Perfect in salads, sandwiches, and pasta, Feta cheese brings that uniquely tangy and salty flavor with the right amount of creaminess. The crumbly form gives a good contrast in pizzas and salads to add to the food porn or picture-worthy shot.
While feta cheese is available in most groceries, there will be moments when you’re about to prepare your most famous pasta with feta cheese, and for some unfathomable reason, you can’t find any. Why not some of the following feta cheese substitutes rather than rushing to make your next best pasta—without cheese?
- Ricotta Cheese
- Cottage Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese
- Cotija Cheese
- Queso Fresco
Fret not if you are still unable to find the above alternatives for your delicious pasta, read on as we share the full comprehensive list of the best Feta Cheese Substitutes.
17 Best Substitute For Feta Cheese
Feta is hailed as the representative cheese of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. While it may sound like a rapper or a festival for those who grew up munching on cheddar sticks, Feta cheese makes quite the statement with its crumbly texture with the right touch of saltiness and softness.
Feta cheese is considered a healthier cheese alternative with lower fat and dairy content since it is made from sheep’s and goat’s milk.
It’s also loaded with protein and probiotics that help the body better with digestion and metabolism. With feta cheese, you won’t worry about getting fatter. If you will like to get the same texture as feta cheese, the best substitutes we recommend will be ricotta or cottage cheese.
For your convenience, we’ve compiled the 17 best feta cheese substitutes for pasta, and there is also a bonus for vegans in the end.
Ricotta Cheese is perhaps the next best cheese to mimic the signature crumbly texture of feta cheese. Ricotta lends a slight sweetness to its creamy flavor and is popularly known as the cheese used for Italian desserts and cheesecakes.
This versatility makes it a brilliant feta cheese substitute for any recipe, including pasta.
Ricotta Cheese has an aged and crumblier version (ricotta salata) and a normal (creamy) version. Depending on your pasta recipe, you can choose either version to achieve your feta cheese goals: crumbly garnishing or a cheesy bake.
Remember to add salt to your recipe to achieve the desired tanginess of feta cheese.
The texture of cottage cheese is undoubtedly a runner-up in the crumbly race. Its mild and tempered flavor gives it a lot of potential for seasoning. The bland taste comes with benefits, such as lower sodium and fat content.
For those who grew up eating cottage cheese, we all know that it’s a family favorite as a salad topping, sandwich spread, and that delightful chunky pasta sauce.
Another near-perfect substitute for feta cheese is goat cheese! After all, feta cheese is actually 30% goat’s milk, so the flavor is comparable. Let’s just say: the taste is spot-on.
What’s not spot-on is the texture. Goat cheese is best for spreading on bread (just like cream cheese) and appears soft. If you’re after the flavor, you can easily mix in the cheese with the pasta to achieve that tangy winner.
If you’re going for the same look and taste, search for aged goat cheese to get that crumbly form.
White, soft, and gooey are Mozzarella’s key traits, which kids and adults love. Add in the mild saltiness, and it becomes another friendly substitute for feta cheese.
Mozzarella offers a creamier and low sodium alternative since it comes from water buffalo or cow’s milk. What makes it a blockbuster sub is that it’s such a versatile cheese that goes well whether melted, cubed, or mixed in a sauce.
The gooey gets-stuck-on-your-fork effect is such a crowd-pleaser to level up any cheesy sauce.
That’s right, this innocent home staple is your next feta cheese savior! Sharp cheddar is a surprising choice since it mirrors the taste of feta cheese.
While cheddar cheese cannot replicate the texture and color of feta cheese, it comes close to being a tasty substitute.
Did you know that the orangey color of cheddar cheese is just coloring called Annatto? If you look hard enough, you’ll find white cheddar cheese!
With this excellent information in mind, cheddar cheese should be a go-to cheese for your next pasta dish.
Cheddar cheese isn’t that big on melting, so shred or grate it on top of your pasta to get that near-feta finish.
Get ready for the parmesan version of Mexico! If most of the feta cheese substitutes appear to be on the blander side, Cotija cheese begs to differ with its extra sharp flavor—very much likened to parmesan cheese.
No wonder it’s nicknamed the “Parmesan of Mexico.”
This powerful flavor makes it perfect for dishes to satiate hard-core cheese lovers. It also resembles the texture of feta cheese—with an extra punch that you can expect from Latin American food.
While the flavor is strong, it falls short on the melting scale. Cotija cheese ranks low in the gooeyness category, but stands out as a “hard cheese”.
Consider its application best to top or garnish your pasta. Grate it like crazy, and drizzle it on your favorite cheesy pasta to get more oomph.
Here’s another Mexican cheese that should make it to your list. Translated as “fresh cheese,” Queso Fresco makes a “fresh” alternative to feta cheese since it looks the same but offers a milder taste.
It’s the everyday cheese in Mexico and can be bought fresh (a combo of goat’s and cow’s milk). The crumbly form is perfect, and if you’re looking for that delightfully “raw” taste, this is it.
Season it more if mixing in with the pasta to get that mix of creamy, chunky, and mild flavor. Since it’s a “fresh cheese,” Queso Fresco is also meant to be consumed immediately.
Halloumi is a sibling in the Greek (specifically, from Cyprus) cheese family and can claim this name rightfully so. Like its sister feta cheese, Halloumi comes from the same sheep’s and goat’s milk.
