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Delicious Choices: 5 BEST Substitutes for Manchego Cheese

Finding the perfect substitute for Manchego cheese can seem like a culinary quest. Manchego has a unique flavor that’s hard to replicate.

We’ve all been in that spot – mid-recipe, realizing the star ingredient is missing. And that’s where our guide shines.

“I couldn’t find Manchego for my dinner party last minute,” shared a friend. Their quick fix? A substitute that saved the day.

We’ve lined up 5 fantastic cheeses that come incredibly close in taste and texture. No more pausing your cooking because of missing ingredients.

Each one brings something special to the table, ensuring your dish still tastes divine. Let’s dive in and discover these culinary stand-ins.

What Is Manchego Cheese?

what is manchego cheese

First of all, Manchego cheese is pale yellow.

This semi-soft cheese has a firm texture with a pleasant aroma and possesses a fruity and sweet aftertaste.

Additionally, it contains a fat content of 57 percent.

Manchego cheese falls in the category of semi-soft cheese. Its name originates from the word “Mancha,” which was the term used to refer to a sheepherder who lived on the La Mancha plains of Spain.

This cheese has been around for over 2,000 years and is still popular today!

Moreover, it is reported that Manchego cheese contains more calcium than any other Spanish cheese.

In addition, this cheesy delight is often used in many dishes, including salads, tapas, and sandwiches.

Depending on the age, Manchego cheese has a different taste and texture.

It is said that younger versions of this cheese are very creamy and slightly crumbly, while aged cheese contains a more pronounced and salty taste.

While Manchego cheese can be found across the globe, it is most common in Spain because it originates from this area.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Manchego

ere’s a detailed comparison of the key characteristics and the proper ratios for substituting Manchego cheese with Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Asiago, Cheddar, and Zamorano cheeses:

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Mozzarella CheeseIt has a mild and slightly sweet taste. It is also soft, moist and melts well.1:1
Monterey Jack CheeseThis cheese is semi-hard with a creamy and mild flavor, it melts well and blends with other flavors.1:1
Asiago CheeseAsiago is semi-hard to hard depending on age, with a sharp, complex flavor, slightly more intense than Manchego.1:1
Cheddar CheeseCheddar is hard and has a sharp, pungent flavor. It’s a good substitute when you want a stronger cheese flavor.1:1
Zamorano CheeseSimilar to Manchego, Zamorano is a hard, crumbly sheep’s milk cheese with a robust flavor.1:1

1 – Mozzarella Cheese

mozzarella cheese

Second, mozzarella cheese is a popular substitute for Manchego cheese.

This is because it has a similar texture to the Spanish original. It is creamy and crumbly.

This cheese originated in southern Italy, created from water buffalo’s milk.

However, mozzarella cheese can be made for commercial purposes using cow’s milk or even soy.

One may consider that this type of cheese is bland in taste; hence, it is usually combined with herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, etc.

In addition, mozzarella cheese is ideal for grilling!

To top it off, this cheesy delight also pairs well with other ingredients such as tomatoes and olive oil.

2 – Monterey Jack Cheese

monterey jack

Next up is another cow’s milk cheese, a splendid substitute for Manchego cheese.

It has a similar texture and taste as the Spanish original.

This mild-tasting cheese originated in Monterey County, California, created from Mexican settlers’ traditions.

Today, this delicious delicacy is produced across the U.S., Mexico, and Latin America.

Monterey Jack cheese has a relatively high melting point, making it ideal for grilling.

This is also the perfect choice if you want to make quesadillas, tacos, and other dishes.

Additionally, this mild-tasting cheese contains less fat than other varieties; hence, it is typically used in diets.

3 – Asiago Cheese

asiago cheese

Third, asiago cheese is another great alternative to Manchego cheese.

In this case, it has a similar texture and taste as the Spanish original.

This laidback-tasting cheese originated in Italy, first created from sheep’s milk.

However, asiago can be made from cow’s or even goat’s milk.

Asiago cheese is a hard cheese that is ideal for grilling.

It also pairs well with other ingredients such as tomatoes and basil.

This type of cheese possesses a strong flavor, making it the perfect choice for those who prefer a strong taste.

In addition, asiago has a high calcium content and less sodium and fat than other varieties.

4 – Cheddar Cheese

cheddar cheese

Cheddar cheese is another great option if you are looking for a substitute for Manchego cheese.

Compared to the Spanish original, it has a similar texture and taste.

This is because cheddar cheese possesses a stringy, gooey, melt-in-the-mouth consistency that makes it perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches.

This is also one of the reasons why this variety of cheese pairs well with other ingredients such as tomatoes and basil – these ingredients complement this variety of cheese perfectly.

Moreover, cheddar cheese is a popular ingredient in various recipes such as cheesecake and macaroni and cheese.

Make sure to experiment with flavors such as garlic and chives to create a whole new dining experience.

5 – Zamorano Cheese


Depending on the dish you are planning to prepare, Zamorano cheese can also be used as a substitute for Manchego cheese.

This pressed Spanish cheese has a similar texture and taste as the original – it is hard and crumbly; hence, it pairs well with other ingredients such as tomatoes and basil.

However, Zamorano cheese is not as well-known as some of the other cheeses on this list.

This type of cheese is also more expensive than others, which is another factor to consider if you want to save money.


Manchego is a scarce cheese. The original variant is available in Spain and related provinces.

It isn’t easy to locate a place for fresh Manchego.

Mozzarella, cheddar, Zamorano, Asiago, and Monterey Jack are the best substitutes for Manchego with the same taste.

All of the cheeses mentioned above resemble the taste of Manchego.

The only difference that exists is texture or color.

But overall, if you are a crazy fan of recipes, and you require Manchego but can’t find one in your neighborhood, use these substitutes to fulfill your desire for chicken and Manchego rice bowls.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Manchego Cheese

Looking to explore alternatives to Manchego cheese? Your search ends here! Discover the top 5 substitutes that will seamlessly replace the distinctive flavors of Manchego, ensuring a delightful culinary experience.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Zamorano Cheese


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for manchego cheese
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