2 August 2022

The 13 best farm cheese substitutes for your recipes

By Killian

Peasant cheese is a type of cheese white, fresh and unripewith a crumbly texture, which is used in different varieties throughout the world and is well known for its versatility both in sweet and savory recipes.

There are several types of cheese that can function as country cheese substituteand there are many similar variations of this style of cheese which can work really well. It all depends on the type of dish you are preparing and your personal preferences.

The best substitutes for farmer cheese are ricotta, paneer, havarti, goat cheese, white cheese, neufchâtel cheese, quark, feta, faisselle, creamy cottage cheese, cottage cheese dry, manouri cheese and DYI peasant cheese.

What are the best substitutes for farm cheese?

Farmer’s cheese is an unripened, crumbly-textured white cheese that is used in a variety of ways and in various recipes around the world. Depending on the origin, peasant cheese is made from cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk. Each variety differs in texture and flavor.

Peasant cheese is made by coagulating milk and cutting the curd, letting the whey drain. The drained curd that results from this process is called cottage cheese.

There is a variant of the peasant cheese, which is made by further pressing the moisture and rolling the result in a mixture of herbs and different aromas. The result is solid, dry and crumbly, and is called pressed cheese.

Country cheese is very versatile, and can be eaten on its own (on bread or on top of salads), mixed with other cheeses in different recipes, combined with yogurt, or used to make dips. It is a fresh cheese with a mild flavor, so you can give it more flavor by adding sweet complements (such as fresh fruit, for example) or salty (different herbs).

1. Ricotta cheese

Ricotta is a very popular Italian cheese, which is made from different types of milk (sheep’s, cow’s, goat’s or water buffalo’s) after it has been used to make other cheeses. Ricotta has a creamy white color and a slightly sweet taste.

Ricotta is usually eaten fresh, in its softest form, but it can also be eaten aged: it just becomes less soft over time, and can be kept longer.

Its light and delicate flavor makes it a perfect complement to both savory and sweet recipes.

2. paneer cheese

Paneer is a very popular fresh cheese in South Asian cuisine, made by curdling cow’s or buffalo’s milk with an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice, yogurt or vinegar. It can be eaten fresh, alone, or cooked in different ways. Paneer is especially appreciated when used in dishes like curries or paneer.

A rich source of dairy protein, paneer has a moist, smooth texture and mild flavor that makes it a good substitute for farmhouse cheese. It’s not salty, whereas farmhouse cheese is usually salty, but other than that, you can certainly substitute paneer in almost any recipe that calls for farmhouse cheese.

3. Havarti cheese

Havarti is a cheese originally from Denmark, made with pasteurized cow’s milk, which has become very popular and is often used in dishes or eaten on its own. Havarti has a semi-hard consistency, a pale yellow color and an elastic texture.

Both the texture and color aren’t really similar to farmer cheese, but Havarti is well balanced, almost sweet in flavor, and mild enough to work as a good farmer cheese substitute.

Havarti works best on sandwiches as it melts well, but it can also be a good substitute in salads.

4. Goat cheese

Goat cheese is a very versatile food and has many different flavors and textures. The main common feature of all varieties is the fact that it is made from goat’s milk: goat cheese comes from caprisa, and has a low lactose content.

Goat cheese varieties depend mainly on ageing: when consumed fresh, no more than a few days after production, the flavor is milder. When aged, the texture becomes firmer, without hardening, and the flavor becomes creamier and more intense.

Both the crumbly texture and mild flavor make it a good substitute for farmer cheese, but keep in mind that the flavor can be a bit sharper than farmer cheese.

5. White Cheese

Queso Blanco is a Mexican cheese made from skimmed cow’s milk: it is white, smooth, soft and creamy. Sometimes its flavor has a hint of lemon because the acidic ingredient is used to coagulate milk and whey.

Due to this process, Queso Blanco is slightly more acidic than farm cheese, but the similarities in texture and flavor make it a good farm cheese alternative.

Queso Blanco is often used as a grilling or frying cheese, because it softens when heated but does not melt, as a salad topping or eaten alone with fresh fruit.

