Goat Cheese Alternatives

Goat cheese, also known as chèvre, has a distinctive tangy, earthy flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in many dishes. Its creamy texture also makes it perfect for spreading, crumbling, or melting. However, you may sometimes find yourself without goat cheese when a recipe calls for it.

Goat Cheese Alternatives

Luckily, there are plenty of excellent goat cheese substitutes to choose from. With the right substitutions, your food can still have a similar rich, creamy texture and tangy flavor.

Feta Cheese

Feta is one of the best substitutes for goat cheese thanks to its creamy and crumbly texture. It also has a nice salty and tangy flavor that is quite close to goat cheese.

You can use feta in place of goat cheese in salads, pastries like spanakopita, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and dips. Just remember that feta tends to be saltier, so you may want to use a bit less than the goat cheese amount.

Using feta cheese allows you to still get that tangy creaminess in your dishes. You can find feta cheese at any grocery store, often near other specialty cheeses.

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is a fresh Italian cheese made from the whey leftover from cheesemaking. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and ultra-smooth, creamy texture when fresh.

While ricotta is milder in flavor than goat cheese, it has a comparable creaminess that works very well in dips, spreads, desserts, pasta fillings, and more.

For a bit more tang, you can mix in a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar. Ricotta cheese is sold in most grocery store cheese sections and is very easy to find.

Some recipe ideas for ricotta as a goat cheese substitute include lasagna, ravioli fillings, cheesecake, bruschetta toppings, and spinach ricotta pizza or calzones.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is an obvious substitution for goat cheese thanks to its soft texture and tangy dairy flavor. It spreads and melts very similarly to fresh goat cheese.

To mimic goat cheese even more closely, you can mix in just a bit of lemon juice, vinegar, or plain yogurt into the cream cheese. This adds more tang and softens the texture to be extremely similar to fresh goat cheese.

Use cream cheese as a substitute in pasta dishes, dips and spreads, sandwiches, omelets, pastries, and any recipe where goat cheese is added in a soft form or melts into a sauce. Cream cheese is widely available and usually the cheapest option on this list of substitutes.


Camembert is a soft cow's milk cheese from France with a creamy, smooth texture and mild mushroom and nutty flavor. It makes a great substitute for the creamy texture of goat cheese while lending its own unique flavor.

It works nicely baked into tarts or flatbreads, stirred into risottos or pasta, melted over vegetables, or added to salads. Camembert also pairs wonderfully with fruit or nuts for a cheese plate or appetizer.

While it won't mimic the exact tang of goat cheese, it melts and spreads similarly for a rich, creamy texture. Find Camembert in the specialty cheese section at many grocery stores or cheese shops.


Brie is another popular soft cow’s milk cheese that can work as a goat cheese substitute. Like Camembert, it has a rich, creamy texture when at room temperature and melts beautifully when baked or heated.

Brie offers a mild, delicate flavor on its own with hints of butter and cream. It works nicely baked into tarts, served with fruits and nuts, melted over vegetables or pasta dishes, stirred into risottos, or blended into creamy sauces.

While brie doesn’t have the pungent goat cheese flavors, its soft texture when warmed or spread makes up for it. Find French brie cheese in most grocery store cheese sections.


Labneh is a Middle Eastern strained yogurt cheese with a thick, creamy texture very comparable to soft goat cheese. It offers a tangy, rich flavor on its own without being too overpowering.

Use labneh anywhere you’d normally enjoy a spreadable goat cheese. It’s delicious with olive oil and herbs as an appetizer spread over pita or crackers. Labneh also works nicely in sandwiches, flatbreads, pizza, bruschetta toppings, and veggie dips.

You can find labneh in most grocery stores near other Mediterranean ingredients like hummus, tahini, and feta cheese. The tart, creamy consistency makes it one of the best substitutes.


Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese famous for being used in tiramisu. It has a mild, sweet flavor and extremely thick, creamy texture perfect for spreading over bread or sweet pastries.

While it doesn’t offer the tanginess of goat cheese, the smooth, rich creaminess of mascarpone makes it ideal for dessert fillings, frostings, creamy sauces, and rich vegetable or pasta dishes.

Look for mascarpone cheese in the dairy or cheese sections of grocery stores. Its sweet flavor and velvety texture allow it to mimic soft goat cheese nicely.


For a vegan goat cheese substitute, look no further than tofu! Firm or extra firm tofu can be crumbled and seasoned for a plant-based version of goat cheese crumbles.

Silken tofu blended smooth makes an excellent spreadable goat cheese alternative for sandwiches, bruschetta, or dips. Simply blend seasoned silken tofu until completely smooth and creamy.

Tofu on its own is relatively neutral in flavor, but absorbs surrounding flavors very well. When seasoned with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, herbs, salt, garlic, etc. it does a tasty job mimicking goat cheese!

