Fontinella Cheese Substitutes

Fontinella cheese is a delicious, unique cheese that adds great flavor to many dishes.

Fontinella Cheese Substitutes

However, it can be difficult to find in stores. If you have a recipe that calls for fontinella cheese but don't have any on hand, don't worry!

There are several excellent fontinella cheese substitutes that you can use instead.

What Is Fontinella Cheese?

Fontinella cheese is an Italian-style cheese originally made in the United States. It has a semi-soft texture and pale yellow color.

The main qualities of fontinella cheese are:

  • Mild, nutty flavor - Not too sharp or tangy. Has a subtle sweetness.
  • Creamy, semi-soft texture - Smooth and spreadable when young. Firmer when aged.
  • Melts well - Gets extremely gooey and stringy when melted. Great for dishes like pizza, pasta, etc.
  • Versatile usage - Works great sliced, shredded, melted, etc. Used in many Italian and American dishes.

So when looking for a fontinella substitute, you'll want to try to match its smooth, mild flavor and melted properties if using it in hot dishes. Let's look at your best options!

Reasons for Needing a Substitute

There are a few common reasons you may need a substitute for fontinella cheese:

  • Fontinella can be hard to find - It's not always stocked in regular grocery stores. You may have to visit a specialty cheese shop.
  • You've run out of fontinella - Oops! Your recipe calls for it but you don't have any fontinella in the fridge. Time to improvise.
  • You want to try something new - Fontinella is delicious, but it's fun to experiment with different cheeses too.
  • Dietary restrictions - Fontinella contains dairy. You may need a non-dairy sub if avoiding milk products.
  • Lower fat options - Fontinella is moderately high in fat. Substitutes like part-skim mozzarella are lower.

Luckily there are many excellent fontinella substitutes to choose from! Let's go over your options.

The Best Substitutes for Fontinella Cheese

Here are the top recommended substitutes for fontinella cheese:

1. Mozzarella

Mozzarella is a great substitute for fontinella thanks to its mild flavor and meltability. Part-skim or low moisture mozzarella will mimic fontinella's texture the closest.

Fresh mozzarella and buffalo mozzarella also work well. Just note that their softer, wetter texture is a bit different than fontinella. But their flavor is very mild.

Mozzarella melts extremely well and can be used in any baked Italian dish, pizza, sandwiches, etc. It provides the same gooey melted properties as fontinella.

2. Provolone

Provolone is another good Italian cheese substitute. Aged provolone especially matches the firmer, sliceable texture of fontinella.

Provolone also melts well, although the flavor is slightly sharper than fontinella. The milder taste of young provolone is closer.

Provolone works well in recipes needing shredded or sliced fontinella like sandwiches, pasta, and on pizzas.

3. Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack is an American cheese made in a similar style to fontinella. It has a very mild, creamy flavor that makes it a great substitute.

Monterey Jack melts extremely well too. It tends to be softer and stickier when melted than fontinella, so it works best in cooked dishes rather than sandwiches.

Try using shredded Monterey Jack in quesadillas, casseroles, mac and cheese, or any recipe needing melted fontinella.

4. Havarti

Havarti is a Danish cheese that can also substitute for fontinella. It has a soft, smooth texture and mild, buttery flavor.

Havarti melts well, although it can become quite runny when melted. So it may not work as well as fontinella for pizza or sandwiches.

But for recipes needing melted cheese like quiches, dips, or sauces, Havarti is an excellent choice. Its flavor profile is very close to fontinella.

5. Gouda

Gouda is a Dutch cheese that makes a good fontinella replacement thanks to its meltability.

However, gouda has a stronger, smokier flavor. So it's best used in recipes able to handle a more pronounced cheese flavor.

Try using gouda in grilled cheese or any sandwich recipe. Its firmer texture also allows it to slice and shred well.

Gouda works great in heartier pasta dishes or casseroles needing more flavor than delicate fontinella.

6. Edam

Edam cheese is another Dutch cheese similar to fontinella. It has a very mild flavor and lower fat content than fontinella.

Edam won't melt as smoothly, so it's not the best choice for baked dishes. But it works well sliced in sandwiches, on crackers, or cubed in salads.

Overall, edam makes an easy fontinella substitute when you need a mild slicing cheese and don't need to melt it.

7. Brie

Brie has a smooth texture and mild, nutty flavor like fontinella cheese. However, it is much softer and creamier.

Brie works well as a fontinella replacement in cold applications like cheese trays, spreads, etc. But it melts into a runny, oily mess rather than getting smoothly gooey like fontinella.

So enjoy brie on a cheese board or in a cheeseball. But avoid using it baked into hot dishes as a fontinella substitute.

8. Swiss

Most Swiss cheese has larger holes and a sharper flavor than fontinella. But baby Swiss is a good option since it is milder and has a similar pale yellow color.

Swiss cheese doesn't melt quite as well as fontinella. But it can be substituted in dishes like grilled cheese, paninis, and quesadillas.

Just be aware that Swiss will add more of a nutty, earthy flavor compared to the delicate mildness of fontinella.

9. Cheddar

Mild cheddar can work as a fontinella substitute in certain recipes, although the flavors are quite different. Sharp cheddar is too strong to be an ideal replacement.

