Muenster Cheese Substitutes

Muenster cheese is a delicious semi-soft cheese with a mild, nutty flavor and smooth texture.

Muenster Cheese Substitutes

Its perfect melting properties make it a popular choice for grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, pizza and more.

However, Muenster can be difficult to find in some areas.

If you don't have access to Muenster cheese, don't worry - there are several great substitutes you can use instead.

7 Awesome Muenster Cheese Substitutes

If you can't find Muenster cheese, these 7 options make fantastic substitutes:

1. Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack is a go-to Muenster swap, especially for melting. Like Muenster, it has:

  • Semi-soft texture
  • Pale yellow color
  • Mild flavor
  • Melts smoothly

Monterey Jack is an American cheese made from cow's milk. When young, it has a fresh, creamy flavor. As it ages, it develops more tang and sharpness. For a Muenster substitute, opt for young Monterey Jack.

Monterey Jack is easy to find and comes in block or pre-sliced forms. Use it for grilled cheese, quesadillas, burgers, nachos, pizza and anywhere else you'd use Muenster.

2. Havarti

Creamy Havarti makes an excellent Muenster alternative. Like Muenster, it has:

  • Semi-soft texture
  • Pale yellow color
  • Mild, sweet, nutty flavor

Havarti is a Danish cheese made from cow's milk. It's typically aged around 3 months, giving it a delicious hazelnutty flavor. Havarti has excellent melting abilities, so it's great for sandwiches, pizza, pasta dishes and more.

One tip: Havarti tends to be a bit more pungent than Muenster when heated. For a milder flavor, use Havarti in moderation or combine it with other cheeses.

3. Port Salut

Originating in France, Port Salut has a very similar flavor and texture to Muenster:

  • Semi-soft
  • Pale yellow
  • Mellow, mild, slightly sweet flavor
  • Smooth, creamy texture

Port Salut melts beautifully, so it's an easy swap for Muenster in grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, pasta bakes and casseroles. It also tastes delicious cubed in salads or sliced for snacking.

4. Young Gouda

Gouda makes a fabulous Muenster alternative, as long as you choose a young, mild variety. Key traits:

  • Semi-hard texture
  • Pale yellow interior
  • Creamy, rich, mild flavor
  • Excellent melting abilities

Aged Gouda becomes too sharp and crumbly for melting. But young Gouda (aged around 3 months) has a delicate, nutty sweetness similar to Muenster. Use it anywhere Muenster is called for.

5. Mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella doesn't work as a Muenster substitute, since it has a high moisture content. But low-moisture mozzarella is an excellent option.

Low-moisture mozzarella has:

  • Firm, dense texture (vs. soft fresh mozzarella)
  • Milky, mild flavor
  • Melts and browns beautifully

Part-skim low moisture mozzarella will have the most similar flavor and texture to Muenster. Use it for grilled cheese, pizza, pasta bakes and more.

6. Provolone

Provolone has a sharper, tangier flavor than Muenster. But when used judiciously, it makes a fine substitute, especially for melting.

Opt for a young provolone (aged 2-3 months). This will have:

  • Pale yellow color
  • Smooth, creamy texture
  • Mild flavor
  • Good melting abilities

Use provolone in moderation and combine it with other cheeses to prevent a sharp flavor. Provolone works in sandwiches, pizza, pasta and casseroles.

7. Edam

Edam is a Dutch cheese with a creamy texture and delicately nutty flavor. Young Edam makes a solid Muenster alternative with:

  • Semi-hard texture
  • Pale yellow interior
  • Mild, salty, nutty flavor

Edam won't melt quite as smoothly as Muenster. But it works well in recipes where you want just a touch of nutty flavor without overwhelming sharpness.

Use young Edam for grilled cheese, baked pasta, pizza, and salads. For snacking, pair it with fruits like apricots, cherries or apples.

Tips for Choosing a Muenster Substitute

When selecting a substitute for Muenster, keep these tips in mind:

  • Prioritize mellow, mild cheeses - the mild nuttiness is a defining trait of Muenster
  • Lean young - young cheeses have creamier textures and milder flavors
  • Consider moisture content - low-moisture cheeses melt best
  • Combine cheeses - blending two cheeses can balance out sharp flavors
  • Read labels carefully - "Muenster style" is NOT the same as true Muenster

Pay attention to texture, flavor, color and melting abilities to get the closest match. And when in doubt, combine two cheeses for balance and an optimal melt!

Key Takeaway: Havarti, Monterey Jack, Port Salut and young Gouda make excellent Muenster substitutes due to their similar flavor, texture and meltability.


What's the best Muenster cheese substitute for grilled cheese?

For grilled cheese, choose a cheese that melts smoothly. The best substitutes are Monterey Jack, Havarti, young Gouda or low-moisture mozzarella.

Can I use cheddar as a substitute for Muenster?

Cheddar isn't the best swap for Muenster since it has a sharper flavor. But in a pinch, use a mild cheddar and combine it with a creamier cheese like Havarti or Monterey Jack.

Is Swiss a good substitute for Muenster cheese?

Swiss has larger holes and a stronger, earthier flavor than Muenster. It won't give you the same creamy melt. However, a mild baby Swiss can work. Combine it with another cheese.

What's a good vegetarian substitute for Muenster?

Some cheeses that work for vegetarians include: Monterey Jack, Havarti, Port Salut, Parmesan, and low-moisture mozzarella. Combine for an optimal melt and flavor.

Can I use Brie or Camembert instead of Muenster?

Brie and Camembert won't melt well, since they're soft ripened cheeses. They'll get oily and separate when cooked. Stick with cheeses like Monterey Jack, Havarti or Gouda for melting.


Muenster cheese has a distinctive smooth, creamy texture and mild nutty flavor.

When you can't find it, substitutes like Monterey Jack, Havarti, Port Salut and young Gouda make excellent alternatives.

Focus on cheeses with similar melting abilities, colors, textures and mild flavors for the best results.

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!