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The 8 BEST Cheeses that Go Well with Pastrami

Everyone loves a classic pastrami sandwich; however, the one element that could potentially make or break the meal is the cheese.

What cheeses should you select to make the perfect snack? In this article, we introduce eight of the best cheeses to combine with pastrami.

Here we will explore each cheese variety’s flavor profile, distinct aroma, and lush texture so that you can be confident in selecting a truly delightful pairing for your sandwich every time.

Read on to discover our delicious list.

The 8 BEST Cheeses that Go Well with Pastrami

Pastrami is a robust and savory deli meat, made from cured beef or pork.

With its salty flavor and smoky aroma, it stands out on its own, but often it is served in sandwiches with cheese.

There are many types of cheese that pair well with pastrami, ranging from melting cheeses to firmer ones.

Here are 8 cheeses that give the perfect complement to pastrami sandwiches:

1. Gouda

Gouda is one of the oldest cheeses in existence, with its origins dating back to the late 12th century.

The cheese has a rich, creamy texture and a sweet-salty flavor that balances well with pastrami’s smoky meatiness, creating a great taste contrast.

Gouda has a mild flavor and melts easily which makes it an ideal cheese for both cold and hot sandwiches.

Its semi-soft interior melts wonderfully when melted over hot pastrami.

2. Brie

Brie is a type of soft cheese that originated in France.

It has a creamy texture and mild, earthy flavor with slightly nutty undertones.

Its delicate flavor makes it a great pairing for pastrami, as it adds an extra layer of buttery richness to the saltiness of the meat.

Brie cheese is best served at room temperature, so be sure to let it sit out before serving with pastrami if you like to keep your cheeses chilled.

3. Feta

Feta is a classic Mediterranean cheese that’s becoming increasingly popular in North America.

Its salty yet creamy flavor complements pastrami nicely and can give your sandwich an interesting, yet familiar flavor.

Feta is typically made from sheep and goat, although cow’s milk can also be used in some cases.

Despite its popularity as a salad topping, feta also works really well when it is grilled or melted.

It pairs nicely with dark rye breads and pastrami, creating a classic combination of salt and richness that you are sure to love.

4. Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack is a semi-hard cheese that originated from Monterey, California, the United States.

It has a mild and slightly sweet flavor with a smooth and soft texture.

This versatile cheese pairs well with many different kinds of food, making it an ideal choice for pastrami sandwiches and more.

This cheese is usually aged for at least two months, allowing the flavor to come alive while also imparting a nice complexity.

When it comes to putting together pastrami sandwiches, Monterey Jack can add creaminess and umami flavors which will pair wonderfully with the zesty meat.

In addition, this cheese melts beautifully due to its high moisture content, creating an enjoyable contrast of textures between the melted cheese and crunchy veggies.

If you’re looking for a cheese that won’t take away from the spiciness of pastrami but will instead add flavour dimension to your sandwich, Monterey Jack should definitely be on top of your list.

5. Smoked Gouda

Smoked Gouda is a semi-hard cheese with a creamy texture that takes on added flavor when smoked over cherry, hickory, and oak woods.

Its smoky taste is perfectly complemented by the fiery spice of pastrami and can be used to add depth of flavor when reheating cold cuts in a sandwich or quesadilla.

The smokiness of Gouda also offers a delicious balance to the sweetness of honey or mustard-based toppings.

If you want to put some extra smokiness into your pastrami dish, look no further than Smoked Gouda cheese.

6. Fontina

Fontina is a semi-soft Italian cheese that has a buttery flavor and creamy aroma.

Once melted, it produces a rich and slightly nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with the bold taste of pastrami.

It’s best used in dishes such as sandwiches, wraps or macaroni and cheese to provide an added depth of flavor.

Additionally, Fontina gets creamier the longer it is cooked, making it ideal for use in dishes such as sandwiches or soups.

It is also a wonderful option for grilling because its high melting point ensures that it won’t break down too quickly when heated.

