11 Best Manchego Cheese Substitutes For Taste and Flavor

Every cheese that you come across, be it the normal processed cheese or even the artisan cheeses, every person has their favorite. When it comes to favorites, the last thing you’d want is likely to run out of them, especially for cheeses like the Manchego Cheese, which is not available worldwide easily, finding a cheese similar to Manchego is essential.

But, is there any Manchego cheese alternative that stands out in terms of taste and flavor? While you might think there are not, there are a few that come close to replicating both the taste and the flavor as well. Like swiss cheese substitutes, substitutes for Manchego cheese might well surprise you and give you even more flavor options to consider for your dishes.

What Can You Use Instead of Manchego Cheese?

When talking about the Manchego cheese substitutes, you will likely have a hard time coming up with a 100% perfect replacement. The wonders of the diversity of cheese are that each has a unique and distinct profile. Balancing the perfect blend of taste, flavor, and texture is just too tough of a game to follow for most cheeses.

But, we have sorted through a few Manchego cheese alternatives that we think live up to the hype and can be considered good substitutes.

1. Tomme de Brebis

Kicking off the list of alternatives to Manchego cheese is one known as Tomme de Brebis. Don’t get deterred by the name of the cheese. Tomme de Brebis, also known as Tomme de Brebiou, is a popular French cheese and is actually a good cheese similar to Manchego that can be used in its place in many situations. It is predominantly popular around places like Corsica. The cheese itself is made from Corsican sheep’s milk.

While this cheese is mainly made from sheep’s milk, there are a few other alternatives that use cow’s or goat’s milk. It is one of the best Manchego cheese substitutes because of how similar the taste and texture is. It has the same firm texture with a buttery inside that melts in your mouth.

Even this cheese develops a more complex taste and flavor as it ages and also forms granules inside. If you are looking for the best alternative for Manchego, this is the one.

2. Asiago

Asiago is a popular Italian cheese that hails its origins in Veneto, Italy. Unlike Manchego cheese, this one is made from cow’s milk and is aged for a longer time to preserve its unique texture and flavor. Despite the difference here, if you are looking for a cheese similar to Manchego, Asiago is a great option to consider.

Asiago Pressato, which is the fresh version of the cheese, has a creamier and softer texture while the aged Asiago mimics the texture of Manchego cheese. It develops a very crumbly texture. This can make it easier to use in dishes and with standard cheese graters.

manchego cheese substitute

The Asiago d’allevo or the aged Asiago is matured for 4-6 months and sometimes even for 1-2 years. The rind of the cheese hardens as the cheese ages. It also develops holes inside as the cheese ages more.  It is this linger processing and maturity timeline that makes it a cheese that can be a Manchego cheese alternative.

The taste and flavor of the cheese have a very creamy and pungent aroma that will make up for the lack of Manchego. It is quite versatile in its use as it can be melted, sliced, or even grated on the top of the dish you are eating.

3. Monterey Jack

If you want to get your hands on some local American cheese alternatives for Manchego, Monterey Jack is your option. It is a cow’s milk cheese and isn’t aged for a very long time. For the most part, it is aged for a maximum of 6 months, following which it is processed and sold in the market. Manchego cheese alternatives that use Monterey Jack cheeses deliver the same diversity of flavor profiles that chefs come to expect in their finest dishes. 

It serves as a good substitute for Manchego cheese because of the similar firm texture and buttery insides. If you want the best variant, try and find the ones that are aged the longest as this gives them the best taste. When looking for a cheese similar to Manchego this is a good option as the flavor intensity, and profile is quite tasty in many recipes.

4. Chihuahua

No, we are not talking about the dog breed but one of the popular Manchego cheese substitutes. This is also termed as Queso Chihuahua and is a popular Mexican cheese.

In terms of taste and texture, this cheese does mimic a very sharp mix between Cheddar and Manchego. As far as a cheese similar to Manchego this is a good option for a unique flavor profile. Chihuahua cheese has a semi-soft consistency, so you know how amazing and versatile this cheese is.

You can melt it and use it as a dip, in the cheese fondues, and even drizzle over the nachos and chips for that extra kick of flavor. The cheese is predominantly made from cow’s milk, which undergoes a simultaneous heating and cooling process and then mixes with annatto for the color and rennet for curdling the cheese.  Like many of the best Manchego cheese alternatives, this one also involves some time to get it just right as it ages. The cheese is aged for quite a long, somewhere between 6 months to a year, depending on what kind you like.

5. Pecorino

If you are a cheese-on-pasta enthusiast and love putting together a cheese board, you will likely know what Pecorino is. This famous Italian hard cheese has a very strong and distinct flavor that is easy to love and works well as a cheese similar to Manchego. It is touted as one of the best substitutes for Manchego because it is made from sheep’s milk.

The cheese is matured for different time frames, some less and some more. The more the cheese is aged, the harder the texture becomes. People who love cheese do prefer eating the more aged version.

It has a crumbly texture that melts in your mouth as you eat it. The flavor has a distinct and sharp nutty and buttery taste and flavor to it,  making it a very popular choice among those with a finer pallet that want a tasty Manchego cheese alternative.

