What is the Best Substitute for Mozzarella?

What is the Best Substitute for Mozzarella?

Mozzarella is a great cheese that is very tasty without being overpowering in flavour. It has great melting properties, as well as lots of flavours and used in a variety of cold and hot dishes. It is a great all-rounder cheese primarily used in Italian dishes. 

What if your recipe requires mozzarella and you find the fridge empty? Or you fancy changing things up a little and try some great alternatives. Continue reading to find your best substitute for mozzarella!

What can I Substitute for Mozzarella?

Your mozzarella substitute will have similar flavours to mozzarella and therefore made from cows milk to keep the grassy, buttery and slightly sweet flavour. It will also have good melting properties.

Top 6 alternatives to mozzarella include:

  • Cheddar
  • Feta
  • Gouda
  • Ricotta
  • Swiss-style cheese such as Emmental or Fontina. 

Of course, the type of cheese you substitute for mozzarella will be very dependent on the type of dish you are cooking, for example, a hot or cold dish. If you are cooking a hot dish, your substitute must have good melting properties, to ensure the cheese becomes melty and creamy, instead of chewy and going hard. 

The cheese will also ideally be made from cows milk, to ensure similar flavours across the dish as intended by the original recipe. 

Jump to mozzarella substitutes for cold dishes.

What is the Best Substitute for Mozzarella?

Fontina is the clear substitute for mozzarella. Fontina is made at the foot of the Alps in Italy. The cows producing the milk for this cheese graze on the rich sweet grass, and the quality is certainly reflected in the flavour. Fontina cheese is pungent and sweet, with buttery and toasted nut flavour also. Just like cheddar, it is a semi-hard cheese with a very smooth texture. 

Considering that mozzarella is also produced in Italy, Fontina is a no brainer substitute!

Using Cheddar Cheese as a Substitute:

Cheddar is another great substitute for mozzarella. It is creamy, buttery and slightly sweet in flavour. It is easy to get your hands on if it is required last minute. Cheddar is also made from cow’s milk and will melt beautifully in dishes, such as pizza or lasagne. This traditional UK cheese is a great all-rounder and will bring your dish together. 

What is a Good Melting Cheese?

An alternative to mozzarella is Emmental. A traditional cheese made in the Swiss Alps, and best known for its ‘eyes’ (the holes) throughout the body of the cheese. Additionally, each wheel is approximately 80-100cm in diameter and matured for a minimum of 4 months. Use Emmental in recipes such as fondue because it is a high quality cheese. This cheese is used to create the string like effect, and therefore will be a great substitute on dishes such as pizza to imitate the texture and effect of mozzarella. 

the best substitute for mozzarella
The holes in Emmental cheese are known as eyes.


To the last of our hard cheese substitutes- Gouda. Perhaps a more controversial choice, as it is a very sweet, caramel and fruity flavour. Also, gouda is traditionally made from cow’s milk and made in the southern regions of the Netherlands.

Although Gouda can be considered as melting cheese, its properties are best used to enhance the flavour of a sauce, and therefore best placed in a pasta dish with another cheese with better-melting properties that can be combined, for example, cheddar. 

What are Substitutes for Cold Mozzarella Dishes?

If your dish is cold, such as a salad, and requires fresh mozzarella, this section is for you!

Feta is the ideal cold mozzarella substitute. Although traditionally made from goat and ewe milk in Greece, there are a lot of cow milk versions out there. A cows milk feta will be a little more springy in texture and be creamier in flavour. 

Feta is fresh cheese stored in brine, and therefore it is not a good melting cheese. The flavours are light, rich and creamy, with a crumbly texture. It will be a great addition to any salad to make it light and refreshing. 

If you are looking for something with a very similar texture to mozzarella, consider Ricotta as an alternative. Ricotta was first produced in Italy and is made from the leftover whey of other cheese production. It is mild and light in flavour, however thick, smooth and creamy in texture, just like mozzarella. 

Ricotta is also a great cheese alternative for the health-conscious.