Blue Cheese

Blue cheese offers a very pungent, strong flavor akin to goat cheese. The crumbly yet creamy texture also makes it a nice substitute in terms of mouthfeel.

Use blue cheese anywhere you’d enjoy the strong kick of goat cheese flavor. It works great in pasta, pizza, sandwiches, salads, and more. Just remember that a little blue cheese goes a long way flavor-wise!

Opt for a milder blue cheese if substituting in a sweeter preparation, or if you simply want a more delicate flavor. Many grocery stores carry various types of blue cheese in the specialty cheese area.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese makes an excellent substitute thanks to its curd-like texture and tangy dairy flavor. It has a similar creaminess level to goat cheese and tastes great in both sweet and savory dishes.

For an even closer match, purée the cottage cheese in a food processor or blender to create a smooth, spreadable texture nearly identical to soft goat cheese.

Use cottage cheese in lasagnas, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, omelets, desserts, and anywhere else you'd enjoy goat cheese. Find small or large curd cottage cheese in the dairy section of any grocery store.

Fromage Blanc

Fromage blanc is a French soft cheese similar to cream cheese or quark. It has a mildly tangy flavor and ultra-smooth, creamy texture perfect for spreading.

This fresh cheese makes an easy substitution anywhere you’d use soft goat cheese as a spread, like toast, crostini, sandwiches, and crackers. It also melts nicely over vegetables or into pasta dishes.

While it won’t mimic the exact pungent flavor of goat cheese, the texture works very similarly. Fromage blanc can be found in cheese shops or gourmet grocery stores.

Greek Yogurt

For a handy, healthy substitute, look no further than Greek yogurt! High protein Greek yogurt has a nice tangy flavor and creamy, rich texture when drained of excess liquid.

Use it anywhere you’d enjoy the brightness of goat cheese like sandwiches, flatbreads, bruschetta toppings, pizza, pasta salads, parfaits, etc. Mix in lemon zest, herbs, or other seasonings to round out the flavors even more.

Just be sure to choose full-fat Greek yogurt for the creamy mouthfeel needed to mimic soft goat cheese. Greek yogurt can easily be found at any grocery store.

Parmesan Cheese

Hard Italian Parmesan cheese offers a salty, nutty flavor that works nicely instead of pungent goat cheese. While the textures differ quite a bit, Parmesan brings that savoriness and umami flavor you expect from crumbled goat cheese.

Grate or shave Parmesan over pastas, salads, risottos, flatbreads, soups, and baked dishes for a similar vibrancy as you’d get from goat cheese. The hard texture also bakes up nicely into a crispy topping.

You can use Parmesan in place of aged goat cheeses easily. Parmesan can be found by most other cheeses or sometimes the deli section in the grocery store.

Emmental Cheese

Emmental is a Swiss cheese known for its distinctive holes and mild, nutty flavor. It has a firm yet creamy texture when melted that mimics soft goat cheeses nicely.

Emmental makes an easy substitute in grilled cheese sandwiches, flatbreads like pissaladiere or flammkuchen, French onion soup, and hot onion and mushroom tarts. Its versatility melting and baking makes it a handy replacement.

You can find Imported Emmental cheese in most grocery stores near the other Swiss and specialty cheeses like Gruyere.

Manchego Cheese

Manchego comes from Spain and happens to be a sheep milk cheese like some goat cheeses. It has a firm, sliceable texture when cured longer but a softer, crumbly texture when fresher.

This cheese offers a sweet, caramel-like nutty flavor that pairs differently but nicely instead of goat cheese. It brings a similar richness and tender mouthfeel when enjoyed at room temp or melted slightly.

Use Manchego crumbled over salads, sliced into sandwiches, shredded into omelets or baked dishes, or served with honey and nuts. Locate Manchego in specialty cheese sections at the grocery store or cheese shops.

Queso Fresco

Queso fresco is a creamy, crumbly Mexican cheese made from cow or goat milk. Thanks to its fresh, milky flavor and crumbly farmer’s cheese type of texture, it makes an awesome substitute for goat cheese crumbles!

Enjoy this mild cheese simply sprinkled over Mexican dishes like enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, chili, and tamales. Queso fresco offers a nice salty kick and texture pop without a hugely pronounced flavor.

Find queso fresco in the Hispanic foods section or specialty cheese area at your grocery store. It mimics fresh goat cheese crumbles beautifully thanks to its characteristic texture.

Paneer Cheese

Paneer is an Indian dairy cheese with a mild milky flavor and firm, dense texture somewhat similar to firm tofu. It holds its shape nicely when cooked but offers a nice tenderness.

