6 Awesome Gouda Substitutes To Try Right Now

Gouda cheese has been around since the late 1800s. It was first produced in Holland and then later in Belgium. In fact, it was originally called "Dutch cheese" because it was popularized there.

Today, gouda cheese is an extremely versatile product. It can be used in cooking, baking, and even eaten plain. It is also a favorite among cheese connoisseurs. I love gouda cheese. It is delicious and nutritious. It is also a low-fat dairy product. So, if you want to add a bit of flavor to your meals, try adding a slice of gouda cheese to your next meal.

Gouda is a mellow, delicious cheese that goes well with almost everything. It doesn’t dominate other cheeses and meats on a cheese and meat plate, and it melts well. What if you don’t have any Gouda on hand? Well, you’ll have to improvise, and we’re here to assist you. First, we need to know what Gouda is so we can figure out what to look for in a substitute.

What is Gouda Cheese?

The name “gouda” comes from the Dutch word goed meaning good or fine. This type of cheese originated in the Netherlands where they make this cheese using milk from cows fed exclusively on grass. The result is a milder tasting cheese than most others made today.

This cheese is usually aged between 12 months and 2 years before being sold. During aging, the rind develops a golden color while the interior becomes creamy white. Aged versions are often referred to as extra mature or old-fashioned. They tend to cost more but are worth every penny!

This type of cheese is frequently matured, even if it is only for a few weeks. The taste improves as a result of this, although even an old Gouda is still mild when compared to other aged cheeses. Its formula is quite similar to that of Edam cheese, with the exception that Gouda is a bit more moist and soft. The characteristic red wax shell of a roll of Gouda may be identified, however, it can also be Edam at times. So now we know what Gouda cheese is made of. Let’s take a look at what this entails in terms of finding replacements.

Best Gouda Substitutes

Gouda cheese is an excellent addition to any meal. It adds flavor, texture and creaminess to dishes. However, if you are looking for a substitute for gouda cheese, there are plenty of options out there. Here are some of the best substitutes for gouda cheese.

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Edam (Dutch)

If you like the taste of Gouda, you will probably enjoy Edam too. Both these types of cheese were developed by the same company back in 1845.

But unlike Gouda which uses cow’s milk, Edam uses sheep’s milk. As such, its consistency is slightly different. You might find yourself having trouble telling them apart sometimes. If you do not mind the difference, you should definitely give both a shot.

Edam is distinguished by the fact that it is prepared using semi-skimmed milk, resulting in a lower total fat level than Gouda. The flavor is slightly less buttery as a result, but the overall tone remains ‘mild.’ You’ll need aged Edam if you’re replacing aged Gouda. They age similarly, however, Edam will dry out a little faster due to its reduced fat content. Even so, it won’t be a crumbly, flaky cheese; rather, it’ll be a little dried-out but still flexible cheese.

Young Cheddar

Cheddar cheese has been around since the 17th century. In fact, cheddar was one of the first cheeses ever produced.

Today, young cheddars come in many varieties including American, English, French, Swiss, etc. These all share certain characteristics: sharpness, tangy flavors, and high moisture content. Young cheddar is perfect for melting because it does not become stringy during cooking. Another wonderful alternative is cheddar, which has a little more nutty flavor.

There’s orange Cheddar and then there’s off-white Cheddar. You’ll need the off-white, pale Gouda to replace it. The more annatto spice a Cheddar has, the more orange or dark cheese is, however it darkens with age. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing; the spice adds a lovely nutty, sweet flavor, but it’s not a viable substitute for mild Gouda. No matter what age Gouda you’re substituting, don’t purchase sharp Cheddar; instead, acquire ordinary Cheddar and make sure it’s not aged.

Muenster (American)

Another popular cheese from America, Muenster comes in two forms: regular and smoked. Regular muenster is usually white while smoked muenster is brownish yellow. Like most cheeses, they have their own unique tastes. For instance, regular muenster tends to be sweeter and smoother than smoked muenster.

Pasteurized skim milk is the major component in Muenster cheese. That implies it’s low in lactose, which makes it simpler to digest. Not to be confused with Munster, a French/German province. This is the American version, which changes somewhat from the European version.

