Alongside eggs, flour, and maybe sugar, cheese is one of the most versatile ingredients out there.
Aside from cutting a few slices for your cheese board and pairing it with prosciutto or some other savory snacks, cheese is a perfect ingredient for many types of dishes, from savory dishes to desserts.
People that use cheese in their culinary actions tell me that they love those cheeses that have a mild flavor and that melts well, especially when making grilled cheese sandwiches.
One of those cheeses that has these characteristics is Havarti cheese, an aged Danish cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a semi-soft cheese with a mild flavor that cuts well and melts perfectly. What more could you ask for?
But what if you don’t have any and you can’t find any at your local grocery store?
Don’t worry because I will present to you the 12 best Havarti cheese substitutes.
The Ultimate List Of 12 Best Havarti Cheese Substitutes
I will begin with the ultimate list of the 12 best Havarti cheese alternatives. There are many types of cheese on the market today and I am sure that you will be able to find the one that suits your preferences the best.
1. Gouda Cheese
I will start with the classic. Gouda cheese is my personal favorite and it is not without reason.
It is a semi-soft cheese that has a mild flavor that combines sweet and nutty undertones with a hint of fruitiness.
It is a perfect combo of flavors for almost everybody’s taste buds. Aside from that, all these flavors resemble Havarti cheese very well and that is the most important part of the whole story.
Gouda cheese is also made from the milk of a cow, melts well, and can be used in almost all dishes where Havarti cheese finds its place perfectly. You can use it in macaroni, pizza, dips, soups, and fondue. Gouda is also the best cheese with turkey sandwiches.
Gouda is a highly available cheese since you can find it at almost any grocery store or supermarket at very affordable prices. Just remember to buy young gouda cheese because the aged ones have a much more intense flavor.
2. Tilsit Cheese
If you are looking for a cheese that you can present to your guests as a Havarti cheese when you cut it on the cheese board, then there is no better cheese than Tilsit cheese.
When you look at these two types of cheese, there is almost no way to tell the difference in appearance.
Tilsit cheese also comes from Europe, i.e. from Germany, and many believe that Havarti cheese is just a subtype of Tilsit cheese because it is often called Danish Tilsiter.
And that is no surprise because, besides the similar appearance, these two types of cheese have similar flavors, textures, and melting points as well.
Namely, Tilsit cheese also has a mild, nutty, and slightly tangy flavor.
The only difference is the fact that Tilsit has a stronger and deeper flavor profile.
When it comes to texture, Tilsit is a semi-firm cheese that is similarly moist and creamy.
Finally, it also melts very well, so you can use it in similar types of dishes as well. It is best to use it in sauces, casseroles, fondue, and various other baked dishes.
One more note. Because it has a more intense flavor, it is best to use it in smaller amounts in dishes that require Havarti cheese.
3. Young Cheddar
It is a long list of the perfect Havarti cheese substitutes and young Cheddar cheese is on the list as well. Alongside Gouda cheese and Tilsit cheese, young Cheddar cheese is definitely the ideal alternative for Havarti cheese.
Not only does it melt perfectly just like Havarti cheese, but it also has a similar creamy and smooth texture.
Aside from that, these two types of cheese are also similarly mild in flavor and, of course, have a similar flavor profile as well.
The only major difference between them is their appearance. Namely, Cheddar cheese doesn’t have those recognizable holes, also known as cheese eyes.
So, it is not recommendable to serve it on a cheese board instead of Havarti cheese because that will be very suspicious.
But, you can freely incorporate it into almost any recipe, especially in those dishes where the cheese melts, like for example in a grilled cheese sandwich.
However, you can freely use it in some other types of dishes like burgers, baked cheddar biscuits, and various other baked dishes. You can also make a creamy cheddar cheese soup, as it is one of the best sides for sandwiches.
4. Swiss Cheese
We all know that Swiss cheese has those big eyes on its surface, so some might therefore conclude that it resembles Havarti cheese in appearance.
However, its eyes, or holes, are much bigger, so it is not a good alternative for Havarti cheese in terms of appearance.
When it comes to texture, Swiss cheese is also the type of cheese with a buttery and creamy texture, but it is not too soft. Although it is considered a semi-firm cheese, it is much firmer.
So, what makes it a good alternative? Well, it is the flavor profile of course. Their flavor profiles are almost the same since Swiss cheese is also mild, sweet, and nutty.
Besides flavor profile, Swiss cheese also melts extremely well.
So, if you decide to use it instead of Havarti cheese, use it in recipes where appearance and texture are not that important. Of course, those are the types of dishes where you must melt the cheese.
Some of them include grilled cheese sandwiches, Mac and cheese, omelets, sauces, burgers, and various other baked dishes.
Colby cheese is a washed-curd cheese, i.e. it follows the washed-curd process which results in less acidity and mild flavor.
However, although it has a smooth texture that can replace the texture of Havarti cheese quite well, Colby cheese is a firmer cheese and it is in the group of semi-firm cheeses, contrary to Havarti which is classified as semi-soft cheese.
But you don’t have to worry because there are a lot of recipes where the texture of the cheese is not as important. That is especially the case in those recipes that require cheese melting and Colby melts perfectly.
So, if you want to use Colby cheese, use it in dishes like soups, sauces, grilled cheese sandwiches, and dips.
You can use it in the same amount as Havarti cheese because their flavor profiles are quite similar.
Just like our Havarti cheese, Esrom cheese also comes from Denmark and it is a semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk as well.
It also has eyes, but those eyes are bigger and they are more similar to the eyes of Emmental cheese or Swiss cheese.
However, as I already said, both types of cheese are very soft and both have a creamy texture. Aside from that, Esrom cheese melts perfectly as well.
