White cheddar cheese is a popular cheese that is sharp, creamy, and full of flavor. It can be enjoyed on its own, used in burgers or sandwiches, and also be used to make a mouthwatering grilled cheese sandwich. If you cannot enjoy traditional white cheddar cheese, fear not! We will explore some fantastic white cheddar substitutes, and no one will be the wiser!
What Does White Cheddar Cheese Taste Like?
White cheddar cheese is one of my personal favorites! It’s sharp, salty, slightly nutty, creamy, and has a tangy flavor. White cheddar cheese is my go-to when arranging a charcuterie board, when making mac and cheese, or on a cracker with a smoked oyster, (don’t knock it till you try it!) it’s also phenomenal on a juicy burger or on top of barbacoa tacos. White cheddar is a versatile cheese that adds a unique and delightful flavor to countless dishes.
What Is The Difference Between Orange Cheddar And White Cheddar?
Both white cheddar and orange cheddar are delicious cheeses with a similar flavor profile. The main difference between the two cheeses is simply the color and to a lesser extent, the flavor.
Orange cheddar, is yep you guessed it, typically orange or slightly yellow in color. This color is achieved by adding a natural coloring agent called annatto. Additionally, the flavor of the cheese is also a touch more mild than white cheddar.
On the other hand, white cheddar is naturally white in color. It gets its appearance from the milk used during the cheese-making process, which is typically from cows, goats, or sheep. No additional coloring is added, allowing the natural milk color to shine through. If you can get your hands on an aged white cheddar you will notice the flavor profile is much sharper than orange cheddar.
White Cheddar Substitutes
If for whatever reason you can’t get your hands on white cheddar cheese, do not worry - we’ve got you! Below you will find some of the best substitutes for white cheddar cheese that you can find at most local grocery stores.
Yellow Cheddar Cheese
Yellow or orange cheddar cheese is going to be the closest and an excellent substitute for white cheddar. The taste will be very similar, with the only major difference being the color. Additionally, similar to white cheddar, the longer the cheese has aged, the sharper the flavor. Use yellow cheese as a substitute for burgers, on top of baked potatoes, mac and cheese, or gratins.
Gouda cheese is a great substitute for white cheddar cheese, it’s packed with flavor and melts beautifully. Just like white cheddar, aged Gouda is slightly sharp with a nutty flavor, making it an ideal replacement on a cheese board, in a potato gratin, or in mac and cheese or any cheese sauce.
Edam Cheese, which is a Dutch cheese will also work as a white cheddar substitute, it has a creamy texture that melts extremely well. It’s a solid substitute for grilled cheese sandwiches, creamy pasta dishes, or adding to a salad. Due to its mild taste, it also pairs very nicely with a variety of fruits and nuts, making it an ideal choice for your next charcuterie board.
Edam cheese has a much milder flavor profile than white cheddar, so if you are looking for that sharp bite, Edam might not be the best substitute.
Cantal cheese a.k.a as “French Cheddar” (especially when aged) is another good substitute for white cheddar. Aged cantal has a sharper flavor, that is earthy, buttery, and slightly tangy, yet it is less sharp than aged white cheddar but is complex enough to provide an interesting flavor profile. Cantal cheese would be great in omelets, frittatas, quiches, or paninis. If you prefer a milder alternative to white cheddar, Cantal can be an excellent choice.
Double Gloucester cheese is a cow's milk cheese using the cream from one night's milking and also the following day's milking. It's got a nutty, rich, creamy, and buttery flavor profile. When young, this cheese is smooth and buttery, but firms up as it ages. It would be a great addition to most recipes.
Monterey Jack Cheese
While not my personal preference, many recommend using Monterey Jack as a stand-in for white cheddar. Monterey Jack is a semi-hard cheese with a buttery texture and mild flavor, so it can work well in recipes where you don't want an overpowering taste. I will say that it does melt incredibly well making it perfect in dishes like quesadillas, enchiladas, and even casseroles.
Colby cheese is a semi-hard cheese that is popular in the United States. It's known for its mild flavor and smooth texture. It’s buttery, slightly sweet with just a touch of tanginess. Where it lacks in sharpness compared to white cheddar, it makes up for it with creaminess.
Colby cheese melts incredibly well, making it the perfect substitution for that grilled cheese sandwich or mac and cheese.
Vegan White Cheddar Cheese
For our vegan friends or for those who prefer not to consume dairy, there are excellent dairy-free white cheddar cheese alternatives out there! The landscape of vegan cheese has grown tremendously and you can find vegan cheeses made from a variety of ingredients. You will want to look for brands that use primary nuts as the base and avoid brands like Field Roast and Dayia which include canola oil, soy, and natural flavors, none of which are good for you.
There are a few additional cheeses that would also work in a pinch. They don't necessarily have a similar taste as white cheddar, but they could be used depending on the recipe.
- Fontina Cheese: Fontina is a delicious Italian cheese that melts extremely well. If you were making grilled cheese or mac and cheese, this would be a great alternative to white cheddar.
- Provolone Cheese: Provolone is a semi-soft cheese, that has a little bit of a bite to it. It's fantastic on both warm or cold sandwiches or sliced on an antipasti salad.
- Gruyere Cheese: Last but not least, let's not forget Gruyere cheese. It's nutty, salty, and very flavorful.
The Best White Cheddar Substitute
As you can see there are many fantastic white cheddar cheese substitutes available. While white cheddar has a very unique and distinctive taste, you are now armed with other options to experiment with.
Each substitute we provided is slightly different, any of these will work in a pinch. Experiment with the different cheeses, and at the end of the day you will find the best white cheddar substitute that works for you and your recipe.