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The 5 Best Substitutes for Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is a type of cheese that is orange in color and has a strong flavor.

It is made from cow’s milk and is one of the most popular cheeses in the United States and Great Britain.

Because cheddar cheese is such a popular ingredient, it comes as no surprise that many people use it in their cooking, and countless recipes call for cheddar cheese as an ingredient.

However, some people may not have access to cheddar cheese or do not want to use it – for various reasons.

Some of these reasons include lactose intolerance, dietary restrictions (veganism or vegetarianism), preference for another type of cheese, cost issues, etc.

Despite the wide range of reasons someone may not want to use cheddar cheese, it is hard to deny its flavor.

Fortunately, there are many substitutes for cheddar cheese that can be used in place of the cheese in recipes.

This article will list and describe some of the most common substitutes for cheddar cheese and explain why they work well as a substitute.

What is Cheddar Cheese?

what is cheddar cheese

As mentioned earlier, cheddar cheese is a rather common cheese in North America, most typically made from cow’s milk.

Cheddar cheese has a pale yellow color, often with a tinge of orange.

It is a rather smooth cheese with a slightly crumbly texture.

The taste is sharp and salty, with a slightly nutty flavor.

Cheddar cheese is available in many different varieties, including ‘extra sharp’, which offers the strongest flavor and saltiness, and ‘smoked’, which has a smoky taste.

It can be eaten alone but is often used in cooking due to its mild flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

In addition, cheddar cheese is quite common in many dishes such as macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even cheesecake.

It can be eaten fresh but will not have the same effect when used in cooking.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cheddar Cheese

Although cheddar cheese is a common ingredient in cooking, some alternatives can be used as replacements.

These include:

1 – Edam Cheese

edam cheese

Edam Cheese may be an alternative to cheddar cheese, but it’s quite different.

It is a mild-flavored cheese that is either pale yellow or bright orange.

This cheese originated from the Netherlands, and it has been described as having a soft texture with sweet flavors.

Edam cheese is a popular cheese in France.

In addition, it has been described as ‘nutty to sweet’ and having a ‘butter-like texture.

It’s crucial to note that this cheese melts well because of its high-fat content.

However, it may not suit cooking because it often becomes very runny if heated too long.

Edam Cheese is often used in salads, sandwiches, or top crackers.

It may also be used as an appetizer for dipping into sauces.

2 – Gouda Cheese

gouda cheese

Gouda Cheese is similar to cheddar cheese, but it has a slightly more spicy flavor.

It can be described as mild or semi-sharp in taste, depending on the variety you are buying.

Gouda cheese originated from the Netherlands and was first made by dairy farmers near Gouda.

It is often used in cooking due to its firm texture and melt-in-your-mouth taste.

It’s perfect for sandwiches or quesadillas – it melts well to be a suitable replacement for used cheddar cheese in these dishes.

Gouda cheese is also commonly found paired with fruits such as grapes because of its sweet flavor.

3 – Monterrey Jack Cheese

monterrey jack cheese

Monterrey Jack Cheese is a relatively mild cheese, making it the perfect alternative to cheddar.

It originated in Mexico and is commonly used in cooking or melted on different dishes such as quesadillas, burritos, and nachos.

However, this cheese also has a high melting point to be stored for a long time.

In addition, this cheese has been described as being creamy and almost similar to mozzarella in taste.

It may also have a bit of a salty flavor, depending on the variety you buy.

Monterrey jack cheese is perfect for cooking because of its mild taste and affinity for melting.

Also, if you buy it in block form, you can shred it yourself.

4 – Colby Cheese

colby cheese

The next cheese we’ll be discussing is Colby Cheese, which is similar to cheddar cheese and Monterrey Jack in texture and flavor.

It has a slightly yellow color and soft texture.

It has been described as having a ‘cooling effect’ in the mouth and may taste somewhat like cheddar cheese because of its subtle nutty flavor.

This cheese also melts well.

Of course, this means that it is perfect for cooking because it will melt smoothly in most dishes.

However, it may not be suitable when used topping on food because of its flavor and coloring.

Colby Cheese originated in the US and is often aged for at least two months before being sold to the public.

5 – Cantal Cheese

cantal cheese

The last option is Cantal Cheese, similar to cheddar in taste and texture.

It is also used in cooking because it melts well in most dishes.

Unfortunately, this cheese doesn’t have much flavor, so don’t expect it to add any additional taste to your dish.

It has been described as salty and pairs well with apples and pears.

Cantal cheese is commonly used in French cooking and can be sliced and packaged in stores.

When buying, it is important to find a brand made from unpasteurized milk because it will have a better taste and texture.


Cheddar cheese has been used in cooking for centuries, and it is known for its sharp flavor that can add some heat to any dish.

Thankfully, there are several substitutes that you can use in your recipes when cheddar cheese is called for.

Some of these cheese substitutes are milder than others, so you can use them depending on your personal preference.

Additionally, cooking with some of these substitutes may require additional steps, but you’ll be rewarded with an appetizing dish.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cheddar Cheese

The 5 Best Substitutes for Cheddar Cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Edam Cheese
  • Gouda Cheese
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Colby Cheese
  • Cantal Cheese


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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