Here are 16 easy ways to substitute for feta cheese in a pinch. This ultimate list includes common substitutes, plus vegan options, too!
Feta is one of the most popular cheeses in the world. It has Greek origins and is used to top salads, and in veggie dishes, wraps, burgers, pizzas, and more. A Greek gyro or pita sandwich just wouldn’t be the same without it.
Feta cheese is made from sheep and/or goat’s milk and has a signature crumbly texture and tangy flavor.
This cheese, while fairly high in sodium, also offers lots of health benefits. It’s high in vitamins K, A, and B and is also a decent source of calcium and iron.
However, you may not always have feta cheese on hand when you need it, or you may need a dairy-free or vegan alternative. And, hey, some people just don’t like the taste.
So, here are several easy ways to substitute for feta cheese for every need!
Common Ways to Substitute for Feta Cheese
Try these feta substitutes if you’re in a pinch or just don’t like feta. Many of these alternatives are easily found in grocery and specialty food stores. You’ll find options that mimic feta pretty closely and options that have a different taste and/or texture but can work in similar dishes and recipes.
1. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has a similar texture to feta, but is milder in flavor. It’s also lower in sodium and fat. This cheese makes a great substitute anywhere you’d use feta if you’re looking for a healthy alternative.
Cottage cheese works great as a 1 to 1 substitute for pasta, salads, and even pizza.
2. Goat Cheese
This soft cheese has a tangy flavor that is similar to feta. If you can find crumbled goat cheese, it also has a similar texture. You can use goat cheese as a 1 to 1 substitute for salads, burgers, pastas, and pizza!
3. Queso Fresco
This Mexican cheese makes a pretty good feta cheese replacement. It has a similar texture, but a milder taste. It doesn’t go through the same aging and fermenting process, so it has a much less mature and sharp flavor.
Even so, queso fresco makes a great substitute for salads, burgers, Greek wraps, and sandwiches, 1 to 1.
Halloumi is a Greek cheese that is mild in flavor and even a little sweet when compared to feta. It also has a pretty dissimilar texture. So, if you’re looking to replace feta because you don’t like the taste, halloumi might be the answer.
This cheese is great for melty, bubbly recipes, like pizza, pasta, and casseroles. Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.
This blue cheese substitute has a similar flavor and texture to feta and is easily found in specialty grocery stores. You can use Roquefort 1 to 1 to replace feta in just about any recipe, especially salads, pizza, and pasta.
Mizithra is similar to feta in that it’s made from goat and sheep’s milk. However, it has a milder flavor. If you looking to cut out some of the sharp, tanginess of feta, you can try this cheese on salads, with veggies, and in puff pastry.
Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.
Here’s another Mexican cheese alternative to feta. This crumbly feta cheese substitute has a similar texture and a flavor likened to a more potent parmesan. Use cotija to top salads, tacos, and burgers, 1 to 1.
However, it doesn’t melt well and isn’t great for recipes that are meant to be bubbly and gooey.
Ricotta has a very similar taste to feta cheese, but it does have a higher moisture content. You can use ricotta as a 1 to 1 substitute anywhere you would feta, and enjoy less sodium and a slightly sweeter flavor.
Here’s another blue cheese that makes a decent substitute for feta. It has a stronger yet similar flavor, but a much more smooth and creamy texture. You can use gorgonzola on salads, pasta, with fruit, and even in casseroles and soups, 1 to 1.
10. Sharp Cheddar
Sharp cheddar has a similar taste to feta though it differs in color and texture (depending on where you get it). White cheddar and orange cheddar are virtually the same, but the white variety simply has no added Annatto coloring. White cheddar originates from England and orange cheddar is typically made elsewhere.
Cheddar can substitute for feta on salads, burgers, and wraps. Make sure to shred it as it’s not a crumbly cheese.
This white, soft cheese has a sweeter and more mild taste when compared to feta. So, if you’re looking for a less tangy cheese, mozzarella could do the trick. This cheese is also lower in sodium and higher in moisture content.
Use mozzarella to substitute for feta on pizzas, with veggies, and on sandwiches!
12. Panela cheese
Panela is another Mexican cheese that works well as a feta substitute. It has a similar taste and texture depending on what kind you find. Some panela has a rubbery texture, but you can also find a more crumbly panela if you have the patience.
Use panela anywhere you would feta, 1 to 1.
Dairy Free and Vegan Feta Substitutes
For those with a dairy allergy or looking to follow a vegan diet, there are several easy feta alternatives to try and you can even make your own.
Firm tofu is a versatile soy product that crumbles just like feta cheese. And, if you prepare it the right way, it can also have a similar taste.
See instructions for homemade vegan tofu below.
14. Cashew Cheese
This vegan option has a mild and nutty taste with a deep flavor. The texture is also crumbly, similar to feta cheese. Use cashew cheese as a 1 to 1 replacement for salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
15. Almond Cheese
Almond cheese works similarly to cashew cheese as a feta substitute. You can use it in the same way and it has a similar texture and nutty flavor. Both are vegan, though you should steer clear if you have any allergies to nuts.
16. Nutritional Yeast
This vegan product has a nutty, cheesy savory taste and can be sprinkled on a wide variety of foods to add additional flavor and nutrient value. It is also free of gluten, sugar, fat and is low sodium and low calorie.
While it doesn’t have a cheese-like texture, it can work anywhere you’d use feta as a flavor agent.
Homemade Vegan Feta
Here’s how to make homemade vegan feta cheese so you can get that same fermented tangy taste!
- 14 ounce tofu, extra firm
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup water
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup brine juice from a jar of Kalamata olives (or other olive varieties)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
- ½ teaspoon basil, dried
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
DRAIN the tofu using a tofu press or: LAYER a plate with paper towels, and PLACE the block of tofu on top. ADD another layer of paper towels on top and top with a second plate.
PLACE a heavy object on top of the plate to weigh it down. PRESS for about 4 hours to REMOVE all liquid. CHECK the plates occasionally to DRAIN water as needed.
Once drained, CUT the tofu into ½ inch cubes. MIX all remaining ingredients in a bowl to form a marinade. TOSS the cubes in the marinade to coat.
COVER and REFRIGERATE for several hours with the best results overnight. REMOVE from marinade and enjoy!
Recipes with Feta Cheese
Here are two easy and delicious recipes that call for feta. Use these to try out your favorite substitute for feta above!