Brie Cheese Alternatives

Brie cheese is beloved for its rich, creamy texture and buttery, slightly earthy flavor.

Types Of Cheeses

This soft cheese originating in France is a popular choice for cheese boards, sandwiches, pastries and many other dishes.

However, you may sometimes find yourself without brie when a recipe calls for it.

Luckily, there are plenty of excellent brie substitutes you can use instead.

What Makes Brie Cheese So Special?

Before diving into substitutes, let's first look at what gives brie its distinctive appeal:

  • Texture - Brie has a very soft, spreadable texture. The edible rind helps it keep its shape, but the interior is creamy and luscious. When baked or warmed, brie becomes even more decadent and oozy.
  • Flavor - Most varieties of brie have a mild, buttery, slightly earthy taste. The flavor is subtle enough to pair well with many ingredients. Brie also often has fruity, nutty notes.
  • Milk - Authentic French brie is made from cow's milk. Brie can also be made from goat or sheep's milk. The type of milk impacts the final flavor.
  • Ripening - Brie is a soft-ripened cheese. This means it gets most of its flavor from the rind as it ripens over several weeks.
  • Fat Content - Many types of brie are double or triple cream, meaning they have a high fat content. This gives brie its signature richness.
  • Versatility - Brie's creamy texture and universal flavor make it versatile for cooking, cheese boards, snacks and more.

These qualities are important to keep in mind when selecting an alternative, as you'll want something with similar characteristics.

1. Camembert

Camembert is likely the most similar cheese to brie available. Like brie, it's a soft, creamy cheese from France with a white, bloomy rind.

However, Camembert tends to be more pungent and robust in flavor. It has prominent notes of mushroom, garlic and earthiness. The texture is also runnier and more oozy when melted.

Nevertheless, Camembert makes an excellent direct substitute for brie in most applications. Its rich texture melts beautifully into dishes like baked brie appetizers, pasta and pizza. Camembert also works well on cheese trays or as a spread on crackers or bread.

Just be aware that older, more ripened Camembert will have a stronger flavor than mild brie. But for an authentic French cheese alternative, Camembert is hard to beat.

Key Takeaway: For a similar soft ripened cheese, opt for Camembert as a easy brie swap-in. Just account for its more robust flavor.

2. Triple Cream Cheese

For an extra decadent texture similar to brie, turn to triple cream cheeses. These indulgent cheeses have an even higher fat content, resulting in a rich, velvety mouthfeel.

Popular options like Brillat-Savarin, Saint André or Explorateur all make fantastic brie substitutes. They have the same edible rind and oozy interior when warmed.

Flavor-wise, triple creams tend to taste ultra-buttery, with fruity notes. The overall flavor intensity depends on the variety - some are quite mild like brie while others are more pungent.

Triple cream cheeses shine on cheese trays or as a knockout ingredient in apps and tarts. Their opulent texture also melts beautifully into any dish.

Just be aware the extra richness can quickly become overwhelming. A little triple cream cheese goes a long way flavor-wise. But for occasional indulgence, they make stellar brie alternatives.

3. Boursin

Boursin is actually not a cheese at all, but rather a cheese spread that makes a quick and convenient substitute for brie in cooking.

This blend of herbs, spices and soft cheese has a creamy, smooth texture similar to brie's luscious mouthfeel. The flavor profile is also comparable - Boursin is mild, tangy and rich like good brie.

Since Boursin comes premixed in a spreadable form, it's extremely simple to use. Just be aware that brands differ in flavor, so taste test first to find a good brie match.

Boursin works excellently as a quick substitute for brie in hot appetizers, pizza, pasta and tarts. It provides creamy richness without needing to slice wedges of cheese. Just note that it may separate a bit when baked.

For a fast and convenient option with less waste than a whole brie round, flavorful Boursin is hard to top.

4. Fontina

Fontina is an excellent substitute for cooked applications when you want that melt-in-your-mouth creaminess of melted brie.

This Italian semi-soft cheese has a smooth, fudgy texture when melted. While firmer than brie when cold, it beautifully transforms into rich, gooey perfection when heated.

The nutty, earthy flavor of Fontina is also comparable to brie's essence. It has a similar complexity that pairs well with many ingredients.

