Certain recipes call for white cheddar cheese, but you may not have any on hand or can’t find any at your local grocery store. Perhaps you want a slightly different taste and therefore need another type of cheese. There are many reasons for needing a substitute for white cheddar cheese and many different types of cheese to use!
What Kind of Cheese is White Cheddar?
White cheddar is a mild, semi-hard, and processed cow’s milk cheese. Cheddar cheese originated in England but quickly became an American favorite.
You can find white cheddar cheese as mild, sharp, and extra sharp – all determined by how long it was aged. Mild versions offer an almost creamy quality, while extra sharp has a much stronger and nutty flavor with a slight crumble.
Why do some recipes call for white cheddar? Well, we eat with our eyes don’t we? Sometimes a bowl of creamy, white cheddar macaroni makes the childhood favorite seem a little more sophisticated and grown-up.
Difference Between White and Yellow Cheddar
White cheddar cheese is simply cheddar cheese that has not been dyed yellow or orange.
Truly, the only difference between white and yellow cheddar cheese is that yellow cheddars have been dyed with annatto seeds. Annatto seeds come from the annatto tree and are ground up to produce a reddish powder. This powder is used to dye different foods, including cheddar cheese.
What is the Best Substitute for White Cheddar?
When looking for a substitute for white cheddar cheese, think of the overall flavor and consistency you are going for. Sometimes a simple swap of yellow cheddar will suffice, other times you may be looking for a creamier cheese, or even a more pungent cheese.
Whatever your reason, it’s a good idea to know several options that will work as a white cheddar cheese substitute.
1. Yellow Cheddar
When you are looking for the same flavor and consistency as white cheddar, the best substitute is yellow cheddar cheese. Yellow cheese melts the same, tastes the same, and other than being yellow, is the same as white cheddar cheese.
Yellow cheddar is used in many different cuisines such as: TexMex cheese enchiladas, British beer cheese soup, Italian pasta dishes, and classic American potato casseroles.
2. Colby Cheese
Colby, or Longhorn cheese, is very similar to cheddar. While both cheeses are a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese, they are processed slightly differently. Because of the higher moisture content in Colby, it does not keep as long as other cheeses.
Colby cheese is the base of both Colby Jack and Monterey Jack cheese. All are very creamy and are a good choice when needing to melt your cheese.
3. Cantal Cheese
If needing a replacement to sharp white cheddar, Cantal cheese may be your best bet. This firm, raw cow’s milk cheese has a sharp, tangy, and grassy taste when aged. A younger Cantel is creamy and buttery. Much like cheddar cheese, Cantal is good sliced, shredded, and melted.
4. Gouda Cheese
Gouda cheese is a softer cheese than white cheddar. Like most cheeses though, the flavor is enhanced with age becoming earthy and can even have a slight crumble.
Gouda is very common to eat as a table cheese and is excellent when melted in a cheese sauce for pasta or in a soup. For a completely different flavor profile, finding a smoked Gouda will not disappoint.
5. Edam Cheese
Edam cheese is another good choice when needing a substitute for white cheddar. Edam is a semi-hard cheese that comes wrapped in a red wax which prevents it from spoiling, making it a great choice to keep on hand or when traveling.
Edam and Gouda are very similar with Edam being slightly tangier. Edam slices well and is great on a sandwich or just by itself.
6. Brick Cheese
This cheese gets its name from how it is made – in the shape of a brick. It is a soft, creamy cheese with a subtly sweet flavor. You can also find an aged Brick cheese which lends a more intense flavor than its younger version.
Due to its creamy texture and mild taste, Brick cheese is a great choice for grilled cheese sandwiches as well as macaroni and cheese.
While Brick cheese is a good substitute for white cheddar, its subtle flavor allows it to mix well with other cheeses. So if you don’t have quite enough white cheddar for your recipe, feel free to add Brick cheese along with it.