6. English Cheddar

If you want a unique option for a cheese similar to Manchego, that still delivers a delicious and familiar twang, this is a safe option. You can’t really go wrong with the taste of Cheddar. This age-old cheese that originates from back in the 1100s in the southwest of England is a cheese loved worldwide. The cheese is aged for quite some time in humid weather conditions to ripen more quicker.

It is usually easy to find and works with many dishes from cooking and baking to elegant meat and chees boards and platters. The cheese itself is made from milk from cows fed with grass containing carotene. This is what imparts the significant white or yellow color of the cheese.

Sometimes, you will likely find a darker hue of orange or yellow in the cheese variant, which is because of annatto added to the cheese. As for the taste, it has a very distinct and sharp taste and flavor to it.

7. Comte

If you find any cheese addicting after the first bite, it will hands down be Comte. It is made from cow’s milk but has a similar richness to the taste and flavor of the Manchego cheese. It is a French cheese, so you will likely find them in high-end supermarkets.

It comes with a firm texture that gets harder, the more it is aged with makes it is a cheese similar to Manchego, in that way. Aside from that, in terms of taste, it has a vibrant aftertaste that sticks to your taste buds even after you are done eating it. This is another reason Comte is a popular replacement option for cooks.

The cheese does have a sweeter taste to it compared to how Manchego cheese tastes, so that again can be a little different. But, more or less, if you are looking for a viable substitute for Manchego cheese, this stands out as the right choice.

Manchego cheese alternative

8. Mozzarella

Mozzarella mimics Manchego cheese in terms of texture and overall taste and works perfectly in most recipes as a cheese similar to Manchego. The rich, gooey, and extremely stringy texture of the cheese makes this one of the best substitutes. The cheese mainly originated in Italy but was later relocated to Australia during World War II.

As for the ingredients, mozzarella is made with cow or buffalo milk. It undergoes a pervasive process of curdling, drying, and salting, after which the cheese is finally made. If you are making some sort of fondue or baked dish and need a Manchego cheese alternative, this one serves as a good option.

9. Zamorano

If you aren’t precisely a cheese enthusiast, it is likely, you wouldn’t know what Zamorano is. It is a very popular cheese made from sheep’s milk, which has a lot of similar characteristics so it is another option if you are looking for a cheese similar to Manchego. It did originate from Zamora in Spain and hence the name.

This cheese is aged for 6 months and has a semi-hard texture outside with a creamy and soft inside. One of the reasons why this serves as one of the best Manchego cheese substitutes is because of the distinct sheep’s milk aftertaste that it has.

10. Muenster Cheese

As tough as it is to pronounce the name of this cheese, it is just as amazing in taste and flavor that it has. You will readily find the Americanised version of this French cheese in the supermarkets quite easily.  This makes switching to Muenster as a cheese similar to Manchego easy in most case

The cheese itself is made from cow’s milk and comes with a thick orange rind and a pale yellowish interior. The taste of the cheese is very subtle, which is one of the main reasons it is such a favorite. It doesn’t overwhelm any dish it is added to.

The texture of the cheese ranges from something along the lines of soft, smooth, and silky texture. The aroma and pungency of the cheese are quite distinct, and not many people like that. so some care may be needed before tossing this one in randomly as an option for a Manchego cheese alternative.

11. Parmesan

Last but not least, on the list of substitutes for Manchego cheese that you can check out is Parmesan. It is one of the most priced Italian cheeses which is made from cows who just graze on fresh hay and grass. It is a classic cheese that is widely recognized by chefs and home cooks alike.

This cheese has a tough texture and feel to it and has granules inside that are formed because of the aging process. The sharp savory and nutty taste of this cheese are what makes it a worthwhile option. You can use its shavings on salads and even grate it on top of a pasta dish. It is quite versatile in terms of that so you should definitely add it to your list of options when you need a cheese similar to Manchego.

What Can You Use Instead of Manchego Cheese?

If you want an absolute replica of Manchego cheese, it is mozzarella. It has a similar gooey and molten texture and tastes a lot similar too. Even this is a semi-soft cheese like the original one, making this a perfect substitute. The high moisture content in mozzarella makes this a perfect topping for pizzas and any dishes that you would normally use Manchego on.

Find out the substitutes for Swiss cheese.

Is Manchego Cheese Similar to Gruyere? 

No, they are not necessarily similar but can be used as substitutes. If you don’t have Manchego or mozzarella, which is the closest substitute, Gruyere serves as a good alternative. The only downside is the stronger flavour and pungency. It won’t be the perfect replacement but is a good substitute if there’s no other option available.

Can You Substitute Manchego for Parmesan?

If you are looking for a substitute for Manchego in terms of taste specifically, Parmesan does mimic the taste quite well. But, if you want the same gooey and molten texture, you wouldn’t get that with parmesan at all. So, it can live up as a substitute for Manchego only in terms of the taste, which is quite nutty and fruity.


Alternatives for Manchego cheese

Sometimes having a favorite ingredient can be a bit of a curse when it runs out or is unavailable for some reason. In case you were looking for some good quality alternatives for Manchego cheese, these are some of the best ones that you can take a look into. After all, we all like a bit of variety when it comes to cheese, right? Try out some of these cheeses similar to Manchego today and see which one is your new favorite!

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