Home » Ingredient Substitutes » Mozzarella Substitute (15 Options To Choose From)

Mozzarella Substitute (15 Options To Choose From)

Sometimes you don’t have mozzarella cheese readily available. You can find a fitting mozzarella substitute here if you need an alternative.

Whether you melt it on a pizza or stuff it into a calzone, it’s hard to resist mozzarella cheese. It adds a distinct flavor that can elevate any dish.

Sliced mozzarella with tomatoes served on the white plate.

What Is Mozzarella Cheese?

Mozzarella is a semi-soft curd cheese originating in southern Italy. Today, cheesemakers make it with cow’s milk.

The technique they use is “stretched curd.” It involves heating curd and stretching it right before making the final cheese. They use this process to get the best cooking characteristics.

Did You Know?

Traditionally, though, people used the milk of water buffalos to make mozzarella cheese.

Mozzarella cheese is not aged like most other types of cheese. You eat it fresh and within a few hours after its production.

Fresh mozzarella cheese is mild in flavor, slightly tangy, and salty.

It has a delicate milky aroma and a white or pale, yellowish color.

Mozzarella is a staple ingredient in Italian cuisine and is widely used in a variety of recipes.

When you heat it, mozzarella cheese melts beautifully. It takes on a stretchy, gooey, and soft texture. For this reason, it is a top choice for melting on pizzas, adding to hot sandwiches, meatloaf, or baked dishes.

There are several types of mozzarella cheese. You may come across low-moisture mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, and whole-milk mozzarella.

This cheese is also among the most available ones due to its popularity. You may buy these from most grocery stores.

Best Substitute For Mozzarella Cheese

It is true that nothing quite matches the unique qualities of mozzarella cheese. Still, there are alternatives available that can provide similar flavors to your recipes.

Depending on what flavor and texture you prefer your dish to have, you will find a fitting mozzarella substitute here.

1. Provolone Cheese

Provolone cheese is one of the best substitutes for mozzarella cheese. After all, Provolone has great melting properties and a similar mild flavor.

Much like mozzarella, Provolone is another Italian cheese that is also a curd cheese. It uses cow’s milk and has a creamy interior and a semi-hard exterior. The taste of Provolone varies depending on the aging period. However, note that it has a milder flavor than mozzarella.

Provolone melts beautifully and is actually more stretchy and stringy than mozzarella. For this reason, Provolone is the best substitute for mozzarella in pizzas.


If you decide to use provolone cheese, look for one that has a creamy white color for the best results.

You can replace mozzarella with Provolone in a 1:1 ratio.

2. Feta Cheese

If you’re using mozzarella in a dish that doesn’t need melted cheese, feta cheese is a great option.

Feta has a salty and tangy flavor that people often use in Mediterranean dishes. Its texture is crumbly, and it does not melt the same as mozzarella.

That said, it works best in dishes that call for crumbling the cheese, like a Greek salad.

You must remember, though, that feta is not mild in taste. It has a pretty distinct flavor that’s hard to ignore.


Since feta cheese may have an overpowering taste, use a 2:1 ratio of mozzarella to feta.

3. Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese has a semi-hard texture, which is very similar to mozzarella. However, it has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Using it as a swap will affect the taste of your recipe.

In some recipes, though, the flavor of Swiss cheese will improve the overall appeal of the dish.

Plus, it melts great like mozzarella, so you’ll be getting that lovely cheese pull from it too. Swiss cheese is also easy to find, so it is a quick replacement.


Swiss cheese is not as mild as mozzarella. For this reason, it’s best to start by using half the amount of Swiss cheese as you would mozzarella. Gradually increase the amount until you get your desired taste.

4. Ricotta Cheese

Like mozzarella, Ricotta cheese is a soft and fresh cheese. It has a milky and mild taste that makes it a perfect mozzarella substitute.

Ricotta cheese does not melt the same way that mozzarella does. However, its creamy consistency makes it a great alternative for pasta and sauces.

Being a fresh cheese, it can lend moisture to dishes that would otherwise be dry.


Follow a 1:1 substitution ratio when using ricotta cheese to replace mozzarella. Mix ricotta with another cheese if the recipe calls for melting the cheese. Doing so will give you better consistency and stretchiness.

5. Monterey Jack Cheese

Monterey Jack is a semi-hard cheese that hails from California. It has a subtly sweet flavor similar to mozzarella.

It also has great melting components, so you can definitely use it in place of mozzarella.

You do have to note that Monterey Jack is not as moist as mozzarella. Plus, it has more fats and a more robust taste. It might cause a flavor shift in your recipes.


Opt for a 1:1 ratio can be when using Monterey Jack as a mozzarella substitute. Expect a greasier but richer dish.

