Feta cheese originated from Greece and is usually sold in small blocks that have a crumbly texture. This type of cheese is made from the milk of goats and sheep. They eat local grass in parts of Greece where they are raised. The environment where these goats and sheep are raised is the reason why feta cheese has a unique flavor.
The flavor that you can get from this cheese is tangy and mildly salty. This kind of cheese is a great addition to dishes such as salads, omelets, pastries, and even for garnish for meat and vegetable recipes. Aside from being a very versatile type of cheese, Feta is also known for being a healthier kind compared to most cheese types that are also made of cow milk.
Feta Cheese Health Benefits
Some people are a little hesitant to add the magic of cheese into their recipes because they are afraid of the calories that it has. But once you discover the health benefits of Feta Cheese, you’ll definitely want to add this to your dishes!
- Feta has a lower fat content. If you like putting cheddar and parmesan cheese, then you should think of swapping it with feta because it only has 21 grams of fat for every 100 grams. This amount is a lot less than the fat content of cheddar and parmesan which are 33 and 29 grams respectively.
- Feta cheese is also easy to digest and less allergenic which is a great option for those who are a little allergic to dairy products.
- It’s also a great source of protein which is good for your muscles.
- Feta is loaded with vitamins and probiotics as well!
Feta Cheese Substitutes to Die For
The flavor of feta cheese can make your recipe really unique. But if you don’t have feta cheese in your kitchen right now, you can also try these substitutes that could also work wonders to your dishes.
The easiest cheese to find if you are in Mexico is Queso Fresco. This is one of the best substitutes to get since it also has a crumbly texture and a mild flavor that won’t overwhelm the other ingredients in your recipe.
Queso Fresco is made of raw milk which is why it is called fresh cheese. If you’re planning on getting this kind of cheese in other countries, you’ll have to know that the flavor might change because it’s made differently in various countries. It’s also really important to know that Queso fresco is the best when used fresh. You can also keep it in the fridge if you want it to last for your future recipes.
Because of the crumbly texture, it's a great ingredient to put on top of your recipes and as a filling for your burritos and quesadillas.
Another cheese that has a similar texture is ricotta. Because of its similarities with feta cheese, it’s used in various recipes where feta cheese is also used as an ingredient. While these two ingredients have the same textures, ricotta has a sweeter flavor. In Italy, it is served with chocolate shavings and cinnamon.
Ricotta is a popular cheese that is also used in a lot of Italian pasta sauces so you might find it easier to find than Feta cheese. It’s sold in most supermarkets around the country. It’s also low in carbs so if you’re looking for a cheese that is perfect for your diet this one’s a really great option. In fact, bodybuilders and athletes love this type of cheese because of the whey protein that it has. This protein is great for when you are trying to build your muscles.
Halloumi is a cheese that originated from Cyprus. It has a mild flavor as well and a semi-firm texture that makes it a great ingredient for almost any kind of recipe that calls for a feta cheese as well. Halloumi is also called squeaky cheese by the locals of Cyprus because of the squeaky sound that you’ll hear once you bite into it.
This kind of cheese is a combination of goat and cow cheese. The texture is also comparable to Mozzarella. This is a great substitute if you’re looking for a feta replacement that is milder than feta cheese, you should try this one. While halloumi and feta cheese have the same flavor, it doesn’t have the same crumbly texture. You can slice it in little pieces instead of crumbling if you want to put it as an ingredient for your dishes.
You can buy halloumi in your local grocery stores or even online. As for health benefits, Halloumi is a good source of calcium. However, you have to keep in mind that it has a high salt content which is not a great thing for people who have high blood pressure.
Tofu is not a very new ingredient, especially for Asian cuisines. It's a popular substitute for various kinds of cheese especially for those who are health conscious since this replacement is made out of soya which means it doesn’t have the same amount of fats that dairy ingredients have.
Tofu comes in blocks because it’s made by curdling the fresh soya and cooling it which gives it its firmness. Thai and Chinese dishes often have tofu that is cooked to have various textures. This is another versatile ingredient since you can serve it crunchy, but you can also use it in its softest form.
This is a perfect feta cheese substitute for those who are vegetarian. You can buy this ready-made in some Asian stores, but you have to keep in mind that tofu doesn't have the same flavor as cheese so you might want to do your own tofu recipe so you can adjust the taste according to what you want.