7. Double Gloucester Cheese
Double Gloucester cheese gets its name from the Gloucester cattle used to make this semi-soft cheese. This cheese is often compared to cheddar cheese for its nutty and earthy flavor. Because it is made with full cream though, it is not as hard as a cheddar cheese.
If you are needing to replace white cheddar cheese in a cooked dish, this makes for a great substitute as it is smoother when melted.
Gruyère is a Swiss cheese with a very pungent aroma. It is nutty and bold and when it’s heated, its stench can be overwhelming to some but to cheese lovers – a true delight!
Gruyère is excellent on its own, sliced up on a cheese board, or grated on top of a dish. It is very creamy when melted and therefore makes a good addition to scallop potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and cheese fondue.
Because of its sharp and tangy flavor, Gruyère makes for an excellent replacement to white cheddar cheese. Try shredding some Gruyère on top of scrambled eggs for a delicious breakfast.
9. Tillamook Cheese
Tillamook is an American cheddar cheese. Naturally, this makes it a good substitute for white cheddar cheese. Because Tillamook was born in Oregon, it is readily available in most grocery stores across the US.
Tillamook treats their milk during the processing, killing any harmful bacteria. It also can have a lengthy aging process giving it a bold, nutty flavor. Tillamook produces both white and yellow cheddar, either one is a good substitute to white cheddar.
Mozzarella is a creamy white cheese and comes either fresh or processed. The fresh mozzarella is typically packaged with liquid and can be somewhat stringy. Mozzarella is widely used on pizzas and other Italian dishes.
Besides pizza, the most common way to eat mozzarella is in this simple caprese salad recipe:
- Slice fresh mozzarella and tomatoes
- Chop fresh basil
- Layer the cheese and tomato on your serving dish
- Sprinkle the chopped basil
- Drizzle all over with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Havarti cheese is another semisoft, creamy cheese similar to the buttery brick cheese. It is excellent sliced for hamburgers or melted with pastas.
Because of its subtle taste, you can usually find different flavors of havarti. Smoked, herbed, and even spicy variations are becoming more and more popular. The creaminess of havarti makes for a good addition to a cheeseball.
12. American Cheese
Although American cheese is a pasteurized cheese product, its affordable price tag, ease of availability, and creamy texture make it a great substitute for white cheddar cheese. It is actually made with cheddar and colby cheeses, along with several other ingredients.
American cheese has a low melting point meaning it is great to use in most any recipe that calls for melted cheese. The most common use for American cheese is in the popular queso dip.
How To Choose The Best White Cheddar Substitute
With so many cheeses out there, choosing a replacement for white cheddar can seem overwhelming. You simply need to consider what you will be using the cheese for.
Edam makes for a good substitute on a sandwich or cheese board while a mozzarella or brick cheese would be a good alternative melted in a cheese sauce.
Still needing to know more about white cheddar cheese? Let’s explore.
What goes well with white cheddar?
White cheddar is great on its own, but pairing it with certain food and drinks make it even more enjoyable. White cheddar and salami make a tasty duo on a charcuterie board. Enjoying slices of white cheddar with an oaky chardonnay or strong ale would be a great evening snack.
Does white cheddar taste different?
White cheddar gets its unique flavor from the cows milk used and the aging process. This combination makes for a creamy, yet bold and nutty cheese.
What is the unhealthiest cheese?
Although cheese can be considered a healthy snack, it can contain a lot of fat, salt, and calories. One of the most unhealthy cheeses is cream cheese, with its extremely high fat and calorie count per serving.
The quest to find that perfect replacement to white cheddar cheese is easy to do. Whether you are looking for a sliced cheese, or one to melt along with other ingredients there is a multitude of offerings. With so many delicious cheeses out there, you are sure to find one that suits your needs.
Tiffany McCauley is a celebrated food and travel journalist and cookbook author known for her engaging stories on culinary adventures and cultural insights. With a background featuring collaborations with notable brands and publications, Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Fanatically Food, where she champions taste, sustainability, and the art of cooking. Read More Here