Gorgonzola Cheese Substitutes

Gorgonzola is a famous Italian blue cheese made from cow's milk. With its creamy texture, tangy flavor, and blue-green veins, gorgonzola adds a delicious punch to risottos, pastas, pizzas, and more.

Gorgonzola Cheese Substitutes

But what if you don't have gorgonzola when a recipe calls for it? Not to worry - there are plenty of tasty gorgonzola substitutes to consider.

What Is Gorgonzola Cheese?

Gorgonzola originated in the town of Gorgonzola near Milan, Italy. It boasts a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status from the EU, meaning that to be called "gorgonzola," the cheese must be produced in specific regions of Italy from designated milk sources.

There are two main types of gorgonzola:

  • Gorgonzola Dolce ("sweet gorgonzola"): Aged for 2 months, this milder gorgonzola variant has a creamy, buttery flavor. The blue mold veins are vibrant. Dolce is spreadable due to its soft texture.
  • Gorgonzola Piccante ("spicy gorgonzola"): Aged for 3+ months, this variety is drier, crumblier, and sharper in flavor with an earthy, pungent bite. The blue-green veins are more prominent.

Beyond those two types, gorgonzola flavor profiles can vary quite a bit based on aging duration. But they all pack the characteristic tangy, salty, "blue cheese" punch that makes gorgonzola so popular for pasta, pizza, salads, and appetizer spreads.

Key Takeaway: Gorgonzola is a Protected Designation of Origin blue cheese from Italy available in dolce and piccante varieties.

Dairy-Based Gorgonzola Substitutes

If you aren't opposed to dairy, several excellent cheese alternatives provide similar textures and flavors to gorgonzola. Here are ten dairy-based substitutes to consider.

1. Roquefort

Roquefort is a famous French sheep's milk blue cheese like gorgonzola, also carrying a PDO label in Europe. Aged for around 5 months, roquefort has a crumbly texture, strong aroma, and tangy, sharp flavor that mimics aged gorgonzola beautifully. It melts well and pairs great with fruit and nuts. For a bold gorgonzola flavor substitute, roquefort is superb.

2. Blue Stilton

Stilton is a classic English blue cheese made from cow's milk. Semi-soft in texture, it has an intense, tangy flavor when young. As stilton ages over 2+ months, it becomes drier and sharper, much like aged gorgonzola. For salads, crackers, pizza, and pasta, crumbled stilton makes a fine gorgonzola substitute.

3. Bleu d'Auvergne

Bleu d’Auvergne is a French cow’s milk blue cheese with a strong aroma and crumbly texture similar to gorgonzola. It carries a distinct salty, tangy flavor with spicy notes. For blue cheese lovers, Bleu d’Auvergne melts wonderfully over burgers or sandwiches when gorgonzola isn't available.

4. Danish Blue

Buttery ivory in color with distinct blue veins, Danish Blue cheese delivers a unique salty yet mild flavor. This semi-soft, cow’s milk blue cheese from Denmark makes an interesting substitute for gorgonzola with its bold taste and creamy texture. It crumbles nicely over salads or bakes up beautifully in casseroles.

5. Gorgonzola Dolce

You can substitute gorgonzola piccante with the milder gorgonzola dolce variety and vice versa. The two offer differing textures and flavor intensities, but they allow flexibility when you only have one gorgonzola type available. Adjust salt and seasonings to balance the milder or bolder notes.

6. Goat Cheese

Goat cheese makes a fine stand-in for gorgonzola, offering a tangy flavor and crumbly yet creamy texture similar to young gorgonzola cheese. Goat cheese lacks the "blue cheese" bite but mimics gorgonzola's acidity nicely. Blend in blue cheese crumbles or bold spices to liven things up.

7. Feta

Feta can work in place of gorgonzola thanks to its salty, tangy flavor. However, feta is drier and more crumbly than gorgonzola with a different mouthfeel. Use bold seasonings and ingredients like caramelized onions to enhance feta's flavor since it won't provide the same creaminess or sharp bite as gorgonzola.

8. Blue Cheese Crumbles

Pre-crumbled blue cheese often sold in tubs can substitute for gorgonzola thanks to the similar tangy flavors and crumbly textures. Finely crumbled blue cheese may originate from various sources like Danish blue, Maytag blue, or other blue cheese blends. Use it the same way you would crumbled gorgonzola.

9. Mild Cheddar or Monterey Jack

Mild cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese can replace gorgonzola thanks to their creamy, melty qualities. However, these cheeses lack gorgonzola’s acidity,saltiness, sharp bite, and crumbly texture. Boost flavor with bold spices and mix in some blue cheese crumbles for a flavor boost.

10. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is mild like gorgonzola dolce. Although it lacks the sharpness and crumbly body of gorgonzola, cream cheese can mimic gorgonzola's rich creaminess in dips, spreads, macaroni and cheese, or anywhere gorgonzola gets blended smoothly into a dish. Consider spiking it with lemon juice and blue cheese to liven things up.

CheeseCow or SheepTextureFlavor
GorgonzolaCowSoft, creamy, crumblyTangy, sharp, salty
RoquefortSheepCrumblyTangy, sharp
StiltonCowSemi-soft to crumblyTangy, sharp, intense
GoatGoatCrumbly, creamyTangy
FetaSheep/GoatCrumblySalty, tangy
CheddarCowSmooth, creamyMild
Cream cheeseCowSmooth, creamyMild

Key Takeaway: Roquefort, stilton, and other blue cheeses mimic gorgonzola's texture and tangy bite most closely. Mild cheeses like goat cheese or cheddar lack sharpness but offer a creamy base.

