Feta cheese is a delicious and popular Mediterranean cheese used in salads, pizza, and other dishes, but it’s not always available in grocery stores.read on to discover Best Substitutes for Feta Cheese.
Before researching feta cheese substitutes, it’s important to understand what it is and how it’s made. Feta cheese is a soft, salty cheese made by coagulating sheep’s milk or sometimes a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk into cheese. The process begins by adding natural rennet or lactic acid bacteria to milk and allowing it to coagulate. This process separates the curds from the whey. Next, the curds are cut, heated and churned to drain water and form a semi-solid cheese paste. Finally, the cheese is cured, stored in brine for several weeks, and then aged.
Feta cheese originated in Greece and has a salty and tangy taste. It is commonly used in salads, sandwiches and baked recipes. But it can also be eaten on its own as an appetizer. The creamy texture of feta cheese makes it an excellent choice for dips, sauces, and toppings. A good substitute for feta cheese should be able to mimic these qualities.
This article discusses The Best Dairy and Vegan Alternatives to Feta Cheese. Learn more from the FAQ section below.
What is the best dairy substitute for feta cheese?
The best dairy substitutes for feta cheese are ricotta, queso fresco, halloumi, roquefort, cotija, mizithra, gorgonzola, mozzarella, sharp cheddar, goat cheese, mozzarella and panela cheese. Learn more about each option.
1. Ricotta cheese
Ricotta is a soft, creamy cheese that can be used as a substitute for feta cheese when you need a milder flavor。 It has a smooth texture and a slightly sweet taste that adds creaminess when mixed with sauces. Crumble ricotta cheese over salads or mix it into pasta dishes for a delicious and easy meal.
When using ricotta instead of feta, keep in mind that it won’t have the same salty taste. Fix this by adding more seasoning such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, or herbs.
2. Mexican Murals
Queso fresco is a popular Mexican cheese that you can use as a substitute for feta cheese in salads, tacos, and burritos. It has a mild salty flavor that goes well with many ingredients, especially tomatoes and other acidic fruits. It is also crumbly and melts easily and can be used as a topping or crumbled on a plate.
Halloumi is a great substitute for feta cheese, thanks to its saltiness, delicious texture, and ability to hold its shape when cooked。 Unlike feta, halloumi doesn’t crumble or melt easily, making it a great choice for dishes that require the cheese to stay intact.
Use halloumi instead of feta in salads, sandwiches or tacos. Grill it and serve it as an appetizer or side dish. Halloumi brings some unique flavors compared to feta and is a good choice for those looking for a dish that is different from traditional feta cheese.
Roquefort cheese makes a great substitute for feta cheese。 This French blue cheese has a richer, crisper flavor and a creamier, crumblier texture than feta. Enhance its flavor by adding herbs and spices such as oregano or crushed pepper. Roquefort can also be paired with fruit such as pears, grapes or figs for added sweetness and variety.
Cotija is an aged, crumbly Mexican cheese with a salty, pungent flavor, making it a great substitute for feta cheese。 It has a very similar texture and flavor to feta cheese. Use cotija in salads, sauces, dips, and quesadillas.
Mizithra is a traditional Greek cheese made from a blend of sheep’s and goat’s milk that you can substitute for feta。 It has a mild flavor and creamy texture, perfect for salads, soups and sandwiches.
Unlike feta, mizithra is not soaked in brine, so the taste is less salty and more intense. Plus, mizithra has fewer calories than feta but still gives you the same amount of protein. This Greek cheese melts easily for a delicious topping on pizza or pasta.
Gorgonzola is an excellent substitute for feta cheese, thanks to its creamy texture。 Gorgonzola is full of flavor and has the same crumbly texture as feta cheese. However, Gorgonzola cheese also has a blue texture that can add complexity to dishes ranging from salads to baked pasta. It tastes nutty, sour and slightly salty.
8. Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella cheese can be a great substitute for feta cheese when the sharp and pungent flavor is not neededAlthough made from cow’s milk like feta, mozzarella has a milder flavor and softer texture, making it perfect for salads, pizza and sandwiches.
While it doesn’t have the distinctive flavor of feta cheese, thanks to its white color, mozzarella is creamy and makes a dish look tempting. What’s more, mozzarella cheese has a longer shelf life than feta cheese, and it contains fewer calories.
9. Cheddar Cheese
Sharp cheddar is a great substitute for feta cheese in any recipe, thanks to its unique sharp taste. Like feta, cheddar has a crunchy texture, so it looks good on a plate. It brings a touch of flavor to salads, soups, pasta, and chili, especially Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Plus, cheddar pairs well with toppings like onions, garlic, tomatoes, and olives. You can also grate cheddar cheese over salads for extra crunch and texture.
10. Goat Cheese
Goat cheese, or chèvre, is a popular substitute for sheep cheese because of its tangy, slightly salty taste。 It’s milder than feta, so it can be used in dishes that need a light touch rather than savory flavor. Plus, goat cheese is rich in calcium and protein, making it a healthier alternative to feta cheese. While some may find goat cheese an acquired taste, it’s an excellent addition to salads, lasagna, or quiches.