They have the same DNA flavor, but Halloumi prefers to bask on the milder and sweeter side.
Halloumi would make an invaluable substitute for those who want a milder version of feta cheese that is less crumbly.
Similar to Mozzarella (think fried Mozzarella sticks), this type of cheese is firmer than feta cheese, so it works its magic when cut into slices or slits.
Halloumi would be a great addition to pasta as incorporated in the sauce, topping or just a grilled garnishing with its higher melting point.
No reason to feel blue with Gorgonzola around. This blue cheese may offer a slightly stronger (but familiar) flavor to feta cheese.
If you’re looking for a uniquely sophisticated flavor for your pasta, Gorgonzola can turn it into a splendidly sharp and refined dish.
The texture is still very much similar to feta cheese, but the flavor lends a more distinguished bitterness and smokiness (in a good way) to liven up a pasta dish.
If you’re game to incorporate another type of blue cheese as a feta cheese substitute, the fancy-sounding Roquefort is another safe bet.
Originating from France, this cheese is made from sheep’s milk and delivers a more pungent version of the feta cheese flavor.
All other characteristics of feta cheese are present: strong flavor and crumbly nature. As a word of caution, not everyone may be a fan of the odorous blue cheese.
For those who enjoy the superb flavor of Roquefort, using this as a replacement for feta cheese guarantees a piquant pasta twist.
Does it sound Greek to you? It should—because Mizithra Cheese is of Greek origin and has a lot of factors in common with feta cheese.
Mizithra cheese gets a check in terms of the salty flavor, the crumbly texture, and the composition (made of goat’s and sheep’s milk).
To differentiate it from feta cheese, Mizithra can be considered milder in flavor and easier to crumble—if that is something you’d prefer in a dish.
If you’re getting ideas from these characteristics, this would be a great topping to pasta—whether crumbled, sliced, or grated.
Vegans will not have to miss out on the feta cheese craving. Tofu is a very well-known soy ingredient that is versatile and works wonders not only in Asian cuisine. If you’re not familiar with tofu, it’s made from solidified soy milk that’s pressed into firm blocks.
The firm tofu makes an excellent choice replacement for feta cheese since it fully captures the crumbly form. Since tofu has a naturally bland flavor, it’s the perfect palette for seasoning to achieve your preferred level of saltiness akin to feta cheese.
Many recipes can help you skillfully prepare tofu as a feta cheese substitute. What’s versatile about tofu is that it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and offers a wide range of health benefits.
Panela cheese is another cheese of Mexican origin. We can’t help but say “Ole!” for the wonderful feta cheese substitutes that can be sourced from Mexico. Once again, the salty flavor hits the mark.
Similar to Halloumi, Panela cheese is firm and borders on the rubbery texture. It makes a great addition to pasta if you’re not after its signature crumbly nature.
Panela cheese will be a chewy and bubbly addition to any oven-baked pasta. Wait for the melting cheese highlight!
Before you go nuts, yes, Cashew cheese is a vegan alternative to feta cheese. It’s made of cashew nuts, which will deliver a subtle and nutty taste. Cashew cheese gets much of its flavor from salt—and the combination creates that cheesy taste that is similar to feta cheese.
Cashew cheese appears more like ricotta with its consistency and thicker texture. It would be a great addition to sandwiches, salads, and pasta.
In terms of behavior, cashew cheese makes an excellent feta cheese replacement because of its firm texture and salty taste.
It may not be gooey like Mozzarella, but it can pack a tangy punch for a pasta dish.
Like cashew cheese, almond cheese is another godsend as a vegan alternative to feta cheese. Aside from being plant-based, you can also reap the nutritional benefits of almonds.
Almond cheese has that firm and crumbly texture that makes it a suitable feta cheese replacement. With its mild and nutty flavor, it will work best with pasta that needs a savory complement. Almond cheese is slightly blander than cashew cheese—so season your dishes depending on your salty preference.
Remember that almond and cashew cheese contain nuts, so steer clear of these if you have nut allergies.
Nutritional yeast is neither a type of cheese nor is it in a solid form that you can mix in your pasta. It is, however, an amazing vegan substitute that can be sprinkled as a flavoring agent to dishes requiring that “cheesy” taste.
Nutritional yeast has that sharp saltiness that is similar to feta cheese. It possesses some savory notes that can enhance the flavor of various dishes, aside from pasta.
True to its name, it is highly nutritious and promotes gut health. Many weight-conscious individuals will be delighted to learn that nutritional yeast has no fat, sugar, and gluten, and is low in calories and sodium.
Homemade Vegan Feta
There are a lot of homemade feta cheese recipes, and most of them center on the use of firm tofu to create that salty and crumbly appearance.
- Tofu usually comes packed in liquid so the very first step is to drain it by pressing or layering a plate with paper towels. You can add a heavy object on top to squeeze the liquid from the tofu blocks—and this activity may take hours. If you want to save time consider getting a tofu presser.
- Cut the tofu into cubes.
- Make the marinade following your recipe and soak the tofu cubes in the marinade for 4 hours.
Some popular marinade recipes that mimic the feta cheese liquid brine include olive oil, lemon, white wine vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, brine juice from a jar of olives, oregano, and basil.
A simple marinade you can try can be apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and dried oregano.
If you feel that the homemade feta cheese is still not salty enough, leave the marinade longer until you get that desired feta cheese flavor.