12 Havarti Cheese Substitutes: Perfect Ratios & How to Use Them

Havarti cheese is a versatile and delicious type of cheese that can be used in various dishes. It has a creamy and buttery flavor that makes it a favorite in many recipes.

However, there may be times when you don’t have access to Havarti cheese or simply want to try something different.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 12 perfect Havarti cheese substitutes with exact measurements and how to use them.

Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or an experienced chef, you’ll find these alternatives handy and easy to use.

In short, " What can I use instead of Havarti cheese?"

Gouda Cheese, Fontina Cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese, Provolone Cheese, Brie Cheese, Camembert Cheese, Colby Cheese, Swiss Cheese, Pepper Jack Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, and Gruyere Cheese.

What is Havarti cheese, and what does Havarti cheese taste like?

Havarti cheese is a semi-soft Danish cow’s milk cheese with a buttery, creamy texture and sweet, nutty flavor.

It has small irregular holes throughout the body and comes in mild, aged, herbed varieties.

The taste of Havarti is creamy and mildly tangy, with slightly sweet undertones that will become more pronounced as it ages. 

If you are pairing this cheese with something else, it will add an interesting flavor profile to your dish.

Whether you are adding it to a recipe or simply enjoying it as a snack, Havarti is sure to please the palate. Enjoy!

Uses of Havarti cheese

Havarti cheese is often used to make sandwiches, top salads, and add extra flavor to soups. It can also be melted in dishes such as macaroni and cheese, quiches, or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Havarti can be served on its own as well – it pairs beautifully with wine or beer and makes for a great appetizer when served with crackers or bread slices.

The creaminess of the cheese also gives cakes and desserts a richer taste when added to them. This type of cheese is also popularly used in fondues due to its melting properties.

Havarti comes in many shapes and sizes, including blocks, loaves, wheels, drums, hearts or even small cubes – each providing different textures for various recipes and meals. 

The most popular varieties are Herbs & Spices Havarti, which includes dill and caraway.

Farmhouse Havarti, which adds cumin seeds.

Garlic & Dill Havarti; Cranberry White Pepper Havarti; Smoked Havarti; Caramelized Onion Havarti; Tomato & Basil Havarti; Peppercorn Havarti and many more variations available worldwide.

Where to buy Havarti cheese?

If you are looking for where to buy Havarti cheese, there are a few different places you can go. Many specialty food stores carry it, as do some international grocery stores

You can also order online from many retailers that provide a variety of diverse flavors and types of Havarti cheese.

Best Havarti cheese substitutes

1. Gouda Cheese – a good Havarti cheese substitute

gouda cheese is an excellent substitute for havarti cheese

Gouda cheese is an excellent substitute for Havarti cheese as it has a similar buttery and nutty flavor. 

You can use Gouda cheese in grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, or any recipe that calls for Havarti cheese.

Ratio or measurement: The ratio is one cup of Gouda to one cup of Havarti cheese.

2. Fontina Cheese

Fontina cheese is another perfect Havarti cheese substitute with its speckled straw-colored interior and elastic texture.

This semi-soft cheese has a gentle and nutty flavor that pairs well with various dishes, such as pizzas, quiches, or dips.

Ratio or measurement: The recommended ratio for Fontina cheese is one cup to one cup of Havarti cheese.

3. Try Monterey Jack Cheese to replace Havarti cheese

monterey jack cheese is good havarti cheese replacement

Monterey Jack cheese is a semi-hard cheese creamy, and tangy substitute for Havarti cheese.

It melts well and can be used in mac and cheese, quesadillas, or grilled sandwiches.

Ratio or measurement: The right proportion for Monterey Jack cheese is one cup to one cup of Havarti cheese.

4. Provolone Cheese

Provolone cheese is a daring alternative to Havarti cheese, although it has a similar texture and flavor profile.

This semi-hard cheese has a piquant, smoky flavor that works well with turkey or deli meats.

Ratio or measurement: The recommended ratio for Provolone cheese is one cup to one cup of Havarti cheese.

5. Brie Cheese – a great Havarti cheese alternative

Brie cheese is a soft, buttery, and creamy cheese that works as an excellent Havarti cheese substitute. It has a gentle, nutty flavor that pairs well with fruits or crackers.

Brie cheese is a perfect option for those who prefer a more robust flavor than Havarti cheese.

Ratio or measurement: The ideal ratio is one cup to one cup of Havarti cheese.

6. Camembert Cheese

camembert cheese is nice havarti cheese alternate

Camembert cheese is another soft cheese that is a good alternative to Havarti cheese. It has a smooth and creamy texture with a slightly tangy flavor that works well with pears or nuts.

Ratio or measurement: Camembert cheese has a 1:1 ratio to Havarti cheese.

