Goat cheese won’t appeal to everyone. Its tangy and bold flavor, combined with a high price, will prevent it from becoming a mainstream grocery item in most countries. If a recipe calls for this ingredient, then you may need a goat cheese substitute. We’ve did the research and then compiled a list of suitable alternatives to help you finish that recipe.
You won’t be able to perfectly mimic goat cheese cheese as it’s unique. But these options below will certainly provide similar taste or texture. Be sure to check out option seven for something a little different!
16 substitutes for goat cheese
1. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta is a low-fat soft cheese that has a smooth and creamy texture with a mild flavor profile. It is an excellent option if you’re in search of a healthier ingredient for your next cheesecake, soup, lasagna, or ravioli. It is high in protein food with relatively low fat, so this is an excellent option for those looking for healthy eating options. Its mild taste will appeal to anyone trying to avoid the tanginess of goat cheese.
Mascarpone is a smooth and spreadable soft cheese that has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. It has a much higher butterfat content than ricotta, making it a less health-conscious option. But make no mistake, its buttery texture is divine.
Dessert and savory recipes that call for goat cheese will work equally well with mascarpone. Tiramisu and cheesecake both taste amazing with this cheese added, as does a creamy, rich carbonara pasta.
Mascarpone is soft and spreadable. Although you could add it to a cheese board, it wouldn’t make a perfect replacement for goat cheese.
Note: If you want to perfectly cut cheese for cheese platters be sure to check out our review of the best cheese slicers currently available.
3. Greek yogurt
Anyone who has tasted yogurt will know its texture isn’t a close match to cheese. But if you’re scooping a spoonful into chowder or casserole, then who is going to know? The benefit of using Greek yogurt is that it has a tangy flavor that mimics goat cheese. It is also creamy and rich, without the added sugar and carbohydrates. The lack of sweetness makes it a versatile ingredient, ideal for most dishes.
4. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese is made from a combination of milk and cream, so it has a high-fat content. The characteristics of this cheese are similar to mascarpone; soft, spreadable white cheese that’s useful in a wide range of recipes, including baking recipes. Cream cheese has less milk fat than mascarpone, so it’s a better option for replacing cow cheese if you’re trying to reduce fat intake. If a rich, buttery texture is your priority, then choose mascarpone over cream cheese.
5. Fromage Blanc
Fromage blanc is a soft, white cheese that has a mild, slightly citric taste. It is delicious when used as a pastry filling or to make a creamy pasta dish. If you need a goat’s cheese alternative for a fruit board, Fromage blanc is exceptional. Its texture is softer, but ideal for pairing with sweet fruit.
A word of warning, this cheese isn’t the easiest product to find in supermarkets. Depending on where you live, you’ll probably need to visit a specialty food store to source this ingredient.
6. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a low-fat, fresh cheese that is mild tasting that is perfect in lasagna. Its texture is creamy and lumpy, so visually, it looks a lot different to goat cheese. However, you can blend cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth then refrigerate until firm. Now you have a calorie-conscious food ready to replace the goat cheese.
7. Blue cheese
Until now, our list of alternatives have all closely mimicked goat cheese; in looks, taste, or texture. Blue vein is an option for anyone looking for a completely different flavor. This cheese has a sharp, salty, yeasty flavor and visually stands out thanks to its veins of blue penicillium roqueforti running through it.
Although blue vein won’t be popular for most people, when used in a dessert, it is lovely melted into slow-cooked meals. It’s also at-home on a cheese board - a good alternative if you don’t enjoy the tangy nature of cheese made from goat milk, but love strong tasting food. If you don’t like smelly cheese, then it’d be best to avoid this one.
8. Queso FrescoQueso fresco is commonly used in Mexican cuisine and is a fresh, firm white cheese. It is a mild and slightly salty with a hit of tang. Many compare it to farmer’s cheese. Queso fresco is an ideal addition to savory dishes such as burritos, quesadillas, or chiles relleños.
9. Cotija Cheese
Another Mexican cheese, Cotija, is similar to parmesan once matured. Although it has a harder texture and a saltier flavor than goat cheese, it is a useful option for crumbling. Any savory recipes that call for crumbled goat cheese could easily be replaced with Cotija. Avoid using this cheese if you need it melted as it doesn’t perform well for this purpose. If you'd like to learn how to make hard cheese then check out our illustrated guide to cheddar cheese making.
