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Manchego cheese is a unique ingredient made from sheep’s milk. It contains an unusual mix of flavors that you would not expect in one food, making it an essential element in several delicacies.
The sweet and savory taste can be associated with the strokes of nuts, fruits, and zesty flavor injected when making the cheese.
Manchego’s distinct taste comes from the infused aromatic herbs and woven grass mold. Finding an ingredient to replace Manchego cheese in your recipe is not easy, but we have found worthy prospects to consider.
This article mentions ten cheeses you can use as a Manchego cheese substitute in your recipe.
What Is Manchego Cheese?
Manchego cheese is a Spanish ingredient that is light yellow and round. The sheep’s milk-made cheese can have a firm or soft texture depending on its aging. It is famous for its fruity flavor, grassy aroma, and guaranteed nutritional benefits.
Rich in lots of calcium and vitamins, the unique ingredient guarantees high nutritional value for your body. It features among the most common cheese options in Spain.
The fact that it contains animal yeast makes it unsuitable for vegetarians. Here are 10 Manchego cheese substitutes for you.
10 Manchego Cheese Substitutes
Pecorino is among Italy’s most famous hard cheese options. It features a strong sheep milk flavor that may irritate some individuals.
If you use it in your recipe, specialists recommend using small doses because of the intense aroma.
You are more likely to enjoy Pecorino if you fancy bold and aromatic flavors. Adding pecorino cheese to your sauce will create a fuller taste for your pasta.
Parmesan is also an Italian cheese famous as a topping for pasta recipes. Its crumbly and nutty cheese nature makes it an ideal substitute for Manchego cheese for most chefs.
The original variant is exclusively sold in Italy and should age for at least twelve months.
It is made from cow’s milk, and the quality of cheese depends on the cows’ feeding.
Monterey Jack is a worthy substitute for Manchego cheese. It is high in fat and melts like a dream despite being a semi-hard American cheese.
Substitute Manchego cheese with Jack cheese when making grilled cheese, pasta, cheesy dips, and soups.
You can use it to complement most wines, including Riesling and Chardonnay.
LEARN MORE: 10 Monterey-jack Cheese Substitutes
Tomme De Brebis
What better replaces Manchego cheese than another cheese made from sheep’s milk, Tomme de Brebis.
Use it as an alternative to providing a mild flavor to your food. Although it is made from sheep’s milk, some variants use cow’s milk.
Texture and flavor enhancement are the significant similarities between these two kinds of cheese.
Another excellent alternative to Manchego cheese is Asiago. Asiago cheese is from Northern Italy and is made from cow milk.
Depending on the level of maturity, it can vary from medium to hard. Its coloring is similar to Manchego; it goes from white to pale yellow as the cheese ages.
It delivers a mild flavor with a hint of sour and sweet and a yeasty aroma.
Several alternatives to Manchego cheese originate from Spain, and so does Zamorano. It is produced from unpasteurized sheep milk, making its texture harder than Manchego cheese when mature.
You should keep its crumbly nature when including it in your recipe.
Limiting your seasoning would be wise since Spanish cheese is usually salty. The nutty flavor and sweet aroma are enough to remind you of Manchego.
Mozzarella is a very diverse cheese that can substitute for Manchego cheese in your recipe.
It comes in different forms, and both pasteurized and unpasteurized cow or buffalo milk can be used in its production.
Originating from Italy, the cheese delivers a soft and mild flavor yet is stringy on the inside.
Consider it as an alternative in recipes targeting a milky and fresh aroma.
English Cheddar is another popular hard cheese used to make several dishes. You can use it to substitute Manchego as it has an enhanced nutty flavor and smoother texture.
The original English Cheddar originates from England, but there exist other variations.
To achieve a milder taste, you will need to let the cheese age for three months.
The cheese should mature for a more complex and deeper taste for at least eighteen to twenty-four months.
Its smooth nature comes from its moisture retention characteristics, which separates it from other hard cheeses. You can pair it with dozens of dishes since it melts at low temperatures, from sauces to bread.
LEARN MORE: 7 Delicious Boursin Cheese Substitutes
If you want the buttery, mild flavor delivered by Manchego cheese, you should consider Muenster as a substitute. The colored layer around it is similar to Manchego, making it a worthy alternative.
This outer layer comes from Paprika, which is usually subtle and entirely edible. Muenster makes sensational grilled cheese, tuna melts, hamburgers, and sandwiches.
Although the original version is made with cow milk, some variants have goat milk and have a bolder aroma.
Comte is a French cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. It can act as a substitute for Manchego cheese as it has a semi-hard nature and has similar texture and flavor characteristics.
The older the cheese gets, the firmer and grainier its texture becomes.
Comte offers a rich combination of flavors. It delivers a smokey, nutty, and savory taste on the one hand and a fruity and sweet flavor on the other.
Note that Conte requires a ripening process of a minimum of 4 months and can age up to 24 months.
How to Choose the Ideal Manchego Cheese Substitute
It can be challenging to find the best substitute for Manchego cheese, as dozens of alternatives are available.
The food you will be preparing is a significant determinant of which choice is best for you. You also need to have information on the available options and pick out those that will deliver the targeted taste.
You should consider Monterey Jack if you want a mild but complex flavor, aromatic and nutty enough for your dish. Tomme de Brebis, Asiago, and Conte are also worthy options you should consider using as Manchego alternatives.
Note that these options have intense aromas even when aged. Those seeking the crisp, dominant and strong flavor should use Pecorino, English Cheddar, or Zamorano.
Chihuahua, Mozzarella, and Muenster are best for recipes looking for a mild and more subtle flavor.
LEARN MORE: 7 Taleggio Cheese Substitutes
Which Cheese Tastes Most Similar to Manchego Cheese?
There are many substitutes for Manchego that have a similar taste. However, the one that tastes most similar to Manchego is Tomme de Brebis. Both cheese options deliver a unique buttery flavor, and their aroma becomes more intense as they age.
Can You Eat the Wax From Manchego Cheese?
Eating the wax from Manchego cheese is not harmful to your health. The edible wax is known as rind. They are rich in flavor and make the perfect ingredient for making soups or broths. Be sure you confirm the product’s label as some advice against its consumption.
The many alternatives available for Manchego cheese make it easy for you to replace the ingredient in your recipe. Our article highlights popular cheese options that can make great Manchego cheese substitutes.
It would be best if you wait until they age and fully mature to extract their rich taste. You can read through it and find one that fits your dish.