Cheeses are a hit or miss among people. While some love the moldy smell and taste, some despise it. Nevertheless, goat cheese is one of those that the majority of people love. Whether you like soft and crumbly or smooth and creamy, goat cheese comes in both variants. That said, it isn’t very widely available.
Given that goat milk is not that abundantly produced, even goat cheese is available in limited countries and markets. But, one of the best things about this cheese is how varied the taste is. Not only can you eat it like it is, but you can also use it as a spread or to top your salads.
But, given the limited availability, you must make do with some of the substitutes for goat cheese.
Can You Make Goat Cheese at Home?
Since there is a lack of goat cheese in the markets, you might wonder if you can make it at home. And yes, you can. If you have access to goat’s milk, making the cheese is quite simple.
All that you need to do is follow the steps mentioned below.
- Start by heating some goat’s milk in a deep vessel.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, you can add the juice of a lemon, vinegar, or even rennet.
- After adding the sour medium, you will find the milk curdling.
- Keep stirring the milk and keep the flame at high.
- Once the milk curdles entirely and the milk solids separate from the liquid, leave the pot alone for some time and let the curd separate.
- Take a big bowl and lay down a muslin cloth in it.
- Drain the curd and the water.
- Tie the muslin cloth and squeeze out the excess water and let it drain the excess water overnight.
- The next day, untie the cloth and transfer the goat cheese to a container.
The process is straightforward, no doubt about that. The only thing is you should have access to good quality goat’s milk.
Now that we have discussed how you can make goat cheese at home, it is time to discuss some of the best goat cheese substitutes.
Best Goat Cheese Substitute
Given there are so many types of cheeses available in the market, finding a substitute that compensates for the taste and texture of goat cheese can be tough.
To help you pick some of the best out, we have sorted these out into two categories:
- Texture – soft and hard
- Flavour – pungent and mild
Based on Texture
Soft Texture Substitutes
If you like the soft goat cheese, some of the substitutes for those include:
If the texture is the only thing that you like about goat cheese, cream cheese is possibly the best available option. The one downside to using cream cheese is the high-fat content. It means you have to be very frugal with its consumption.
But, the cream cheese is also one of the easiest substitutes to find. The creaminess of the cheese makes it an excellent option to replace your staple goat cheese with. Much like goat cheese, even this one is extremely versatile with its functions.
Now, if you want a staple in your house as a substitute for goat cheese, yogurt is the cheapest and most accessible option. The best thing about this is that it mimics the soft, smooth, and creamy texture, and at the same time, has a fantastic tartness to it.
It also comes in various versions, be it the high-calorie green yogurt or even the low-calorie options. It goes well with salads and makes for a very creamy dressing that you will come to love.
Next up on the list of best substitutes for goat cheese is ricotta. This Italian staple is not just fantastic for desserts but very versatile with savory dishes too. It is made with different types of milk, be it from a cow or sometimes even a goat. The soft and creamy texture of the cheese mimics the texture of the soft goat cheese.
The sheep milk variant of ricotta is the healthiest option you can pick out because of the low-calorie content. It is incredibly high in protein as the cheese is curdled with rennet. It is a staple for some of the most common Italian dishes, and now, you can savor it as a substitute for goat cheese.
If you have eaten the famous Italian dessert tiramisu, it is likely you know how mascarpone tastes. This incredibly creamy and rich cheese is a fantastic alternative for the goat cheese that you have been craving.
The versatility of the cheese is also what makes it such a popular option. But, the one thing that you need to realize is the difference in flavor. Goat cheese and mascarpone cheese have different flavors but very similar textures. So, if you are looking for a texture substitute, this is the deal.
As posh the name sounds, Fromage Blanc is just a simple alternative for soft goat cheese. It has a very “spread” like texture that you can use for sandwiches. The creamy consistency makes it suitable for almost any kind of item that you want to use it for. Some people even like mixing it in with salad dressings for a creamier texture.
But, much like goat cheese, even this one has limited availability. It means that you wouldn’t find it everywhere. The storage instructions with this one are pretty crucial too. You need to store it inside some sealer container to keep it fresh for longer.
Hard Texture Substitutes
Now that we have sorted through some of the soft texture substitutes for goat cheese, the hard texture is next.
There is a constant battle – feta vs. goat cheese. Feta is often believed to be the best substitute for goat cheese, given that even feta is made from goat milk. But, this one has a slightly stronger taste and flavor and is a little harder than the goat cheese.
