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Havarti cheese Substitute (10 Ideal Alternatives)

Did you run out of Havarti for your daily dose of grilled cheese sandwiches? Fret no more because there is undoubtedly a Havarti cheese substitute that can take its place.

Browse our list below to find the most suitable alternative to give you an equally satisfying dish.

plate with sliced cheese and cheese packaging with label Havarti

What is Havarti Cheese?

Havarti cheese is an aged Danish cheese made from cow’s milk. It is known for having eyes, the tiny holes you can also find in Emmental cheese – just smaller ones.

A semi-soft cheese, Havarti cheese is firm but can be easily cut. It is aged for about three months, giving it a distinct but mild taste compared to other aged cheeses.

Lastly, Havarti melts well, so you’ll not be disappointed if you are after a cheese pull.

What Does Havarti Cheese Taste Like?

Havarti is a creamy cheese with a buttery smooth texture and a sweet, tangy mild flavor.

The more it is aged, the more nutty and salty it becomes. So a well-aged Havarti cheese has an evident hazelnut-like flavor.

How to use Havarti Cheese

This versatile cheese is called for in many recipes due to its mild flavor. It easily blends into whatever you toss it with. It tastes good when paired with green beans, radishes, zucchini, and parsley.

An excellent melting cheese, it is called for grilled sandwiches, dipping sauces, and pizza. It is also a fine addition to your cheese boards and a perfect ingredient for burgers, mac and cheese, and lasagna.

Havarti cheese also goes well with sweet fruits like pears, apples, and strawberries.

10 Best Havarti Cheese Substitutes

With the abundance of cheese available in the market today, finding an alternative to Havarti cheese shouldn’t be that hard.

Here are 10 of the best substitutes for Havarti you can choose from:

1. Gouda Cheese

With its sweet, creamy flavor and yellow color, is a perfect substitute for Havarti cheese. This cheese is semi-soft and is made from cow’s milk

Young gouda cheese becomes rich and nutty with a caramelized buttery flavor when aged, much like Havarti. Since it is also a melting cheese, gouda can be a great Havarti cheese alternative. Use it in dishes such as mac and cheese, soups, dips, fondue, pizza, and baked macaroni.

One thing to remember is to use a young gouda instead of an aged one. This will offer a mild taste reminiscent of Havarti cheese.

2. Young Cheddar

Young cheddar cheese is one of the best Havarti cheese substitutes because it is also creamy, smooth, and mild. Not only that, but young cheddar also melts well, so it will go well with dishes that require melted cheese.

Use young cheddar in place of Havarti in grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, waffles, and quesadillas.

One notable difference is that cheddar does not have eyes, so if you are after a substitute that looks like Havarti, you should shy away from this.

3. Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese or Emmental cheese is a pale yellow cheese that can be another excellent substitute because it’s mild, sweet, and has a nutty flavor. However, it has a firmer buttery and creamy texture than the semi-soft Havarti cheese.

This cheese also readily melts, so it is best for making cheese sauces and sandwiches.

Emmental cheese also has bigger eyes than Havarti cheese, so if you want something that exactly looks like it, consider other options on this list.

4. Tilsit Cheese

Tilsit cheese or Tilsiter is a German cheese that looks like Havarti, so much so that Havarti is sometimes called Danish Tilsiter. It has a richer and more intense flavor than Havarti cheese, though.

This is also a good melting cheese, so it is an excellent Havarti substitute for your dishes where you need to melt the cheese.

However, due to its intense flavor, you might want to use less of it than the amount of Havarti called for in your recipe.

5. Esrom

Esrom cheese, also called Danish Port Salut, is another semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk. Like Havarti, esrom also has eyes, but they are bigger and look more like the eyes of Emmental cheese.

It has the same buttery taste as Havarti but a more intense and fuller flavor. For this reason, esrom cheese can replace Havarti cheese in pasta dishes, sandwiches, and casseroles.

Keep in mind that esrom cheese is much more pungent than Havarti, so use it sparingly, especially if you do not want to alter the taste of your dish too much.

6. Colby

Colby cheese follows a washed-curd process resulting in a mild creamy flavor like Havarti cheese. It is a harder kind of cheese as it is classified as a semi-hard cheese as opposed to Havarti’s semi-soft classification.