7. Use Colby Cheese instead of Havarti cheese 

Colby cheese is a semi-hard cheese that has a nutty and mild flavor similar to Havarti cheese. It is perfect for melting and used in dishes such as quesadillas, grilled sandwiches, or casseroles.

Ratio or measurement: The ideal ratio of Colby cheese to Havarti cheese is one cup to one cup.

8. Swiss Cheese

swiss cheese is good havarti cheese substitute

Swiss cheese is a little-hard cheese with a sweet and nutty savor that pairs well with sandwiches and casseroles.

It is an excellent substitute for Havarti cheese as it also has a creamy texture.

Ratio or measurement: The recommended ratio for Swiss cheese is one cup to one cup of Havarti cheese.

9. Pepper Jack Cheese – similar taste to Havarti cheese 

Pepper Jack cheese is a spicy and semi-soft cheese that is perfect for melting in quesadillas, sandwiches, and casseroles.

It has a slightly tangy flavor with an added kick of heat from the spicy peppers.

Ratio or measurement: The right proportion of Pepper Jack cheese to Havarti cheese is one cup to one cup.

10. Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is a hard, nutty, and savory cheese that is a perfect alternative to Havarti cheese. Cheddar works great on grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, and burgers.

Ratio or measurement: The ideal ratio of cheddar cheese to Havarti cheese is one cup to one cup.

11. Gruyere Cheese – an ideal Havarti cheese substitute

Gruyere cheese has a nutty and sweet flavor that is quite similar to Havarti cheese.

Ratio or measurement: To substitute for Havarti cheese, use a 1:1 ratio.

Gruyere cheese is perfect for omelets, fondue dishes, or even as a topping for savory pies.

12. Tilsit cheese

tilsit cheese is popular replacement for havarti cheese

Tilsit cheese is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the region of Tilsit (now known as Sovetsk) in East Prussia, which is now part of Russia.

Tilsit cheese is known for its tangy and pungent flavor.

While Tilsit cheese is traditionally made from cow’s milk, variations made from goat’s or sheep’s milk can also be found. 

These variations may have slightly different flavors and textures but still retain the characteristic tanginess of Tilsit cheese.

The cheese has a firm and crumbly texture with small irregular holes. It is pale yellow in color and has a distinctive aroma.

Tilsit cheese is aged for several months, which contributes to its rich and robust flavor profile. Tilsit cheese is versatile and can be used in various culinary applications.

It can be enjoyed on its own as a table cheese, sliced for sandwiches, grated for salads and pasta dishes, or melted in fondues and grilled sandwiches. 

Its tangy and savory taste makes it a popular choice for cheeseboards and charcuterie platters.

Tips on How to Choose the Most Suitable Substitution Option for Havarti Cheese

When looking for a suitable substitution for Havarti cheese, consider the following tips:

1. Flavor profile: Havarti cheese has a mild buttery flavor. Look for cheeses that have a similar flavor profile, such as mild cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Gouda.

2. Texture: Havarti cheese has a creamy and smooth texture. Choose cheeses that have a similar texture, like Monterey Jack, Colby, or Fontina.

3. Melting properties: Havarti cheese melts well, making it ideal for dishes like grilled cheese sandwiches or melted cheese dips.

Opt for cheeses that have good melting properties, such as Gruyère, Emmental, or Mozzarella.

4. Fat content: Havarti cheese is a relatively high-fat cheese. Consider the fat content of the substitute cheese you choose, especially if you’re looking for a healthier option.

Low-fat versions of cheddar or Monterey Jack can be suitable alternatives.

5. Application: Consider how you plan to use the cheese. If you’re using it for sandwiches or snacking, choose a cheese that slices well and has a mild flavor.

If you’re using it for cooking or melting, select a cheese that melts smoothly and complements the other ingredients in your dish.

6. Personal preference: Ultimately, the choice of a suitable substitution for Havarti cheese depends on your personal taste preferences.

Experiment with different cheeses to find one that closely matches the flavor and texture you desire.

Remember that while a substitute cheese may not be an exact replica of Havarti, it can still provide a delicious and satisfying alternative to your recipes.

Homemade Havarti Cheese

Making homemade Havarti cheese is a complex process that requires specific equipment and ingredients. Here is a general overview of how to make Havarti cheese at home:


– 2 gallons of whole milk

– 1/4 teaspoon mesophilic starter culture

– 1/8 teaspoon MA4001 or MA4002 mesophilic starter culture

– 1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride (if using pasteurized milk)

– 1/8 teaspoon liquid calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water (if using raw milk)

– 1/4 teaspoon liquid animal rennet diluted in 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water

– Cheese salt


– Large stainless steel pot

– Thermometer

– Curd cutter

– Cheese mold

– Cheesecloth

– Cheese press


1. Heat the milk in a large stainless steel pot to 86°F (30°C) over low heat.

2. Sprinkle the mesophilic starter culture and MA4001 or MA4002 culture over the surface of the milk. Let it rehydrate for a minute, then stir gently for a minute.

