Most cheese lovers agree on one thing: there’s no such specific cheese like famed goat cheese. Many people are not fans of its strong smell, texture, and flavor, but those who love it are mad about this unusual taste.
How do you react when your new recipe includes goat cheese?
If you’re of those who urgently look for other items to use instead of goat cheese, following recommendations for alternatives will be helpful. Even if you love it, it’s always good to know that you can find a quality substitute for goat cheese. But first, let’s see why goat cheese is so specific and why many people instead use some other type.
Why do People Look for a Substitute for Goat Cheese so Often?
Goat cheese comes in many forms. You can eat it in a crumbly or creamy, young or mature, mild or tangy version. However, one thing applies to all – every goat cheese has a strong smell that people love or on the other side – strictly avoid. When it comes to flavor, you can always recognize goat cheese by sharp and tangy nuances that touch the plate.
This flavor is almost impossible to mask in food, no matter how many various species the meal includes, and that’s the main reason why recipes sometimes recommend a substitute for goat cheese. Even if you freeze goat cheese for an extended period, the taste and smell won’t disappear after thawing.
Fortunately, almost every recipe can be used with a little modification, and that means that soufflés, spinach, salads, and fruit can be made or served with many types of cheese that are similar, but still lighter than goat cheese.
We present you 11 alternatives for goat cheese that will match with every type of food or drink.
Ricotta Cheese – A Healthy Substitute for Goat Cheese
Ricotta cheese should be on your buying list every time you’re preparing some delicious food and adding a bit of cheese that tastes like goat cheese, but it’s much lower in fat. This type of cheese is made of sheep’s milk, and in terms of flavor, there is not a big difference in comparison with goat cheese.
As we already mentioned, this cheese is low in fat content. The great advantage of this choice is its compatibility with various healthy diets that require the intake of selected healthy food. It’s also a good source of calcium and magnesium. One more thing that makes a substantial difference compared to goat cheese is Ricotta’sa pleasant, slightly firmer texture that you’ll love in combination with some quality wine.
Feta Cheese – Perfect Choice for Salads
Feta cheese is the most used cheese for salads. People choose it when they need some substitute for goat cheese because Feta’s strong flavor provides a nice and specific taste. On the other side, Feta doesn’t have a strong smell, and that’s the main reason behind people choosing it instead of the goat cheese.
Feta perfectly matches with salads and various healthy meals, because it’s salty, crumbly, and creamy at the same time. If you’re on weight watch, don’t worry about Feta – this cheese is completely friendly with your diet plan.
Blue Cheese – Cheese With Blue Spots
Blue Vein cheese is produced with cow, sheep, or goat’s milk. It’s unique because of blue, grey, or even black veins of mold created during the production process. The flavor of Blue cheese usually depends on the type of spots on its surface, but in most cases, the taste is sharp and salty.
Some versions are more creamy, with a very soft middle and hard rind. The most popular versions of Blue cheese are from France or Italy, but many countries produce it. It’s hard to say where the exact origin of this cheese is.
Cotija Cheese – A Salty Taste From Mexico
If you’re looking for a robust and salty taste, Cotija could be a perfect substitute for goat cheese. It’s Mexican hard cheese made of cow’s milk, usually used in burritos, nachos, tacos, and other Mexican food. But you also can put it in salads or any other meal that should be a little spicier. It’s very similar to Parmesan, which can also be an excellent substitute for goat cheese.
This type of cheese doesn’t melt, so the best way is to use it broken down into bits and sprinkled over the food. Like in many other types of cheese, Cotija also has two different types of hardness: fresh Cotija is very soft, while the old version is sharper and firmer. Anyway, both versions are milky in flavor and suitable for a variety of dishes.
Mascarpone Cheese – The Italian Creamy Pleasure
If you prefer creamy cheeses, you can use Italian Mascarpone cheese instead of soft goat cheese – both of them have a very similar texture. On the other side, the taste of Mascarpone is much sweeter, and according to that, this type of cheese is mostly used in puddings, cakes, or cupcakes.
This exceptionally smooth cheese is an essential ingredient in the Italian most popular dessert tiramisu. Thanks to the high percentage of butterfat content, Mascarpone cheese provides delicious taste not only to sweets, but also to savory dishes like risotto, pizza, pasta, spinach, and many others.
