A fondue party is a fun twist on the traditional dinner party. Here are some of our favorite ideas to help you plan your event, including some simple recipes and tips. Everything you need to host an amazing (and delicious) get together!
Preparing For Your Party
One of the best things about hosting this type of party is that most of the preparation is done beforehand, so that the hostess can sit down and enjoy herself during the event. Here are some ideas to to help you get everything prepared to throw a stress-free dinner.
1. Plan on 4-6 People per Fondue Pot — Fondue parties are best kept small and intimate, if for no other reason than reaching the serving pots can get tricky with a larger group. A good rule of thumb to keep things manageable is 4-6 people per pot.
2. Decide What Type of Fondue(s) You Want to Serve — There are three main varieties of fondue; cheese, oil or broth, and chocolate. Your first decision should be which of these you would like to prepare, keeping in mind that taking on all three will give you a lot of food and preparation.
3. Create a Menu — Once you’ve chosen the type of fondue you wish to serve, think of what types of foods you would like to dip, and create a shopping list. Remember that if you are offering an oil fondue as your main course, you’ll want some dipping sauces to add flavor to the meat, and that you’ll probably want to accompany this with a loaf of crusty bread and an green salad, so you’ll need to purchase these items as well.
4. Gather Your Serving Materials — Here is a list of the party basics you will need at your party:
- One or more fondue pots (see below for ideas on choosing the right pot)
- Skewers for spearing food — You can either use metal fondue forks or disposable bamboo skewers
- Large bowls or platters for holding food to be dipped
- Small bowls for dipping sauces or toppings
- A heavy tablecloth to protect your table from spills
- Napkins (a fondue party tends to be drippy!)
Types of Fondue Pots
There are many different types of fondue pots. The type that will be best for you depends on what type of fondue you are planning on serving.
Oil and Broth Fondue — These type of fondues are best served in a metallic pot that can take a higher level of heat. You can either go with an electric pot or one that is lit by sterno. Here are a few options, available at Amazon.com.
Setting the Table at Your Fondue Party
You always want your party table to look pretty, but at a fondue party you also have to consider how to make it easy for your guests to reach the fondue pots, how to reach the food items, and how to have access to any dipping sauces or toppings that go along with the meal. Here are some general guidelines for setting your fondue party table:
Start by covering your table with a thick tablecloth to protect your table and make clean up easier.
Lay out your guests’ table settings, being sure to give each person at least two fondue forks, a regular fork (the fondue fork should never go directly into anyone’s mouth, because it will be very hot and it will also be going back into the communal pot), lots of napkins, and two glasses (one for water and one for whatever you will be serving with the meal).
Place your fondue pot(s) on protective trays in the middle of the table so that everyone can reach at least one. If you have a lazy susan, these can work well for switching up accessibility to different foods.
Place the food you are offering for dipping on platters around the table so that your guests have a variety of foods within reach.
Place your dipping sauces into small bowls and set a tray with the various sauces between each two guests so they can share.
Fondue Party Recipes
There are many great resources for finding fondue recipes, and we’ll share some of our favorites, but you can make any variety of fondue very simply. Here are some easy fondue recipes that you can use as a starting point, as well as some resources for finding more elaborate options.
Our Favorite Basic Cheese Fondue Recipe — This is a simple recipe that you can alter to taste.
- 3 Cups Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
- 1 Cup Dry White Wine (such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Reisling)
- **optional: 1 clove of Garlic rubbed around the inside of the pot for flavor
Dip items such as cubed french bread, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, and cooked sausage. Be sure to cut all dipping items into bite sized pieces before serving.
Easy Broth Fondue — Use a ratio of 8 cups chicken broth to 1 cup white wine. This is best used for cooking meats.
Oil Fondue — This one couldn’t be simpler. Just heat some vegetable oil in a metal fondue pot and use it to cook a selection of meat, such as chicken, steak, and shrimp. The flavor for this variety of fondue comes from the dipping sauces. Here are some suggestions:
- Barbecue Sauce
- Terriyaki Sauce
- Steak Sauce
- Bernaise Sauce
- Honey Mustard Sauce
- Guacamole Dip
- Cocktail Sauce
Chocolate Fondue — This is another easy recipe. Just melt 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips with 3/4 to 1 cup of heavy cream in a chocolate fondue pot. (You might also add 2 Tbs of peppermint liqueur for a minty chocolate version.) Fruit, pound cake squares, or cookie wafers are all great options for a dessert fondue.
Want to get more elaborate? There are lots of great fondue recipe websites, or for a collection of recipes ready at your fingertips, here are some fondue cookbooks with amazing recipe options:
Great Party Fondues
Dip Into Something Different
125 Best Fondue Recipes
Fondue Preparation Tips — When planning how much food to prepare for a fondue party, a good rule of thumb is:
- About a half a loaf of bread per person (about 20 cubes)
- About 8-10 pieces of cubed meat
- About 10-15 vegetable pieces
Also, never boil liquids in your fondue pot. Try to keep a temperature of about 350-375 degrees. It is usually a good idea to prepare your liquids on the stovetop and then transfer your pot to the table where you can monitor the temperature as you eat.
What to Drink at a Fondue Party — Great food should always be accompanied by great drink options. For adults, offering beer and wine choices that complement your menu can really make your meal stand out. A fun idea might be to ask your guests to each bring a favorite beverage that they feel would best go with a particular food. It’s also a good idea to have pitchers of water available so that your guests can cleanse their palettes between courses and put out the burn of an extra hot bite! A traditional dessert drink that is often offered at the end of a fondue party is kirsch (cherry brandy).
Making Your Fondue Party Extra Special
Want to take your party to the next level? Here are some ideas to give your event that “special something.”
Create Some Ambience — Create a festive atmosphere for your fondue party by playing some music that captures the mood. If your party is in the wintertime, light a fire and set out some candles for a cozy glow.
Post Your Menu — Let your guests see all the great foods they’ll get to choose from by writing up a party menu that lists the fondue dippers and sauces that will be served. Print this onto some decorative stationery and set it in a frame on your table or countertop.
Sip Some Different Wines — A Fondue party is a great time to try out some new wine. Ask your friends to each bring their favorite bottle and have a wine tasting to see which wine pairs best with different foods.
Give Your Party a Theme — If you want to go all out, why not pair your fondue party with a complementary theme. Since fondue was popular in the seventies, you might have your guests come dressed in some way out finery and give your party a seventies theme. Or, since dipping fruit and cake in chocolate has a feeling of decadence, why not make like the Romans and give your event a toga party theme.
If you enjoyed these fondue party ideas, you might also enjoy these parties:
Iron Chef Party