Crackers and Bread: Crackers or crusty French bread for a classic pairing.
  5. Mustard: Mustard, particularly whole grain, can enhance the taste of old cheddar.
  6. Cured Salami: The richness of cured salami pairs perfectly with the complexity of aged cheddar.
  7. Roasted Red Peppers: The sweetness of roasted red peppers can balance the sharpness of aged cheddar.
  8. Apples and Pears: These fruits are traditionally paired, offering a sweet and crisp contrast to the cheese.
  9. Nuts: Walnuts and other nuts can add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor that pairs well with cheddar
  10. Apple Pie or Apple Butter: This might sound unusual, but cheddar on apple pie or with apple butter is a favorite for some.

What Fruits Go Well with Cheddar?

Below are the top 5 fruits that go well with cheddar:

AppleApples, particularly varieties like Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Gala, are often paired with cheddar.
PearPears offer a sweet and crisp contrast to the cheese.
GrapesGrapes add a juicy and refreshing taste that pairs well with cheddar.
DatesDates provide a sweet and rich flavor that complements cheddar.
MangoWhile not as traditional, mango can be paired with cheddar for an interesting and tropical flavor combination.

Cheddar Recipe Ideas and Examples:

Cheddar can be incorporated into a multitude of recipes. Consider classics like macaroni and cheese or cheese grits, or experiment with cheddar-scallion biscuits or beer and cheddar soup for a hearty treat.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Old-Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese: A classic comfort food, this dish combines the creamy, rich flavor of cheddar with pasta for a satisfying meal.
  2. 5-Minute Nacho Cheese Sauce: This quick and easy recipe uses cheddar to create a flavorful sauce perfect for nachos or as a dip.
  3. Cheddar Cheese Puffs: These light, airy snacks are filled with the bold taste of cheddar.
  4. Cheddar-Scallion Biscuits: Add a twist to your traditional biscuits by incorporating cheddar and scallions.
  5. Beer and Cheddar Soup: This hearty soup is a unique combination of cheddar and beer, offering a comforting and filling meal.
  6. Cheddar Rillettes: A spreadable cheese mixture, cheddar rillettes can be served with crackers or bread.
  7. Smoked Cheese Cocktail Cookies: These unique cookies combine the flavors of cheddar and smoked cheese for a savory treat.
  8. Creamy White Chili: This chili recipe gets a creamy twist with the addition of cheddar.
  9. Leek, Cheddar & Bacon Loaf Sandwich: This sandwich pairs cheddar with leeks and bacon for a flavorful lunch option.
  10. Cheese & Caramelised Onion Tart: This tart features a delicious combination of cheddar cheese and caramelized onions.


whether you prefer mild, sharp, or extra sharp cheddar, there are countless ways to enjoy this versatile cheese. So have fun experimenting with different pairings and discover your own perfect cheddar combination!

Fun Fact: Did you know that cheddar cheese originally comes from the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England? Read our in-depth review of Cheddar to find out more about this amazing cheese.

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