Kasseri Cheese Substitutes

Kasseri is a delicious Greek cheese that is traditionally made from sheep's milk and sometimes blended with a bit of goat's milk.

Kasseri Cheese Substitutes

It has a tangy, salty flavor with a slightly sweet aftertaste and a springy, elastic texture. Kasseri melts beautifully and is often fried, grilled, sautéed or flambéed in dishes like the popular saganaki. It's also tasty when simply sliced for sandwiches or grated into an omelet.

But what if you want to cook with kasseri and don't have any on hand? Not to worry - there are several great substitutes for kasseri that will work nicely in recipes calling for this uniquely-flavored cheese.

What Is Kasseri Cheese

Before getting into the details on substitutes, let's take a closer look at what defines genuine kasseri cheese:

  • Origin: Authentic kasseri is produced in specific provinces of Greece, including Thessaly, Macedonia, Lesbos and Xanthi. The name "kasseri" comes from the Turkish word "kasher," meaning kosher.
  • Ingredients: Kasseri is made from raw or pasteurized sheep's milk, sometimes blended with up to 20% goat's milk.
  • Flavor: Young kasseri has a mildly sweet flavor, while longer-aged versions take on a tangier, saltier taste with a pungent aroma.
  • Texture: Smooth and elastic rather than crumbly, with a firm yet pliable consistency.

Key Takeaway: Authentic kasseri cheese is a salty, tangy Greek cheese made from sheep's milk and sometimes blended with a bit of goat's milk. It has a smooth, elastic texture.

1. Kefalotyri

Kefalotyri makes an excellent kasseri substitute. Like kasseri, it's a Greek cheese made from sheep's milk. When cooked, kefalotyri takes on a creamy, melty consistency that makes it perfect for sautéing, frying or grilling - similar to how kasseri is used.

Kefalotyri is tangy and salty like kasseri, but doesn't tend to take on that sweet aftertaste. However, it will mimic the texture of kasseri beautifully when melted. For Greek recipes like saganaki, kefalotyri works beautifully in place of kasseri cheese.

Key Takeaway: Tangy, salty kefalotyri from Greece mimics the smooth, melty texture of kasseri when cooked and works nicely as a substitute in recipes.

2. Caciocavallo

Caciocavallo is an Italian cheese made using sheep's milk or cow's milk. Its name literally means "cheese on horseback," coming from the traditional aging method of hanging forms of caciocavallo over wooden boards.

The flavor is tangy and salty like kasseri, with a similar springy, elastic texture. Caciocavallo melts smoothly and is often used grated over pastas, blended into baked goods or served in antipasto platters. For any recipe calling for melted or baked kasseri, caciocavallo makes an excellent substitute.

Key Takeaway: Italian caciocavallo has a comparable salty, tangy flavor and smooth, stretchy texture to kasseri. It melts beautifully in cooking.

3. Mozzarella

Chances are, you may already have some fresh mozzarella on hand as a convenient kasseri substitute. The soft, mild flavor of mozzarella is quite different from the sharper, saltier kasseri - but the textures are very similar.

When melted, mozzarella takes on the same smooth, gooey consistency as kasseri. This makes mozzarella a good alternative for casseroles, pizza or pasta bakes calling for kasseri. For traditional Greek pastries like kasseropita that use kasseri as a filling, mozzarella works nicely too.

Key Takeaway: Mild-flavored mozzarella mimics kasseri's soft, melty texture when heated. It works nicely baked into pastries or casseroles in place of kasseri.

4. Asiago

Asiago is an Italian cow's milk cheese with a sharp, salty, slightly nutty flavor. It has some similarities to the aged flavors of kasseri cheese. Asiago comes in a range of textures, from crumbly when very young to smooth and firm in more aged versions.

For cooking purposes, semi-soft or firm asiago works best as a kasseri alternative for slicing, grating or melting. Try using asiago anywhere you'd typically use kasseri - baked dishes, sandwiches, omelets and more. The flavors won't be exactly the same, but the general salty tanginess is comparable.

Key Takeaway: Sharp, tangy asiago has a similar aged flavor to kasseri. When firm, it substitutes nicely for kasseri in sandwiches, omelets and grated into cooked dishes.

5. Pecorino Romano

Pecorino Romano is a classic Italian sheep's milk cheese made using traditional techniques in the areas surrounding Rome. True to its origins, pecorino romano packs an intensely salty, tangy punch of flavor.

