Family Dinners: Fondue Night

Yum
dinner table set up with fondue pot, steak pieces in bowl, and potatoes, mushrooms, and broccoli cut up on plate

Fondue at home is a fun time for the whole family.

I bought a fondue pot in February to do a fondue night for my husband on Valentine’s Day. It has been a great purchase for our family. Not only is the food excellent but it’s also a fun family dinner time.

Fondue parties were extremely popular in the United States during the 1960’s and 1970’s. It has been called a “social meal” since you have a lot of time to socialize as the food cooks. We could all use more of that quality time with our friends and family.

Let’s talk fondue pots

I chose the Cuisinart Electric Fondue Maker. Since we have a young child, I wanted a fondue pot that was going to be safe. I wanted one that didn’t involve a flame for heating. I also love that this has a breakaway power source that lightly magnetizes to the heating element. If someone hits the cord or trips over it, the pot isn’t going to throw hot cooking oil over everyone. It will separate from the heating element and fall to the table. You just pick it up and set it back in place.

So, while this is a little more expensive than the others you could buy, that is why I invested a little more money. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe!!!! I have never even needed the dishwasher because clean up has been a breeze.

Recipes

We love The Melting Pot restaurant so I use recipes similar to what we’d have there. I don’t always do three courses. Sometimes we just have the main course. It’s completely up to you.

Here is what we usually have and the recipes I use.

Cheese Fondue

fiesta cheese fondue in a crockpot

My favorite fondue cheese is the fiesta cheese (recipe link). I serve it with pieces of bread, broccoli, tortilla chips, etc. You can use just regular shredded swiss cheese to make it cheaper instead of the Emmental. I’ve used both and didn’t notice a huge difference. I have made this in the crockpot/slow cooker or the fondue pot. It’s great either way. I have also used a little milk instead of the beer if you’re not a beer fan.

chips, cut up bread, and broccoli on teal plate
shredded cheeses, beer, salsa in crockpot
shredded cheeses, beer, salsa combined in crockpot

Entrée Fondue

dinner table set up with fondue pot, steak pieces in bowl, and potatoes, mushrooms, and broccoli cut up on plate

We love the mojo cooking style (recipe link) at Melting Pot. It is a Caribbean type cooking broth. We usually will cook steak, chicken, or shrimp in this broth. For sides, I like putting out red potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms. I cut back on the jerk seasoning because it can make everything a little too spicy. I cut it to 1 tbsp.

red potatoes, button mushrooms, and broccoli on white plate

Dessert Fondue

pieces of cheesecake, strawberries, rice krispy treats, pound cake, and marshmallows on a red plate

You can never go wrong with chocolate but our favorite is smore fondue (recipe link). I serve with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, graham crackers, pound cake, and cheesecake. I have made this in the crockpot/slow cooker or fondue pot.

Marshmallows, chocolate chips, and heavy cream in crockpot

Marinades

Pieces of steak in bag marinating in teriyaki sauce

I like to make a teriyaki marinade (recipe link) to marinate the meats for extra flavor. This is an added step that is definitely optional. The cooking oil will add enough flavor.


Dips

I love the dips at Melting Pot so we use the closest recipes. I cut all of these dips in half and there is still plenty. We usually make grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp over the next couple days to eat the remainder of the dip.

Goddess Dip

Goddess Dip in clear plastic bowl

The goddess dip (recipe link) is great for vegetables or potatoes. It’s a sour cream and chive kind of dip. I use all dried herbs but you can definitely use fresh. I could literally eat this on everything. It’s so good.

Cream cheese melted in plastic bowl with chives, sour cream, dried onions, and parsley on top

Teriyaki Dip

The teriyaki dip is just a thick teriyaki sauce (recipe link) that I love to put on my entrees. I love it paired with the teriyaki steak but it’s also great on chicken. I’m not a big seafood fan but I’m sure it’d go well with shrimp, too.

teriyaki dip in clear plastic bowl

Curry Dip

curry dip in clear plastic bowl

My husband loves the curry dip (recipe link) and eats it on meats or vegetables. He always finishes off the whole bowl throughout the week, eating it on anything and everything lol

mayonnaise, curry powder, and lemon juice in small plastic bowl

Tips

  • You’ll notice the cheese and chocolate can be used in the fondue pot or in a slow cooker. If you are doing a three course meal, it will be hard to transition between courses with one fondue pot. I use the slow cooker for the first and last course so it’s easier.
  • If we are doing three courses, we usually do it on a weekend where we can start early. It takes about 3 hours to finish all of it.
  • Don’t go crazy on the cheese or entrée if you want chocolate. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been too full to have dessert.
  • Leftover fondue is still delicious. We cook any meats or vegetables leftover and then refrigerate.
  • The great thing about fondue at home is you can spread the courses out as much as you’d like. Have cheese at 5pm, dinner at 6:30pm, and chocolate at 8:30pm, for instance.
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grey plate with stack of funnel cake bites

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