For incredible results, use Fontina in:

  • Grilled cheese or melted sandwiches
  • Pizza
  • Pasta dishes
  • Soups or risottos
  • Cheese fondues or dips

The firm texture means Fontina won't work as well for cold applications like cheese plates. But for melted cheesy goodness, nutty Fontina is hard to top as a brie substitute.

5. Mascarpone

Want a simple swap for the luscious texture of brie? Mascarpone is the answer.

This fresh Italian cream cheese has a rich, silky and smooth consistency that mimics brie's decadent mouthfeel. However, it is easier to spread straight from the container.

Mascarpone's flavor is also neutral and versatile like brie. It provides a mild, creamy backdrop that allows other ingredients to shine.

Consider using mascarpone for:

  • Baking in savory tarts or pastries instead of brie
  • As the base for dips
  • In rich pasta dishes
  • On bruschetta or crostini
  • Sweet desserts like tiramisu

Just note that mascarpone has a much higher melting point than brie. So it won't work for melted applications. But for an easy luscious texture fix, mascarpone is a handy substitute.

6. Young Goat Cheese

Fresh young goat cheese provides a stellar substitute for brie's creamy texture. It also mimics brie's tangy, subtle flavor when young.

When made from goats allowed to browse and graze freely, goat cheese takes on delicious herbal, grassy notes reminiscent of brie's slight earthiness.

For best results as a brie swap, choose a soft, spreadable goat cheese that's mild in flavor. Aged, firm goat cheese tends to be too crumbly and sharp for most brie recipes.

Goat cheese makes an awesome brie-like addition to:

  • Goat cheese salad with nuts and fruit
  • Warm goat cheese appetizers like baked brie or puff pastries
  • Omelets and savory breakfast bakes
  • Sandwiches when sliced or spreadable

Note that goat cheese generally won't melt as smoothly as brie. But for easy creaminess and tang, fresh goat cheese is a stellar choice. Try brands like Chèvre or Humboldt Fog.

7. Quark

Never heard of quark? This versatile fresh cheese common in German cuisine makes an excellent lower-fat substitute for brie.

Like brie, quark has a creamy, spreadable texture. But it contains much less fat than brie's signature richness. It's also mild, tangy and fresh in flavor.

Some delicious ways to use quark as a brie alternative:

  • As a dip for veggies or pretzels
  • Stuffed into baked potatoes
  • As the creamy filling in savory tarts
  • Topping for flatbreads or pizza
  • Cheesecakes or sweet cheese dips with fruit

Quark is also fantastic in breakfast dishes like blintzes or cream cheese pancakes. Its protein content makes it more nutritious than many cheeses.

For a lower-fat, lower-calorie creamy substitution for brie, give quark a try. Just know that it generally won't melt or behave exactly like brie when heated.

8. Robiola

Robiola is an Italian soft cheese that makes an excellent stand-in for brie in terms of rich texture and mild flavor.

This cheese is traditionally made from a blend of cow, sheep and goat milks. This gives Robiola a complexity reminiscent of brie's nuances.

The smooth, creamy texture when fresh is also quite similar. Young Robiola in particular has a mild, fresh and tangy flavor profile comparable to brie.

Consider swapping Robiola for brie in:

  • Panini, sandwiches or wraps
  • Bruschetta or crostini
  • Cheese plates with fruit or nuts
  • Savory tarts or pastries

Robiola adds a distinctive mediterranean flair to any recipe. Just be aware that it can become crumbly and dry if too firm or aged. Stick to soft, spreadable varieties for best brie mimicry.

9. Mozzarella

You may not immediately think of swapping in mozzarella for brie. But fresh, soft mozzarella actually makes a great substitute in certain applications.

In particular, soft mozzarella di bufala shares brie's luscious, creamy mouthfeel. When melted, it has that same gooey stretch that oozy baked brie possesses.

Flavor-wise, fresh mozzarella is mild, milky and slightly tangy like young brie. It has a similar subtlety that pairs well with other ingredients.

Mozzarella can make an awesome replacement for brie in:

  • Caprese salad with fresh tomatoes and basil
  • Egg dishes like frittatas or omelets
  • On pizza instead of brie for beautiful melt and stretch
  • For excellent melty sandwiches
  • In cooked Italian dishes like lasagna, manicotti or cannelloni

The catch is that mozzarella doesn't quite mimic brie's flavor when cold. But for gooey melted applications, it's a handy universally loved substitute.

