7 Great Taleggio Cheese Substitutes

Taleggio is a delicious semi-soft cheese that originates from Italy. It has a distinctive flavor and creamy texture that makes it versatile for enjoying on its own or using in cooking.

7 Great Taleggio Cheese Substitutes

However, you may sometimes need or want a taleggio substitute for your recipes or cheese boards. Whether you can't find taleggio locally, want a cheaper alternative, or need a non-dairy option, there are several tasty cheeses to consider.

Understanding Taleggio Cheese

To find the best taleggio swaps, it helps to understand what defines this cheese. Here is an overview of classic taleggio:

Flavor profile: Tangy, fruity, nutty, buttery, pungent Texture: Soft, creamy Made from: Cow's milk Type: Washed rind, semi-soft Aging: Minimum 4 weeks

Taleggio has a signature stinky aroma and gooey texture thanks to its washed rind and semisoft characteristics. Its rich taste comes from expert aging that allows flavor compounds to develop.

Keep these qualities in mind when evaluating substitutes below.

Overview of Taleggio Substitutes

Several cheeses make solid alternatives to taleggio depending on your needs:

  • Brie - Mild, creamy, French cheese
  • Camembert - Creamy, tangy, more pungent than Brie
  • Fontina - Mild, nutty Italian cheese
  • Gorgonzola - Pungent, crumbly Italian blue cheese
  • Gruyere - Nutty, fruity Swiss cheese
  • Bel Paese - Mild, buttery Italian cheese
  • Havarti - Mild, buttery Danish cheese

Below is more detail on how these substitutes compare.

Taste and Texture Comparison

To decide which taleggio swap suits your recipe, compare flavors and textures:

TaleggioTangy, fruity, nutty, buttery, pungentSoft, creamy
BrieMild, buttery, slightly tangySoft, creamy
CamembertTangy, nutty, pungentSoft, creamy
FontinaMild, nuttySemi-soft to semi-hard
GorgonzolaPungent, tangy, fruity, crumblyCrumbly
GruyereSweet, fruity, nuttySemi-soft to semi-hard
Bel PaeseMild, butterySemi-soft
HavartiMild, butterySemi-soft

As you can see, options like brie and camembert mimic taleggio's texture the closest. However, gorgonzola nails the pungent quality.

Consider the dish you're making and flavors that would complement it best when deciding which cheese to use.

How to Use Taleggio Substitutes in Recipes

Using a taleggio swap in your cooking takes a little finesse. Here are tips for incorporating substitutes into some classic taleggio recipes:

Baked Pasta Dishes

For lasagna, mac and cheese, or casseroles, go for fontina or gruyere. Both melt well and have a creamy texture once baked. Their mild-moderate flavors also suit these cheesy dishes.

Pizza Topping

Oozing, melty cheese is key for pizza. Mozzarella is the typical go-to, but for something different, try brie or camembert. Their soft textures will melt nicely without being overpowering.

Salad Topper

Crumble a tasty cheese over your salad for extra flavor and texture. Tangy options like feta, goat cheese, or gorgonzola pair nicely with crisp greens.

Cheese Board Addition

Serve a cheese board with wine, fruit, nuts and bread. The options are endless! Choose an assortment like brie, havarti, gruyere and fontina for an interesting variety.

Risotto or Pasta Sauce

Stir taleggio into risotto or pasta sauce just before serving so it melts into a rich, creamy coating. Substitute with bel paese or havarti for a similar effect.

The key is picking a substitute that matches the texture and flavor intensity you want in your dish.

Key Takeaway: Softer cheeses like brie and camembert mimic taleggio's texture the best while gorgonzola matches its pungency. Consider the recipe when deciding which to use.

Creating a Diverse Cheese Board

Impress guests with an elaborate cheese display! Select a variety of cheese types, textures, milk sources and flavors:

  • Soft: Brie, camembert, havarti
  • Semi-soft: Fontina, bel paese
  • Blue cheese: Gorgonzola, blue
  • Goat/sheep milk: Chevre, feta
  • Cow milk: Gruyere, gouda, cheddar
  • Mild: Brie, mozzarella, havarti
  • Pungent: Gorgonzola, blue, camembert

Arrange cheeses from mild to strong. Provide cheese knives, crackers and breads, grapes, figs, nuts and chutney for pairing.

Key Takeaway: Offer cheese board guests a variety of textures, milk sources and flavor intensities. Presentation with proper knives and pairings elevates the experience.

Pairing Guide

Beyond eating taleggio solo, certain flavors complement and bring out its best qualities:


Fresh figs, pears or grapes make classic pairings, as their sweetness balances taleggio's tangy qualities. The contrast of the soft cheese and the fruit's texture also shines.

Nuts or Seeds

Crunchy walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts provide tasty contrast with the creamy cheese. Honey roasted nuts add touches of saltiness and sweetness too.


Prosciutto, salami or other cured meats match taleggio beautifully, as all are hallmarks of Italian cuisine. The charcuterie choices bring salt and texture while the cheese offers richness.


Depending on preference, opt for lighterchoices like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc or a light Pinot Noir. Or enjoy a warming glass of red blend with the cheese.

Key Takeaway: Fruits, nuts, cured meats and lighter white or red wines make exceptional pairings with taleggio cheese. Their flavors, textures and qualities complement each other.


What cheese has flavor and texture most like taleggio?

Of the recommended options, brie provides the closest match in both flavor and texture profile. It offers a similar creaminess and mild buttery taste. Camembert works as well.

Which is the best taleggio substitute for baking or heating?

Fontina is a great choice for dishes like lasagna, mac and cheese or casseroles that require melting. Gruyere is another good baked taleggio alternative.

What's a simple swap on a cheese board?

Havarti makes a user-friendly substitute to taleggio for a cheese display. It's mild, creamy and approachable for most palates while delivering a comparable smooth texture.

Can I use gorgonzola if I want a non-dairy sub?

No, unfortunately gorgonzola contains cow's milk. For non-dairy options, explore nut-based or coconut cheeses made for slicing, spreading or cooking. Some imitate classic cheese qualities like being soft or crumbly.


Taleggio cheese has an unmistakable flavor and texture.

Luckily, several cheeses make suitable replacements when you want or need an alternative, from brie and camembert to havarti and gorgonzola.

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AGAH Productions