Use cubes or slices of paneer in curries, skewers, stir fries, sandwiches, or on salad instead of goat cheese. The mild flavor absorbs surrounding seasonings and sauces nicely.

While it has less moisture than goat cheese, it has a similar mildness that allows other ingredients’ flavors to shine. Look for paneer blocks near other Indian ingredients at the grocery store or ethnic markets.

Halloumi Cheese

Salty, briny Halloumi cheese has a firm, chewy, squeaky texture when cooked that differs quite a bit from soft goat cheese. However, its bold salty flavor stands up nicely instead of tangy goat cheese in various dishes.

Due to its high melting point, Halloumi maintains its shape wonderfully when pan-fried, grilled, or baked. Enjoy slices of Halloumi with Mediterranean dishes, on salads, sandwiches, and more instead of goat cheese for a bolder bite.

Halloumi can be located by other brined specialty cheeses like feta at well-stocked grocery stores or cheese shops. Its firm texture allows it to mimic aged goat cheeses in terms of mouthfeel.

Mató Cheese

Mató cheese comes from Catalonia, Spain and happens to be a fresh cheese made from goat milk whey! So it makes an awesome substitute for fresh goat cheeses.

This cheese has a mildly tangy flavor and ultra-smooth, spreadable texture nearly identical to soft goat cheeses. Use Mató in place of spreadable goat cheese logs, enjoying it with honey and nuts or spreading it onto bread.

While Mató may still be hard to source outside of Spain, you may get lucky finding it in specialty cheese shops. Otherwise, you can make your own by straining goat milk yogurt! The fresh texture makes Mató one of the best substitutes out there.

Aged Cheddar Cheese

For a firmer goat cheese, you can replace it with nice aged white or orange Cheddar instead. The intense, tangy flavor of well-aged Cheddar makes it suitable for standing up to the boldest goat cheeses.

Aged Cheddar brings savoriness, sharpness, and richness whether enjoyed in baked dishes like gratins or simply with cured meats and mustard on a cheese board.

The crumbly crystalline texture of seriously aged Cheddar differs quite a bit from moist goat cheese but mimics the intensity of flavor nicely. Locate aged Cheddars at cheese shops or specialty cheese sections.

Cotija Cheese

Cotija is a Mexican cheese with a very crumbly texture similar to feta or aged goat cheeses. It has a strong salty flavor with notes of acidity and nuttiness that pair nicely instead of goat cheese.

Use Cotija to season and top Mexican recipes like soups, beans, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, etc. Its hardness allows it to deliver a delightful crunch and boldness comparable to crumbled aged goat cheeses.

Find Cotija in the Mexican ingredients aisle at grocery stores or Latin markets. While more dense than creamy goat cheeses, it makes up for it with amplified saltiness and savoriness.

Vegan Cheese

There are numerous brands now offering vegan cheese alternatives for folks avoiding dairy. While no cheese substitute exactly replicates goat cheese, some do an admirable job capturing its essence.

Search for vegan cheese made from nuts like cashews, almonds, or macadamia nuts. These mimic soft goat cheese nicely when made into a spreadable consistency. Coconut oil-based vegan cheese tends to better mimic firm goat cheese when grated or sliced for nut-free folks.

Flavors to look for that resemble goat cheese include garlic and herb, peppercorn, chive, or anything advertising an “aged” flavor. You can likely find vegan cheeses at natural grocers or sometimes even the dairy aisle of major stores, depending on location.


What cheese is most like goat cheese?

The cheeses most comparable to fresh and soft goat cheeses are feta, ricotta salata, halloumi, and queso fresco. These all have a similar creamy yet crumbly texture and tangy, salty flavors. Harder aged goat cheeses can be replaced by sheep milk cheeses like Manchego or aged cheddar.

What is a good goat cheese alternative for a lactose intolerant person?

Excellent dairy-free substitutes for goat cheese include seasoned firm tofu crumbles, cashew "cheese" spreads, coconut oil-based vegan cheese shreds, hummus, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese if tolerated.

What is a good goat cheese substitute when you don't like the taste?

Options that are more neutral-flavored compared to the pungency of goat cheese are ricotta, cottage cheese, mascarpone, paneer, halloumi, and many fresh mild cheeses like fromage blanc or quark. Their creaminess provides a similar mouthfeel without the strong goat flavor.


while nothing can exactly replicate the unique tang and creaminess of goat cheeses, there are many excellent substitutes to choose from.

Rely on options like feta, brie, and blue cheese for similar texture and vibrancy.

Swap in ricotta, mascarpone, or Greek yogurt for pleasing creaminess to enhance dishes instead of goat cheese.

Or use crumbled tofu, seasoned nuts or seeds, or vegan cheese alternatives to mimic the essence of goat cheese flavor for non-dairy folks.

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!