Feta is an incredibly popular cheese, and can be used in a huge diversity of recipes. It’s often used as a topping or garnish on salads, pizzas, pastas, and other dishes.
But it’s also delicious when added to dips like hummus, guacamole, and salsa!
Feta hails from Greece, so it plays a big role in lots of Mediterranean dishes.
If you love any kind of Greek cuisine, like gyros or pita sandwiches, then you will know that it is a really integral part of that Grecian flavor.
This is because the cheese typically isn’t made from cow’s milk, like a lot of the other dairy we find in the supermarket.
Instead, feta makers prefer to use sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, or a combination of the two. These milks give it a unique, tart, tangy flavor, and a delicious crumbly texture.
Feta is also known for its health benefits – as it is high in important vitamins, such as K, A and B, and is also a great source of minerals and metals, such as iron and calcium.
That being said, you may not always have a stock of feta in the refrigerator when you need it, or you might have to find an alternative because of dietary requirements for you or someone that you are cooking for.
Maybe you are even put off by the traditional tangy taste, and would prefer something a little more mild for your dish.
Whatever the reason, we have you covered, and have compiled this list of feta alternatives so that you can enjoy the cuisine your way. Read on to learn several easy ways you can substitute feta cheese in every recipe.
Some Common Substitutes For Feta Cheese
Feta is a popular Greek cheese made from sheep milk. Feta is often used as a topping for salads and other dishes. Here are some of the best dairy substitutes for feta cheese:
1. Cottage Cheese
Try cottage cheese instead of feta when you want a healthier option. Cottage cheese works great as 1 to 1 substitute for pastas, pizzas, and salads.
It is also lower in both fat and sodium levels, so it is a perfect choice if you are watching your diet.
2. Goat’s Cheese
Goat cheese tastes similar to feta, but has a more tangy flavor. The crumbled variety of goat’s cheese even has a similar texture. You can use it as a 1-1 substitute by weight in all kinds of recipes that involve feta.
3. Queso Fresco
Queso fresco has a milder flavor than feta. Queso Fresco is a Mexican cheese that is mild in taste and even a bit sweet when compared to feta. It also has a similar texture than feta.
This is a good option if you like the texture of feta cheese, but would prefer something that is a bit milder and softer in flavor, and is a lot less mature.
If you don’t like feta, try using halloumi instead – it has a much milder flavor, but still hails from the Mediterranean, so it is an effortless replacement.
Halloumi is great for melting, cheesy dishes like pizzas, pastas, and casseroles, and can be used as a 1-to-1 replacement.
These blue cheese-like feta substitutes are easy to find in most European supermarkets, and are often used as an alternative to feta in recipes.
This particular type tastes very close to feta and is also available in Greek markets, so you can use it as a 1 to 1 replacement in any kind of Greek recipe, though it works very well in salads, pastas and pizzas.
Mizithra is a soft cheese that comes from goats or sheep, so it has a similar flavor profile to feta, though it is a lot milder and more muted.
It’s milder than feta and works well as a substitute. The flavors of mizithra are especially good on veg heavy dishes, such as salads, and works very well in puff pastry too.
Cotija works as a good feta substitute, as like queso fresco, it is a crumbly Mexican cheese that can easily replace the delicious texture of feta cheese.
It is a wonderful cheese to use in salads, tacos, and meaty dishes, such as burgers or chili.
Do be warned – this is not a melty, oozy cheese, so if you like your cheese to be bubbly and gooey, this probably isn’t the cheese for you.
Italian ricotta cheese is a great feta replacement, as it has a very similar tangy taste. However, it has a far higher moisture content, and is spreadable where feta isn’t.
You can use ricotta as a substitute 1 for 1 to weight, and will provide you with a lower sodium content (but sweeter overall flavor).
Ricotta is used in pasta dishes and desserts in Italian cuisine, so we suggest you use it in these kinds of recipes.
Gorgonzola is a strong tasting blue cheese. It has a similar flavor to feta, but a creamier texture. You can use it as a substitute for feta on salads, pasta, or in casseroles and soup. It also works well in sandwiches.
Use it when you want a stronger, more traditional blue flavor than feta. We like it in dishes that have a lot of hot sauce in it – something about the creamy blue cheese goes really well with chili!
British cheddar can be used as a substitute for feta cheese. Cheddar has a sweeter taste than feta – though you can get it in a whole host of maturity levels and textures.
When you use cheddar in the place of feta in burgers, salads, and wraps, be sure to grate it, as it is not a naturally crumbly cheese like feta is.
Mozzarella can be used as a replacement for feta cheese. Mozzarella is lower in salt and higher in moisture content than feta – giving it a softer and sweeter taste when compared to feta.
This cheese is great for melting, so we think it’s a great feta substitute for pizza and pasta.
12. Panela Cheese
This is another great Mexican cheese that can serve really well as a substitute for feta.
It has a fairly similar texture and taste, though there are a few different kinds on the market, and the flavor profile will depend on the variety and maturity that you purchase.
Some Common Dairy Free And Vegan Feta Substitutes
Regardless of whether you are lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet, you will need some substitutes for feta in your cooking repertoire. These are our favorites for matching the taste and texture of feta really closely.
Tofu is a great vegan alternative to feta, as you can crumble the firm variety just like you can feta. It can even have a similar taste if you prepare and marinade it in a specific way.
2. Cashews Cheese
Cashews are nuts that are used in many dishes. They have a mild and nutty flavor. Their texture is similar to feta cheese, but they crumble instead of being soft like feta.
You can use them in place of feta cheese in salads, sandwiches, and other foods.
3. Vegan Products
There are a few vegan feta replacements, which have been specifically designed to taste very similar to feta, and are good for vegans because they’re made without animal ingredients.
Almond cheese is a particular favorite of ours, as it is a similar texture, and has an appealing nutty flavor. Obviously, stay clear if you have a nut allergy.
4. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast (also called nooch) tastes like cheese, but is actually a type of fungus. It’s used to make breads and other baked goods.
This recipe calls for a 14 ounce block of extra firm tofu. Tofu is a great ingredient because it is high in protein and low in fat. It also works well in many dishes.
Here’s Our Tofu Feta Recipe
To make this recipe, we’ll need some ingredients such as olive oil (a third of a cup), water (a third of a cup), lemon juice (one full lemon), salt (two teaspoons), White vinegar (one tablespoon), brine juice from Kalamata olives (one quarter of a cup), pinches or oregano, basil and cracked black pepper, and a clove of garlic.
We’ll also need a 14 ounce block of tofu.
You should be able to find these items at your local grocery store. Tofu is an inexpensive meat substitute made from soybeans. You can use it instead of ground beef or chicken in recipes.
To drain tofu, lay a plate over the tofu, add more paper towels, then place something heavy on top. Press for 4 hours.
Check the plates frequently to remove any excess water.
Then I’ll cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.
Next, I’ll mix together all the other ingredients to create a marinade.
Finally, I’ll toss the tofu in the marinade and refrigerate it overnight. Enjoy once marinaded for at least several hours!
In conclusion, there are plenty of dairy and dairy free alternatives to feta, meaning you can work with whatever suits your taste palate, dietary requirements, or just whatever you have in your cupboards.