10. Fromage Blanc

Fromage blanc is a fresh French cheese with a consistency remarkably similar to brie - velvety, scoopable and spreadable.

Its flavor is also comparable. Fromage blanc offers a mild, fresh and subtly tangy taste when plain. It acts as a blank canvas for other ingredients.

Thanks to its light texture and neutral flavor, fromage blanc can mimic brie in dishes like:

  • Dips or spreads
  • Fillings for crepes, blintzes or pastries
  • Toppings for bruschetta or flatbreads
  • Enhancements for omelets or frittatas
  • Cheesecakes or savory tarts like quiche

Fromage blanc is lower in fat than creamier brie. But its fresh flavor and smooth, scoopable texture make it a handy fridge staple substitute for many baking recipes.

11. Burrata

Lastly, for an indulgent melt-in-your-mouth alternative, try using burrata instead of brie.

This Italian cheese consists of soft stracciatella cheese encasing an inner cream filling. It has an incredibly rich, velvety and lush texture reminiscent of brie.

Burrata's flavor is also mild, buttery and tangy - but considerably fresher tasting. It lacks brie's earthy notes.

Consider using burrata for ultimate decadence in:

  • Salad with fresh tomatoes and greens
  • Bruschetta
  • Baked pastas or lasagna
  • As a dessert cheese with fruit and wine

The downside is that burrata has a much higher moisture content than brie. So it won't bake quite the same way - the filling tends to ooze out.

But for an absolutely decadent brie-like experience, it's hard to beat the lush creaminess of burrata. It melts in your mouth in the most delightful way.


1. What's the difference between brie and Camembert cheese?

Brie and Camembert are quite similar - both are soft, creamy cheeses from France with white bloomy rinds. However, Camembert has a more robust, funkier flavor with notes of mushroom and garlic. Brie is milder in taste. Camembert is also runnier and more oozy when melted.

2. Can I use cottage cheese as a substitute for brie?

You can try using cottage cheese, but it won't mimic brie's texture and flavor very closely. Cottage cheese is crumbly and contains noticeable curds, unlike brie's silky smoothness. The flavor is also much more plain and sour compared to brie’s complexity.

3. Is cream cheese an acceptable substitute for brie?

In some applications, you may be able to substitute cream cheese for brie as they both have a rich, spreadable texture when at room temperature. However, at cooler temperatures cream cheese becomes much firmer than soft brie. The flavors are also quite different - cream cheese is tangy and plain while brie is complex and earthy.

4. What’s the best vegan brie alternative?

Some vegan “brie” options include brands like Miyoko's Creamery and Kite Hill that make cheeses from cashews or almonds. These nut-based cheeses can mimic brie’s texture and flavor more accurately than other vegan cheeses. Most traditional brie alternatives contain dairy.

5. Why does baked brie taste better than unbaked?

Baking transforms brie’s texture into something warm and molten. It also concentrates the earthy, nutty flavors. The Maillard reaction between the cheese’s amino acids, sugars and proteins boosts an array of richer, more complex aromas and tastes. Melting the cheese helps mix these flavors throughout.

6. Can you freeze brie cheese?

You can freeze brie cheese for up to about 2 months. Make sure to wrap it air-tight first in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Allow frozen brie to thaw overnight in the fridge before using. The texture may become a bit crumbly, but the flavor remains. Freezing prevents waste if you can't consume a whole wheel before it spoils.


Brie cheese makes a fantastic addition to many dishes with its creamy texture and versatile, subtle flavor. However, when you don't have brie on hand, there are many excellent cheeses that can mimic brie's melt-in-your-mouth richness and nuanced taste.

Soft cheeses like Camembert, triple creams or fresh goat cheese offer great alternatives with comparable mouthfeel. For easy melting properties, swap in Fontina, Mascarpone or Boursin spread. If you want something nutty and mild, try Robiola or Quark.

Even mozzarella or burrata work for applications where you need luscious melted cheese. With so many options, you can find a brie substitute suited to any recipe or preference.

Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀
Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀

I'm a total cheese fanatic! When I'm not busy studying to be a cheesemaker, you can find me scouring local farmers markets and specialty shops for new and exciting cheeses to try. Brie is my all-time fave, but I also love exploring aged goudas, funky blues, and rich creamy camemberts. Looking forward to sharing lots of melty, gooey cheese pics and reviews!