Havarti cheese is a wonderful and versatile semi-soft cheese that hails from Denmark. Also called “Danish Tilsiter,” Havarti has a creamy, buttery texture and a slightly nutty flavor. It not only makes for a great addition to a charcuterie board but is also a wonderful melting cheese that you can add to salads, sandwiches, casseroles, or any other dish you like.
However, Havarti is not always easy to find, and you may need to find a substitute from time to time. So, whether you’re a cheese expert or a home chef searching for some ideas, take a look at our pick of the best Havarti cheese substitutes for your next recipe.
Gouda, oh Gouda, where do we begin? This delectable semi-hard Dutch cheese is an excellent substitute for Havarti. It has the same texture and creaminess as the original but with a slightly nuttier flavor. Gouda is also packed with protein and calcium, making it a better choice than some other types of cheese.
You can substitute Gouda for Havarti directly in any recipe. If you get aged Gouda, expect the taste to be sharper than the nutty Havarti. It lends itself well to a number of common cheese preparations, such as sandwiches, grilled cheese, and even mac and cheese. It’s also perfect for a breakfast frittata!
Jarlsberg is a semi-hard Norwegian cheese that can also be a great substitute for Havarti, especially because of its nutty and slightly sweet flavor profile. One of the biggest differences between Jarlsberg and Havarti is that Jarlsberg has a more pronounced flavor due to its extended aging process. And while both kinds of cheese offer similar nutritional content, Jarlsberg is slightly richer in fat.
Jarlsberg is a versatile cheese that can replace Havarti in most recipes. It works well for pasta dishes as well as sandwiches and grilled cheese. It is also a great option for fondue or mac and cheese since it can also be used as a wonderful melting cheese.
Another semi-hard cheese, like Jarlsberg, Edam is also a great substitute for Havarti. It is made from cow’s milk and has a similar buttery and nutty flavor but with a lower fat content. Another distinction is that Edam typically has a wax coating to help extend its shelf life.
You can use Edam in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches to cheese platters paired with sweet fruits. It is also great for melting, making it a perfect addition to your next grilled cheese or fondue. To use it as a substitute for Havarti, simply use the same amount of Edam as you would Havarti in your recipe. You can also use aged Edam to crumble over salads.
Colby is a semi-hard cheese that is similar to Havarti in taste and texture. It’s named after Colby city in Wisconsin, where it originated, and is even considered the state cheese of Wisconsin. It is also a nutritious choice because it is an excellent source of calcium and protein.
Colby is quite versatile. You can eat it alone as a snack or use it in sandwiches, salads, and casseroles. Additionally, it may be melted and used to make mac and cheese or as a burger topper. Its mild flavor also makes it an excellent choice for cheese boards or to pair with deli meat.
Found in most supermarkets and gourmet food stores, Tilsit has a nutty and tangy flavor and works as a great substitute for Havarti cheese. In terms of nutrition, both Tilsit and Havarti are relatively similar, with Tilsit being slightly higher in protein. The main difference between the two is the texture since Tilsit is firmer and has a more pronounced flavor.
Tilsit is a fantastic choice for sandwiches, quiches, and other meals that call for savory and creamy cheese. It tastes terrific on top of pizza or grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s also a perfect pick for a cheese board because it goes nicely with crackers and fruit. You can also grate it to use it as a garnish for soups, pasta dishes, and salads. When using Tilsit as a substitute for Havarti, you’ll want to keep in mind that it has a stronger flavor, so start with a slightly lower amount.
6. Cottage Cheese (as a lower-fat alternative)
Cottage cheese, with its mild, creamy flavor, makes for a great match for recipes calling for Havarti. The texture is different, as cottage cheese is more crumbly and less smooth, but it can be mashed or blended to mimic the texture of Havarti. It’s also a good source of protein and calcium.
Cottage cheese can be used in a variety of ways as a Havarti substitute. You can blend it until smooth to create a creamy base for dips or spreads, or you can use it as a replacement for ricotta in lasagnas or stuffed shells. It can also be used as a topping on salads or as a filling for sandwiches. For a creamy consistency, you may want to blend cottage cheese with a little milk or sour cream. And for an added touch of flavor, you can add herbs, spices, or chopped vegetables.
Provolone is a semi-hard Italian cheese made from cow’s milk and matured for at least three months. It has the same texture and melting properties as Havarti but has a lower fat content. It also has a stronger and more distinct flavor that is acidic and somewhat sweet.
Provolone is a wonderful cheese to use in lieu of Havarti in recipes calling for mild cheese. You can use it sliced in sandwiches, grated on pasta, or melted over pizza. To create a tasty charcuterie board, pair it with strong-flavored meats such as prosciutto or salami.