3. If using pasteurized milk, add the diluted calcium chloride and stir gently.

4. Let the milk ripen for 45 minutes, maintaining the temperature at 86°F (30°C).

5. Stir in the diluted rennet, gently stirring up and down for about 1 minute.

6. Wrap the pot and let the milk set undisturbed for 45 minutes at 86°F (30°C) until it forms a curd.

7. Cut the curds into small, even cubes using a curd cutter.

8. Slowly heat the curds to 100°F (38°C) over 45 minutes, stirring gently to keep the curds separate.

9. Maintain the curds at 100°F (38°C) for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

10. Drain the whey from the curds and transfer them to a cheese mold lined with cheesecloth.

11. Press the curds at 20 pounds (9 kg) of pressure for 30 minutes.

12. Remove the cheese from the mold, flip it, and re-dress it in fresh cheesecloth.

13. Press the cheese at 40 pounds (18 kg) of pressure for 1 hour.

14. Remove the cheese from the mold, flip it, and re-dress it in fresh cheesecloth.

15. Press the cheese at 50 pounds (23 kg) of pressure for 4-8 hours.

16. Remove the cheese from the press, unwrap it, and sprinkle it with cheese salt on all sides.

17. Allow the cheese to air dry at room temperature for a day or two until a thin rind forms.

18. Move the cheese to a cheese aging container or cheese cave, and age it at 50-55°F (10-13°C) with a humidity level of 80-85% for 6-12 weeks or longer.

Note: This is a simplified version of the Havarti cheese-making process, and variations may exist in recipes.

It is recommended to follow a detailed recipe or consult a cheese-making guide for more accurate instructions and precise measurements.

Keep in mind that making Havarti cheese at home requires practice and experience. It may take several attempts to achieve the desired results.

Conclusion on Havarti cheese substitute

Now that you know the 12 ideal Havarti cheese substitutes, you can confidently experiment with new recipes in your kitchen without worrying about not having enough Havarti cheese in stock.

These alternatives use the same ratios as Havarti cheese, meaning that you won’t have to drastically alter the recipe to make it work. 

With these newfound substitutes, you’re ready to start creating delicious meals with exciting new flavors. Happy cooking!

FAQs on Havarti cheese substitute

Q1. What is similar to Havarti cheese

Similar to Havarti cheese are Gouda, Tilsit cheese, Edam, Ubriaco (which has been soaked in wine), Samsoe, and Fontina.

All these cheeses vary slightly in flavor but have a milder taste and tend to be creamier than Havarti.

Additionally, they all melt well, making them perfect for grilling or baking.

Q2. Is Havarti similar to Cheddar?

Havarti and Cheddar are both types of cheese with similar flavor profiles, but there are a few differences that set them apart.

While both kinds of cheese have a creamy, buttery taste, Havarti has a much milder flavor than Cheddar. Additionally, Havarti is often semi-soft in texture, while Cheddar is typically hard and crumbly.

In terms of visual appearance, the two kinds of cheese also differ – Havarti can range from off-white to yellow in color, while Cheddar is generally a brighter yellow due to the annatto food coloring added during the production process.

Another distinction between these two kinds of cheese is their aging time – traditionally, Havarti has been aged for just a few weeks, whereas Cheddar can be aged for several months up to several years, counting on the desired flavor profile.

Q3. Can I replace mozzarella with Havarti?

Yes, you can replace mozzarella with Havarti cheese in a variety of recipes. Havarti is a semi-soft Danish cheese produced from cow’s milk.

It has a mild, buttery savor and a creamy texture with tiny holes throughout. This cheese melts easily, making it the perfect choice for dishes like pizza, lasagna, and gratins.

If you are looking for a substitute for mozzarella that also melts well, Havarti is an excellent option.

Q4. Can I substitute Havarti for Swiss cheese?

Yes, Havarti cheese is a great substitute for Swiss cheese. It has a creamy texture that is similar to Swiss, and it melts well, making it ideal for dishes such as grilled sandwiches and melted casseroles.

The flavor of Havarti is milder than that of Swiss, but it still offers a hint of sweet nuttiness. For added flavor, try adding herbs like dill or chives to your recipe.

Havarti can also be used to make fondue, giving the dish a more subtle flavor than if you were to use Swiss cheese alone.

Q5. What’s the difference between Havarti and Swiss cheese?

The main difference between Havarti and Swiss cheese is their texture. Havarti is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese with small holes throughout, while Swiss has a hard, nutty flavor and no holes.

The flavor of both kinds of cheese also differs; Havarti has a milder, buttery taste with hints of sweetness and tanginess, while Swiss is sharper and nuttier.

Additionally, Switzerland produces traditional Swiss cheese from raw cow milk only, whereas Denmark makes Havarti from pasteurized cow milk or sometimes cream.

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