3 Substitutes for Colby Cheese

Need Colby cheese for your recipe but forgot to buy any? Here is what you can use instead!

Monterey Jack, Mild Cheddar, and American Cheese can be used as substitutes for Colby Cheese.

There are all different types of cheeses to choose from with all different consistencies and tastes. Unless you’re an expert, it might be hard to know which you should use for your dish if you have run out of Colby cheese.

What is Colby Cheese?

Colby cheese is an orange cheese made from cow’s milk. Native to Colby, WI, Colby cheese is a softer cheese with no rind. It has a mild flavor and is normally sold in blocks or sometimes half-wheels.

Colby has a mild and buttery taste. There are several kinds of Colby cheese including regular Colby, Longhorn Colby, and Colby Jack.

Longhorn Colby is Colby cheese that is shaped into cylinders and cut into a moon shape. 

Colby Jack is a marbled cheese made out of Monterey Jack and Colby cheese. This gives it a white and yellow look.

Colby Cheese Longhorn 48oz Half Loaf
  • A Wisconsin original cheese! The first Colby was made in 1874 in Colby, Wisconsin.
  • Longhorn is a style of American Colby cheese defined by its round, long, orange cylindrical shape.

What is Colby Cheese used for?

Colby cheese is used for a lot of things like

  • Sandwiches
  • Sauces
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Tacos
  • Paired with fruits
  • Toppers on burgers
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What can you use instead of Colby Cheese?

If you’ve run out of Colby cheese, or are simply looking for something else to use, there are a few options for you! Each has a slightly different taste and texture, but each can be used to substitute for Colby Jack. Try them out and see which you like the best!

1. Monterey Jack

Monterey jack cheese is a white, semi-hard cheese that is also made from cow’s milk. It can be used as a close substitution for Colby cheese. 

Amazon Brand, Happy Belly Monterey Jack Cheese Block, 8 Oz
  • One 8-ounce block of Monterey Jack cheese
  • Good source of calcium
  • Contains milk
  • An Amazon brand

This cheese is commonly used in Mexican dishes due to how well it melts. You can also get it as pepper jack cheese, or Dry Jack cheese.

Similar to Colby cheese, it had a mild and sweet flavor.

2. Cheddar

Cheddar cheese is another good substitute for Colby cheese. It is a harder white to yellow cheese that can be sharp or mild.

This is the most widely used type of cheese. You can purchase mild, sharp, or extra sharp cheddar cheese. This is dependent on how long the cheese has been aged.

When using this as a substitute for Colby cheese, try to use a cheddar that is milder rather than sharp. This will help it taste more like Colby cheese and be a better substitution.

Amazon Brand, Happy Belly Sharp Cheddar Cheese Block, 8 Oz
  • One 8-ounce sharp cheddar cheese block
  • Good source of calcium. See nutrition panel for fat and saturated fat content
  • Contains milk
  • An Amazon brand

3. American

American cheese can also be used as a substitute for Colby cheese.

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American cheese is a processed cheese made by using several types of other cheeses, sometimes even Colby cheese. It has a medium consistency and is an orange color. It also has a milder taste, similar to cheddar.

This cheese has a lower melting point which makes it better for some dishes.


If you’re making a dish or just looking to snack on some Colby Cheese, there are a few great substitutes. There are many types of cheeses out there and trying to decide which would pair best with your dish can be a challenge. 

Monterey Jack, Mild Cheddar, and American cheese are all similar to Colby cheese and are great substitutes if you don’t have Colby.

Try one of these suggestions for a good pairing and similar taste to Colby cheese!