7. Muenster

Muenster is a type of cheese commonly used to make the classic American sandwich, the grilled cheese.

Its flavor is mild and slightly sweet, and its texture is semi-soft.

It is often used to substitute for Swiss cheese in sandwiches and melts.

Muenster pairs well with pastrami because its mild flavor does not overpower that of the pastrami but instead compliments it, creating a balance of flavors.

When adding Muenster to a sandwich or melt, you may want to add some spices such as onion powder or garlic powder for extra flavor.

8. Colby Jack

Colby Jack is a marbled cheddar cheese that was created as a cross between colby and monterrey jack.

It is a semi-soft cheese, offering a mild and slightly buttery taste.

Colby Jack has an open texture with some small holes.

It can be sliced, cubed, or melted in the right applications.

When paired with pastrami it creates an amazing flavor combination that is incomparable to other cheeses.

Try adding Colby Jack to your pastrami sandwich for an extra layer of flavor and crunch.

How to Choose the Right Cheese to Serve with Pastrami

Choosing the right cheese to serve with pastrami is a matter of taste, but there are some cheeses that complement pastrami better than others.

Cheese can help mellow out and balance the burnt, smoky flavors of pastrami, while adding some creamy textures and flavor variations.

Here are 8 of the best cheeses to serve with pastrami:

1. Color

When pairing cheese and pastrami, the color of the cheese is an important factor.

Generally, lighter colored cheeses are milder in flavor and will give a nice contrast to the rich, intense flavor of pastrami.

While you can typically pair any type of cheese with pastrami, some firm favorites include:

  • White sharp cheddar.
  • Gouda.
  • White American.
  • Mozzarella.
  • Provolone.
  • Havarti.
  • Edam.
  • Fontina.

2. Texture

Texture plays an important role in the combinations of cheese and pastrami.

For example, semi-soft cheeses such as Gouda, Havarti and Provolone have a creamy texture that complements the smoky and salty notes of pastrami nicely.

Crumbly blue cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton or Bleu d’Auvergne add a tangy flavor and contrasting texture when paired with pastrami.

Medium-hard cheeses like Gruyere, Comte, Emmental, Jarlsberg and Muenster add nutty notes to the combination that are perfect for sandwiches.

Stronger flavors such as cheddar can overpower the taste of pastrami so be sure to choose more mild cheeses for this combination.

3. Aroma

For those who love it for its intense and intense taste, blue cheese is definitely the ideal one.

Aged for a minimum of five months, aroma blue (also called gorgonzola) is a strong semi-soft cow’s milk cheese that has more character than the traditional blue.

The aroma blue combines well with pastrami as its bold flavor contrasts with the salty and spicy notes of pastrami.

If you’re looking to add a unique note to your sandwich or wrap, try crumbling some aromas of blue on top or in between slices of bread and pastrami.

An uncommon but delicious combination.


When it comes to pairing pastrami with cheese, the ideal cheese selection can make a world of difference.

From creamy Brie to salty feta, the following 8 cheeses are sure to bring out the best in your favorite pastrami sandwich.

When it comes to enjoying your favourite deli meat, cheeses are certainly key.

Do not hesitate to experiment and see which one you like best or whether you can even have them all together in one great Sandwich.

The 8 BEST Cheeses that Go Well with Pastrami

Elevate your pastrami sandwich to new heights with the perfect cheese pairing! Discover our guide featuring the 8 best cheeses that will complement the savory goodness of pastrami and take your sandwich to gourmet levels of deliciousness.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 1 Serving


  • 1. Gouda
  • 2. Brie
  • 3. Feta
  • 4. Monterey Jack
  • 5. Smoked Gouda
  • 6. Fontina
  • 7. Muenster
  • 8. Colby Jack


  • Choose your favorite cheese from the comprehensive selection provided in this article.
  • Gather all of the essential ingredients required for the recipe.
  • Prepare a delectable pastrami with your selected cheese in under 30 minutes, following the provided instructions.
Keyword Cheeses that Go Well with Pastrami
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