The final category is flavor profile. The flavor profile of Esrom cheese is similar to that of Havarti cheese since it is also a combination of mild, buttery, and slightly tangy flavors.
But, it is important to emphasize that Esrom cheese has a sharper flavor, so it is not recommendable to use it in dishes that require milder types of cheese.
You can use it as a melting cheese in sauces, fondue, and casseroles, especially if you want to add a tangy touch to those dishes.
7. Monterey Jack
Aside from gouda cheese, Monterey Jack is one of my personal favorites. I find it in almost any grocery store at an affordable price and it is quite simple to enjoy it if you have the right ingredients on the table.
I always cut a few slices on my cheese board and pair it with the glass of my best red wine, usually Pinot Noir, but it also goes well with other fine wines like Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc.
But I often use it when I am out of Havarti cheese in various types of dishes and there are two good reasons for that.
First, Monterey Jack cheese has a combination of mild, buttery, tangy, and slightly sweet flavors that resemble Havarti cheese perfectly.
Second, Monterey Jack cheese also melts very well in recipes that require melted cheese.
The only problem lies in its texture. Namely, Monterey Jack is a semi-hard cheese, contrary to Havarti cheese which is classified as semi-soft cheese.
However, if you use it in dishes where texture is not too important, it will show you its full potential. Some of those dishes include pizza toppings, pasta dishes, grilled cheese sandwiches, as well as soups.
8. Saint-Paulin Cheese
Unless you are a hard-core cheese lover, cheese enthusiast, or if you are a cheese producer, I am sure that you are not so familiar with this one.
Saint-Paulin cheese originates from France and it is produced by monks in the town of Laval, in the Loire Valley.
Saint-Paulin is a semi-soft cheese that is also made from cow’s milk.
It has a similar flavor profile which is a combination of mild, nutty, and slightly tangy flavors.
Its creamy and buttery texture is also quite similar, although it is a bit firmer.
As you can see, there are many similarities between these two types of cheese. But, why is Saint-Paulin cheese only at the 8th place on this list despite all of these similarities?
Well, the problem is in its availability. This is not a type of cheese that you can find at your local grocery store, especially if you don’t live in France. Aside from that, the price you have to pay for it is also quite high.
However, if you have the luck to be in possession of this incredible cheese, it is one of the best alternatives for Havarti cheese and you shouldn’t hesitate to use it.
9. Emmental Cheese
I am sure that some of you are confused with this one since I already listed Swiss cheese. I am saying this because a lot of people think that Swiss cheese and Emmental cheese are the same.
However, although Emmental cheese also comes from Switzerland and has a similar flavor profile to Swiss cheese, these two types of cheese are not the same.
Emmental cheese also has a very nutty flavor, just like Swiss cheese, but it also has some fruity undertones.
Since some varieties of Havarti cheese also have sweet and fruity undertones with a predominantly nutty flavor, Emmental cheese can be a great alternative.
When it comes to texture, Emmental cheese also has a slightly creamy texture but is a bit firmer.
However, it melts very well, so you can use it instead of Havarti cheese in recipes that require melting of the cheese.
Some of those dishes include sauces, fondue, omelets, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.
Aside from those, you can also use it with meat, in cold sandwiches, on crackers, bread, etc.
10. Edam Cheese
Just like the few previously mentioned types of cheese, Edam cheese also comes from Europe, more precisely from the Netherlands. This Dutch cheese is also made from cow’s milk.
However, Edam cheese is a semi-hard cheese, which means that it is a firmer type of cheese and not a suitable alternative in dishes that do not require melting.
But, if your intention is to find a substitute for Havarti cheese that has a similar flavor profile and melts well, Edam cheese is a great solution.
It has a nutty flavor with sweet undertones. The only major difference is that it is a bit sharper, especially when aged.
All in all, it can be a decent alternative for Havarti cheese in soups and sandwiches and it can be easily found at most grocery stores – even at the smaller ones.
11. Camembert Cheese
Camembert cheese is a soft, creamy cheese that originated in France, more precisely in Normandy. Just like Havarti cheese, it is made from cows’ milk.
Although it is not as commonly used as a Havarti cheese substitute, Camembert cheese can be a decent alternative since it also has a creamy, smooth texture.
Aside from that, it melts quite well, so it can be added instead of Havarti cheese in those recipes that require cheese melting, such as fondue and grilled cheese sandwiches.
However, although considered mild, Camembert cheese has a stronger flavor, so you should be careful when adding it to dishes instead of Havarti cheese if you don’t want to overpower the flavors of other ingredients.
12. Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella cheese is a popular Italian cheese that can be used in various types of dishes, including pizzas, meatballs, various types of salads, and many more.
It is also one of the best types of cheese for tacos.
It can also be a decent alternative to Havarti cheese, but you can not use it in every type of dish.
I am saying this because there are some differences between these two types of cheese and the biggest difference is the fact that mozzarella cheese is not an aged type of cheese.
Consequently, it is much softer and has a milder and more subtle flavor than Havarti cheese.
However, when it comes to melting, I think that you can not find a better cheese than mozzarella.
So, if you are planning to make a dish that requires cheese melting and where the flavor profile is not so important, use mozzarella instead of Havarti.
Did You Find Your Ideal Havarti Cheese Substitute?
After going through this list of the 12 best Havarti cheese substitutes, I am convinced that you will find the ideal alternative that will suit your cheesy dish the best way possible.
However, if you are still in doubt, I will just tell you to pay close attention to the most important factor that your dish requires.
For example, if it’s just melting, choose the one that melts well. If your dish doesn’t require a cheese that only melts well, but one that also has a specific combination of flavors, pay attention to the flavor profile of every mentioned cheese.
If you choose your ideal cheese this way, I am sure you can not go wrong.