I personally taste-tested a variety of brie cheese substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion. Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or want a swap that fits your diet, I’ve got the answers.
Camembert cheese is the best substitute for brie, although it has a more complex flavor profile. Fromager d’Affinois is also a good option if you can find it and burrata is great if you prefer a mold-free cheese. On a budget? Use cream cheese.
I paired various brie cheese substitutes with crostinis and fig jam – a classic combination – to find the best one.
Brie is a French soft-ripened cheese, which means it has a soft and edible white rind. It’s prized for its rich, buttery flavor, with fruity and earthy notes that intensify as the cheese ages. Brie in the United States is generally very mild, while traditional French brie can get pretty funky.
This flavor profile has made brie a popular choice for different dishes ranging from appetizers, entrees, and even sandwiches.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Camembert||Very similar to brie||9/10|
|Other soft-ripened cheeses||Typically have higher fat% than brie||9/10|
|Burrata||A mold-free option||8/10|
|Cream cheese||Budget-friendly and accessible||8/10|
|Goat’s cheese||Make sure to get a fresh variety||7/10|
|Vegan brie||Great for appetizers and cheese boards||7/10|
If you’re a cheese lover, camembert as a brie substitute is a no-brainer. It looks very similar to brie because both are soft-ripened cheeses with edible white rinds covering the surface.
And when it comes to texture, camembert and brie are almost twins. They both have a soft, creamy interior, with camembert being just a tad denser. This means you can easily use it as a substitute in any application – from salads to baked goods, and even pasta dishes.
Although there is a slight difference in flavor. Camembert has the same rich, buttery notes as brie, but with a more prominent earthy flavor that gives it more complexity. I loved how it complemented the sweet-tart notes of my fig jam.
How to substitute: Replace brie in a 1:1 ratio with camembert.
Fromager d’Affinois is another soft-ripened cheese from France that is very similar to brie. It’s classified as a double-cream cheese, boasting 60% fat content to brie’s 45%, which means it’s richer and creamier than brie, but it has the same underlying flavors.
And the real highlight is how it’s made. Thanks to ultrafiltration, this cheese is ready to go in just two weeks compared to the eight weeks it takes to make brie!
Wondering where to get it from? You should be able to find it in your local Walmart (you might even find some with added truffles… yum).
How to substitute: Replace brie in a 1:1 ratio with Fromager d’Affinois.
Other soft-ripened cheeses
There’s a whole world of soft-ripened cheeses out there ready to take the stage if you’re looking to substitute brie. Let’s explore some options!
Brillat Savarin and Saint-André, both French, carry the same rich, buttery notes of brie. Both these cheeses are classified as triple-cream cheese, making them even more decadent than the Fromager d’Affinois. You won’t want to eat too much of them, or you’ll start to feel sick.
On the American front, we’ve got Mt. Tam from California. It’s another triple-cream cheese but it has tangy notes similar to the flavor of crème fraiche, which keeps it from being too overwhelming.
How to substitute: Replace brie in a 1:1 ratio with Brillat Savarin, Saint-Andre, or Mt. Tam.
Burrata is like brie’s Italian cousin. It’s from a different cheese family (being a variant of mozzarella), but it has a similar rich, milky, and buttery flavor to brie. And it feels just as ‘special’.
The shell is regular mozzarella, but inside, you’ll discover a luscious, spreadable mixture of cream and mozzarella. It’s a party in your mouth with every bite.
Psst… this is a good alternative for those avoiding cheeses made with mold.
How to substitute: Replace brie in a 1:1 ratio with burrata.
Brie, and all the cheeses I’ve mentioned above can be expensive. If you want a cheaper alternative to brie, try cream cheese.
It worked perfectly with my crostini, and you can also use it in any dish where you’d typically melt brie. It’s less flavorsome than brie, so make sure you spread a thick layer when you’re using it!
Psst… want to add more flavor, try a cream cheese with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, or black pepper for a twist.
How to substitute: Replace brie in a 1:1 ratio with cream cheese.
Goat’s cheese is generally mild and buttery like brie, but it also has strong eathy notes and a distinctive tartness to it you won’t find in brie. It can still be a good replacement though if you’re in a pinch or don’t mind the flavor differences.
Fresh goat’s cheese is the best match for brie because it’s milder and has a soft, spreadable texture. As goat’s cheese ages, it gets stronger and more crumbly in texture.
I initially thought goat’s cheese might be too tangy for my fig jam, but its creaminess helped keep the flavors balanced.
How to substitute: Replace brie in a 1:1 ratio with fresh goat’s cheese.
You can easily find vegan Brie in well-stocked grocery stores. But if you fancy making your own, I highly recommend this recipe from Loving it Vegan.
The recipe uses cashews as a base, which brings a creamy, rich texture similar to traditional brie. Add in the nutritional yeast, white miso paste, and vegetable stock, and you have a vegan cheese with a flavorful kick that will remind you of the real deal.
This vegan brie went perfectly with my fig jam and crostini, although you won’t be able to use it in baked goods and cooked dishes (it won’t melt).
How to substitute: Replace brie in a 1:1 ratio with vegan brie.
If you don’t mind a harder cheese, fontina is a great substitute for brie. It has a slightly nutty flavor, but it’s still mild.
And despite the harder, less spreadable texture, it still has the same melt-in-your-mouth qualities as brie. And it will melt just as well, so you can use it in toasties and sauces.
How to substitute: Replace brie in a 1:1 ratio with vegan brie.
Other substitutes to consider
The suggestions above are my top Brie cheese substitutes but don’t worry if none of them worked for you. The world of cheeses is vast, and here are some more options:
- Cambozola: This is a combination of French soft-ripened triple cheese and Italian Gorgonzola. It hits all of brie’s rich, creamy notes, but the addition of gorgonzola brings a subtle funky note.
- Reblochon: Another soft-ripened cheese with the same French roots as brie. This has a robust, creamy flavor with a prominent nutty twist that makes it stand out.
- Coulommiers: Looks very similar to brie, but usually smaller. This soft-ripened cheese has the same rich, buttery flavor notes as brie, but milder.
- More specialty cheeses: More soft-ripened cheeses you can try (there’s a lot, isn’t there)! They’re all buttery and creamy like brie and the only reason I didn’t have them higher up on the list is because they’re not as common: harbison (has a pronounced earthiness), brie fermier (has a pronounced earthiness), nettle meadow kunik, and sweet grass dairy green hill.
- Young Cantal cheese: This is the most different texture-wise because it’s firmer than brie and the other substitutes. But it has a sweet, buttery flavor close to brie, so it’s a solid substitute if you happen to have some.
Substitute to avoid
I saw some websites suggesting blue cheeses like roquefort as a substitute for brie, but I don’t recommend this because they have a much stronger aroma and flavor that lots of people won’t like.
BEST Brie Cheese Substitutes +1 To Avoid
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- Soak the cashews in boiling water for 1 hour. After 1 hour, drain and rinse the cashews.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Add the soaked cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, miso paste, and vegetable stock into your blender and blitz until smooth.
- Line 2 oven-safe ramekins with parchment paper. Secure the parchment paper in place with a rubber band. Divide the vegan Brie mixture between the two ramekins.
- Remove the rubber band then bake the mixture for 30 minutes.
- Leave them to cool, then transfer to the fridge to chill completely before removing from the ramekins.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 7 days.