6. White Cheddar Cheese

If there’s an ideal stand-in for mozzarella, it’s white Cheddar cheese. It melts great, so you can use it in recipes that call for melting the cheese.

White Cheddar is a hard cheese that is naturally white in color. That said, even its color passes as a substitute for mozzarella. This cheese is the best option for grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza.


The flavor of white Cheddar gets stronger as it ages. For this reason, it is best to use a young variety to mimic the taste of mozzarella.

Use the same amount of young white Cheddar as you would mozzarella.

7. Halloumi Cheese

Unlike mozzarella, halloumi cheese does not melt. For this reason, it may not be the most popular alternative, but it can work in some recipes.

It will do a particularly great job in dishes that need grilled or fried cheese. However, it is firmer and saltier than mozzarella, so it’s something to look out for.

You should also know that overcooking halloumi makes it rubbery and tough.


Halloumi cheese has a stronger flavor than mozzarella. It is best to start by using half the amount of halloumi as the amount of mozzarella your recipe calls for. You can always add more later until you get the right flavor.

8. Gouda Cheese

Gouda cheese is a Dutch cheese that uses cow’s or goat’s milk. It comes with different variations depending on how old it is.

Gouda is semi-hard, creamy, and smooth, similar to mozzarella. Although the flavor of Gouda is more on the nutty side, it is still mild and sweet. That said, it makes an excellent alternative to mozzarella cheese.

This cheese also melts well, so it can easily replace mozzarella in most recipes.


As with Cheddar, it is best to use a young Gouda cheese as they have a milder flavor that is closer to mozzarella’s. Use young gouda cheese as a substitute on a 1:1 ratio.

9. Oaxaca Cheese

Oaxaca cheese is a Mexican, semi-soft, stringy cheese. It melts great and has a mild, buttery flavor. Cheesemakers make it using the pasta filata process, just like mozzarella.

It has many similarities with mozzarella, including its creamy texture and melting ability. For this reason, it is best for dishes that call for melted mozzarella cheese. It works particularly for pizza and lasagna dishes.


Oaxaca is pretty much like mozzarella. Use an equal amount of Oaxaca cheese as the mozzarella cheese your recipe needs.

10. Burrata Cheese

Like mozzarella, burrata is an Italian fresh and curd cheese. Cheesemakers can also make it from a water buffalo’s milk rather than a cow’s.

As a result, burrata looks exactly like mozzarella from the outside. It has a creamy, buttery texture and a rich, tangy flavor similar to mozzarella.

Their only difference is that burrata cheese is not as good as mozzarella when it comes to melting. Instead of being stretchy, burrata becomes watery when you heat it.


Use an equal amount of burrata to replace mozzarella in your dishes.

11. Paneer Cheese

Paneer is an Indian cheese that uses curdled milk and an acidic fruit or vegetable like lemon juice. Like mozzarella, it is a fresh cheese that does not need aging.

As a result, paneer has a creamy and slightly tangy flavor that works well in many recipes.

One major difference, though, is that paneer does not melt. There are better options if you need great melting cheese.


Try searing paneer quickly in a pan before adding it to your recipes to bring out its flavors. Then, use as much paneer as you would mozzarella.

12. Parmesan Cheese

Although crumbly, Parmesan cheese can be a great swap for mozzarella in certain dishes. Parmesan has a nutty flavor that is present in mozzarella, after all. However, the taste of Parmesan is a lot stronger and can be overpowering.

If your recipe needs something stringy, though, it is best to skip this swap. Parmesan does melt, but it melts into a pool of cheese. Do not expect a cheese pull if you opt for this cheese.


For a better texture match, combine Parmesan with other cheeses. Provolone is a top choice for this purpose.

Since Parmesan’s nutty flavor is strong, it’s best to use half of the amount that you would of mozzarella.

13. Edam Cheese

Another alternative to mozzarella cheese you can use is Edam cheese.

Originally from the Netherlands, Edam is another semi-hard cheese that uses cow’s milk. However, Edam cheese doesn’t have the same stretchy properties as mozzarella.

What makes it an excellent alternative is its almost similar flavor. Edam has a mild, nutty taste that is slightly sweet and salty. Using it won’t result in a significant change in your dish’s taste.


Follow a 1:1 substitution ratio when using Edam as a mozzarella cheese alternative. Skip it, though, if you want to maintain the color of your dish. Edam is pale yellow and will change the appearance of your dish.

14. Cotija Cheese

Cotija cheese is a Mexican cheese people usually shred or grate over dishes. It’s hard and crumbly. Plus, it has a distinctive salty flavor that is fairly different from mozzarella’s.

However, this cheese is versatile. So, you can use it as a mozzarella swap for salads. You may also add it as a pizza topping if you want to explore something different.


Due to its robust flavor profile, you must use less Cotija cheese than you would mozzarella. Use half the amount to start with.

For recipes that need melted cheese, combine Cotija with other cheeses. Use 1 part cotija cheese and 2 parts of melty cheese to achieve better flavor and texture.

15. Fontina Cheese

Fontina cheese has a distinct sweet and nutty flavor. This taste is mild, though, so it still makes a good enough substitute for mozzarella. Although it’s not the best, it works well if you have no other choice.

It’s a good melting cheese, too. However, it does not become as stretchy as mozzarella. For this reason, it would be better to avoid using it for recipes that need melted cheese.


For the best results, use the same amount as you would mozzarella. Add more if you need a stronger cheese flavor.

Black plate served with whole mozzarella cheese.

How to Choose The Best Mozzarella Substitute

Mozzarella cheese has a unique taste that can be challenging to replicate. However, if you consider the following factors, you can find the best substitute to use.

1. Dish Compatibility

When choosing a substitute, think about the dish you’re preparing. Does the replacement you have in mind work well with it?

The dish compatibility factor is crucial when selecting an alternative. You must ensure that the swap complements the other ingredients and flavors in the dish.

Some options may excel in certain recipes. For instance, provolone cheese works best for pizza, and feta cheese is perfect for salads.

Consider how the cheese will blend with the other flavors in the dish to ensure that the outcome will be pleasant.

2. Flavor Profile

Another factor you should consider when choosing an alternative is the flavor profile.

Regarding this factor, thinking about the overall taste you want to achieve is essential.

Mozzarella cheese has a mild flavor. For this reason, it can enhance other ingredients without overpowering them. If you want to replicate this trait closely, choose options that offer a similar mildness.

To maintain the same flavor profile in your dish, opt for Provolone or Monterey Jack. They can provide a gentle flavor that won’t interfere with other ingredients.

3. Texture and Melting Properties

Another essential consideration is the texture and melting properties of the substitute cheese. Mozzarella cheese is known for its smooth and stretchy texture when you heat it.

However, not all substitutes will provide the properties. Consider whether you want the cheese to maintain its shape or melt into a creamy consistency.

For dishes where melting ability is crucial, opt for Monterey Jack or white Cheddar.

What Cheese Melts Like Mozzarella?

Provolone, Gouda, and Monterey Jack are all cheeses that melt like mozzarella. They all develop a creamy and stretchy consistency like mozzarella when you melt it. Generally, semi-soft cheese is a good option if you want cheese that melts like mozzarella.

What Kind Of Cheese Is Mozzarella?

Mozzarella is a fresh cheese that is only a few days old. Fresh cheese is easily recognizable because they are too young to have a rind. Due to their high moisture content, they feel wet, almost like a mousse. They are bright white, sometimes yellowish, and mild with just a hint of flavor.

Why Is Mozzarella Kept In Water?

You keep mozzarella cheese in water to maintain its freshness, texture, and flavor. The cheese is even sold in a brine or water solution to help it retain its moisture and shape. Keeping the cheese moist helps it stay supple, as water prevents it from becoming rubbery. In addition, the water in which mozzarella soaks is typically a solution of salt and water. The salt helps enhance the cheese’s flavor and acts as a natural preservative. In that case, the water further extends the shelf life of the cheese.

What Is Different About Mozzarella?

Mozzarella is mainly different from others because it uses buffalo milk. It also stands out because it is not aged for long, so it is stretchy. Additionally, it has a relatively high moisture content compared to other cheeses. It is incredibly soft and delectable.

Can I Use Cheddar Cheese Instead Of Mozzarella For Pizza?

Yes, you can. However, it is best to use young White cheddar. This particular variety has a milder flavor and melts well, too. It will do a great job of replacing mozzarella cheese in many recipes, including pizza.


Mozzarella cheese is a well-loved cheese, especially by pizza lovers. It’s a staple in Italian dishes with a mildly tangy and salty taste. The blend of flavors it has makes it a challenging flavor to replicate. If you don’t have mozzarella on hand, there are many substitutes that you can use. Some of these options are similar in flavor profile or melting properties.

The top swaps include Provolone, Monterey Jack, white Cheddar, and Gouda cheese. These swaps have a close flavor, texture, or melting properties to mozzarella. Still, there are notable differences you should look out for.

Experiment until you can choose the best mozzarella cheese substitute for your recipe. Follow the tips above to enjoy dishes even if you don’t have mozzarella.

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!
pinterest instagram instagram

Get new recipes and tips via email
when you subscribe!

Have a comment? I love hearing from you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.

As seen in:

Eating WellmashededibleWomans WorldTasting TableHomes and Gardens
Back to the Top