Cottage Cheese – The Perfect Cheese for Healthy Meals
Here is one more soft, white, and creamy cheese made of cow’s milk! If the strong taste is why you’re looking for a substitute for goat cheese, Cottage cheese will probably delight you with its mild flavor. It’s one of the best ingredients for healthy meals, because of the high percentage of proteins and essential nutrients.
It’s a fresh cheese, so it doesn’t need to go through the aging process to develop the taste. Cottage cheese and pancakes always go well together, but it’s also lovely paired with fruit, salads, waffles, smoothies, baked goods, or lasagna.
Camembert – French-Style delicious Cheese
Camembert cheese is just one more proof that the best cheeses come from France! It’s cow’s milk cheese first made about three centuries ago, and today is one of the most used cheeses for different types of dishes. This cheese is bland and hard in texture, with a sweet taste and white bloomy rind that can be eaten with the cheese.
Camembert is an obvious choice if you want a substitute for goat cheese to complement wine, fruit, vegetables, biscuit, or any other type of delicate flavors that you enjoy. When it comes to cheese composition, it’s good to know that Camembert is high in many vitamins, especially B12 and A, selenium, zinc, folate, and many other minerals.
Fromage Blanc Cheese – Fresh Aroma and Mild Flavor
The best substitute for goat cheese is Fromage Blanc, made initially from fresh cow’s milk in France. Its texture and taste are the closest to goat cheese, but Fromage blanc is not used only for savory food but also for desserts with fruits, jams, and other sweets. This cheese can be served alone as a dessert, because its thick texture, fresh aroma, and mild flavor make it very delicious and refreshing.
Paneer – An Exotic Flavor From India
Paneer is an Indian cheese that can be eaten as a snack or with a meal. It’s made of curdled milk and some sort of fruit or acid like lemon juice, that provides a unique and untypical taste regarding traditional European cheeses. Paneer is an unaged, unsalted cheese that can be made at home with only a few ingredients: milk, lemon juice, and cheesecloth.
Although it has a subtle taste, if you mix Paneer with some dishes, it will soak up all the species and sauces, turning into their flavors and tastes. If you’re familiar with South Asian food, you’ll be obsessed with Paneer, and in the other case, you should try this fantastic cheese and enrich your understanding of quality and unique Asian cheese.
Queso Fresco – The Most popular Mexican Cheese
Let’s get back to Mexico! Queso Fresco is one more Mexican delicious cheese that can be an excellent substitute for goat cheese because it’s traditionally made with a combination of cow and goat milk. The fresh, bright, and milky taste of Queso Fresco are perfect for egg dishes, salads, or grilled vegetables. It’s also recommended for healthy meals or any food that excludes buttery tasting and fat content.
Although it has a soft texture, Queso Fresco doesn’t melt well. Like other hard cheeses, you can break in little parts and sprinkle on pizza, pasta, or any other food. If you use Queso Fresco as an appetizer, an exciting way to serve it is with mint or lemon, and some wine to complete the meal.
Manchego – Authentic Spanish Flavor
La Mancha, a region in Spain, is not famous only as a home of Don Quixote, but also an area where delicious Manchego cheese comes from. Authentic Manchego is made of pasteurized sheep’s milk, with an inedible rind that always has a zigzag pattern on its surface in the traditional version. Manchego’s flavor usually varies according to the ripening period, but in general, it has a mild taste that is sharpening with age.
Manchego is an excellent pair with honey, almonds, or marmalade, but if you have a chance to try it in Spain, don’t forget to pair it with Spanish wine. Unfortunately, authentic Spanish Manchego is rarely available in other countries.
We hope that you’ve found something for you among these eleven ideas because, indeed, cheese lovers agree with our recommendations! Are you one of them?
Even if you choose only one substitute for goat cheese for your next meal, we encourage you to try all cheeses we mentioned, because each one of them has some unique specificity that you’ll love. We don’t have any doubt that some of those types will become your new favorite ones!
There’s one more thing to do – you have to find a perfect pair for each of those cheeses. Do you prefer wine, fruit, or snacks? In our opinion, it’s good to experiment with flavors, because it’s always possible to discover some new delicious tastes with cheese included. Bon Appetit!