Home » Ingredient Substitutes » Jarlsberg Cheese Substitute (8 Tasty Alternatives).

Jarlsberg Cheese Substitute (8 Tasty Alternatives).

In this article, we explore some excellent Jarlsberg Cheese substitutes that can mimic the taste and texture. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, following a specific diet, or simply want to try something new, here is a selection of alternatives that can provide a similar cheesy experience.

Wooden tabletop with a block of Jarlsberg cheese, sliced apple and crackers.

What Is Jarlsberg Cheese?

Jarlsberg cheese is a semi-soft, cow’s milk cheese with a distinctive mild and nutty flavor.

It has a pale yellow interior and large holes or “eyes,” similar to those you’ll find in a typical Swiss cheese.

This exceptional physical feature comes with an equally extraordinary flavor.

Did you know?

Created in the 1950s, Jarlsberg cheese is named after the Jarlsberg farm in Norway where it was first developed.


Professor Ole Martin Ystgaard and his team led the development of a new cheese.

They made cheese using a combination of the techniques people use in making Gouda and Emmental cheese.


This cheese has a mild, buttery texture with a sweet and nutty taste. For this reason, it is a versatile cheese you can use in many applications. It makes a delectable snack or ingredient for cooking.

How to use it

You can use Jarlsberg cheese extensively in both savory and sweet dishes. It makes a delicious addition to sandwiches and salads. This cheese also looks good on a cheese platter. You may also use it in quiches, soups, cheesecake, and fruit tarts.


Jarlsberg cheese is a nutritious cheese. It is rich in calcium and protein while being relatively low in fat. This cheese is a great source of vitamin D as well.

Best Jarlsberg Cheese Substitutes

If you cannot find Jarlsberg cheese or if this cheese is too expensive, you may use some alternatives.

The following options will give you many choices to continue cooking your recipes.

1. Swiss Cheese

People also call the traditional Swiss cheese “Emmental cheese.” It is a semi-hard cheese with a flavor and texture similar to Jarlsberg cheese.

Like Jarlsberg cheese, this Swiss cheese is also pale yellow and has a mild, nutty taste. It perfectly complements sandwiches, burgers, and cheese plates.

Moreover, Emmental is highly versatile. You can use it in many recipes, including fondue and quiches.

It makes a great swap for Jarlsberg cheese in recipes that need melted cheese.


Swiss cheese has a stronger flavor than Jarlsberg cheese. Use it in moderation to avoid overpowering other ingredients in your recipe.

2. Comte

Comte cheese, a semi-hard cheese from France, has a rich, buttery flavor with a nutty undertone.

It is a good melting cheese, too, so it makes a great Jarslberg cheese substitute.

Use it in quiche and souffle recipes or grate it over pasta and salads. You’ll hardly notice the difference.

Similar to Jarlsberg, this cheese also has a great amount of protein and calcium.


The younger variety of this cheese is a better alternative to Jarlsberg. When melting Comte cheese, it is important to stir it constantly.

3. Raclette Cheese

Originating from Switzerland, Raclette cheese is a semi-hard cheese with superior melting ability. That said, it makes an ideal option for melting over ingredients in the traditional dish of the same name.

Besides its use in a raclette recipe, this cheese is also a good choice for sandwiches and cheese platters. This versatility is all thanks to its mild, nutty flavor and smooth, creamy texture.

With its similarity in flavor and texture to Jarlsberg, Raclette makes a great swap. It’s good to know that this cheese can also provide a nutritious boost to any diet.


This cheese has a stronger taste compared to Jarlsberg cheese. That said, you should start with a smaller amount of this alternative. Gradually increase it to taste to avoid overpowering the dish.

4. Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere cheese is another cheese you can use, substituting Jarlsberg cheese in recipes. It is a dense and hard cheese.

The firm texture, distinctive nutty, and slightly sweet taste are close to Jarlsberg.

For this reason, it is perfect for recipes requiring grated cheese or a cheese sauce.

Gruyere’s smooth texture and rich flavor also do well in a French onion soup recipe.

Note that Gruyere cheese has a stronger flavor than Jarlsberg. Some may find it too overwhelming. On the other hand, people who find Jarlsberg a bit too mild for their taste might consider Gruyere the better option.


Gruyere cheese has a firmer texture than Jarlsberg cheese. This difference in texture will be more noticeable in recipes that do not require you to melt the cheese.

5. Havarti Cheese

Havarti cheese is semi-soft with a mild, buttery, and pleasant flavor originating from Denmark.

It has a smooth texture that makes it a good substitute for Jarlsberg cheese. You can use it in sandwiches, cheese plates, salads, or pasta dishes, as it is versatile.

However, in its sliced form, you will instantly notice that it differs from Jarlsberg. Jarlsberg cheese has big eyes, while Havarti has small, irregular holes throughout its body.


It has a lower fat content than most cheeses, including Jarlsberg cheese.That said, Havarti may not be as rich and creamy as Jarslberg. However, this means that people watching their fat intake might find it a better option.

6. Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella cheese, a soft and fresh cheese from Italy, has a mild and creamy flavor with a smooth texture.

Compared to Jarlsberg, mozzarella has a less complex flavor. It is also slightly salty with a stretchy texture that becomes more apparent when you heat it.

Despite these differences, mozzarella cheese is still a great swap for melted Jarlsberg. Use it in recipes such as pizza or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Mozzarella is also a good choice if you fear trying out new cheeses. After all, this cheese tends to be a familiar one for many.


Note that mozzarella cheese has a high moisture content. It may water down your recipe and affect its texture. Use a low-moisture variety of mozzarella. Shred it finely to ensure even melting.

7. Edam Cheese

Edam cheese originates from the Netherlands. This cheese is semi-hard with a mild, slightly salty flavor. It has a distinctive red wax coating that makes it easily identifiable.

Edam cheese has a smooth, firm consistency that suits many dishes. You can use it as a Jarlsberg cheese substitute in grilled cheese sandwiches and salads. It is also a perfect addition to cheese boards.


Remember that Edam has a slightly firmer texture than Jarlsberg. Therefore, you should expect that it may not melt as smoothly as Jarlsberg cheese. For the best results, always shred Edam cheese before melting it.

8. Beaufort Cheese

Beaufort cheese hails from the Alpine region of France. It is a hard cheese with a nutty and subtly sweet flavor like Jarlsberg.

Beaufort has a firm and smooth texture that people commonly use in gratins and quiches.

Like Jarslberg, Beaufort cheese is versatile. It is not only great for savory dishes, but it is also perfect for sweet recipes.


In most cases, its aroma can be stronger than what you’ll get from Jarlsberg cheese. Use it in moderation to ensure that the aroma does not overpower your dish. Better yet, use it in combination with milder cheeses.

How to use Jarlsberg Cheese

Here are some popular ways to use Jarlsberg cheese:

Cheese Platters

Serve slices or cubes of Jarlsberg cheese on a cheese platter alongside other cheeses, fruits, nuts, and crackers. Its nutty and mild flavor pairs well with a range of accompaniments.

Sandwiches and Burgers

Add slices of Jarlsberg cheese to sandwiches or top your burgers for flavorful addition. It melts beautifully, bringing a delightful richness to your favorite fillings.


Shred or cube Jarlsberg cheese and toss it into salads or wrap it in a tortilla for added richness and creaminess. It works well in both green salads and heartier grain-based salads.


Jarlsberg cheese is a fantastic choice for cheese fondue. Its smooth and creamy texture lends itself well to creating a deliciously cheesy and melty dipping experience.

Pasta Dishes

Grate Jarlsberg cheese over pasta dishes like macaroni and cheese, creamy carbonara, or baked pasta casseroles. Its melting properties and mild flavor enhance the cheesy and creamy components of the dish.

Quiches and Frittatas

Incorporate Jarlsberg cheese into quiches, frittatas, or egg bakes for a delightful cheesy flavor. The cheese melts and blends beautifully with eggs, creating a rich and savory dish.

What Is Special About Jarlsberg Cheese?

What makes Jarlsberg special is its buttery and creamy texture and small holes throughout the cheese. Its flavor, texture, and appearance are comparable to Swiss cheese. This cheese is easy to slice and melt, making it a versatile ingredient in cooking. Jarlsberg cheese is so special; it is a favorite among cheese lovers worldwide.

What Cheese Is Similar To Jarlsberg?

People consider Swiss, Gruyere, and Emmental cheese close to Jarlsberg. These cheeses have similar mild, nutty flavors and semi-soft textures. They may not taste and look exactly like Jarlsberg. Still, they are great swaps that can work well in most recipes that call for Jarlsberg.

Is Jarlsberg Cheese Expensive?

It can be. The price of Jarlsberg cheese can vary depending on the location and the retailer. In general, it is a mid-priced cheese. Jarlsberg is less expensive than some specialty cheeses. However, it is more costly than basic cheeses like cheddar or mozzarella.

Is Jarlsberg Cheese Lactose-Free?

Yes, Jarlsberg cheese is naturally lactose-free. The lactose content of this cheese gets lost throughout the cheesemaking process. Despite being lactose-free, you should know that Jarlsberg is not dairy-free. This cheese is still a milk by-product, and vegans cannot have it.


Jarlsberg cheese is a delightful semi-soft cheese from Norway. It has a mild, buttery texture and a sweet and nutty taste. It is also a nutritious cheese. Jarlsberg is rich in calcium, protein, and a great source of vitamin D.

If, for some reason, you need to replace this cheese, there is a Jarlsberg cheese substitute you can use. Swiss cheese, Comte cheese, Raclette cheese, and Gruyere cheese are all excellent options. It is essential to note that some of these options have a stronger taste. Some have a different texture. You might need to adjust your recipe to get the best results.

More Cheese Substitutes

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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