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Havarti Cheese Substitutes (How To Use Them)

Havarti Cheese Substitutes (How To Use Them)

Havarti cheese is popularly used with grilled chicken, on pizza, sandwiches, and pasta.

It’s used both shredded and melted making it a versatile cheese used in numerous recipes.

If you are making a dish that calls for Havarti cheese but you are all out (or just don’t like Havarti) no need to worry. There are a number of great cheeses you can use in place of Havarti no matter what you are making.

The key to selecting a substitute for Havarti is selecting a cheese that offers a similar flavor and hardness. For example, if you are making fondue then you will need a cheese that melts similarly to Havarti.

So what are the best Havarti cheese substitutes?

The top substitutes for Havarti cheese are gouda, cheddar, Swiss, Tilsit, Esrom, Colby, Monterey Jack, Saint Paulin, and edam cheese.

When replacing Havarti in a recipe it’s important to know if the cheese you use will work in your type of recipe. Be sure to read on to make sure you are using the best alternative for your particular recipe.

Best Havarti Cheese Alternatives

Havarti offers a great flavor and texture that works in everything from potato dishes to sandwiches to casseroles and pizza. But some of the substitutes below work better than others for certain types of dishes. Let’s cover each alternative cheese and what they are best used for.


wedge of Dutch gouda cheese

Gouda is a popular cheese that can be found in semi soft to hard varieties. This cheese tastes excellent and can be used melted or cold.

Gouda is one of the best overall substitutes for Havarti cheese due to it’s versatility. It works well on pizza, sandwiches, casseroles, and with potatoes.

When using gouda in place of Havarti, go with a 1:1 ratio.


block of white cheddar cheese

Cheddar is a popular and versatile semi soft cheese that works well in all types of recipes. It offers a subtle flavor and can be found in mild and sharp varieties.

Cheddar works well as an appetizer, in casseroles, and more. It makes an excellent low cost and easy to find Havarti replacement.

It is best to use young cheddar when replacing Havarti at a 1:1 ratio.

Swiss Cheese

slice of swiss cheese

Swiss is affordable and available at almost all grocery stores. It offers a great flavor and semi soft texture that works in most types of recipes that call for Havarti.

Whether making a panini, filling a charcutier board, or making macaroni and cheese, Swiss is an exceptional substitute for Havarti chees.

Use a 1:1 ratio when using Swiss as a replacement.

Tilsit Cheese

wedge of tislit and gouda cheese

This European cheese offers the most similar flavor to Havarti. It can be challenging to locate but many specialty stores carry Tilsit. It can also be found online, but it is a fairly pricey cheese.

It is semi hard and works in any recipe that calls for Havarti. It can be grated over a salad or melted for cheese sauce or fondue.

This is the best overall Havarti substitute so it you can find it, it is the way to go. Use a 1:1 ratio when subbing for Havarti.

Esrom Cheese

This robust cheese is semi soft and offers melting cheese in any baked or hot recipe. It melts wonderfully and is a popular stinky cheese.

It is ideal for casseroles, fondue, and cheese sauces. But it also works well as an appetizer or paired with wine and beer.

Use a 1:1 ratio when subbed for Havarti.


Colby is a personal favorite, and it is an excellent stand in for Havarti. This cheese melts well while offering a flavor reminiscent to cheddar.

Like cheddar, it is yellow and is quite versatile. You can use Colby in all types of recipes including breakfast, casseroles, sandwiches and more.

Go with a 1:1 ratio when subbing it for Havarti cheese.

Monterey Jack

Mild flavor and an excellent melting cheese, Monterey Jack is an excellent alternative to Havarti. It offers a mild, pleasant flavor that compliments all types of dishes.

It is a popular cheese for appetizers and with wine tasting. It’s most popularly paired with Riesling and Pinot Noir.

But it also works in casseroles, with pasta, cheese sauces, and on sandwiches. Use a 1:1 ratio.

Saint Paulin Cheese

This French cheese is a great melting cheese with a subtle flavor that finishes with a bite. It offers a pleasant aroma making it great as an appetizer.

Ideal for cheese sauces, fondue, and potato dishes, Saint-Paulin is quite versatile.

It also is a great cheese to serve with wine or beer. It pairs well with Beaujolais, Riesling, and Bordeaux wines.

Use a 1:1 ratio.

Edam Cheese

This cheese offers a complex flavor. Notes include butter and nut with a hint of sweetness. This soft cheese is ideal for any recipe that calls for melted Havarti.

Fondues, sauces, and casseroles are just some of the dishes Edam works well in. Be sure to use a 1:1 ratio when subbing it for Havarti.

Tips for Substituting for Havarti Cheese

Most recipes that call for Havarti require a good melting cheese alternative. Not all cheeses work well when melted so it’s important to use a replacement that melts well.

You will also want a cheese that offers a similar flavor to ensure your recipe flavors pair well. Both of these factors were considered when selecting the cheeses for this list.

They are all semi soft to semi hard cheeses that are ideal for melting. This will allow you to produce creamy cheese sauces and fondue.

Each of these cheeses also offer a flavor that compliments most recipes that call for Havarti. But keep in mind that using a substitute will alter the final flavor of your particular dish. So choose a substitute that offers a flavor that goes with the rest of the ingredients in your recipe.

And when you are making a cold appetizer, like a charcutier plate, you need a cheese that can be sliced as well as offer a pleasant flavor.

There are a number of great options like this above.

What to Look for in a Havarti Replacement

We touched on this already. But it’s very important to select a Havarti substitute that is similar in texture and flavor for the best results.

The best substitutes for Havarti have the following characteristics in common.

  • Texture: Your cheese should be semi-soft to semi-hard. This will allow you to both slice and melt your cheese.
  • Flavor: Havarti offers a unique flavor. The most similar cheese to Havarti in flavor is Tilsit. But each substitution was selected with flavor in mind. They each will work in any recipe that calls for Havarti.
  • Grating: If you intend to top a salad or main dish with your substitute you will need a semi-hard cheese. Semi soft cheese can be crumbled by hand though.
  • Pairing: Havarti is a popular cheese paired with wine and beer. If you are looking for a replacement that does the same, there are a number of options above.

Havarti Cheese FAQ

Is Havarti similar to mozzarella?

Havarti cheese is semi soft to semi hard while mozzarella is a soft cheese. Both offer a mild flavor that works on pizza. Mozzarella does have a saltier flavor than Havarti.

What type of cheese is Havarti?

Havarti is a semi-soft to semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk. It was first created in Denmark.

Havarti was first made by rinsing cheese curds in fresh spring water before being pressed and drained.

Is Havarti a good cheese for pizza?

Havarti is a good cheese for pizza. It melts well and provides a pleasant yet unique flavor ideal for homemade pizza.

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are multiple great cheeses that can be substituted for Havarti. The key to a great Havarti alternative is that it be a melting cheese that is semi-hard to semi-soft. Each of the cheeses found above fit the bill.