I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of blue cheese substitutes to find the best ones for every cooking occasion. Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry swap, or want a substitute that fits your diet, I’ve got the answers.
You can use different blue cheese varieties like gorgonzola, stilton, or roquefort interchangeably as substitutes. Or if you want to stay away from mold-based cheeses, try using feta or goat cheese instead. For dairy-free options, try vegan blue cheese or salty capers.
I made different batches of blue cheese dressing to test out several substitutes and find the best one.
Blue cheese is made from pasteurized milk that has been set with rennet and then ripened with Penicillium roqueforti before aging. This process gives the cheese its signature blue veins (hence the name) and a salty, sharp flavor.
Blue cheese is a popular ingredient in cheese boards, sauces, baked goods, and salads. You won’t find an exact match for blue cheese because it’s so unique, but I did find some decent substitutes.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Substitutes||How to Substitute||Verdict|
|Other blue cheese varieties||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Feta cheese||Replace with 1.25 the amount||9/10|
|Goat cheese||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Aged cheddar||Replace blue cheese with ¾ the amount||8/10|
|Queso fresco||Replace with 1.25 the amount||7/10|
|Homemade vegan blue cheese||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||7/10|
Other blue cheese varieties
As obvious as it may seem, swapping one blue cheese for a different type of blue cheese is the simplest solution. The key here is to find a blue cheese that mimics the texture and flavor profile you’re after.
Stilton is a great stand-in for classic roquefort or an aged gorgonzola because of its crumbly yet creamy texture and robust flavor. But if you’re looking to substitute a younger, creamier blue cheese, blue castello or maytag blue cheese will do the trick.
And for those who prefer a milder flavor, Danish blue cheese or danablu are the best options.
How to substitute: Replace blue cheese in a 1:1 ratio with a different blue cheese variety.
This famous Mediterranean cheese is the next best thing if you’re completely avoiding moldy cheeses. It shares the salty, tangy notes blue cheese is known for, but with less intensity.
You can swap it in a 1:1 ratio with blue cheese, or use a bit more to achieve a bolder flavor profile. I used about 25% more in my dressing and it turned out great.
Psst… feta is also great in salads and pasta sauces (did you ever make the viral feta pasta from TikTok? If not you should totally try it!).
How to substitute: Replace blue cheese with 1 and 1/4 the amount of feta.
Goat cheese is another mold-free substitute you can use in place of blue cheese. It has a tart and earthy flavor, although it’s not as intense as blue cheese. Most goat cheese has a creamy, spreadable texture, but it gets more crumbly as it ages.
You’ll also find lots of goat cheese has a herb crust for an extra flavor.
The goat cheese tasted fine in my dressing, but I think it would really shine in salads and risotto. It’s also great on cheese boards, where its creaminess can balance out cold cuts and jazz up plain crackers, much like a creamy gorgonzola would.
How to substitute: Replace blue cheese in a 1:1 ratio with goat cheese.
Cheddar was the last substitute I had in mind for blue cheese, so I was surprised that it worked so well (although I did run my dressing through the blender to give it a smoother texture). But after reading up about aged cheddar, it made sense!
The extended aging process gives cheddar cheese crunchy crystals that create a sharper flavor that’ll remind you of blue cheese. Extended aging also gives cheddar a firmer but more flaky texture, so you can sprinkle it over salads like blue cheese crumbles.
Pro tip: Avoid using this option for hot sauces – aged cheddar is a poor-melting cheese and can make sauces oily and grainy.
How to substitute: Replace blue cheese with ¾ the amount of aged cheddar.
If you find even the mildest blue cheese too bold, give queso fresco a shot. This Mexican cheese is far simpler than blue cheese because it’s only made of full-fat milk, lemon, and salt, giving it a salty flavor and a mild tangy kick.
It lacks the ‘funkiness’ of blue cheese, but it’s got a very similar crumbliness, so it works well as a swap in salads and sandwiches. One caveat with this sub is that while it will soften, it won’t melt easily. This wasn’t a problem with my dipping sauce, but don’t expect it to make a super smooth sauce.
How to substitute: Replace blue cheese with 1 and 1/4 the amount of queso fresco.
Homemade vegan blue cheese
If you’re looking for a vegan alternative to blue cheese, it’s possible with the help of cashews. You should be able to find vegan blue cheese in the shops, but you can also make it yourself.
You can go the ‘proper’ route and incorporate probiotics and Penicillium roqueforti, but this is hard to find and you’ll also need to wait a minimum of two weeks for the cheese to be ready. So I prefer this easy version which uses spirulina to give the cheese blue veins, and white miso paste to add a funky flavor.
Psst… you can also swap in a vegan feta which is much easier to make.
How to substitute: Replace blue cheese in a 1:1 ratio with vegan blue cheese.
Capers or olives
One of the main things blue cheese adds to a dish is salty flavors and you can replicate this by adding a few capers or chopped-up olives to your dish.
For my dressing, I used cream cheese to add the creaminess and replicate the texture of blue cheese, and then chucked some crushed capers in there for flavor. You could tell it wasn’t blue cheese dressing, but it tasted great!
Psst… this option is also dairy-free and vegan.
How to substitute: Replace blue cheese with a few capers or olives.
Substitutes to avoid
I encountered lots of different suggestions for blue cheese substitutes while I was researching, but not all of them worked out.
For example, halloumi was suggested by another blog, and while this does have a salty flavor, the texture is very different from blue cheese. It’s firm and won’t melt, so you can’t use it in sauces or baking. It’s also not usually seen on cheese boards because it’s mostly eaten grilled or fried.
Yogurt was also suggested, but this just won’t work in most recipes!
Best Blue Cheese Substitutes + 2 To Avoid
- 3 cups raw cashews
- 2 tbsp refined coconut oil
- ⅛ tsp mesophilic culture
- ⅛ tsp penicillium roqueforti
- 5 tbsp filtered water
- Pre-soak the cashews in filtered water for at least 5 hours or overnight.
- Drain the cashews and place them in a large bowl. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, pour the water onto the cashews. Leave to rest for about 1-2 minutes and drain the cashews again. This ensures harmful bacteria is removed from the nuts.
- Transfer the cashews into a blender or food processor. Add the coconut oil and 5 tbsp of filtered water. Blitz on high until you get a smooth, thick mixture.
- Open the probiotic capsules and add the powder into the blended cashews. Add the penicillium. Blend for another 15 seconds.
- The mixture should be smooth and thick. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with plastic film, and leave the mixture to rest in a dark place for 24 hours.
- The next day, refrigerate the mixture for 4 hours. After that, line the springform pans with parchment paper. This is to prevent the cashew mixture from coming in contact with the metal. Fill each pan with the cashew mixture.
- Place a container upside down on the plate where the cheeses sit. This will help the good mold to grow. Place the cheese in your refrigerator and don't remove the plastic cover.
- After two days, sprinkle salt over the top of the cheeses and flip them, removing them from the springform pan. Salt the top and sides, rubbing gently.
- Flip the cheeses everyday, making sure you do so with clean hands. After 7 days, blue mold should start to appear. After two weeks, break the cheese into little pieces. Line the spring form pans with parchment paper and fill tem with the scrambled cheese. This creates holes inside the cheese for the mold to grow further.
- Continue flipping the cheeses everyday for the next 3 weeks.
- After 5 weeks, the inside and outside of your faux cheese will be covered with blue mold.
- Wrap each cheese in cheese paper or aluminum foil and wait for another 3-5 days. After that, you can keep the cheese for about a month in the fridge.