Home » Ingredient Substitute » The Best Substitutes for Havarti Cheese

The Best Substitutes for Havarti Cheese

Maria Foster
Last Updated on
by Maria Foster

If you can’t find Havarti cheese at the grocery store or you don’t like its flavor, you can easily use  Havarti cheese substitutes

To ensure that your recipe looks good and tastes great, make sure to choose a similar melting cheese when selecting the proper substitute, especially if using the cheese to make fondue, sauces, or baked dishes such as lasagna, potato casserole, mac and cheese, and au gratin potatoes.

Havarti Cheese

9 Havarti Cheese Substitutes You Can Get

While you can find most of these semi-hard and semi-soft melting cheeses in your grocery store or local cheese shop, you may need to order some of these cheeses online.

Don’t spend hours looking for a specific melting cheese, just select one that’s readily available to suit your recipe:

Here are the best substitutes for havarti cheese:

1. Tilsit Cheese:

A slice of tilsit cheese

An imported cheese from Europe, Tilsit has the closest flavor profile to Havarti. Many grocery stores, cheese shops, and boutique markets now carry this popular cheese.

A semi-hard melting cheese, Tilsit provides the best substitute for Havarti in terms of flavor, texture, and appearance.

Add Tilsit cheese to salads, or use it as a melting cheese for fondue, sauces, casseroles, and other baked dishes.

2. Monterey Jack Cheese:

Monterey Jack Cheese

While this cheese is a little harder than Havarti, it melts well and has a mild flavor similar to Havarti, Colby, and young Cheddar cheese.

A popular ingredient in many Spanish and Mexican dishes, Monterey Jack cheese is also used to create flavorful cheese boards. This cheese pairs well with wines such as Pinot Noir and Riesling.  

You can easily find Monterey Jack in most grocery stores, cheese shops, and specialty markets. Combine this cheese with other melting cheeses to use in mac and cheese, casseroles, and cheese sauces. 

3. Esrom (Danish Port Salut):

Esrom Cheese

A semi-soft Danish cheese made from cow’s milk, Esrom has a bold, buttery flavor that melts with ease. Use this stinky melting cheese in casseroles, sauces, and fondue. If adding to a cheese plate, serve this cheese with beer or red wine.

4. Emmental Cheese:

Emmental Cheese

This cheese melts well and is perfect for any recipe that calls for Havarti cheese. Made from cow’s milk, Emmental cheese has a mild, fruity flavor with a hint of acidity and a pleasant aroma.

As with other melting cheeses, Emmental looks good on a cheese board that you can serve with your favorite red or white wine.

5. Colby Cheese:

Colby Cheese

A little harder than Havarti cheese, but with a mild flavor and suitable for melting, Colby cheese tastes like young cheddar cheese. Considered more pliable than cheddar cheese, Colby cheese is often mistaken for cheddar cheese because of its yellow color.

6. Saint-Paulin Cheese:

Saint Paulin Cheese

A semi-soft French melting cheese, Saint-Paulin has a buttery flavor with a bite. You can use this cheese to make sauces and fondue, or you can add this cheese to a cheese plate and serve with a fruity Bordeaux, light Beaujolais, or Riesling.

7. Gouda Cheese:

Gouda Cheese

A semi-hard Dutch cheese, Gouda has a mild, nutty, sweet flavor with a hint of fruitiness. A great melting cheese, you can easily find this cheese at your grocery store.

Made from cow’s milk; this cheese has a pleasant aroma.

8. Young Cheddar:

This cheese has a mild flavor and semi-soft texture similar to Havarti. A melting cheese, you can use this cheese in a variety of ways that include adding to your favorite cheese plate.

Make sure that you select a young cheddar cheese. Aged sharp yellow cheddar cheese won’t serve as a good substitute for Havarti as these cheeses contain annatto, a spice that gives the cheese its yellow color while altering its flavor profile.

9. Edam Cheese:

Edam Cheese

A Dutch cheese with a mild, sweet, buttery, nutty flavor that’s similar to Havarti; made from skim and part-skim cow’s milk, Edam has a soft texture suitable for a wide variety of recipes that call for melting cheese.

How to Substitute Cheeses in a Recipe

When substituting a different melting cheese for Havarti, use the amount equal to what the recipe calls for.

In general, 1 cup of semi-hard or semi-soft cheese equals about 4 ounces. The most important factor when choosing the appropriate substitute for Havarti cheese is the melting point. For a cheesier flavor, you can add a little more cheese than what the recipe calls for. If you want to reduce the cheese flavor, add a little bit less cheese.

You can also combine melting cheeses to enhance the overall flavor of your recipe. It’s not the amount of cheese that you add to a recipe that makes it great; it’s about using a similar flavor profile and texture to get a good result.

Keep these simple guidelines in mind when choosing a Havarti cheese substitute:

  1. Select a semi-hard or semi-soft cheese that melts well. Use a melting cheese to create smooth sauces. If you use a hard cheese, such as sharp cheddar, you could end up with a chunky sauce; instead of a smooth one. Melting cheeses grate easily as compared to hard or soft cheeses.
  2. Choose a cheese type with a similar flavor profile to Havarti if you have a particular flavor you want to achieve.
  3. Semi-hard and semi-soft cheeses slice more easily than harder cheeses. Use these cheese types for cheese boards and platters.

How to Choose the Right Substitute for Havarti Cheese

Now that you know more about the many suitable melting cheese substitutes for Havarti cheese, how do you choose the right one for a particular recipe?
  • Flavor – if you have a specific flavor profile in mind, choose a melting cheese similar to Havarti. Tilsit, Monterey Jack, and Edam all match the flavor profile of Havarti. However, when substituting ingredients in a recipe, you may notice a subtle difference in the result.
  • Appearance – if creating a cheese board, select a cheese that matches the color and texture of Havarti cheese. Tilsit, Esrom, Gouda, and Saint-Paulin all have a similar appearance.
  • Wine Pairing – if pairing cheese with wine, consider the flavor profile of the wine. If serving a variety of cheese, select wine that pairs well with one or more of the cheeses served.
  • Cheese Grating – you can grate most semi-hard and semi-soft cheeses with ease as these cheeses crumble without difficulty, But, unlike soft cheeses, semi-hard and semi-soft cheeses cannot get stuck in the grater holes. You can use a small, medium, or large cheese grater to grate Havarti and Havarti cheese substitutes.


When choosing a substitute for Havarti cheese, you have many options. The most important factor to consider when using a different cheese is the melting point. Other than that, have fun experimenting with substitute cheeses in all of your favorite recipes.

See Also:

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *