Lancashire Cheese Alternatives

Lancashire cheese is a tasty, crumbly cow's milk cheese that originated in the county of Lancashire in England.

Lancashire Cheese Alternatives

It has a mild, creamy flavor with a light tang. Lancashire cheese comes in three main varieties - creamy, tasty, and crumbly.

If you don't have Lancashire cheese called for in a recipe, don't worry! There are several great substitutes you can use instead.

What is Lancashire Cheese?

Lancashire cheese is a white, crumbly cow's milk cheese named after the county of Lancashire in northwest England where it originated. It has been produced in Lancashire since the 13th century.

Traditionally, Lancashire cheese was made by farmers' wives using surplus milk. The curds from several days would be combined to form a whole cheese. This resulted in a moister, softer cheese than other hard British cheeses.

In the 1890s, an employee of Lancashire County Council named Joseph Gornall developed the first standardized recipe for Lancashire cheese which is still followed today. The milk can be raw or pasteurized.

Lancashire cheese has a light, clean flavor described as creamy and buttery. The texture is fluffy and crumbly. It can be eaten both young and aged. When aged, it becomes firmer and tangier.

How is Lancashire Cheese Made?

Traditional Lancashire cheese is made by combining curds from several days - usually two or three. Here is the basic process:

  • Starter culture and rennet are added to cow's milk to curdle it.
  • The curds are cut and whey is drained off.
  • The curds are pressed to remove more whey and make them drier.
  • The curds are allowed to sit overnight then chopped.
  • Fresh curd from the next day is added and mixed thoroughly.
  • The curds are salted.
  • The curds are pressed in a mold for two days.
  • The cheese is wrapped and aged.

The curds acidify slowly over several days, giving Lancashire cheese its characteristic light tang and fluffy texture. The slower process preserves more butterfat, making it creamier than other hard cheeses like cheddar.

Types of Lancashire Cheese

There are three main varieties of Lancashire cheese:

Creamy Lancashire

Also called fresh or young Lancashire, creamy Lancashire is aged 2-5 months. It has a light, clean flavor and fluffy, moist texture. The multiple-day curd process gives it a lovely buttery finish.

Tasty Lancashire

Tasty Lancashire uses the same process but is aged over 5 months. It has a sharper, tangier, more complex flavor with a richer texture. The longer aging gives it a drier crumbly texture and more robust flavor.

Crumbly Lancashire

Crumbly Lancashire was developed in the 1950s. It uses a faster production method with starter cultures to acidify the milk quickly. The curd sets in a single day rather than over two or three days. It has a drier, crumblier texture and is aged only 2-6 weeks. The flavor is sharp, acidic, and fresh.

Best Substitutes for Lancashire Cheese

If you don't have Lancashire cheese, don't worry! Here are some of the best substitutes to use:

White Cheddar

White cheddar is a great substitute for creamy or mild tasty Lancashire. It has a similar clean, buttery flavor. Opt for a younger, milder white cheddar to match the flavor more closely. The texture is smooth and sliceable when young but becomes crumbly with age. Use a 1:1 ratio.


Wensleydale cheese is an English cheese from Yorkshire with a moist, crumbly texture similar to Lancashire. It has a mild, honeyed flavor that pairs well in recipes calling for Lancashire. Use a 1:1 ratio.


Originating in Wales, Caerphilly has a crumbly texture and tangy flavor that makes it a good substitute for crumbly Lancashire. The moisture content is higher than cheddar, so the texture is light. Use a 1:1 ratio in recipes.


Cheshire cheese is another English cheese that is a good substitute for tasty or crumbly Lancashire. Like Lancashire, it has a crumbly texture and salty, tangy flavor. The flavor is a bit milder than aged Lancashire. Use a 1:1 ratio.

Lancashire Cheese Alternatives Chart

Lancashire VarietyBest Substitutes
Creamy LancashireYoung white cheddar, Wensleydale
Tasty LancashireAged white cheddar, Cheshire
Crumbly LancashireCrumbly Cheshire, Caerphilly

Key Takeaway: For creamy Lancashire, use a young white cheddar or Wensleydale. For tasty Lancashire, use aged white cheddar or Cheshire. For crumbly Lancashire, use crumbly Cheshire or Caerphilly.

Other Possible Substitutes

Here are a few other cheeses that will work in a pinch as substitutes for Lancashire cheese:

  • Feta - The salty, tangy flavor and crumbly texture works well. Use a 1:1 ratio.
  • Queso fresco - The mild flavor and crumbly texture substitutes well for creamy Lancashire.
  • Goat cheese - Fresh, young, mild goat cheese can mimic creamy Lancashire's texture.
  • Cotija - This crumbly Mexican cheese has a salty flavor that substitutes for crumbly Lancashire.

How to Use Lancashire Cheese Substitutes

Lancashire cheese is very versatile in cooking. Here are some tips for using substitutes in recipes:

  • For eating fresh, choose a mild creamy cheese like Havarti or young white cheddar to eat with fruit, crackers or bread.
  • For crumbling over dishes, use a drier, crumbly cheese like feta, Cotija or aged white cheddar.
  • For melting, opt for cheeses that melt smoothly like Gruyere, Gouda or Monterey Jack. Avoid crumbly cheeses.
  • For cheese sauces or fondues, use nutty, melty cheeses like Gruyere, Emmental or Jarlsberg.
  • For cheese plates, set out an assortment of hard and soft cheeses for variety of texture.
  • For cheese-centric dishes like souffles or tarts, use intensely flavored cheeses like sharp cheddar or Parmesan.
  • For salads, use a tangy, crumbly cheese like feta or blue cheese that won't make the greens soggy.

Key Takeaway: Choose a substitute cheese with a similar flavor profile, melting ability, and texture as Lancashire for best results.


Can I substitute cheddar for Lancashire cheese?

Yes, cheddar makes a good substitute, especially a younger, mild white cheddar. Aged cheddar will have a sharper flavor.

Is Cheshire a good substitute for Lancashire cheese?

Yes, Cheshire has a very similar crumbly texture and tangy salty flavor. It substitutes well for tasty or crumbly Lancashire.

Can I use goat cheese instead of Lancashire?

Fresh, young, mild goat cheese can be used to replace creamy Lancashire. Avoid strongly flavored aged goat cheeses.

What's a good melty substitute for Lancashire?

For melting, use Havarti, Monterey Jack, Gruyere, or Gouda which have creamy, smooth melting properties.

Can I use crumbled feta instead of Lancashire?

Yes, feta makes a good substitute thanks to its crumbly texture and tangy salty flavor. Use a 1:1 ratio.


Lancashire cheese is a tasty English cheese that can be used in many dishes and recipes.

When you don't have Lancashire on hand, substitute with a similar cheese like young white cheddar, Wensleydale, Cheshire, or Caerphilly.

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!