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Substitute For Feta Cheese (12 Top Options To Try)

Feta cheese is a popular addition to a Greek salad. In this article, we will discuss the best substitute for feta cheese. We’ll also share more info about these alternatives so you know what to expect.

sliced feta cheese served on top of brown wooden board.

What Is Feta Cheese?

Feta comes from Greece, and in the Greek language, feta translates to “slice.This Greek cheese is white and can be soft to semi-hard. Cheesemakers traditionally used sheep’s milk to make feta.

Today, cheesemakers use both goat and sheep milk to produce feta cheese. For this reason, feta has a deep tangy, and salty flavor.

Feta is firm, but it is also crumbly.

People like feta cheese crumbled into their pasta, salads, and pizzas. Feta is also an ingredient in gyro, a Greek dish of meat wrapped in pita and served with sauce.

Before it is ready, cheesemakers brine this cheese, so you may see it in stores still soaked in brine. This crumbly cheese has a high sodium content. But it also contains lots of other nutrients.

For instance, you can get vitamins A, B, and K from eating feta cheese. Feta cheese also boasts iron and calcium content.

Reasons For Needing A Substitute

As mentioned, feta cheese is high in sodium. People who watch their sodium intake might not find this cheese a good addition to their diet.

Plus, feta cheese has milk as its main ingredient. So, people with sensitivity to lactose will look for replacement too. And those who follow a vegan diet certainly won’t eat feta cheese.

Lastly, you can find feta cheese in most grocery stores, but there are times when even the stores run out of them.

In these instances, you would need a substitute for feat cheese.

Plant-Based Feta Cheese Substitutes

1. Tofu Feta Cheese

Tofu cheese is not cheese. It is tofu that you emulsify and blend with other ingredients to make it taste like cheese.

To make tofu cheese, toss tofu, refined coconut oil, and olive brine into a food processor. You then put olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Finally, add basic spices like salt, onion, and garlic powder.

Pour the mixture into a mold and chill, and get yourself a tofu feta cheese.

The good thing about tofu is that it does not have a flavor of its own. It can take up any flavor that you put with it, so it is a perfect blank canvas for other ingredients.

Plus, it is vegan, dairy-free, and low in fat – making it a good choice for people with strict diets. It’s good to know that tofu is gluten-free as well.

If you don’t have the time to make tofu feta cheese, plain tofu will do. All you need to do is soak it in brine to get a salty taste. Then you can crumble the plain tofu on top of your dishes like feta, as it has the same consistency.

The brine and spices you add to tofu also make it taste like feta, making the flavor difference unnoticeable.

2. Cashew Feta Cheese

Another vegan substitute for feta cheese is cashew feta cheese. This “cheese” is another easy option to make at home. You only need raw cashews, sea salt, distilled white vinegar, and water.

Soak the cashews overnight, so they get soft. Or you can also boil them for 25 minutes and then drain them. Put all the ingredients into a food processor, and there goes your cashew feta cheese.

Cashew cheese has a similar salty and tangy flavor. It is not cheesy, but it will do if your recipe only needs a sour and salty taste.

You can also adjust the amount of water when making this feta cheese alternative. That way, you can have some control over its consistency. If you need something dry to top your pasta and salads, reduce the amount of water. Doing so will give the texture you can sprinkle on top of dishes.

But if you want something to spread or add to sauces, you can use more water for a buttery consistency.

Because this alternative comes from cashews, it does not have a chunky texture like feta. Plus, it has a nutty taste which is different from the feta. This flavor makes it a perfect choice if you don’t like the original feta taste.

3. Almond Feta Cheese

You can make almond feta cheese using the instructions above for cashew feta cheese. Of course, you need to swap in cashews for almonds. In that case, you can also use this cheese as a substitute for feta cheese.

Similarly, you won’t get the same texture because almond cheese will not crumble like feta. You can bake your mixture to get a closer crumbly texture to feta cheese, but it will still not be the same. Plus, the flavor of almonds will be evident, so it may change the taste of your recipe.

Because of this, you should avoid using almond cheese in recipes where the main flavor comes from feta. Doing so will give you a very different dish, as almond cheese will change the flavor profile.

But it does not have animal products and is dairy-free. It is an appropriate alternative for vegans and people who avoid dairy. Although, you need to watch out for people who have nut allergies.

Dairy-Based Feta Cheese Substitutes

1. Cottage Cheese

If you are okay with having dairy, cottage cheese is a good swap for feta cheese. Cottage cheese is a creamy cheese with a mild taste. Regarding texture, cottage cheese is creamy and chunky, not crumbly like feta.

Made from cow’s milk, cottage cheese is also not as tangy as feta. But where it does a good job is its versatility. You can add cottage cheese to almost anything.

Its creamy texture matches salads, pizza, and pasta. The mild flavor of cottage cheese also tastes good with meats, lasagna, and even desserts.

If you find the taste of cottage cheese bland, you can add some salt for a closer flavor match to feta cheese.

2. Halloumi Cheese

Halloumi cheese is an excellent feta cheese substitute as well. This Greek cheese has a similar tangy and salty kick as feta. However, it is slightly softer. It is less crumbly, but you can grill it to achieve a crumblier consistency.

Regarding flavor, halloumi is milder than feta cheese. So, if feta is too strong for your taste, halloumi is a better option.

In addition, halloumi comes with subtle sweet notes. Consider that when adding it to your recipe. This sweet taste is missing from feta, so there may be a slight change in flavor.

Still, you can use it in almost all dishes that require feta. Add it to casseroles, pasta, and salads for a slightly salty element.