Cheddar melts beautifully, so it's great for grilled cheese. But it has a more crumbly texture. Other cheeses melt into a smoother consistency.

Stick to using mild cheddar in moderation in recipes fontinella isn't the main cheese flavor, like casseroles. A little bit goes a long way flavor-wise compared to fontinella.

10. Asiago

Asiago cheese is made from cow's milk and has a similar pale yellow color to fontinella. The texture is also firm like aged fontinella.

However, Asiago has a much sharper, saltier flavor. It packs a real punch! So a little bit can go a long way when substituting in recipes.

Asiago works well shredded or grated over dishes like pasta or salads needing just a bit of a flavor boost.

Key Takeaway: Good melted fontinella substitutes are mozzarella, Monterey Jack, provolone, and Havarti. For cold uses, try brie, edam, or Swiss.

How to Choose the Right Substitute

When choosing a fontinella cheese substitute, consider these factors:

  • Flavor - Mild cheeses like mozzarella or Monterey Jack will be the closest flavor match. Sharper cheeses like gouda or cheddar will work but taste different.
  • Texture - Soft, semi-soft cheeses mimic fontinella's texture the best. Hard grating cheeses won't melt as smoothly.
  • Melting abilities - Mozzarella, provolone, Havarti and Monterey Jack all melt extremely well like fontinella.

Recipes and Tips for Using Fontinella Substitutes

Fontinella cheese substitutes can be used in any recipe calling for fontinella. Here are some tips and recipe ideas:

  • Pizza - Any melted cheese works great on pizza. Try mozzarella, provolone, Monterey Jack, or Havarti. Grated parmesan is also delicious sprinkled on top.
  • Pasta - Mix shredded mozzarella, provolone, or Havarti into baked pasta dishes like ziti, lasagna, or mac and cheese. Stir in slices of brie or edam after cooking for cold pasta salads.
  • Quesadillas - Monterey Jack and Havarti melt beautifully in quesadillas. Add salsa, black beans, chicken, or other mix-ins.
  • Grilled cheese - Nearly any cheese makes an awesome grilled cheese! Mild options like Monterey Jack or edam keep the flavor balanced.
  • Soups and dips - Puree brie, Havarti, or gouda with broth or cream to make decadent cheese soups and dips.
  • Salads - Crumble mild blue cheese or feta over salads instead of fontinella. Soft cheeses like brie or fresh mozzarella also make great salad toppings.
  • Sandwiches - Sliced Havarti, Swiss, provolone, or cheddar work well on both cold and grilled sandwiches when you don't have fontinella.
  • Cheese boards - Set out a variety of cheeses like brie, fresh mozzarella, Swiss, Havarti, or gouda with crackers and fruit instead of fontinella.

No matter what recipe you're making, there is a delicious fontinella cheese substitute to try. Get creative and experiment with different cheese flavors and textures.

Top Tips for Using Fontinella Cheese Substitutes

  • Match the texture - Soft cheeses work best in cold dishes, while firm, melting cheeses are ideal for cooking.
  • Consider flavor strength - Mild cheeses like Monterey Jack or brie replicate fontinella best. Sharper cheeses will taste different.
  • Adjust amounts - Stronger cheeses like aged gouda may only need half as much for the same flavor impact as fontinella.
  • Shred or slice harder cheeses for easier melting in hot dishes. Softer cheeses are best cold.
  • Make cheese sauces by melting softer cheeses like brie or Havarti with milk or cream.
  • Add cheeses like feta, blue, or Parmesan in smaller amounts as a mix-in rather than the main cheese.
  • Moisture content matters for melting - Low-moisture mozzarella melts best. Fresh mozz gets stringy and leaks oil.
  • Heat gently when melting softer cheeses so they don't break or separate.

With a little finessing, any of these fontinella cheese substitutes can shine in your favorite recipes!


What does fontinella cheese taste like?

Fontinella has a very mild, delicate flavor. It tastes lightly nutty and creamy without being too sharp.

Why is it so hard to find fontinella cheese?

Fontinella originated in the U.S. but is not as commonly produced as other Italian cheese varieties. You'll have the best luck finding it in specialty cheese shops.

What is the closest substitute for fontinella?

Mozzarella and Monterey Jack are the closest in terms of both mild flavor and melting abilities like fontinella. Havarti also works very well.

Can I use Parmesan instead of fontinella?

Parmesan has a much sharper, saltier flavor. It also becomes brittle when melted. Small amounts can accent fontinella substitutes, but won't mimic fontinella well on its own.

Is fontinella good on pizza?

Yes! Fontinella is an excellent melting pizza cheese. Any mild, stretchy melted cheese like mozzarella or provolone makes a great substitute.

What cheeses should I avoid for fontinella substitutes?

Super sharp, crumbly, or soft unmeltable cheeses won't work well as fontinella substitutes in most recipes. Stick to mild, semi-soft cheeses.


Finding a tasty fontinella cheese substitute is easy with so many mild, meltable options to choose from.

Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Havarti, provolone, and gouda are just a few that mimic fontinella's properties deliciously.

AGAH Productions
AGAH Productions