Mozzarella is the number one cheese when it comes to pizza. Its stringy texture and cheesy taste also goes perfectly in salads and other Italian dishes like pasta. If you’re an exception to fans of this cheese because of preference or diet, you won’t miss out a lot thanks to some available options. We will cover some of the best and tastiest mozzarella cheese substitutes that you can explore.
What are the top mozzarella cheese substitutes in a pizza?
Provolone is the closest to mozzarella in taste. It is the best option in place of mozzarella to complete your Italian dishes.
Like mozzarella, provolone is a great melting cheese that creates a soft chewy and stringy texture. It makes that Instagram-worthy stretch of cheese for your pizza or subs. This cheese doesn’t have an overwhelming taste so it’s easy to include it in various recipes.
You can use provolone as an ingredient for your pizza, grilled sandwiches, casseroles, salads, and even desserts.
Usually, this semi-hard Italian cheese is combined with Parmigiano-Reggiano and mozzarella to make the cheesiest taste and texture for pizzas. When aged, provolone tastes a little nutty with salty undertones while the fresher versions have a sweet and mild flavor. There are some kinds of provolone that are also smoked which adds a great aroma and distinct tang to it.
2. Bel Paese
Bel Paese is an Italian term for “beautiful country.” The name also goes for a type of cheese you can use instead of mozzarella. With a pale yellow color and milky aroma, it’s also a tasty replacement.
This semi-soft Italian cheese also melts easily so it’s a great cheese for pizzas, casseroles, paninis, and focaccia. Its delicate flavor also makes for a great snack or dessert cheese to pair with pears, apples, or fruit-based wines.
Bel Paese has a mild buttery flavor which is often compared to mozzarella. Its pleasant aroma, smooth texture, and sweet buttery taste are perfect for any fruit-flavored dishes or beverage.
Oaxaca cheese, also called as quesillo cheese, originates from the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It is a semi-hard cheese often likened to mozzarella.
Quesillo cheese is a great alternative to mozzarella for Mexican dishes. You can add it on pizzas, quesadillas, empanadas, tacos, and nachos whether you shred, sprinkle, or melt it. It also tastes great as a garnish on soups and toasts.
This Mexican cheese tastes like a cross of mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese. It has a mild, mellow buttery flavor. With its good creamy texture and melting point, it is a great cheese ingredient to use in various dishes.
Oaxaca cheese is also a white cheese made from cow’s milk similar to mozzarella. Its texture is often compared to string cheese and mozzarella. While it is not that spongy, its stringy and soft consistency makes for a satisfying bite.
Made from cow’s milk, this soft, creamy cheese is another delicious replacement for mozzarella. It’s a northern Italian version of mozzarella famous for its pleasant aroma and special taste.
Stracchino has a light creaminess that works perfectly for tarts, cheesecake, and flatbreads. Try adding it on risottos or pair it with slightly bitter vegetables to get that enjoyable bittersweet flavor.
Like mozzarella, it is also a great melting cheese with a mild flavor that you can use to make creamy cheesy pizzas. Its creamy softness and pleasant tanginess is also ideal for melting on bread and adding in a variety of recipes.
This fresh, rindless cheese is also known as crescenza cheese which originates from Veneto, Piedmont, and Lombardy Italy.
5. White Cheddar
Another delicious mozzarella cheese alternative is white cheddar. It has a more pungent taste so It may have to be handled differently when adding to your recipes.
Mozzarella is the king of cheeses for pizzas because of its cheesiness, great melt and stretchiness. If you want to use white cheddar as a melting cheese, you have to manage it carefully because it can quickly burn. When done right, it can offer a bit of stretchiness but not as much as mozzarella.
White cheddar in pizza tastes good but in case you’re expecting a mozzarella kind of taste and texture, it won’t be the same. The creamy consistency and strong tang of white cheddar is perfect for dishes like mac and cheese. It also tastes great sliced for a sandwich or topped on crackers or used in baked pasta dishes, soups and salads.
6. Monterey Jack
Monterey Jack is a white, semi-hard cheese made using cow’s milk. It is comparable to mozzarella for having a mellow flavor and slight sweetness.
With its mild taste and high moisture content, Monterey Jack is great for toasted sandwiches, biscuits, quesadillas, soups, pasta dishes, tacos, and nachos.
This Californian cheese melts well so it can work for pizza like mozzarella. However, its smooth, firm texture is non-stringy and a bit more flavorful so you will have to make some adjustments to your recipe.
7. Asiago Cheese
Asiago cheese is smooth like parmesan and mild like pecorino. It also works for many recipes needing mozzarella, although you can’t expect the same texture.
This Italian cheese is also made from cow’s milk and has a lot of moisture paired with mild flavor. It makes for a great cheese substitute for dishes like pasta, risottos, sauces, and salads.
There are different age varieties to asiago which range from soft to crumbly and fresh to salty. Its aged variety is ideal for a smooth melt that can be added on a variety of dishes.
This Danish-style cheese is made from cow’s milk and like all cheeses, Havarti also has young and aged versions that offer a range of texture and flavors.
Generally, Havarti is a semi-soft cheese with a smooth surface and creamy texture. Young versions are usually mild in flavor while aged varieties have a more pungent and saltier taste with hazelnut notes. Aged Havarti is comparable to cheddar in terms of flavor.
The creamy and buttery taste with soft consistency of havarti makes it an ideal melting cheese like mozzarella. You can add it on pizza, pasta, nachos, and cheese sandwiches. Try it on your cheeseboard with some fruits and wine.
Jarlsberg is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese originating from Norway. It has a sweet and nutty taste with a beautiful appearance.
Like mozzarella, Jarlsberg cheese offers a pleasantly mild flavor and satisfying chewiness when it’s melted. Its mellow cheesy taste and texture are a great addition for your casseroles and pizza. Besides these, you can also use Jarlsberg for burgers, sandwiches, salads, gratins, pies, quesadillas, and mac and cheese.
This Norwegian semi-soft part skim cheese is often compared to Swiss cheese because of its similar color and round, large eyes. It has a buttery texture with a nutty, mild yet full-bodied flavor.
Gorgonzola is another good alternative to mozzarella for many kinds of pizza. It has a great flavor that brings out the perfect cheesiness to pair with other ingredients in your recipe or toppings on your pizza pie.
Melt it in risottos, top it on pizza, mix it in salads, or add it in pasta sauces, this blue cheese is quite a versatile ingredient for many dishes. You can also enjoy it as a snack and side on your cheese platter.
Gorgonzola has a creamy, buttery, slightly salty taste which gets more pungent as it ages. Its flavor makes it one of the known classic cheeses from Italy. Its soft and crumbly texture also melts easily like mozzarella when heated.
Other cheesy mozzarella substitutes you can try
There are still plenty of cheeses you can use as a replacement for mozzarella. Many of which have distinct flavor notes that can alter the taste of your recipe but still make for a cheesy delicious alternative.
- Young Gouda
- Alpine style
- Nutritional Yeast for Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella is loved for its soft, chewy consistency and straightforward flavor. There are various delicious mozzarella cheese substitutes available depending on which recipe you need it for. When choosing a replacement, consider if taste is more important or a soft cheesy texture is your priority. While most cheeses can replace mozzarella, they each have distinct characteristics so check out the ones closest to mozzarella in terms of flavor, stringiness, melt, and aroma.