Dairy-Free Gorgonzola Substitutes

If avoiding dairy or animal products altogether, several plant-based alternatives can substitute for gorgonzola’s creaminess, saltiness, tang, and crumble. Get creative with these dairy-free ideas!

11. Walnuts

Finely chopped walnuts deliver a crumbly texture and nutty flavors that faintly echo blue cheese. Blend them into dips, spreads, dressings, or Nutritional yeast’s umami richness plus lemon mimics tangy notes similar to gorgonzola. Whisk nooch sauce into pastas, bake into crispy cheese replacements, or blend into dips and dressings.

12. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes offer a tangy, salty kick reminiscent of blue cheese but in vegan form. Blend them into pasta sauces, pizza toppings, sandwiches, salads, and more to mimic gorgonzola's flavor.

13. Olives

Briny olives present a nice salty, umami-rich flavor profile similar to blue cheese. Finely chop olives into a tapenade to blend into pasta, bruschetta topping, pizza sauce, salad dressings, or anywhere needing a salty flavor spike.

14. Hummus

Hummus can surprisingly stand in for gorgonzola thanks to its tangy, creamy texture and ability to blend smoothly into dips and spreads. Stir some hummus into pasta dishes, sandwiches, salad dressings, or pizza sauces needing a creaminess and flavor boost.

15. Tofu

Tofu offers a blank canvas for flavor that can stand in for dairy and cheese in vegan cooking. Blend silken tofu with miso paste, lemon juice, garlic, and spices for a spreadable cheese mimic. Or crumble firm tofu, coat in spices and nooch, and bake into crispy bites offering texture and umami richness.

16. Cashew Cheese

Cashews blended with tangy lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and seasoning creates a versatile non-dairy cheese sauce or spread. Ferment the mixture to develop even more tangy, cheesy notes. Use cashew gorgonzola anywhere you need a sub for the creamy, salty elements the real cheese brings.

17. Vegan Blue Cheese

Commercially produced vegan blue "cheeses" mimic blue cheese tang and crumble without dairy. They often contain cashews, tofu, miso, or coconut for a creamy base with added Penicillium for blue veins. Check ingredient lists, as some vegan blues contain soy or nuts.

18. Commercial Dairy-Free Cheese

Many conventional dairy-free cheese products rely on coconut, soy, nuts, or starches to mimic cheese flavors and textures. Check labels for allergen information. While they lack the mold cultures of real cheese, these shreds, slices, and spreads can melt or crumble to replace gorgonzola's textures.

WalnutsCrumblyNutty, rich
Sun-dried tomatoesChewyTangy, salty
OlivesJuicySalty, briny
TofuCreamy, crispyUmami (when seasoned)
Cashew cheeseCreamySalty, tangy
Vegan blue cheeseCrumblyTangy, salty

Key Takeaway: Vegan substitutes like walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and seasoned tofu can mimic elements of gorgonzola's saltiness and bite. Cashew cheese and commercial vegan blues come close to the full tangy, creamy profile.

Using Gorgonzola Cheese Substitutes

Gorgonzola elevates so many dishes like pastas, pizzas, bruschetta, panini, risottos, salads, soups, and more with its bold, tangy personality. All the substitutes suggested above can recreate elements of its flair.

When swapping gorgonzola for a substitute in recipes, consider:

  • The cheese's flavor intensity - is it mild like goat cheese or assertively sharp like Roquefort?
  • The texture - can it crumble nicely or will it melt smoothly into sauces?
  • Salt content - salty feta or olives may need less added seasoning than mild cheddar or Monterey Jack.
  • Acidity level - does it need a squirt of lemon to perk things up?
  • The flavors surrounding the cheese - will complementary ingredients help balance and boost the sub?

With these factors in mind, gorgonzola fans and haters alike can find tasty substitutions for preparing recipes normally calling for this famous Italian blue cheese!


Is gorgonzola more expensive than other cheese?

Yes, gorgonzola tends to cost more per pound than basic cheeses like cheddar or Monterey Jack since it is an artisanal blue cheese made from cow’s milk in designated regions of Italy. However, it is comparably priced to other specialty imported cheeses.

What wine pairs well with gorgonzola?

Pungent blue cheeses like gorgonzola pair deliciously with sweet dessert wines like port or Sauternes. The sweetness balances gorgonzola’s saltiness and tang. Fuller-bodied red wines also complement the boldness nicely.

Can you replace gorgonzola with cream cheese?

Cream cheese makes an acceptable substitute in terms of rich, creamy texture. However, it lacks gorgonzola’s sharp bite and salty flavors. Mix in some lemon juice and blue cheese crumbles for a flavor boost. Adjust other seasonings to balance the milder flavor.

Is gorgonzola safe to eat when pregnant?

Raw-milk soft cheeses like gorgonzola carry a small risk of contamination with bacteria that can harm pregnant women and infants. Heating gorgonzola to 160°F destroys risky germs. Most commercial cheeses made from pasteurized milk are considered safe. When in doubt, choose a substitute cheese.


Gorgonzola holds a special place in Italian cuisine. While gorgonzola itself offers a uniquely irresistible experience, several substitute cheeses and dairy-free alternatives can mimic its most lovable qualities.

Whether you want pungent tang from Roquefort and Bleu d’Auvergne, milder creaminess from goat cheese or cream cheese, or dairy-free bites from cashews and sun-dried tomatoes, options abound for recreating gorgonzola’s flair.

AGAH Productions
AGAH Productions