Parmesan cheese, with its rich and savory flavor, is a common ingredient in many Italian cuisine.
However, if you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply looking for alternatives, there are lots of delectable alternatives to try.
In this article, we’ll look at a few alternatives that can taste and feel like Parmesan cheese.
What To Use Instead Of Parmesan Cheese?
The Best Dairy Parmesan Cheese Substitutes
Pecorino is similar to Parmesan in appearance, but it is manufactured from sheep’s milk and has a sharper, more acidic flavor. Texturally, they are identical, so it is a simple substitution.
2. Halloumi Cheese
While halloumi has a softer and less crumbly texture than Parmesan, it has a similar content and salty kick and may be grated over meals in the same way.
Feta is saltier and will not melt as well as Parmesan, but it will provide a powerful increase of flavor and is preferable to no cheese.
4. Goat Cheese
Fresh goat cheese is tangier, creamier, and less salty than Parmesan, but it will still bring some cheesy flavor to the dish.
Because goat cheese does not melt as well as Parmesan, it may not be suitable for use in cooked foods.
5. Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar isn’t as firm or flavorful as Parmesan, but when finely grated, it still has a lovely cheese flavor. It also melts wonderfully in prepared meals.
6. Salad With Ricotta
Because salted ricotta is saltier and less complex than Parmesan, it will not provide the same depth of flavor. But it’s better than nothing.
7. Gruyère Cheese
Gruyère, like cheddar, isn’t as hard as Parmesan, but it has a nice cheesey flavor that works well as a substitute for Parmesan.
8. Comté Cheddar
Comté is the French equivalent of Parmesan, which means it’s their go-to cheese. Comté, like cheddar and gruyere, is slightly softer than Parmesan, but it may be grated and used in the same ways.
9. Grana Padano cheese
Grana Padano is another cheese created in Italy that has a strong nutty flavor similar to Parmesan. It is softer than Parmesan, making it perfect for use in sauces but also as a topping.
10. Asiago Cheese
According to Masterclass, Asiago tastes slightly nuttier and sharper than Parmesan. Both types of cheese have DOP certification and can be used interchangeably. It can be used in a 1:1 ratio.
11. Romano Pecorino
According to Food Network, Pecorino Romano cheese is almost identical in texture and age to Parmesan, with the key distinction being that it is created from sheep’s milk, whereas Parmesan is made from cow’s milk. It has a little stronger flavor and is perfect as a spaghetti topper.
Mozzarella is softer and milder than Parmesan, yet it adds smoothness to any sauce or risotto since it melts quickly.
Because it is softer than Parmesan, you may need to add a little more salt to create a similar flavor.
13. Manchego Cheese
If you want to try cheese from different parts of the world, Manchego is a Spanish cheese with a flavor profile similar to but milder than Parmesan.
Manchego is also a good substitute for white-aged cheddar in Lively Table’s pine room salad.
14. Sap Sago
Sap Sago is a Swiss cheese that is a fantastic low-fat substitute for Parmesan. It has a nutty flavor yet is peppery and herby in flavor.
Begin with half the amount of Parmesan you would normally use. Gourmet Sleuth goes into great depth on the cheese.
Cojita is a Mexican cheese similar to Parmesan and frequently used as a crisp and flavorful topping over Mexican street corn. It’s softer and saltier than Parmesan, but it’s a good replacement.
The Best Dairy-Free Parmesan Cheese Replacements
1. Brazil Nuts
Brazil Nuts can be grated with a miroplane to create a dust that resembles Parmesan. I also make a Brazil Nut ‘Parmesan’ sprinkle that is great sprinkled on pasta dishes, or anywhere you’d normally grate some parmesan.
2. Flakes Of Nutritional Yeast
Although not as salty as Parmesan, they provide a similar blast of intensely savory umami flavors.
3. The Olives
A handful of olives is a wonderful dairy-free and vegan substitute to Parmesan if you want a salty explosion of flavor.
4. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes, like olives, are brimming with flavor and will bring a little sweetness to your dish instead of a salt impact.
5. Roasted Salted Almonds
Roasted almonds will add texture and a salty hit to your dish, but they will not be lacking in flavor or crunch. Excellent as a dairy-free substitute for Parmesan in pesto.
6. Flakes of Sea Salt
To substitute the salty impact of Parmesan, you can also sprinkle your meal with sea salt flakes.
It won’t have the same aesthetic appeal or substance as grated or shaved cheese, but you’ll like the salty flavor explosions.
Work in the same way as olives. Salted capers are the finest option, although capers with vinegar are better than nothing.
8. Toasty Breadcrumbs
Toasted breadcrumbs, known as ‘pan gratato’ in Italy, are also known as “poor man’s Parmesan.” They are excellent for adding crunch and visual intrigue to pasta.
Suggestions For Parmesan Substitution
- Texture – If you want the same texture as Parmesan as a topping, use a firm cheese substitute.
- Flavor – aged cheeses or nutritional yeast are suitable substitutes for Parmesan because they have similar nutty flavor characteristics.
- Parmesan rind substitute – Many recipes call for a parmesan rind in the sauce to give the flavor of Parmesan, but you may just use the rind of another hard cheese or Parmesan itself. It is simply a more cost-effective technique of utilizing the rind.
There are various great alternatives to Parmesan cheese available, whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or simply looking for a change. These alternatives not only mimic the flavor of conventional Parmesan, but also provide a variety of textures and distinct flavors to complement your recipes.
So, the next time you’re making pasta, salad, or pizza, don’t be afraid to try one of these delectable replacements. Your taste buds will appreciate it, and you’ll be astonished by the diversity and flavor they add to your dishes.
Thanks for reading. I hope you find it helpful.