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5 Mild, Crumbly Substitutes for Feta Cheese

Kathryn studies and writes about health, nutrition, and food safety.

Ricotta is the best substitute for feta cheese. The crumbly texture is very similar to feta, though the taste is much less salty.

Ricotta is the best substitute for feta cheese. The crumbly texture is very similar to feta, though the taste is much less salty.

Five Alternatives to Feta

CheeseTextureTaste

Ricotta (Italian)

Crumbly much like feta

Less salty

Halloumi (Greek)

Similar firm texture to feta

Mild

Queso Fresco (Mexican)

Crumbly, moist

Mild

Goat-Sheep Mix

Crumbly

Mild

Tofu (see recipe)

Crumbly

Very mild

Feta cheese is one of the most popular types of cheese in the world. However, it is also a food that people tend to either love or hate. So what do you do if you're not fond of feta, but you have a recipe that calls for it? Try a feta substitute. Many of these alternatives are similar in texture but not as strong in taste, appealing to people who like feta recipes but have an aversion to that cheese's strong flavor.

Ricotta

This is the number one substitute for feta cheese. It is easy to find in most locations. It has a much different taste than feta, being a sweeter cheese where feta tends to be salty and slightly bitter. The crumbly texture is very similar, though, so it serves the same purpose as feta in many recipes. People who are looking for a recipe substitute that doesn't taste like feta but cooks similarly will find that ricotta is a good choice.

Fresh sliced halloumi cheese.

Fresh sliced halloumi cheese.

Halloumi

This type of cheese is very similar to feta. Like feta, halloumi is a Greek cheese. Feta is typically made from sheep's milk but Halloumi is made with a combination of sheep's and goat's milk. Note that there is halloumi packaged in its own brine, and there is a milder version that looks like regular packaged cheese. People who tend to not like feta's taste may find that the milder version of halloumi is a better selection for them.

Fresh queso fresco, also called queso blanco.

Fresh queso fresco, also called queso blanco.

Queso Fresco

This is a Mexican cheese that is available to purchase in some parts of the United States. Note, however, that there is a difference between the queso fresco bought in Mexico and that bought here. True queso fresco is made from raw milk, which is not the case in the U.S. due to American concerns about bacteria. That being said, either version is a type of crumbly cheese that can be used as a topping in place of feta. It is milder in taste than feta.

Fresh goat cheese, or chèvre, and crackers.

Fresh goat cheese, or chèvre, and crackers.

Goat Cheese

These days there are many different varieties of goat cheese (especially if you have access to a good farmer's market). Goat cheese has similarities to the sheep's cheese or sheep-goat combo that makes feta. Look for a crumbly variety of goat cheese to use as a replacement for feta. The taste will likely be milder than the taste of feta in your recipe.

Tofu Cheeses

There are some people who opt not to eat feta cheese because they are vegan and don't want to eat dairy. These days there are many recipes out there for vegan alternatives to cheese. Tofu-based recipes are the most common feta alternative, since tofu can crumble in a manner as feta.

© 2010 Kathryn Vercillo

Comments

CassidyS from OK on June 04, 2010:

Thanks for the link to the vegan feta cheese, I'll have to try it.

askjanbrass from St. Louis, MO on June 03, 2010:

I have to say, I love feta cheese but these alternatives are very great and quite appropriate to use if you need to swap one for the other. Thanks for sharing this!