Feta is a popular cheese that’s used in most salads and other light Mediterranean dishes. Because of its creamy and salty taste, feta makes dishes more enticing and even flavorful. Feta is not limited to salads any longer. It’s used in pizza, pasta, and even stuffed in baked bread to make things more interesting and delicious.
In the event you don’t have feta available near you, there are still several other substitutes you can make do. There are many substitute for feta cheese that even you or your guests won’t be able to tell the difference.
Are you ready to know what these substitutes are? Then let’s get started with this feta cheese substitute guide below.
5 Substitute For Feta Cheese
If you are looking for a substitute for feta cheese in salad, then look no further because we have here 5 different kinds of cheese that will serve as your replacement. So just in case you can’t find feta or would like to explore other cheeses as well, here are your picks:
1. Goat Cheese
The closest cheese that can substitute for feta would have to be goat cheese. This is because feta cheese is made up of 30% goat’s milk.
However, the texture of goat cheese that’s used commonly around restaurants is soft and spreadable whereas feta cheese is crumbly. So if you’d like the texture to be the same, buy the aged version of goat cheese. It will taste more like feta along with its crumbly texture.
Feta has a lot of fans for its taste and texture. But if you’re the type who does not care much for the texture and would like to substitute feta with a similar taste, mozzarella can be your best pick.
Though mozzarella traditionally comes from the milk of a water buffalo, mozzarella these days are made from cow’s milk. It has a salty taste like feta although milder. It’s also soft but has a stretchy texture. It’s responsible for that stringy cheese effect you see in pizza.
You may also put mozzarella cheese on salads like how you use feta. Just be sure to refrigerate your mozzarella as this cheese has a shorter lifespan than regular cheese at room temperature.
You’re probably wondering why tofu is on the list when it’s not even cheese. Believe it or not, tofu can be a substitute for feta cheese. It has the same soft and crumbly texture and has the same color. The only major difference would have to be the taste since tofu tastes bland. But you don’t need to worry about that since tofu can be seasoned although achieving the exact saltiness of the feta may be a little difficult.
This is why tofu is the best substitute for feta by vegetarians and vegans. It’s also healthy too and a great source of protein. Tofu can be the perfect replacement should you need feta cheese that’s not too salty.
Ricotta is one of those cheeses that are considered to be a great substitute for feta. Though the taste is sweeter than feta, ricotta has the same crumbly texture and color.
Italian dishes call for ricotta frequently that this cheese is common in grocery stores. So just in case you want a sweeter take on your salad or you’re pressed for time and can’t find feta, use ricotta cheese instead.
5. Cotija Cheese
Cotija cheese is a kind of Mexican cheese that’s compared to parmesan in flavor. It’s sharper than feta, but the texture and saltiness of cotija can match that of feta. Be sure to buy fresh cotija cheese rather than an aged one since the fresh cheese is softer and has more similarities to feta.
These 5 substitutes will work on salads, pasta, pizza, and bread. If your recipes call for feta but you can’t find any, these 5 replacements can still work.
What Does Feta Cheese Taste Like
Feta is mild. It’s not like other cheese that’s sharp. It’s salty and creamy. It’s also soft that feta can easily be crumbled.
If you chance upon feta in stores, you might wonder about the liquid that comes with it. Feta is stored with a brine solution to enhance its flavor and to avoid it from becoming dry and rubbery. It’s fine if you would like to rinse it off. But it’s recommended to buy feta with a brine solution since you’re sure it has retained its creaminess and flavor.
You already know feta is great on salads. But you can also use it simply as a table cheese. It’s great with wines such as Pinot Noir or with your favorite beer.
Feta is registered as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product. This means it can only be called “feta” if it’s made in some places in Greece.
Feta Cheese Health Benefits
Feta may just be a simple cheese but it’s packed with health benefits. For instance, 1 ounce of feta has only 6 grams of fat and 74 calories. This amount is considered lower than parmesan and cheddar which has 7 grams of fat and 110 calories.
In addition, feta has magnesium, iron, Vitamin K, and A. Having feta cheese means you’re also getting more Vitamin B and calcium as compared to eating ricotta or mozzarella.
The only downside to eating feta is the high amount of sodium it contains, especially since it’s sitting in a brine solution. 1 ounce of feta has 312 mg of sodium. That’s considered 13% of your Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
As mentioned above, brine can be washed off from your cheese. So remember to rinse it off the feta cheese once you’re about to use it. This way you can lessen the amount of sodium contained in the cheese.
Feta Cheese Shelf-life
All cheese will spoil eventually. Feta is not an exception. If it helps, only buy feta if you need it rather than to have it and just leave it waiting for you to find the time to use it. By buying feta when you only need it, you’re assured you only have the freshest feta cheese.
Don’t forget to read the label! It’s best to check the bottle or packaging of the feta cheese you bought to get an estimate on how long your cheese will be good for. Store it in the refrigerator upon purchase and don’t leave it out at room temperature.
Do note that once you open the pack, your feta cheese will last in your refrigerator only until a week. Remember to keep it sealed. Getting it soaked back in brine is also recommended.
Recipes With Feta Cheese
So what can you do with feta cheese or how will you use all these feta cheese substitutes?
Feta on salads gives it a yummy and refreshing taste. It adds to the flavor by making it salty, balancing out the sweetness of fruits and vegetables you might add on your bed of lettuce. For instance, a salad with lettuce, arugula, your choice of citrus fruit, and feta cheese go well with each other. You’ll be complimenting sweet, sour, and salty altogether, creating a light yet tasty salad.
If you don’t mind a bit of carb in your daily diet, then having feta on your favorite loaf of bread is like a slice of heaven.
Sourdough especially matches feta cheese. Add in some walnuts too for an added crunch to your toast or you may go for just a classic taste of feta drizzled with olive oil.
You can also mix sweet and salty together by spreading fruit jam and crumbling feta cheese on it. This sandwich is filling and very delicious.
Add feta cheese to your pizza. You can make Mediterranean flavored pizza by just adding feta, olives, and peppers. You can also mix feta, cheddar, mozzarella, and blue cheese for a simple 4-cheese pizza.
Make breakfasts even more interesting by putting feta cheese in your omelets. You can also add in some chopped tomatoes and spinach to make it even healthier. With feta, you don’t have to add salt since the cheese will add flavor to your omelet.
With these recipe ideas, you can use feta cheese any way you want it. But you can also use the substitutes mentioned above if you can’t find feta in your local grocery stores. It will taste just the same that most of your guests would be fooled into thinking it’s really feta cheese.
Whether it’s a substitute for feta cheese in salad you’re looking for or just trying out a dish with a different kind of cheese, these replacements will greatly help you. You’ll also be able to tell the difference regarding feta cheese health benefits among the rest.
Let this list of substitute for feta cheese be your guide for future recipes.
Did you find this list helpful? What is your favorite feta cheese substitute and what recipe will you use it with?