6. Neufchatel cheese

Neufchâtel is a soft cheese, originally from the French region of Normandy (specifically from the Neufchâtel-en-Bray area, where the name of the cheese comes from). It is one of the oldest types of cheese produced in France, dating back to the 6th century.

Neufchâtel has a grainy, soft and slightly crumbly texture, and an edible white rind. The flavor is saltier and sharper than other cheeses, and it is relatively low in fat. If you’re looking for a substitute for farmer’s cheese, but want something with a spicier flavor, Neufchâtel is your best bet.

7. Quark Cheese

Quark is another type of fresh dairy product similar to paneer and white cheese, made by heating sour milk until the right amount of rennet is formed, then straining the liquid. Traditionally it is made without rennet, but nowadays small amounts are added.

Quark is very popular in different countries and European cuisines (especially in Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries), and is used in appetizers, salads, main courses and even desserts.

It is white in color and smooth in texture and can be a good substitute for farmhouse cheese in many different recipes, depending on your own taste.

8. Feta cheese

Feta is a brine-curdled cheese traditionally made from sheep’s milk (or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk), with a crumbly texture and white color. Feta typically matures in four to six weeks and can last for several months if kept in the right conditions.

Feta has a spicy and salty taste, and is used in salads, cakes, sandwiches, or even as a garnish for meat or other vegetable dishes. Due to both its flavor and its texture, feta can work perfectly as a substitute for farmhouse cheese.

9. Faisselle Cheese

Faisselle is a very fresh, unsalted, white cheese that is produced throughout France, but originates from the central part of the country. The name comes from the plastic mold into which the curd is drained, called a faisselle.

This type of cheese can be made from cow’s or goat’s milk, it has a bright white color, it has no rind and it has a very soft texture: all these characteristics make it a good substitute for peasant cheese.

It can be used in both sweet (served with honey and nuts) and savory (served with salt and pepper and eaten plain) recipes.

10. Creamy cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a fresh, rindless dairy product that is usually eaten fresh. It is made by adding an acidic ingredient (such as vinegar) to pasteurized milk to cause the milk to separate from the whey. When the curd is formed, it is cut into pieces, continued to cook, rinsed and salted.

Creamy cottage cheese has a mild, slightly sour taste, to which a light cream dressing is added to make it even creamier. It can work as a good substitute for farm cheese, especially in desserts and fresh preparations.

11. Dry cottage cheese

Dry cottage cheese is another form of cottage cheese, made in basically the same way as cottage cheese, but without the addition of cream to make it smoother.

It has the same benefits as cream cottage cheese, but probably works better as a substitute for dry farmer cheese. The flavor is equally smooth, with the only difference being the texture.

12. Manouri Cheese

Manouri is a bright white, semi-soft fresh cheese made from drained sheep’s or goat’s milk from feta production. This makes it somewhat similar to feta, but with a creamier texture and less salty taste.

Manouri works very well with recipes that call for a sweet and rich ingredient. It is incredible in desserts or eaten alone, with honey and nuts. It is also a great ingredient to use as a salad dressing, to eat as a snack or as an appetizer.

13. DIY Farmer’s Cheese

The last option, if you are looking for the closest thing to farmer’s cheese, is to make your own homemade farmer’s cheese.

It’s a long process, but most of the time it depends on nature to do the heavy lifting, so if you have a bit of time you can find the process online and try making your own farmhouse cheese. There are many different recipes, but the basics are: heat the milk, add a few drops of rennet, stir, and let sit for hours. Stir the curd, heat it up again, strain out the excess liquid, add cream, and what you’re left with is cottage cheese.

Keep in mind that with so few ingredients in recipes, it’s always best to use the highest quality dairy you can find.

How to choose a farm cheese substitute

Choosing the right farm cheese substitute depends mostly on the recipe you follow and your personal taste. If you don’t have time to make your own farmhouse cheese, substitutes can be split between drier and creamier options.

If you are looking for a dry cheese option, you should choose something like havarti, feta, paneer, or dry curd. All of them have a similar smooth texture, but somehow lack the creaminess of the second set of substitutes.

If you’re looking for something really creamy, you can go for ricotta, Neufchâtel, Queso Blanco, quark, curd cream, faisselle, or manouri.