The texture of pecorino romano is quite different from kasseri - it's much firmer and chalkier. However, when pecorino romano is cooked into dishes like pastas, soups or sauces, those textural differences become less noticeable. Here, the sharp saltiness of pecorino romano does an excellent job of mimicking kasseri's flavor.

Key Takeaway: Salty, tangy pecorino romano makes up for textural differences from kasseri by lending a similar sharp flavor punch in cooked dishes.

6. Colby

Mild, creamy Colby cheese is a nice kasseri alternative for those who find kasseri's flavor too intense. Made from cow's milk, colby has a soft texture similar to young kasseri along with a very mellow flavor reminiscent of cheddar.

Colby melts smoothly when cooked. For melty applications like grilled cheese, tacos, baked pasta or pizza, colby substitutes nicely for kasseri by mimicking its gooey texture once heated. Flavor-wise it is much more subtle than kasseri, but the textures align very well.

Key Takeaway: Mild colby cheese substitutes nicely for kasseri in cooked recipes based on a similar soft, melty texture.

7. Provolone

Last but not least, provolone makes an excellent kasseri substitute. Like kasseri, provolone is an Italian pasta filata style cheese made from cow or buffalo milk. It has a smooth, pliable texture when young that gets firmer and more crumbly with age.

In terms of flavor, provolone is tangy and mildly salty when young, growing sharper and more pungent with age. For cooking purposes, a younger semi-soft provolone works best to mimic kasseri's smooth, melty properties. But aged provolone can also substitute flavor-wise in dishes where texture isn't as important.

Key Takeaway: Smooth, melty young provolone copies kasseri's texture when cooked. Sharp aged provolone mimics kasseri's salty punch of flavor.

CheeseKey Similarities to KasseriBest Uses as Substitute
KefalotyriSalty, tangy flavor; smooth, melty texture when cookedSautéing, frying, grilling
CaciocavalloSalty, tangy flavor; springy, elastic textureMelting into baked goods or pasta; antipasto platters
MozzarellaSoft, melty texture when heatedBaking into casseroles or pastries
AsiagoSharp, salty, tangy flavorSlicing for sandwiches and omelets; grating into cooked dishes
Pecorino RomanoIntensely salty, tangy flavorBlending into soups, sauces or cooked pasta dishes
ColbyMild flavor; soft, melty textureGrilled cheese; tacos; pizza; casseroles
ProvoloneSmooth, melty texture when young; sharp flavor when agedMelting into casseroles or pasta when young; flavoring sauces when aged


What's the best kasseri cheese substitute for saganaki?

For dishes like traditional Greek saganaki, kefalotyri makes the best replacement for mimicking kasseri's flavor and melty texture when fried or flambéed. Caciocavallo or young provolone also melt smoothly for saganaki.

Is halloumi a good sub for kasseri?

While both halloumi and kasseri hold their shape well when cooked, halloumi has a much more rubbery chew and salty flavor. For flavor and texture, other substitutes like mozzarella or kefalotyri usually work better.

What cheese tastes most like kasseri?

Of all the kasseri substitutes, kefalotyri probably comes closest to truly mimicking the full tangy, salty flavor and smooth yet elastic texture when melted. Young caciocavallo also nails the springy texture of kasseri and similar salty kick.

Can I replace kasseri with feta?

Crumby, intense feta doesn't really work texturally or flavor-wise as a melty kasseri substitute. Feta works nicely as a flavor enhancer when crumbled on top of dishes with kasseri melted in, but doesn’t directly substitute.

What cheese has the closest texture to kasseri?

The most texturally similar substitutes are other pasta filata cheeses like young provolone and caciocavallo that mimic kasseri’s smooth, elastic consistency. Mozzarella copies the same soft, melty quality when heated through cooking as well.


Kasseri is prized for its unique springy, elastic texture and distinctive tangy, salty flavor with a sweet backnote. But several other cheeses make great stand-ins when you want that taste and texture but don't have fresh kasseri on hand.

For cooking purposes, melty cheeses like kefalotyri, caciocavallo and fresh mozzarella or provolone mimic kasseri’s smooth, gooey properties beautifully. While sharper options like pecorino romano or asiago lend a similar salty punch of flavor.

AGAH Productions
AGAH Productions