10. Queso AñejoQueso Anejo is the mature version of queso fresco and literally means ”old cheese.” Its flavor is salty with a spicy punch due to the cheese being rolled in paprika.
Anejo makes an excellent substitute for aged goat cheese and can be sprinkled over salads. This cheese is also well suited to Mexican food like antojitos, beef tacos, or chicken chilaquiles.
Many recipes match sweet-tasting ingredients like watermelon with goat cheese. The flavors work exceptionally well together. For these dishes, halloumi is a suitable alternative. Its salty, bitter undertone pairs well with any sweet ingredient. We recommend frying the halloumi first, as this helps soften the flavor profile.
12. Feta Cheese
Feta is a salty, tangy cheese that ranges from creamy to dry and crumbly. It contains beneficial bacteria and fatty acids as well as being low in calories and fat [source]. Feta is a good option for the health-conscious eater who still enjoys a lot of flavor in their food. Feta is ideal for crumbling into salads, stuffing chicken, or sprinkled over vegetables.
Paneer is an Indian creation that pairs deliciously with spicy food. It has a creamy, mild flavor with a dense, crumbly texture. Paneer doesn’t melt, but it is well suited to dessert dishes, sandwiches, grilled, or in curries.
Do you think you know your Indian cooking? What's the difference between saag paneer and palak paneer? Find out now!
14. Manchego cheese
Manchego is a semi-hard cheese made from sheep milk. Its intense, zesty flavor and crumbly texture make it a wonderful addition to any cheeseboard. It won’t mimic goat cheese, but it’s a good option if you’re seeking a more unique flavored cheese.
Camembert is a soft, creamy cheese that is popular all over the world. It has excellent melting properties making it suitable for casseroles or soups. Camembert is a mild cheese that may be a more popular option than goat cheese on a cheeseboard.
16. Vegan cheese
For those on a plant-based diet, goat cheese is out of the question. Making vegan goat cheese is a lot simpler than you may think, and it doesn’t cost a lot to make either. Follow these steps to make your own.
Makes ½ cup
- ¼ cup raw macadamia nuts
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 2 Tbsp filtered water
- ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ Tbsp lemon juice
- Pinch of sea salt, to taste
- Soak the macadamias and cashews in cold water for 4 hours or overnight.
- Blend the soaked nuts with water, vinegar, and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth.
- Scoop mixture into a sterilized mason jar and cover with plastic wrap. Ensure the wrap is tightly over the top of the jar and then secure with an elastic band.
- Cover jar in a tea towel and leave on the countertop overnight.
- Store in the refrigerator until required.
Tips to add flavor
Gently mix fruit, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, or garlic into the finished cheese.
Add half a tablespoon of miso to nuts after soaking.
Pour in half a tablespoon of Irish moss after culturing to make a firmer cheese that can be sliced.
Goat cheese offers a unique combination of earthy, tart flavor combined with a lovely creamy mouthfeel. Its tangy undertone and aroma develop over time, with a texture that ranges from soft, semisoft, firm through to hard. Although age (and brand) can affect the characteristics of goat cheese, you’ll quickly identify it once you’ve taken a bite.
Versatility is a crucial feature of goat cheese. Charcuterie boards, dessert platters, ice cream, casseroles, or spread on a cracker – this ingredient, also known as chèvre, has many uses in the kitchen. However, there are multiple replacements available if necessary.
White cheeses that provide a creamy texture with a hint of tart flavor will work best as a substitute for goat cheese. Thankfully, some of the best alternatives are readily available in most supermarkets.
Greek yogurt is a good option if you’re cooking casseroles or soup. Although the texture is different, it will get blended into the other ingredients so no one will know.
Ricotta is a healthier ingredient for your adding to cheesecakes, soup, lasagna or ravioli. People will love the creaminess without the extra fat content.
Finally, if you can’t eat goat cheese due to dietary restrictions, then follow our simple recipe above for making vegan goat cheese. A tasty alternative high in protein thanks to the nuts.
Do you have a suitable alternative to add to our list? Share with us in the comments below.