9 Best Substitute For Gouda Cheese

Gouda Substitute

Cheese lovers know that each variety of cheese brings its unique charm to the table, and Gouda, a popular Dutch cheese, is no exception. Gouda, cherished for its rich texture and slightly sweet, nutty taste, stands out as a versatile cheese choice. From sandwiches and salads to gourmet recipes, it enhances a myriad of dishes with its smooth consistency and captivating flavor. But what if Gouda is off the menu? Perhaps you’ve run out of it, or you’re looking to experiment with new flavors.

This is where exploring substitutes becomes a culinary adventure. In this article, we turn our attention to the best substitutes for Gouda. These alternatives are not just about emulating Gouda’s characteristics; they also allow you to journey through the world of cheese, offering unique flavors and textures. Each alternative stands on its own as an excellent cheese option, capable of bringing new dimensions to your dishes. So, whether it’s the creamy Havarti or the slightly tangy Monterey Jack, we present the best available online options for substituting Gouda, making your culinary endeavors both delicious and exciting.

What is Gouda?

Gouda, named after a city in the Netherlands, is a semi-hard cheese renowned for its smooth texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It’s typically made from cow’s milk and can vary in taste depending on its age. Young Gouda, which is aged for just a few weeks, is mild and creamy, while older Gouda, which can be aged for up to several years, has a robust, caramel-like flavor with a hard, crumbly texture. Its versatility makes it a favored choice in a wide array of dishes, from sandwiches and salads to gourmet recipes.

Wheel of Substitutes For Gouda

  • Edam
  • Havarti
  • Fontina
  • Maasdam
  • Muenster
  • Monterey Jack
  • Colby
  • Jarlsberg
  • Emmental

Best Substitutes For Gouda

Discovering new cheeses can be an adventure. Here, we present the best substitutes for Gouda that can bring a new twist to your dishes while still keeping the spirit of the original cheese intact.


Edam, another cheese originating from the Netherlands, is a fantastic substitute for Gouda due to its similar texture and flavor profile. Edam, often recognized by its distinctive round shape and red or yellow wax coating, is semi-hard with a slightly sweet, nutty taste that is reminiscent of Gouda. It’s less creamy than young Gouda but still quite smooth.

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Edam shines in its versatility; you can use it just as you would Gouda. Its flavor is mild enough to blend well with other ingredients in recipes, but it still holds its own when eaten alone or with crackers. As it melts well, Edam is a brilliant choice for casseroles, gratins, or melty sandwiches.

Aged Edam, akin to aged Gouda, has a richer, more intense flavor and a harder texture. It’s ideal for grating over pasta or incorporating into a cheese board. Whether you opt for young or aged Edam, you’re getting a reliable and delicious substitute for Gouda.


The Danish cheese Havarti is another worthy alternative for Gouda. Havarti is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese with a buttery aroma and a slightly acidic flavor. Its creamy texture and mild, tangy taste make it an excellent stand-in for younger, creamier Gouda.

Havarti’s buttery and slightly sweet taste makes it an adaptable cheese that fits into a variety of dishes. It is a top choice for sandwiches and melts beautifully, making it suitable for grilled cheese sandwiches or melted on top of baked dishes. Havarti’s mild flavor allows it to blend well with other ingredients, while its creaminess adds richness to any dish.

Havarti is also available in a variety of flavors, such as dill, garlic, and caraway, offering additional possibilities for flavor matching. With its versatility and rich, creamy texture, Havarti offers a slightly tangier, buttery alternative to Gouda.


If you’re seeking a Gouda substitute with a slightly stronger flavor, Fontina, a classic Italian cheese, may be the perfect choice. Fontina has a creamy texture and a slightly nutty, mild taste that becomes more pronounced as it ages.

Fontina’s flavor is earthy and complex, with a slight mushroom undertone. It’s rich and creamy, perfect for melting over vegetables or in pasta dishes. Fontina is also excellent in fondues or raclettes due to its superior melting qualities.

In addition to cooking, Fontina is also excellent when served on a cheese board with fruit and crackers. With its deeper flavor and silky texture, Fontina provides a nuanced, robust alternative to Gouda.


Originating from the Swiss-style cheese tradition but hailing from Holland, Maasdam is another wonderful Gouda substitute. Maasdam is a semi-hard cheese with a sweet, nutty flavor and large holes. It’s creamy, yet firm, making it a suitable alternative for Gouda.

