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18 Awesome Ways to Substitute for Cheddar Cheese (White and Yellow)

Here are 18 awesome ways to substitute for cheddar cheese (white and yellow) including vegan options and 9 tasty recipes with cheddar cheese.

Need a good substitute for cheddar cheese?

Here are 18 awesome cheddar cheese substitutes if your grocery store is out of stock or you need a replacement in a pinch.

You’ll also find healthier alternatives for those looking to reduce their fat and calorie intake, plus vegan options for those who are dairy-free or plant-based.

No matter the circumstance, you’ll find the best substitutes for all your favorite recipes and dietary needs, below!

Cheddar Cheese 101

Cheddar cheese block and shreds with parsley on wooden cutting board.

Cheddar is one of the most popular cheeses in America. Its signature orange color, firm texture, and nutty flavor are hard to beat!

Most grocery stores offer mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, and extra sharp varieties. And you can even purchase white cheddar cheese.

What’s the difference between white and yellow cheddar?

The only difference between yellow cheddar and white cheddar is the color. The taste is exactly the same!

You might choose white cheddar over yellow cheddar depending on the aesthetics of your dish or what’s available in your store.

RELATED: 16 Easy Ways to Substitute for Feta Cheese

Easy Ways to Substitute for Cheddar Cheese

Below, are 14 easy ways to substitute for cheddar with a traditional cheese replacement. If you have a dairy allergy or follow a vegan lifestyle, keep scrolling for vegan options (substitutes 15-18).

1. American Cheese

Slice of American cheese on a hamburger with lettuce, mayo, and ketchup.

Some refer to American cheese as “cheddar lite.” It has a similar taste, but it’s milder and slightly sweet. American cheese also has a softer, more pliable texture.

You can use American cheese to substitute for cheddar on burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and subs.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

2. Colby Cheese

Several slices of yellow and white Colby cheese on wooden cutting board.

Colby cheese is a great cheddar substitute in mac and cheese, on burgers, in cheese dips, and on sandwiches. Lots of baked mac and cheese recipes call for part Colby and part cheddar cheese anyway.

Your recipes will have a slightly different taste because Colby is milder in flavor. It’s also slightly softer than cheddar.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

3. Swiss Cheese

Four triangular swiss cheese wedges with a cheese knife and sprig of thyme.

This light holey cheese has a mild flavor when compared to cheddar, but works great as a substitute for sandwiches and recipes where cheese isn’t the star ingredient.

Use Swiss cheese as a 1-to-1 substitute.

4. Blue Cheese

Triangular wedges of blue cheese on a white cutting board next to kitchen towel.

Blue cheese has a strong, pungent flavor, much different than cheddar cheese. If you like strong, mold-ripened cheese, this is a great substitute for cheddar on salads, burgers, and cheese platters.

However, blue cheese is not a good substitute for dips or casseroles.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

5. Gouda Cheese

Gouda cheese wedge and cubes on wooden cutting board with cheese knife.

This delicious, Dutch cheese makes a great substitute for cheddar in almost any application including, baked casseroles, dips, and sandwiches.

Gouda is a semi-hard cheese with a slightly crunchy texture and similar appearance to cheddar.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

6. Parmesan Cheese

Several pieces of parmesan cheese from a crumbled block on parchment paper.

Shredded parmesan cheese makes a great substitute for cheddar in green salads and pasta salads. While parmesan has a much different taste than cheddar and a dryer texture, its rich, umami flavor makes it a great compliment to these kinds of dishes.

You can use parmesan as a 1-to-1 substitute for cheddar in your favorite salads.

7. Brick Cheese

Large block of brick cheese with blue cheese cutter on wooden table.

Brick cheese is produced in Wisconsin and has a sweeter and more mild flavor when compared to cheddar.

It’s another semi-hard cheese that’s meltable, shreds well, and is great for sandwiches, dips, casseroles, and more.

Use Brick cheese as a 1-to-1 substitute anywhere you would cheddar.

8. Mozzarella Cheese

Several slices of mozzarella cheese on a wooden kitchen table with blue and white towel.

This distinctive white cheese has a creamy texture and mild flavor, very different from cheddar. But, it’s a healthier alternative for those looking to reduce their fat and calorie intake.

Mozzarella cheese is relatively low in fat and calories and works well in salads, certain casseroles, and dips.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

9. Pepper Jack Cheese

Pepper jack cheese on a cutting board with assorted crackers and cheese knife.

If you like a little spice in your recipes, you can try pepper jack as a cheddar cheese substitute. It has a similar texture to cheddar and melts and shreds well.

Pepper jack cheese works best as a substitute in casseroles, dips, and sandwiches or burgers.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

10. Cantal Cheese

Cantal cheese wedges on crostini bread with green garnish on cutting board.