It is also a great melting cheese, so it is a perfect replacement for Havarti in sandwiches and other dishes that call for melted cheese, such as dips and sauces.

Because Colby almost tastes like Havarti, you can use it exactly as how you would use Havarti.

7. Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack is a white, semi-hard cheese from cow’s milk that is one of the best substitutes for Havarti cheese because it has a slightly sweet, tangy, mild, and buttery flavor.

This cheese is also widely available, making it one of the most accessible substitutes for Havarti.

It melts like butter when heated, so it is best for toasted sandwiches, pizza toppings, soups, pasta dishes, scones, and even bread dough.

8. Saint-Paulin cheese

Known for its orange, edible rind that gets its color from the natural food coloring called annatto, Saint Paulin is a French cheese made from cow’s milk.

Similar to Havarti, it’s mild, creamy, and semi-soft with a buttery and firm texture. Furthermore, its flavor is associated with butter and walnut, so it has the same nutty taste Havarti is known for.

The catch is that this cheese is not usually available in grocery stores, especially if you are outside France, so this might not be the most accessible alternative.

9. Edam Cheese

Edam, from the Netherlands, is a semi-hard yellow-colored cheese with a mildly sweet but slightly nutty and salty flavor. Its flavor comes close to Havarti, although it has a sharper taste, especially when aged.

Edam cheese is also widely available; even small grocery stores have them, so you will not have any trouble finding them.

It melts exceptionally well, so it is also perfect for soups and sandwiches.

10. Mozzarella Cheese

When it comes to melting cheeses, mozzarella cheese is among the most popular ones, so it is not surprising that it is considered one of the best Havarti cheese substitutes.

The most significant difference between the two is that Havarti cheese is aged, while mozzarella is not, so mozzarella has a milder, more subtle flavor than Havarti.

However, mozzarella will work perfectly fine if you are not after the taste but the melting property.

How To Choose The Best Substitutes For Havarti Cheese

Selecting the best substitute for Havarti cheese among the many kinds of cheese available is a bit tricky. However, with a little knowledge about them and Havarti itself, you will be able to choose one that is best for whatever you are preparing.

Here are 3 factors to consider when choosing a substitute for Havarti:

  1. See to it that it melts.

One of the reasons why Havarti is so prevalent in recipes is because it melts really well, and so it goes with almost anything you combine it well. That said, when looking for an alternative to it, you should also choose a cheese variety that melts as well as Havarti. In that case, it is best to go with Gouda cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and mozzarella

  1. Consider the flavor intensity.

Another thing to consider when looking for a Havarti substitute is the intensity of the cheese’s flavor. Havarti is known to have a mild taste, so you would want to choose something equally mild like mozzarella and Colby cheese if you want something that will not overpower your dish. On the other hand, if you are feeling a bit more adventurous and want to try new flavors, you can go with Tilsit or Edam cheese.

  1. Pay attention to availability.

Aside from focusing on the texture and taste of a viable replacement to Havarti, one of the most significant factors to consider is if you can buy it quickly. For instance, St Paulin is one of the closest substitutes, but it is not readily available in most stores.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Havarti cheese like mozzarella?

Havarti cheese is like mozzarella in a way that they both melt well. However, regarding the flavor, Havarti and mozzarella differ a lot because mozzarella is a fresh cheese while Havarti is an aged one. Due to this, mozzarella has a very subtle flavor, while Havarti has a more robust, distinct taste that is often compared to hazelnuts.

Is Havarti cheese like cheddar?

Havarti and cheddar cheese don’t stray away from each other when it comes to flavor because they are both aged cheeses that melt exceptionally well. For this reason, you can use Havarti and cheddar interchangeably in most recipes. 

Final Thoughts

If you find yourself looking for a good Havarti cheese substitute, you will not have a hard time.

Various cheeses share the same color, texture, and flavor with Havarti, so you can choose one that will work well with whatever you need Havarti for, whether it be a savory or a sweet dish.

Ultimately, your personal preference will still be the most significant factor that will affect your choice, aside from the availability and flavor intensity of all the options.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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