Shelf Life of
Cheese Substitutes

What is a Substitute for Cheese? Mascarpone Substitute?

Shelf Life of Cheese

Cheese Substitutes

Do you need a mascarpone substitute or want the best substitute for cream cheese?
Or, maybe you’ve run out of parmesan, cheddar, romano and need a substitute? There are so many different kinds of cheeses each with their own distinct flavor, but since the shelf life of cheese can be rather short, it’s good to know what cheeses you can substitute for the other one when needed.

So, use this table to substitute for mascarpone, find a ricotta substitute for your lasagna recipe or a cream cheese substitute for your cheesecake recipe.

Table of Cheese Substitutes (Including a Mascarpone Substitute):

Cheese Amount Substitute
Mascarpone Substitute Equal Blend 1 package softened Cream Cheese +plus 1/2 Cup Sour Cream +plus 1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream until smooth.
Parmesan substitute Equal Asiago Cheese
Neufchatel Cheese substitute Equal Cream Cheese
Ricotta substitute Equal Cottage Cheese – small curd
Fontina substitute Equal Provolone *OR* Brick *OR* Muenster
Goat Cheese substitute Equal Feta Cheese
Feta Cheese substitute Equal Goat Cheese
Gruyere substitute Equal Fontina Cheese *OR* Jarlsburg or another “Swiss” Cheese *OR* Comte
Farmer’s Cheese substitute Equal Cottage Cheese, drained well
Cream Cheese substitute Equal Cottage Cheese, drained well, pressed and then whipped
*OR* Equal parts drained cottage cheese and plain yogurt whipped



But remember, when making substitutions results can vary according to your taste buds.
Some cheese substitutes may alter slightly the taste, texture, weight, or moisture content of the finished product. For instance asiago cheese has a slightly stronger taste than parmesan cheese, although the look and grating qualities of the cheese are identical making an asiago cheese or a romano cheese a great substitute for parmesan cheese.

How to Decide Which Substitute for Cheese to Use

It’s how the cheese responds to heat that is often the most important thing when substituting cheese in your recipe. For instance, if you substitute mozzarella cheese on pizza with a drier cheese that does not melt well your bite of pizza becomes a whole different experience. And you probably would not want to put a mascarpone substitute on your pizza either because of the sweet flavor of mascarpone!

These recommendations are meant to save you a trip to the store during your cooking process.
Please note that some alternatives may not be appropriate for your specific recipe.
For instance, a cottage cheese option for a cream cheese substitute would not make a very good cheesecake but the Neufchatel Cheese substitute for cream cheese would work great for any recipe, especially cheesecake.

To find out if you can freeze your cheese, check out our FAQ on can you freeze cheese.

To check the shelf life of cheese, check our page on how long does cheese last.

To find out how long other ingredients are good for, please visit the DairyDrinksFruitsGrainsProteinsVegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below.

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