Due to its mild flavor and versatility, cottage cheese is a good substitute for feta cheese。 It has a similar texture but lacks the tangy flavor of feta. Cheese is also a great source of protein and calcium.
When substituting cottage cheese for feta, you can use a full-fat or reduced-fat version, depending on your preference. Added herbs and spices help replicate the sharpness of traditional feta. For extra creaminess, mix cottage cheese with Greek yogurt, or add walnuts or almonds for a nutty flavor.
12. Panera Cheese
Panela is a semi-hard Mexican cheese that you can use as a substitute for feta in many dishes, including salads, sandwiches, tacos, and pizza toppings。 It has a mild, slightly sweet taste and a creamy texture that melts. Panera cheese is less acidic than feta, so it pairs well with sweeter cheeses like mango or pineapple.
What’s the best vegan substitute for feta cheese?
The best vegan substitutes for feta cheese are tofu, almond or cashew cheese, and nutritional yeast. Learn more about each option.
Tofu is a great vegan alternative to feta as it offers a similar taste with less fat and calories. It’s easier to find in the store than feta and has a more versatile texture.
Use tofu in place of feta in salads, sandwiches, soups, casseroles and stir-fries. It adds a light flavor without being overwhelming.
When preparing tofu as a feta substitute, press to remove excess moisture. This will help it absorb any marinades or sauces better. For best results, place under heavy object (such as a stack of plates or recipe book) for 15 minutes before using.
Tofu is high in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent choice for vegetarian and vegan diets. Unlike dairy-based feta, tofu contains no cholesterol or lactose, so it’s easier to digest for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.
2. Almond or cashew cheese
Almond or cashew cheese is an alternative that brings out the nutty flavor of almonds or cashews while maintaining a creamy texture similar to feta。 They pair well with fruits and vegetables. These makeshift cheeses are lower in fat than traditional dairy and contain no cholesterol, making them healthier than feta. Plus, almond or cashew cheeses add texture and unexpected flavor to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes.
3. Nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is gaining popularity as a feta substitute for its cheesy flavor and nutritional benefits。 It’s made from the single-celled organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses, then harvested, washed and heat-dried to inactivate it. Nutritional yeast contains B vitamins, including vitamin B12, protein, fiber, minerals, and 16 amino acids. It contains no sugar or preservatives.
The caveat when substituting nutritional yeast for feta in recipes is that the flavor will vary. Nutritional yeast is salty and nutty, while feta is creamy and salty. However, when adding nutritional yeast to a sauce or salad, you can still get a creamy texture without all the fat, since nutritional yeast does not contain animal products or dairy.
Learn more about feta cheese and its alternatives.
How do you store feta cheese?
Store Feta Properly, keep it unwrapped in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before moving it to the refrigerator. It can also be stored in salt water in the refrigerator, but you will have to change the water daily.
Feta cheese should not be frozen as this will change its texture and flavor. However, if you need to freeze feta, use it within a few months of thawing and eat it immediately after thawing.
Is feta cheese the same as goat cheese?
No, feta and goat cheese are two different types of cheese. They come in different textures, flavors and origins. Feta cheese is a semi-hard, salty curd cheese that originated in Greece, while goat cheese is a French variety made from goat’s milk. Feta has a milder flavor than goat cheese, with a slightly salty taste due to the brining process. Goat cheese has a stronger flavor and comes in many types, depending on the breed of goat from which it is made.
Is Feta Cheese Healthy?
Yes, feta cheese is healthy. Here is a breakdown of the vitamins and minerals feta cheese provides:
- calcium: This mineral helps strengthen bones and teeth and plays a role in cell signaling and communication.
- phosphorus: This mineral aids in the growth and maintenance of bones and provides energy to help boost the body’s cellular processes.
- Vitamin B6: This vitamin helps regulate hormone production, red blood cell formation, and fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Potassium: Important for maintaining healthy brain function, muscle control and heart rhythm.
- zinc: It is a key factor in building muscle tissue, supporting the immune system, maintaining bone density and promoting wound healing.
- selenium: This essential antioxidant helps reduce inflammation and prevent chronic diseases.
Can I use cream cheese instead of feta?
Yes, cream cheese is a great substitute for feta, with a similar tartness and creamy texture。 You can use cream cheese in many recipes, such as salad toppings, dips, lasagna, quesadillas, or stuffed mushrooms. However, it is not as crumbly as feta cheese.
Feta cheese is a savory, salty, dairy-rich cheese that adds flavor to many dishes. While it’s very unique and has a distinct taste, it can be hard to find and expensive. Fortunately, there are many alternative cheeses that offer similar flavors and textures, whether you prefer dairy or go vegan. With a little creativity in the kitchen and an open mind to explore new flavors, you can easily find the perfect feta substitute.