If you don’t already know it, feta cheese has 30% goat milk content. This is why goat cheese makes a great feta cheese substitute. Goat cheese is also called chèvre, and it has various types. The most popular examples of goat cheese are brie and aged cheddar. There are a lot of benefits that you can get from goat cheese however it depends on the kind of method that is used when making it.
The texture of the goat cheese, on the other hand, is the same as the texture of cream cheese. It’s great for when you need an ingredient that you can easily spread. It’s soft and has the perfect flavor for your savory recipes as well as for several desserts.
Meanwhile, the aged version of goat cheese has a chalky texture that could be crumbled and used as a garnish for your dishes just like feta cheese.
The mild flavor of feta cheese is sometimes not enough to compliment a recipe or satisfy your taste buds. If you’re having this kind of situation, then you should try Cotija cheese. This is a Mexican cheese that has a similar flavor to parmesan. Although it has a sharper flavor, the texture is not far from the crumbly texture of feta.
Cotija is made out of cow’s milk, and it doesn't melt. So if your dish requires melting the cheese to get that gooey consistency, this might not be your best bet. You can use cotija for various dishes such as casseroles, tostadas, tacos, soups, and salads. The resemblance that cotija has with parmesan gave it the title “Parmesan of Mexico.” You can easily buy it from the nearest Latin stores.
This kind of cheese comes from a province in Italy named Gorgonzola. It's a type of blue cheese that has a crumbly texture just like feta cheese. Compared to other types of blue cheeses, Gorgonzola has a milder flavor. Fresh Gorgonzola is soft and creamy, but as it ages, the flavor grows stronger and gives a pungent flavor to dishes.
The marbled look of Gorgonzola is a great addition to your cheese board, and it goes well with fruits like grapes. However, when using this cheese as a feta substitute, you have to be careful because it has a stronger flavor. Hence, you should put less amount of the substitute compared to the recommended amount of feta cheese in the recipe. You can also keep Gorgonzola in the fridge if you're still planning on using it for your future recipes, but it is still best served at room temperature.
If you’re not a fan of feta’s crumbly texture, you can try using Mozzarella instead. This cheese has a soft and gooey texture that kids and adults love. The flavor is mild and salty which is almost like feta’s taste. Mozzarella is often used in pizzas and lasagnas. It’s a crowd favorite because it adds more fun to your dishes.
The original mozzarella is made from the milk of water buffalo. However, most of the mozzarellas that you will find in stores today are made from cow’s milk. When storing mozzarella, you have to refrigerate it because this type of cheese has high moisture which causes it to have a short shelf life. Aside from pizzas, you can also put this gooey goodness in poultry and meat dishes. Your boring salads can also benefit from the delicious flavor of mozzarella.
When it comes to substituting feta cheese with cheddar cheese, make sure to use the young and white version because this one has the same flavor as feta. You can also use yellow cheddar cheese, but the appearance is just too far from the color of the original ingredient. However, if the color of yellow cheddar is not a problem for you, then you can use it in your dishes to make it even more unique.
Cheddar cheese is originally from England, and it is first made in a village named Cheddar. Cow milk is used to make this king of cheese, and it has different flavors and colors to choose from. There are smooth and creamy Canadian cheddars, but there are also cheddar cheeses that have sharp flavors.
Panela cheese is also a great feta cheese substitute. This is a Mexican cheese that has a mild taste just like feta cheese. However, when it comes to the texture, panela is more similar to halloumi cheese because it is rubbery and chewy. But if you are lucky and you have a lot of patience, you can look for versions of Panela that is crumbly and salty. This is the kind that you should get as a feta cheese substitute. On the other hand, if you are not that concerned about the texture and you are just after the mild flavor, you can still use the rubbery type of panela cheese so you can also experiment with your recipes.
Can’t get enough of blue cheese? Roquefort is another kind of blue cheese that can also serve as a perfect feta substitute. It’s a popular type of blue cheese so you won’t have much trouble looking for it. It’s usually made of sheep’s milk and has a tangy flavor that you might love. Plus, you would love the crumbly nature that is very similar to feta cheese. You can add it just like how you would add feta cheese to your recipe. However, keep in mind that not everyone loves the taste of blue cheese so only serve this for those who don’t hate the strong flavor of blue cheese.