Feta has a very crumbly texture that you can spread over salads or even eat raw. They are available in giant blocks that you can either crumble with your hand or cut them into small cubes and eat. It also has the right amount of healthy fat content, which further boosts your health for the better. Experts suggest that you shouldn’t freeze feta cheese as it ruins the flavor.
Now, tofu might not be similar at all in terms of taste or flavor, but if you want a hard texture goat cheese substitute, this is the one. The firmer tofu resembles a lot like goat cheese and has a crumbly texture.
If the flavor and taste of tofu is something you don’t enjoy, you can always try out tofu chèvre; it does have a very similar taste to goat cheese.
Cottage cheese or paneer is quintessential in the vegetarian diet in India. This pressed cow’s milk curd is one of the best alternatives for goat cheese. The flavor of this one might not be as intense, but the texture is a lot similar. You can crumble it on top of salads or even fry it with some spices. It is quite versatile with its mode of cooking.
Cottage cheese also comes in the softer texture; if that is something you prefer more. But, that is not available in stores and is something you need to make at home with cow’s milk.
When it comes to the best substitute for goat cheese with a hard texture, raw halloumi takes the spot. Given how hard the texture of this cheese is, you can even grill it and eat it with some spices and honey on top – the traditional way.
You can use it over your salads or even munch on them as a snack.
Based on Flavour
With the substitute for goat cheese based on texture, the next that we need to focus on is the flavor. There are a few available goat cheese substitutes that have a very similar flavor, and you wouldn’t even feel like you’re eating something else.
The use of blue cheese is not a public favorite. While some love and devour it, some find the concept of molds repulsive. If you are someone who likes a strong flavor, this is one of the best options. It has a texture so creamy that it melts in your mouth.
In comparison to goat cheese, the flavor of blue cheese is a tad bit stronger, so keep that in check. Don’t go overboard with the quantity and use the same as you would with goat cheese. Moderation is key when it comes to blue cheese.
Another fantastic substitute for goat cheese that you can try is cotija cheese. This popular Mexican cheese has a very different texture compared to goat cheese but tastes a lot similar. It does have a very salty taste, so you need to use it carefully. It comes in different textures too, be it soft and crumbly or the firmer one.
Cotija cheese is often used on salads and has a very similar texture to that of parmesan. If you are adding it to your dishes, make sure that you don’t overdo it.
Every cheese lover knows the beauty of aged cheese and Queso Añejo is one of these. It packs in a punch of flavor and has a lot of similarity to that of goat cheese. While this cheese itself is very versatile, if you are using it as an alternative for goat cheese, we would suggest that you use it for stews and soups for that aged flavor and creaminess.
Manchego is a popular cheese and is readily available in the market. It is made out of sheep’s milk and has a slightly more robust flavor than goat cheese. This Spanish cheese does have a semi-hard texture, much like goat cheese. As for the flavor, this one packs in a very fruity and nutty flavor.
Since the cheese is aged for quite some time, it also has a very herb-like smell that adds a depth of flavor to any dish you are adding to. If the texture isn’t a concern for you when looking for a goat cheese substitute, this is one of the best.
If you like a sticky and flavourful cheese that leaves behind a fantastic aftertaste, Camembert is the one. It has an incredibly creamy texture and subtle flavor that makes for a good substitute for goat cheese.
This is one of those alternatives that leave behind a melted cheese texture to your dish. If you dig something like that, you are likely going to love this one.
What Kind of Health Benefits Does Goat Cheese Have?
Let us take a look into some of the fantastic health benefits of eating goat cheese before we end this.
- It is high in healthy fats.
- It is a lot easier to digest in comparison to cheeses made with cow’s milk.
- It is low in calories.
- It packs in a reasonable amount of protein and calcium.
- It has the right balance of probiotics, Vitamin B, and phosphorus.
- It might aid with satiety and weight loss.
We hope these options help you out if you have been looking for the best substitute for goat cheese. Remember that these are mere substitutes and are not the same replica, so it is likely that the texture and the flavor of these cheeses will be different than goat cheese.
It is also essential that you familiarize yourself with the storage process because improper storage can make the cheese go stale quickly. It is all about how you use the cheese in the recipes that make the difference. Make sure to categorize them and get the one that seems the best alternative at the moment.