Feta cheese is one of the most popular kinds of cheese in the world. This extremely versatile cheese originated in Greece and can be used in almost any recipe that calls for salty cheese.
Use crumbled feta cheese to top salads and soups, mix it with roasted vegetables, pasta, or grains, and use it in pies and other pastries. But, if you don’t like the taste of feta or don’t have any at home, you might wonder what can you use instead.
So, what’s the best feta cheese substitute? The best substitute for feta cheese is cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is made from curdled milk and has a mild flavor and a creamy, smooth texture. If you can’t find cottage cheese, use ricotta cheese, goat cheese, tofu, halloumi, gorgonzola, or queso blanco to substitute feta cheese in recipes.
Several kinds of cheese have a similar flavor and texture to feta cheese and can be used instead of feta in recipes. Keep reading to learn what feta cheese is, how it’s made, and what are the best feta cheese substitutes.
What Is Feta Cheese?
Feta cheese is a type of brined cheese made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It has a soft, but crumbly, slightly grainy texture with small or no holes, and no skin.
Originating in Greece, feta cheese is made into large blocks and aged in brine. This process gives feta its signature salty and tangy flavor, which ranges from mild to sharp.
Feta cheese is most commonly used in salads, such as Greek salads, and pastries. It’s often served with olive oil and olives, and sprinkled with herbs, like oregano. It can also be grilled or used to make sandwiches, omelets, and many other dishes.
Many people use the term “feta” for any white, crumbly cheese that has been aged in brine.
However, the term feta is protected in the European Union and can be used only for cheeses produced in a traditional way in specific areas of Greece. A real feta cheese must be made from sheep’s milk or a blend of sheep’s and up to 30% goat’s milk.
What can You use Instead of Feta Cheese?
The best feta cheese substitutes are cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, goat cheese, queso blanco, tofu, halloumi cheese, gorgonzola, blue cheese, cashew cheese, cream cheese, cotija cheese, and cheddar cheese.
Feta cheese has a distinctive salty, tangy, and creamy flavor. However, these replacements have a similar flavor and texture and make suitable substitutes for feta cheese.
Best Feta Cheese Substitutes
Here are several substitutes you can use instead of feta cheese to achieve a similar flavor and texture in recipes.
1. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is the best feta cheese substitute. It’s made from skimmed milk by draining curds and retaining some of the whey.
Unlike feta cheese, cottage cheese has a creamy texture and a mild taste. Use cottage cheese as a 1:1 substitute for feta cheese in pasta recipes.
2. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is another great substitute for feta cheese. This Italian whey cheese is made from cow, sheep, goat, or Italian water buffalo milk whey that remained after the production of other cheeses.
Ricotta cheese is creamy white in appearance and has crumbs like feta cheese. Ricotta has a mild sweet flavor, while feta cheese has a salty and tangy profile.
If you aren’t a fan of feta, use ricotta instead. Replace ricotta cheese with feta cheese in a 1:1 ratio in recipes.
3. Goat Cheese
There are many varieties of goat cheese, all of which are made using goat’s milk. Goat cheese is similar to feta cheese in terms of texture and flavor.
Goat cheese has a mild, earthy, buttery, but tart flavor which becomes more pronounced as the cheese ripens. The crumbly texture makes goat cheese a suitable substitute for feta cheese in salad and pasta recipes.
Use goat cheese as a 1:1 substitute for feta cheese in various dishes.
4. Queso Blanco
Queso blanco, also known as queso fresco, is a white cheese that’s a staple in Mexican cuisine. This cheese is traditionally made with raw cow’s milk or a mixture of cow’s and goat’s milk.
Queso blanco has a mild, fresh, and slightly tangy flavor and isn’t as salty as feta cheese. Like feta, queso blanco has a crumbly texture and is often used as a topper on dishes like enchiladas and tacos.
Use queso blanco as a substitute for feta cheese when making salads, pasta, soups, and sauces.
5. Halloumi Cheese
Originating in Cyprus, halloumi cheese is made from a mixture of goat’s milk and sheep’s milk, and sometimes also cow’s milk. Halloumi has a distinctive flavor that is both salty and slightly sour.
Unlike feta cheese, halloumi has a hard texture that doesn’t crumble, which makes it perfect for grilling or frying. Use halloumi as a 1:1 replacement for feta cheese in dishes like Greek salad or spanakopita.
Tofu is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a vegan substitute for feta cheese. It’s made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into blocks.
Tofu has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that may change depending on the way tofu is prepared. The texture varies from silken to super firm, depending on the amount of water in the tofu. Substitute tofu for feta cheese in a 1:1 ratio in vegan recipes.
Feta cheese is one of the most popular kinds of cheese. Its distinctive salty and tangy flavor and firm but crumbly texture make feta cheese a hard-to-replace ingredient in many recipes.
Although feta cheese is easily available at supermarkets and grocery stores, you may not have it at home. If you’re in the middle of cooking a dish that calls for feta cheese, there are several other types of cheese you can use instead.
Some of the best substitutes for feta cheese are cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, halloumi cheese, tofu, Queso Blanco, and goat cheese. Use any of these cheeses as a 1:1 substitute for feta cheese in soups, salads, sauces, pasta, and pastries.