5 Practical Substitutes for Feta Cheese That Will Make You Love Your Dishes More
Everyone loves cheese. When I was a kid, I always choose food that has cheese in it. I remember when my mom cooks spaghetti at home. I would always volunteer to grate cheese so that I can nibble the yummy shredded pieces of it right before she mixes it with the sauce.
Back at the time, I didn’t know that there was a numerous variety of cheese the world has to offer. I’m sure that I have already eaten this cheese way back before I knew what it was called. It was only when I started working in a culinary school that I was introduced to the name, “feta cheese”. It doesn’t look like the typical cheese that everyone knows.
Feta cheese has a distinct appearance, flavor, and texture.For people who are trying to lose weight, they add this type of cheese to bring a salty and tangy to their dishes. There are also a lot of recipes on the interne that calls for this ingredient – in pasta, pizza, sandwiches, even in dips and sauces.
But, perhaps for some people, feta cheese is unappealing and its taste needs to be acquired. Are you one of the people who shove this cheese at the side of the plate and not eat it? Maybe you are reading this article because you are a lactose intolerant person looking for a dairy-free substitute for feta? Or maybe you just cannot find feta cheese in your house and look what can replace it?
So whatever reasons you have for hating feta cheese, I compiled 5 Practical Substitutes for Feta Cheese That Will Make You Love Your Dishes More!
1. Cottage Cheese If You’re Cutting That Flabs
If you’re trying to shed that waistline flab and want to hit that boring salad with a different flavor other than feta, cottage cheese is the best choice. It contains 98 calories, less than half of feta, which is 264 calories according to UDSA.
This cheese is also high in protein, perfect if you are aiming to achieve that sculpted body and well-toned muscles. In fact, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library posted a postal card during the World War 1, encouraging people to eat cottage cheese. “Eat more cottage cheese, you’ll need less meat”, it says.
Moreover, Morgan O’ Connor in his article, “Feta Cheese Substitutes”explains that cottage cheese works well as a substitute for feta. It gives the same feta texture but better flavor. You just need to drain the liquid portion of the cottage cheese, crumble and sprinkle some salt to get a closer flavor to feta.
Cottage cheese can either be naturally or commercially manufactured. Naturally made cottage cheese are tangier compared to the latter. However, you can create a DIY version of natural cottage cheese. You can follow the step-by-step procedure here or watch this video tutorial.
2. Ricotta for Sweet Tasting Cheese
Ricotta is also comparable to feta in texture, although this is slightly sweeter than feta. It is also white in color, creamy in appearance and has a semi-soft texture and easy to pair with anything.
Ricotta is technically not a cheese, says cheese guru, Steven Jenkins in his book Cheese Primer. Ricotta, which means, “recooked”, is a left over that has been separated. And since it is from whey, it is considered a dairy product rather than cheese. Culture Cheese News and Recipes, shared that in Italian cuisine, there is an unspoken rule that nothing should be put into waste.
Ricotta has shorter shelf life compared to other cheeses. So this kind of cheese can either be salted, smoked or aged to become stable.
3. Tofu for Non-Dairy Needs
While tofu has been a common substitute for other cheeses like mozzarella or provolone, this can also be great for feta. Go Dairy Free suggests that you can mix mashed Firm Silken Tofu with a little amount of lemon juice to add a notice of cheesy taste and texture, not really test but a cheesy experience. Food.com also suggests a vegan substitute called Mock Feta Cheese. It's a mixture of oil, water, red wine vinegar, salt, some herbs, and tofu. Check out the recipe here.
4. Goat Cheese is the Closest and Tastier Alternative
Traditionally same in origin, goat cheese and feta are made from goat’s milk. Although feta is only 30% goat’s milk and sometimes can be obtained from sheep’s milk.
Urban Grains has a comparative table of goat and feta cheese. Since goat cheese is higher in fat, it's also more when it comes to flavor and reminds you of cream cheese. It crumbles easily, which will give you the feta look and texture but should be consumed immediately because it easily hardens.
5. Mozzarella because, Why Not?
Ditch finding the crumbly substitute for feta, because why not use mozzarella? Mozzarella is my ultimate favorite cheese. I love its chewy, stretchy texture and not so salty flavor especially the excitement when you see it bubbling on top of a freshly baked pizza.
Originally, mozzarella is taken from the milk of a water buffalo, but now it can be sourced from cow and goat’s milk. Fresh mozzarella is easy to make at home. But if you want an easier option, New England Cheese Making Supply Co has a 30-Minute Mozzarella Cheesemaking Kit.
So the next time that there's a feta cheese commotion with the people around you, you can suggest these alternatives. Please do share this article with someone who has the feta cheese dilemma. Also kindly share with us perhaps a photo of a dish you made with a substitute for feta. Thanks!