Feta cheese is a white cheese made from the milk of sheep or a mixture of both sheep’s and goat’s milk. And is matured in brine for at least six months before it can be used in food.
This cheese is very soft and crumbly. The Greek cheese has a grainy texture and is usually formed in large blocks. It has a tangy and salty taste that is mild to sharp. But it possesses a hint of sweetness and a distinct aroma.
High-quality feta should have a creamy finish despite its crumbly texture. It is used in salads, as a table cheese, pastries, as part of a sandwich, or in Greek dishes. It is a large part of Greek cuisine where it originated from.
If you’re looking for a suitable substitute for feta cheese, read on to find out the best alternatives. Here are seven substitutes that do justice to replace feta cheese in your dish.
1. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta falls under a particular category of cheese called whey cheese, unlike feta cheese which is a curd cheese. It is formed from whey, the by-product of normal cheese production. Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese gotten from cow, goat, sheep, or even water buffalo milk.
Ricotta curds are creamy-white and slightly sweet. It is similar to feta cheese with its salty taste and soft texture. If you’re looking for crumbly cheese without the strong flavor of feta cheese, then the ricotta is your best option. It also has less salt than feta which is excellent if you’re looking to cut down on salt consumption. Ricotta is an excellent topping for salads, pastry, pizza, etc.
2. Roquefort Cheese
Roquefort is a French milk cheese gotten from sheep milk. Renowned for its pungent smell and blue veins, this cheese originates from southern France. It has a semi-hard texture and ages about 5 months before consumption. It is very similar to feta cheese with its tangy taste and crumbly texture.
The cheese looks creamy white in appearance, just like feta. It has no skin and has a tangy flavor. Its strong flavor is an acquired taste, and it may end up trashing your dish if it’s not something you’re used to. Like feta cheese, it can be used as toppings for salads, pizzas, crusts, etc.
Mizithra is a mixed-whey cheese made from the milk of either goats or sheep or both. It is Greek in origin, just like feta cheese, and has a similar taste. Mizithra can be sold fresh or salt-dried and aged. This aged version of the cheese is denser, saltier, and sourer.
Fresh mizithra is sweeter than feta and crumbles more easily. This cheese has a soft, creamy texture similar to feta. Mizithra can be easily substituted as they have similar components and tastes. It can be enjoyed grated over pasta or pizza, as a table cheese, or in baking.
4. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has been around for a long time. It is thought to have originated in the Middle East around 5000 BC. Cottage cheese is a cheese curd product with a non-homogenous texture. It is naturally crumbly like feta cheese as it has two cheese components- curds and whey. It’s creamy and has a mild flavor.
Cottage cheese is for you if you want a crumbly mild-tasting cheese. However, it is not aged, so it lacks the tanginess that feta possesses. Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein while having low sodium and fat content. It is low in calories and is a superb alternative if you’re looking to cut down on calories. This cheese can be used in yogurt, salads, toast, and as a dip or mayonnaise.
5. Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese is a hard natural cheese originating from the English village of Cheddar in Somerset. It is made from cow milk and pasteurized, unlike feta cheese. The tanginess of cheddar cheese depends on the age of the cheese. 2 to 4-month-old cheese is mild-tasting while 6 to 9-month-old cheese is sharp. The older they are, the deeper and more complex the flavors get.
It has a sharp pungent flavor to it. Mild Cheddar cheese is hard and smooth, but more mature variants are crumbly similar to feta cheese. So, if you’re looking for a crumblier texture, go for the longer cured cheddar cheese. It is pale yellow, unlike feta’s creamy white. Cheddar cheese has a natural rind and a rich texture that melts in the mouth. It can be used for sandwiches, garnish for salads, toppings for casseroles, or on its own paired with wine.
6. Goat’s cheese
As the name implies, goat cheese is cheese made from goat’s milk. It has a tarter flavor than cheese from cow’s milk. They also have a lower lactose content than feta cheese. It is soft and tastes like feta since feta cheese has 30% of goat milk in it.
It doesn’t crumble like feta because it has a creamier consistency. You could opt for aged goat’s cheese if you want a crumbly texture. It has a rich, tangy flavor like feta cheese and can be used as a spread or toppings for salads.
7. Queso Fresco
Queso Fresco is a Spanish name that means fresh cheese. This cheese is a Mexican cheese made from cow milk or cow and goat’s milk. It has a mild tangy flavor partly due to the acidification by lemon juice, vinegar, or rennet.
It is soft, moist, and crumbly, making it a fantastic substitute for feta cheese. It is perfect as a garnish for Mexican delicacies like tacos, huevos rancheros, black beans, etc.
These substitutes listed above are amazing alternatives to feta cheese. Whether you’ve run out or don’t like feta’s flavor, any of these cheeses can act as a suitable replacement for your dish.