Feta is a popular option for many dishes, from salads and pasta to pastries. When looking for feta cheese alternatives, the most important factors to consider are the flavor and texture of the cheese are the most important factors to consider.
You also want to look at whether your recipe is hot or cold. While feta doesn’t melt, you can replace it with a substitute that does.
What is Feta Cheese Made of?
Greek feta is a rindless white cheese produced through brining. This process gives it a tart, salty flavor, and a soft, crumbly texture. This process also contributes to its higher water content compared to other cheeses. Feta’s high in sodium and low in fat and has a cleaner flavor than aged cheese.
Excess feta cheese can be properly store for later use by freezing it.
5 Recommended Feta Cheese Substitute
The 5 most common cheese similar to feta:
- Goat Cheese
- Cream Cheese
Goat Cheese: Best Feta Cheese Substitute for Salad
Goat cheese is a good choice if you need a substitute for feta cheese in salad, but it works well as an addition to all kinds of dishes. Like feta, it’s a soft white cheese with a high fat, protein, and calcium content. It’s tangy and crumbly like feta, but without the sodium content.
While you can find feta in different densities, goat cheese is crumbly and soft. When introduced to heat, neither cheese melts. Melting tends to be a feature of cow cheese, not sheep or goat cheese.
There’s a simple process to make goat cheese. An acid is added to goat’s milk and allowed to curdle. Once it’s drained, the cheese is molded into balls or logs where it may or may not develop an edible rind.
Feta is different. It’s curdled with rennet, drained, then set in molds. After that, the cheese is sliced and packed with saltwater in barrels for months to age and develop. Despite the difference in production, they have similar flavor and texture.
Perhaps goat cheese makes a good feta cheese substitute because feta consists of both goat and sheep milk. Similar to feta, goat cheese has bright, tangy flavors that differ from cow cheese. You can use it 1 for 1 in a recipe that includes feta cheese.
Use it anywhere that calls for crumbly, soft feta, especially in fresh salads or warm pasta dishes.
Goat cheese is a great substitute for feta in a warm orzo and tomatoes dish:
- Cook orzo and drain.
- Quarter baby tomatoes.
- Toss orzo and baby tomatoes with crumbled goat cheese.
- Drizzle equal parts lemon juice and olive oil over top.
Include goat cheese instead of feta on a plate with olives and figs. You could also use goat cheese in place of crumbly feta in a simple summer salad of watermelon, mint, and lime juice.
Can’t find Goat Cheese but need something very similar? See excellent goat cheese substitutes (alternatives)
Halloumi: Best Feta Replacement For Baking
Also a Greek cheese, halloumi cheese is milder and sweeter than feta. It holds together well when baked or fried, so it’s a great substitute for feta cheese in similar preparations. It also melts and bubbles beautifully, making it a suitable option for pastries or on top of meat dishes that call for feta.
Like feta, goat and sheep milk is used to make halloumi. Unlike feta, which is crumbly, halloumi has a rubbery texture that squeaks on your teeth due to the way halloumi is produced.
Where acid curdles feta, rennet curdles halloumi. Once halloumi is curdled, it’s cooked in whey, packed, and preserved in brine. This process creates an unripened cheese that is salty but smooth and squeaky when you bite it.
Feta cheese gets its name from the Italian word meaning “slice.” It is called this because, during the creation process, feta is sliced and preserved with salt between the layers. Dense feta retains its shape and is sold in blocks. Sometimes it’s cut into smaller cubes. Halloumi is sold similarly. Use halloumi as a sliced feta cheese alternative in recipes.
You can bake, grill, or fry both kinds of cheese as a meat alternative. Use halloumi as a 1 to 1 replacement in recipes that call for dense feta. Because it’s a little sweet, you’ll find halloumi paired with vegetables in savory combinations. However, you could easily replace grilled feta with halloumi, pairing it with honey, sesame seeds, and thyme for a sweet treat!
Cream Cheese: Best For Pasta
When TikTok’s baked feta pasta broke the internet, it started a conversation about understanding feta. The pasta is heavenly, but you need a specific type of feta cheese for the recipe. Feta can be dense, soft and crumbly, or spreadable. The pasta dish specifies Greek feta in brine because Greek feta is required to meet a certain standard.
A true Greek feta cheese consists of at least 70% sheep’s milk. Sheep’s milk is tangier than goat’s milk, so goat’s milk is often added in feta production to tame the flavor. A higher sheep’s milk content gives it a higher quality texture that is creamy and less grainy when it melts. This creaminess is the key to the baked feta pasta.
But what if you don’t like feta or can’t find Greek feta in brine near you? Perhaps you’re concerned about the sodium content of feta. A great feta cheese substitute for pasta is cream cheese. It has a milder flavor and has a lower sodium content. Just be aware that cream cheese is made with cow’s milk and cream, giving it a higher fat content.
The feta bake recipe calls for one block, or 7 ounces, of Greek feta cheese. Just switch this out with your standard 8 ounce brick of cream cheese. You can do this in other pasta dishes or anywhere you need a spreadable feta cheese substitute.
Tofu: Vegan Cheese Similar to Feta
There are some great vegan feta cheese substitutes. Nut cheeses work well as a feta cheese alternative because they can be crumbly and spreadable like feta. However, nothing beats tofu feta when it comes to versatility and flavor!
Much like cheese, tofu is made of soybeans that have been ground, boiled, curled, and pressed. Tofu can be fermented, a lot like cheese. Just like feta, tofu comes in a variety of styles:
- Extra Firm
Choose firm tofu in place of feta in grilled, fried, or baked preparations. Medium has the closest texture to feta and can be crumbled into smaller curds. If you need a creamy feta cheese alternative, you could try soft tofu! Tofu is also a great choice if you’re watching your health. Soy is full of vitamins and minerals. Choose it for its low sodium, low fat, and high protein option.
There can be a bit of a learning curve when cooking with tofu, but it’s worth the work. Keep in mind that it’s a mostly flavorless, slightly nutty product that takes on the flavors you add to it, which is perfect for when you want to make an easy feta cheese substitute at home!
Most tofu feta recipes call for a mixture of white wine vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs and spices. Play around with flavors you prefer, but we suggest sticking with lemon juice and garlic as a base. The key is using a firm or medium tofu. Press it, marinate it, and let it soak up the flavors for 48 hours.
Use a 1:1 ratio for a feta substitute. In a Greek salad that calls for 4 ounces of feta, use 4 ounces of tofu. Cube it for recipes that call for firm feta or break it into crumbles if that is what you prefer.
A blue cheese, you’d be surprised how similar Roquefort’s nutty flavor is to feta. It’s a great option if you can find it in the specialty cheese section. Roquefort is creamy with nutty notes that are similar to feta cheese. We included it on our list of feta cheese substitutes for the way It holds up well to hot dishes. It melts beautifully.
Roquefort is a French cheese made from the milk of a specific breed of sheep. Curds mix with mold, and then the cheese sits for months to age. Like other blue cheeses, you can see the sporous blue holes throughout the cheese. While this is very different from feta, Roquefort can be sliced or crumbled much like feta. It also has a tart, salty flavor like feta.
The difference between feta and Roquefort is that Roquefort completely melts when heated, making it a perfect substitute for feta cheese in pasta or other hot dishes. Crumble it on pizza or a meaty hamburger. You can play around with the ratios here depending on how strong the flavor is to you, but you can replace it evenly with feta cheese.