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Locatelli Cheese Substitutes: 5 Top Options for Italian Flavors

Are you pondering on what to do with Locatelli cheese?

You can use it in so many recipes or maybe as a savory addition to your salads and meals.

Locatelli cheese is often used to top soups or pasta, while the harder variety is best grated into sauces.

If you are out of Locatelli Cheese and need a quick substitute, then here are some of the best substitutes: Asiago, Parmesan, Romano, Manchego, and Grana Padano.

Each of these cheeses will give whatever dish you’re making an almighty cheesy boost that ultimately can bring about an explosion of flavors.

What is Locatelli Cheese?

Locatelli cheese is a truly special Italian cheese, a type of grana cheese that is both creamy and crumbly.

It’s made from cow’s milk, but it has a richer flavor than most others on the market because the cows graze in meadows of lush vegetation in mountainous regions.

Not only does this result in more delicious milk, but its coarser texture creates an interesting contrast with the softer cheese itself.

Locatelli cheese is much sharper than many other types of cheese, with an intense saltiness balanced out by sweet tones and nutty nuances.

Its firm yet spreadable texture also makes it a great addition to dishes; you can use it either as part of the melting and bubbling topping for pasta and pizzas or simply grate over salads to add extra flavor.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Locatelli Cheese

For those of us who love Italian cuisine, Locatelli cheese can be a difficult item to find.

Fortunately, there are some delicious substitutes that can capture the same flavor and texture as the original.

Here are five of the best options for replacing Locatelli cheese in your recipes:

1 – Pecorino Romano

A sharp and salty cheese made from sheep’s milk, Pecorino Romano is a traditional food choice of Italy, often substituted for another widely known variety – Locatelli.

This hard-textured cheese has a complex taste and texture, the rind being very parmesan-like in consistency.

The interior of the cheese actually has an aroma to it with an assertive bite when tasted that nearly melts in your mouth with a salty edge that lingers in your palette even after you finish eating.

While roasted peppers, cannellini beans, and olive oil are qualities used to bring out the best flavor nuances in this hard cheese, grating it fresh over pasta would be a more popular option.

Also noteworthy is how well it can be used as a substitute for Locatelli – its flavor may be considered milder than that of Locatelli but not any less delicious.

2 – Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese often leaves one perplexed with its sumptuous taste and texture, as it is much different than other commonly used cheeses.

This sharp Italian cheese is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, sourced in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.

Its entire manufacturing process includes partially skimmed milk being heated, bacteria being added, and then being allowed to set in the form of a wheel or block.

Parmesan cheese has a crumbly texture with a nutty and salty taste that increases in intensity as it ages.

It can be used to enhance food dishes like Mac n’ cheese, salads, cooked vegetables, and kinds of pasta sauces.

If you need a substitute for Locatelli cheese, then Parmesan would likely be the closest choice due to their similar flavor profiles.

3 – Grana Padano Cheese

Grana Padano cheese has left food enthusiasts perplexed with its fascinating flavor profile and texture.

This Italian cheese is made from top-quality, unpasteurized cow’s milk sourced locally in northern Italy.

It is produced using the ancient method that involves careful selection of natural ingredients, curdling the mineral-rich milk, slow stirring to give it a grainy texture, and aging for at least 24 months.

With its complex nutty nuances and hints of sweetness, it rivals Parmigiano Reggiano (Locatelli).

The best part about Grana Padano is its smooth and creamy texture which mellows up as it ages.

It tastes amazing when used with salads, pasta, risotto, soups, or even on its own with grapes or candied fruits.

As a substitute for Locatelli cheese in recipes, consider using Grana Padano to bring out new flavors.

4 – Asiago Cheese

Asiago cheese is a truly unique and memorable delicacy originating from the Veneto region in Italy.

Its delicate, slightly sour hint adds just enough interest to a meal without overpowering it.

It certainly stands out for its mild yet distinct flavor, creamy texture that also crumbles when grated, and nutty aroma.

Best paired with fruits for desserts or added to salads for a bit of zest, Asiago cheese can also be used as an alternative for Locatelli cheese in some dishes.

Just keep in mind that it may require more seasonings, and it won’t melt evenly like Locatelli when cooked.

5 – Manchego Cheese

Manchego cheese is a Spanish delicacy that continues to perplex and intrigue the palate.

It’s made with raw sheep’s milk and aged up to 12 months, giving it an intense flavor with a piquant tang.

Regarding texture, Manchego is dense yet creamy, with small fragments of amino acids that make it slightly crumbly when you bite into it.

When used in cooking, Manchego adds complexity to any dish, but if unavailable, Locatelli cheese can be used as an equally delicious alternative.

The close relative of Parmesan has similar nutty notes and creamy mouthfeel that make it a great substitute for Manchego.


In conclusion, Locatelli cheese is a classic Italian cheese that has become popular worldwide.

Its creamy, nutty flavor and unique texture make it an excellent addition to many recipes.

For those looking for something different or if Locatelli isn’t available, Parmesan, Grana Padano, Asiago, and Manchego cheeses can all be substituted with great results.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Locatelli Cheese

The 5 Best Substitutes for Locatelli Cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Pecorino Romano
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Grana Padano Cheese
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Manchego 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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