Whether you’re assembling an exquisite cheese board, making a salad for or even baking a homemade pizza, goat cheese makes a fine addition to almost any occasion.
With its distinct flavor and variety of soft and spreadable textures, goat cheese is extremely versatile for any recipe. It’s no wonder it’s loved by chefs and food-lovers the world over.
Unfortunately, you may not commonly find goat cheese in supermarkets. Additionally, not everyone has the pallet for the unique flavor of goat cheese. So, what happens if you’ve run out of goat cheese and can’t find any in-store? Or a recipe calls for goat cheese, and you simply don’t like the flavor?
To help you solve your goat cheese dilemmas, I have researched all the substitutes for goat cheese, and here are some of the best replacements you can try. A bonus at the end includes vegan substitutes for goat cheese too. Read on to find your perfect goat cheese substitute.
What is Goat Cheese?
Before you dive into various substitutes you can use, lets take a quick look at some useful information about goat cheese.
Often known as ‘chèvre’ due to its French origins, goat cheese is a term to classify any cheese made from goat’s milk. Some types of goat cheese are brie and blue goat cheese. Goat’s cheese is rich in nutritional benefits and healthy fats, even more so than cow’s milk cheese.
Goat cheese comes in different flavors, textures, and types. It ranges from fresh, soft, spreadable, crumbly goat cheese to aged hard and dried goat cheese. The sheer amount of variety can make a big difference when choosing a suitable substitute.
It’s essential to know what kind of goat cheese you would like to substitute.
When Should you Substitute Goat Cheese?
The taste or smell of goat cheese may not sit right with you, or you may have just run out of goat cheese. Whether the recipe calls for a fresh or aged and mature goat cheese, there are alternatives for its texture and tangy flavor.
Additionally, if you are trying to tone down the tanginess of a dish, eliminate goat cheese from the recipe and find a substitute that has a similar texture.
Good Substitutes for Goat Cheese
Firstly, if you are looking for a healthy substitute for goat cheese, ricotta is the one for you. Ricotta similar nutritional benefits to goat cheese but with a lower fat and salt content.
Like goat cheese’s texture, ricotta is creamy and soft. It’s a great substitute to replicate the surface of fresh, smooth, and spreadable goat cheese. However, it’s important to note that the ricotta flavor is less tangy and sweeter than goat cheese.
We recommend adding a pinch of salt to the recipe when using ricotta to substitute goat cheese.
A favorite amongst Greeks and their salads, feta cheese is a substitute you can’t go wrong with. It’s commonly made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat’s milk. This is where you will find a similar taste to goat’s cheese.
Feta cheese has a crumbly texture and a tangy and saltier flavor. It sounds like the perfect substitute for crumbly goat cheese. However due to the distinct taste of feta, the flavor as a substitute may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Either way, we recommend that you do a taste test of the feta cheese before adding the whole chunk of cheese in as a substitute.
From there, you can gauge and add just what you need to replicate the texture and flavor. As an additional tip, you can soak your feta in milk or water to get a creamier consistency.
As stated in its name, cream cheese has a creamy but notably stiffer texture, perfect for substituting fresh and soft goat cheese. It’s usually easy and common to find in all supermarkets and a definite go-to for substitution.
We recommend adding some plain yogurt to achieve a softer texture and compensate for the lack of tanginess in cream cheese. So, experiment with the flavors to achieve the right amount of tanginess found in goat cheese.
Commonly used for desserts, mascarpone is high fat and has a rich and creamy taste. Although it’s very similar to cream cheese, mascarpone is creamier and less acidic in taste.
Mascarpone would be great to substitute the texture of creamy goat cheese. However, you should not expect the same taste. Mascarpone is sweet and does not hold the distinct and tangy flavor of goat cheese. You may only want to substitute goat cheese for mascarpone if your recipe is on the sweeter side.
An all-rounder fresh Mexican cheese, queso fresco is a soft, moist, and crumbly cheese with multiple uses. A staple in Mexican recipes, you can use it on cheese boards or in hot foods.
Queso fresco’s tangy flavor and somewhat crumbly texture are perfect for substituting this for aged and crumbly goat cheese. You will enjoy the right amount of tanginess and a similar texture.
Try it as a substitute for goat cheese if it’s available in your supermarket. If you are up for a little cheese making adventure, you can also make queso fresco in your very own kitchen!
Here’s a substitute that you could make at home with a tub of plain or Greek yogurt in your fridge. All you will need is a bit of time and a cheesecloth. With these two tools, you will yield a drained plain yogurt, often called yogurt cheese.
What’s great about this substitution for goat cheese is you will obtain just the right texture and taste. Additionally, you can add herbs and spices to mix it up. Here’s a simple homemade recipe you can check out.
Cotija cheese is an aged Mexican cheese that is often called ‘Queso Cinch’. Cheese lovers appreciate it for its flavor, pungent smell, and saltiness. This dry textured cheese would not be an adequate substitution for fresh goat cheese.
With that being said, its distinct flavor and crumbly nature would be an excellent substitution for recipes that call for crumbly and aged goat cheese.
This fresh French cheese is often confused with cream cheese due to its extraordinarily creamy and milky texture. However, once you’ve tasted it, you will be surprised by its totally unique flavor and unexpected tanginess.
If your recipe calls for fresh and soft goat cheese, Fromage blanc is a safe option. It’s a smooth and creamy consistency, and tangy flavor is excellent for replicating everything we love about goat cheese.
What is the Best Substitute for Goat Cheese?
With all these options, it may be confusing to pick the right substation of goat cheese for your recipe. So, here’s a simple breakdown to make choosing easier.
If your recipe calls for a piece of fresh and soft goat cheese and savory taste, your best bet would be substituting it with Fromage blanc or cream cheese. You will enjoy the creamy consistency and tangy flavor.
For a more pungent taste and recipes that call for cooking with aged crumbly goat cheese, try out cotija cheese or queso fresco. For cold dishes, such as salads, feta cheese is a can’t-go-wrong substitute for crumbled goat cheese.
On the sweeter notes, mascarpone cheese would be an ideal substitute for sweet dishes such as goat cheese puddings and desserts.
Vegan Substitutes for Goat Cheese
If you’re vegan, we didn’t forget about you! If your recipe calls for some goat cheese, here are some substations you can try.
If you’re vegan, you would know tofu is exceptionally versatile and has so many different uses. Although it will not taste like cheese, crumbling the tofu will be best for replicating the crumbly and soft texture of goat cheese.
An important step is draining your tofu well and removing the excess water to replicate goat cheese’s texture truly. You can also try to make a log of vegan goat cheese with extra firm tofu and a few other ingredients at home with this recipe.
If you feel adventurous, a plant-based and vegan substitution for goat cheese can also be cashew cheese! Cashew cheese is often used and made at home to replicate goat cheese as it is known for its tangy flavor due to the cultured yeast. You can also find them in supermarkets if you are lucky.
Its creamy and smooth consistency is incredibly versatile and an excellent substitute for soft goat cheese. Many vegans swear by it and always go back to cashew cheese. Try it out, and you won’t regret it.