3. Queso Fresco Cheese

Hailing from Mexico, queso fresco cheese is another good replacement for feta cheese. It has a similar crumbly texture, making a good salad and pizza topping like feta.

Remember, though, that queso fresco undergoes a different aging process than feta. As a result, this Mexican cheese is not as sharp as feta.

People who find feta off-putting because of its intense taste will find queso fresco better. When you heat queso franco, it turns creamy and soft, like feta. So, it is good for cooked dishes too.

However, queso fresco might be challenging to find in the US. If you’re in a hurry, this might not be the best substitute.

4. Ricotta Salata cheese

Ricotta salata is simply fresh ricotta that cheesemakers press, salt, and age. As a result, ricotta salata has a saltier taste and a firmer texture than fresh ricotta cheese. These characteristics make it one of the best substitutes for feta cheese.

The taste is similar to feta cheese, with just the tiniest hint of sweetness. Most kinds of ricotta salata are firm enough for you to crumble it atop dishes as well.

This cheese cooks similarly to feta, so adding it to cooked dishes makes sense. Use it as you would feta in burgers, salads, and pizza.

Ricotta salata is a good addition to omelets, pasta dishes, and pastries. It is also perfect as a ravioli filling, as it does not turn gooey once you cook it.

5. Goat cheese

Goat cheese also makes a perfect substitute for feta cheese. After all, feta cheese does contain some goat milk, so it is bound to have some similarities.

But since goat cheese comes from pure goat’s milk, it is much tangier than feta. Nowadays, there are different versions of goat cheese.

Unaged ones are spreadable. They will not make a good feta replacement in dishes where you need crumbled feta.

But, if you can get your hands on aged goat cheese, you will see that it has a similar crumbly texture. That said, you can use it anywhere you’d use feta cheese.

Feta has more fat than goat cheese, though, so you should not expect a similar rich taste from goat cheese.

Vegan Feta Cheese Alternatives

1. Nutritional Yeast

If you’re following a vegan diet, nutritional yeast is an excellent option for a feta swap. It provides a salty and cheesy taste like feta but has extra health benefits.

It is low in calories and sodium. Nutritional yeast is also fat-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free. On top of that, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B12, so it ticks many boxes on the health checklist.

Yet, it comes in the form of yellow or beige flakes. And while it does a good job of providing flavor, it does not look anything like feta cheese. After all, it is not cheese.

For this reason, using nutritional yeast instead of feta will yield a different-looking dish.

Still, you can use it for all dishes that call for a cheesy taste without adding actual cheese to the recipe.

2. Hummus

Hummus is another decent swap for feta cheese. It is a spread that uses chickpeas or garbanzo beans and tahini as ingredients.

This alternative is salty, nutty, and earthy, with hints of tanginess from lemons. This flavor profile differs from any cheese. But it can replace feta cheese in some recipes because it tastes salty.

One of the biggest considerations when using hummus as an alternative is that it is not solid. Instead, it comes in a paste-like consistency.

You cannot use it in all recipes calling for feta, especially ones that need crumbled cheese.

But it makes a ready substitute as a spread and a dip. Its consistency is also a perfect ingredient in pasta and pizza sauce. As a bonus, you’ll get a protein boost too.

3. Tahini

Tahini originates from the Middle East. People make it using toasted and ground sesame seeds. Understandably, tahini has a nutty flavor – very different from feta. But this flavor difference makes it a good replacement for people who dislike the feta taste.

Then again, tahini does not look like feta. Tahini is either light brown or dark brown and has a consistency like peanut butter.

For this reason, tahini cannot replace feta in dishes where you need bits and pieces of cheese. But it will do very well in sandwiches, salad dressings, sauces, and dips.

The best thing about tahini? It’s so popular you can get it from your local grocery store.

4. Vegan Cheese Alternatives

There are many vegan cheese alternatives nowadays as more people get into the vegan lifestyle. There are imitation cheeses that use vegan ingredients, and they come in all kinds. You can find vegan cream cheese, parmesan, feta, ricotta, and Gouda.

If you’re totally in a pinch, these alternatives will work. You can even choose which one suits your recipe well.

If you want something spreadable, there is a vegan cheese alternative for that. If you want something melty or crumbly, you’ll find one too.

What Is A Good Substitute For Feta Cheese In A Salad?

A good substitute for feta cheese in a salad is cottage cheese. It is not as firm and as flavorful as feta cheese. But its texture is reminiscent of feta because it is chunky. And its flavor is mild enough not to overpower the other ingredients. If you want a vegan substitute, soy-based feta cheese that uses tofu is best.

What Cheese Is Feta Most Like?

Feta cheese is closest to ricotta. You can crumble ricotta in most recipes that call for feta. Ricotta tends to be on the sweeter side. But it does a good job of replacing feta in salads, wraps, and even pasta dishes.

How Is Feta Cheese Different From Other Cheeses?

Feta has a lower fat content when compared to other cheeses, so it is unique in that way. You must watch out for sodium, as feta is salty, and some might find it unsuitable.


There is no need to change your dinner plans if your recipe calls for feta and you don’t have one. You can use a substitute for feta cheese and end up with an equally tasty meal. Among the best alternatives to feta are goat cheese, ricotta salata, and halloumi.

Plant-based options include almond feta cheese, tofu cheese, and cashew feta. You can use swaps like tahini, nutritional yeast, and hummus if you’re after a different flavor. Other choices not on this list are blue cheese and Cheddar cheese.

With many feta substitute options available, you will surely find the best for you.

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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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