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Maasdam excels in cold applications, such as sandwiches, salads, and cheese platters. Its mildly sweet and slightly tangy flavor pairs well with fruit and nuts. This makes it an attractive component for a well-rounded cheese board.

If you’re experimenting with hot dishes, Maasdam also melts well, making it a good choice for sauces, gratins, or a gourmet-style grilled cheese sandwich. Its distinctive flavor and texture set it apart, making it a delightful and unique substitute for Gouda.


Not to be confused with the French Munster cheese, the American Muenster cheese is an excellent substitute for Gouda, especially when it comes to melting qualities. Muenster is a semi-soft cheese with a very mild flavor and smooth, creamy texture.

Muenster melts beautifully, making it a prime candidate for grilled cheese sandwiches, casseroles, or melted atop burgers. Its mild flavor ensures that it blends well with other ingredients without overpowering them.

While Muenster is primarily used in cooked dishes due to its excellent melting properties, it can also be enjoyed cold in sandwiches or on a cheese board. Its creamy, delicate flavor and superb meltability make it a solid substitute for Gouda.

Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack, often shortened to Jack, is an American semi-hard cheese known for its mild flavor and great melting properties. It’s slightly tangy, but overall quite mild, with a creamy texture similar to Gouda.

Monterey Jack is versatile in the kitchen. Its mild flavor and superb melting abilities make it a favorite for cooking. It shines in dishes like nachos, quesadillas, and casseroles, where it adds a creamy, cheesy element without overwhelming other flavors.

Whether served cold or melted, Monterey Jack provides a familiar, mild, and creamy substitute for Gouda.


Colby, named after the town in Wisconsin where it was first produced, is another American cheese that can stand in for Gouda. Colby is a semi-hard cheese with a mild, slightly sweet and creamy flavor that is similar to Gouda.

Colby cheese is often used in sandwiches and salads due to its pleasant texture and mild flavor. It melts well, making it a suitable choice for hot dishes. Its mild, sweet flavor complements a variety of ingredients, allowing it to shine in a range of culinary applications.

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From cold sandwiches to melted toppings, Colby offers a versatile and familiar option as a Gouda substitute.


Norwegian in origin, Jarlsberg is a semi-hard cheese that offers a unique flavor profile as a Gouda substitute. Jarlsberg is known for its characteristic large holes and a sweet, nutty flavor reminiscent of Swiss cheese.

In the kitchen, Jarlsberg’s creamy and slightly sweet flavor makes it suitable for a variety of dishes. It’s excellent in sandwiches and salads, or melted in casseroles and quiches. Its nutty flavor adds depth to dishes and works well in both sweet and savory applications.

Whether you’re looking for a sandwich cheese or a new addition to your cheese board, Jarlsberg offers a slightly sweet, nutty alternative to Gouda.


Finally, we come to Emmental, a Swiss cheese known for its characteristic large holes and mild, nutty flavor. Emmental’s taste is sweeter and milder than Gouda, but its texture and melting properties make it a good stand-in.

Emmental, like Gouda, is incredibly versatile. Its great melting properties make it ideal for fondue, casseroles, and gratins. Cold, it’s perfect for sandwiches or enjoyed on a cheese board.

Emmental’s mellow yet slightly fruity flavor profile and fantastic melting properties make it an appealing and versatile Gouda substitute.

Substitutes for Gouda: Nutritional Profile

The table below shows the nutritional profile of our selected Gouda substitutes per ¼ cup serving.

CheeseCaloriesFat (g)Carbs (g)Fiber (g)Protein (g)Gluten
Monterey Jack1068.60.206.9No

Note: The nutritional values can vary depending on the specific brand and product.


Finding substitutes for Gouda isn’t just about matching flavor and texture; it’s also about exploring new cheese varieties and their unique characteristics. Whether you’re looking for a cheese that melts well, a mild and creamy cheese for a sandwich, or a cheese with a deeper flavor for your cheese board, there are numerous alternatives to Gouda. From the sweet, nutty flavor of Edam to the mild, creamy taste of Havarti, the options are endless. The adventure lies in experimentation, and each alternative brings its own unique touch to the table. So the next time you find yourself out of Gouda or just want to try something different, remember these substitutes and enjoy the journey of taste discovery.

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