Manchego cheeses are a famous variety of cheese from Spain.
They have a distinctive taste and texture, making them different from most other cheeses available in the United States.
Manchego cheeses are often described as nutty and fruity in terms of flavor. Some non-Spanish people might also describe them as being grassy or herbal. When it comes to texture, Manchego cheeses are fairly firm and grainy.
They tend to be nutty and sweet, making it easy to think of substitutes for Manchego cheese.
This article will go over five of the top substitutes for 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
Here are five substitutes for Manchego cheese that you can try.
1 – 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
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
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 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.