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The American Muenster is a mild cow’s milk cheese that has been pasteurised. Thanks to annatto, which provides it a delicate nutty and sweet smell while keeping the interior mild, it’s off-white on the inside and a little orange on the outside. The annatto is used sparingly, and while it will be noticeable, it will not be as strong as Cheddar. This is also because Muenster is sold fresh, and you won’t find aged Muenster on the shelves unless you go to a skilled cheesemonger.

To complete the image, the French/German Munster is also a cow’s milk cheese, but it is unpasteurized or raw. This cheese has a washed rind and is matured for weeks or months, depending on the size of the roll. Because the bacteria is still present in the milk, it naturally develops an orange rind, which is aided by the brine wash. If you want to use Munster instead of Muenster, you should realize that it’s not a good idea.

Young Monterey Jack (American)

Monterey jack is another common American cheese. It can range anywhere from creamy to firm depending on how long it ages. If you want to use this cheese as an option for your next sandwich, try buying it at a local grocery store. However, if you’d like to experiment further, here are some other options to consider.

Like mozzarella, Monterey jack is made primarily from water buffalo milk. Unlike mozzarella though, Monterey jack contains no rennet. Monterey Jack is a cow’s milk cheese from the United States.

It comes in a variety of forms, including:

  • Pepper Jack — with herbs and chiles
  • Dry Jack is an aged cheese that is quite similar to Parmesan.
  • Colby Jack is a Jack that has been marbled with Colby cheese.
  • Cheddar Jack with Cheddar cheese marbling
  • Plain Monterey Jack cheese – young or somewhat older

From that list, you’ll need plain ol’ Monterey Jack. It has a moderate flavor and a little creamy texture, making it an excellent Gouda replacement.

On its own, it’s a touch sweet, but Gouda has a little sweetness of its own.

If you want to use plain Jack as a substitute for fresh or young Gouda, purchase plain Jack. If you want to replace an aged Gouda, try Dry Jack; but bear in mind that Jack matures more quickly than Gouda, so the ages won’t quite match.

Colby (American)

A very versatile cheese, Colby is often found in sandwiches because it melts well. In addition to being delicious when melted over toast, it makes great pizza toppings too! There are many different types of Colby available, so look around before purchasing one. Here are some ideas to get you started.

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If you’ve ever had cheddar cheese, chances are you know about Colby. Colby is actually a type of hard cheese, meaning it needs to be stored under refrigeration. Colby is a washed curd cheese that is usually gentler, sweeter, softer and has a softer finish. Colby varies in color from pale orange to vivid orange, depending on the amount of annatto used. If you want to be sure the flavor is closer to Gouda, go for one that is lighter in color. It’s not a good idea to replace aged Gouda with Colby since Colby isn’t aged and dries out rapidly, so you can only use it for young Gouda.

Havarti (Danish)

This Danish cheese is milder than most cheeses, especially those made from goat’s milk. Havarti is typically served sliced and eaten alongside bread such as rye bread, baguette, pumpernickel, etc.

Havarti is a cow’s milk cheese from Denmark. It’s a semi-soft cheese, so it won’t be as firm as Gouda, but it’ll suffice. The flavor is light and buttery, and older Havarti can be too sweet, so go for a young one because Gouda isn’t as sweet, to begin with. The small holes in Havarti are worth mentioning. They don’t slow down the melting process or alter the flavor, but you or your visitors will recognize that this is Havarti rather than Gouda because Gouda lacks eyes.


This Swiss cheese is known for its nutty taste and soft consistency. Gruyère is traditionally grated into dishes like macaroni and potatoes, soups, salads, pasta sauces, quiches, omelets, and even desserts. The best way to enjoy gruyere is simply to eat it straight off the block. You may find yourself eating it right away without any cooking whatsoever.


Gouda is a wonderful cheese, but if you’re looking for something similar, there are plenty of options. Just make sure you choose wisely. Don’t just buy whatever cheese happens to be cheapest at the store — do your research first. And remember: Cheese doesn’t have to be expensive to be tasty.


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