Cantal cheese, sometimes referred to as the cousin of cheddar cheese, is one of the oldest cheeses produced in France.

It has a similar taste to cheddar (especially aged cheddar) and makes a great substitute if you can find it in your grocery store or a specialty food store.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

11. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese in large clear glass bowl with ridges on kitchen table.

You might not think of cottage cheese as a replacement for cheddar, but it’s a great healthy substitute for those watching their weight.

Cottage cheese has a mild flavor and soft texture, very different from cheddar. But, it can add healthy protein and a little bit of tang to salads and certain dip recipes.

However, it’s not an ideal substitute for sandwiches because of its soft texture, or casseroles because it doesn’t melt very well.

12. Edam Cheese

Edam cheese wedge and slices on cutting board with nuts and knife.

Edam cheese is a semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands. It’s salty, tangy, has a smooth texture, and also melts, slices, and shreds well.

Because of its similar texture and flavor, you can use Edam cheese to replace cheddar in almost any recipe!

It also pairs really well with fruit, so it’s a great cheddar substitute for a cheese board or charcuterie board.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

13. Double Gloucester Cheese

Double Gloucester cheese block and shreds over brown parchment paper on kitchen table.

This nutty semi-hard cheese has a smooth and buttery texture with a similar taste to cheddar, though milder. It melts well and has an apricot color due to the addition of annatto plant extract in the production process.

If you can find Double Gloucester Cheese in your grocery store or a specialty food store, you can use it as a 1-to-1 substitute anywhere you would cheddar.

14. Gruyere Cheese

Close up of gruyere cheese with holes and green garnish next to knife.

This Swiss cheese has an earthy, nutty flavor, and a smooth hard texture. And it’s a great cheddar substitute for cheese and charcuterie boards, sandwiches, and dips.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

RELATED: 19 Ways to Substitute for Cotija Cheese

Vegan Substitutes

If you have an allergy to cow’s milk or follow a vegan lifestyle, you’ll want to avoid cheese altogether. So, here are some non-dairy and vegan substitutes for cheddar you can easily find or make yourself.

15. Nutritional yeast

Large wooden bowl filled with nutritional yeast next to wooden spoon with nutritional yeast.

Nutritional yeast is a staple in many vegan households. It adds a cheese-like flavor when sprinkled on dishes, and you can also use it to make vegan cheese sauces.

Sprinkle nutritional yeast on salads, pizzas, and sandwiches, or use it to make a cheese sauce for macaroni, dips, and casseroles.

16. Cashew Cheese

Woman spreads vegan cashew cheese from a bowl onto piece of bread.

You can make cashew cheese by boiling or soaking cashew nuts and blending them until smooth. Cashew cheese can substitute for cheddar on sandwiches, in casseroles, and for dips.

17. Sweet Potato Sauce

Did you know you can use sweet potatoes to make a cheese sauce? It requires just a few ingredients including cashews and nutritional yeast, listed above.

And, here’s a great sweet potato cheese sauce recipe to try!

18. Commercial Vegan Cheddar

Commercial vegan cheese shreds and slices with cashew nuts and mini peppers.

Most grocery stores now carry commercially produced vegan cheese products. And one of the most popular options is Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds.

It melts like regular cheese so you can use it anywhere you would actual cheddar cheese.

Use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

RELATED: 16 Simple Ways to Substitute for Cottage Cheese

Yummy Recipes to Try

Here are some easy and delicious recipes that call for cheddar cheese. Use these to test out your favorite substitute for cheddar cheese above!

3-Ingredient Crock Pot Chili Cheese Dip

Chili cream cheese dip in small Crock Pot with tortilla chips and striped towel nearby.

Deluxe Grilled Cheeseburger Wraps

Grilled cheeseburger wrap cut in half surrounded by French fries on wood plate.

Skillet Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice

Melted Colby Jack cheese over cooked chicken, broccoli, and rice in a large skillet.

Easy and Cheesy Chicken Macaroni Casserole

Wooden spoon with chicken macaroni casserole lifting out of baking dish.

Cheesy Zucchini, Black Bean, and Rice Skillet

Zucchini, black bean, and rice dinner in large black skillet with plates and a towel nearby.

Homemade Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream White Sauce

Pan of creamy chicken enchiladas with tomato and green onion garnish on table with bowls of toppings nearby.

Easy Cheesy Drop Biscuits

Parmesan drop biscuits arranged on wood cutting board with greenery stem nearby.

Cheesy Tomato Chicken Linguine Recipe

White platter of chicken tomato linguine surrounded by wooden spoon, towel, and plates.

Healthy Crustless Broccoli and Ham Quiche

A slice of quiche with ham and broccoli on a white plate garnished with sliced green onions.