The Seven Best Parmesan Cheese Substitutes (Dairy and Non-Dairy) – What’s the Best Vegan Parmesan Cheese Alternatives

Best Parmesan Cheese Substitutes: Don’t have grated parmesan cheese to make alfredo sauce or creamy sauce or pasta dishes or other recipes? Worry not! you are on the right page where you can get to know the information about substitutes for parmesan cheese. These are the best parmesan cheese substitutes that help everyone like dairy-free, vegan, and dairy-interested people.

Yes, explained the best substitutes for parmesan cheese are similar to the traditional parmesan cheese with a nutty flavor, salty taste, creamy consistency, and softer texture. So, go for the great substitute as per your recipe and enjoy it in the same way. You can use parmesan cheese vegan alternative in salads, savory recipes, and other cooking dishes.

Best Parmesan Cheese Substitutes

What Is Parmesan Cheese?

Parmesan cheese is an Italian cheese and comes under hard cheese types. It is made from cow’s milk and has an excellent savory cheesy flavor. Hence, it makes every recipe super nutritious, yummy, and delicious too. Everyone enjoys this type of cheese over the world. The other name of the parmesan cheese is Parmigiano Reggiano and originated in Italy.

This popular cheese is referred mostly to all dishes because of its rich fruity and nutty taste. The standard parmesan cheese age is usually 12-18 months but other types of parmesan are ancient up to 36 months. The flavor richness will increase based on how aged your parmesan is. The longer it ages, the richest its taste.

The shredded and grated Parmesan cheese enhances the taste of the pasta and pizza food. You can use this most commonly used cheese on roasted or grilled vegetables or meat foods like meatballs or in breading chicken cutlets. Parmesan cheese is one of the old and ancient cheeses now it is used as an ideal staple in the kitchen.

Do Read: Can Parmesan Cheese Go Bad or Expire

List of Top Best Parmesan Cheese Substitutes | Simple Dairy & Dairy Free Alternatives for Parmesan Cheese

  • Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Manchego
  • Grana Padano
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Sapsago
  • Soy Parmesan

Here is the list of the best substitutes for parmesan cheese that includes both dairy and dairy-free options to choose from and complete your recipe with the same taste and texture. In case you had any confusion in the quantities while the replacement, refer to the provided substitutes for parmesan cheese explanation and clear it out in no time. So let’s see:

Best Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese

Pecorino Romano Cheese

Pecorino Romano Cheese is an Italian cheese that can easily replace parmesan cheese in many dishes. This Italian Roman cheese substitute is similar to parmesan cheese because it also has a sharper, salty, and nutty flavor of the cheese.

But this Italian Pecorino Roman cheese is more expensive than parmesan because it is made from goat’s milk. You may also find American-made romano cheese but substituting the Italian Pecorino romano cheese gives the same results as parmesan to your dish.

The substitution of Pecorino Roman cheese for parmesan cheese can be done by using half of the amount that the recipe calls for. If you feel it doesn’t match the same taste then add more and bring it to the right flavored recipe.

Asiago Cheese

Asiago Cheese is also an Italian cheese originating from Italy. This Asiago Cheese has a rich taste and slightly sweet flavor compared to parmesan also softer than that. The soft texture of Asiago Cheese thaws into an attractive gooey cheese that works great in pasta, risotto, and sauces.

A cup-for-cup replacement is the suggested substitution for parmesan but if you feel asiago has a strong flavor than parmesan, then swap half of the quantity of asiago for parmesan and slowly add more.


One more the best substitute for parmesan cheese is manchego. It is a Spanish cheese that comes in pale yellow color compared to parmesan. Also, it has a more aromatic, zesty, salty flavor than parmesan. So, if you miss buying parmesan in recent grocery shopping then using this manchego cheese is a better choice.

Also, it matches greatly with crusty bread, dried tomatoes, olives, and a glass of red wine. Both manchego and parmesan resemble each other in various paths but it has a mild flavor than parmesan. This Spanish version of parmesan cheese can be used as toppings on salad, in eggs, or grated in savory recipes for a creamy texture.

Manchego Substitute

You can replace parmesan cheese with manchego in a 1:1 ratio or slowly add more than that as per the taste you need in the recipe.

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Grana Padano

Granada Padano or Grana Padano is a less-known Italian cheese made in Italy. This type of cheese can easily mimic the nutty flavor of parmesan but the texture is slightly soft than parmesan. So, it can be a great substitute in sauces and savory recipes, and also uses on top of Italian food dishes like pasta, pizza, and salads.

Grana Padano cheese is not a staple ingredient in the kitchen so you can’t use it as a last-minute substitute but try this new cheese when it finds in your region and explore its flavor of it. To replace parmesan cheese with grana panado, the substitution ratio is a 1:1 ratio in any dish.

Cotija Cheese

Cotija cheese is a Mexican cheese and is also named queso anejado. Cotija is hard, sharp, and crumbly in texture like parmesan cheese after age. Due to such similarities, it has earned the nickname “Parmesan of Mexico.” This cheese is the popular hard cheese in Mexico often used in tacos, chili, and tostadas.

As an alternative to parmesan cheese also you can use this cotija cheese. To substitute cotija cheese for parmesan cheese, add the same amount that the recipe calls for a grated Parmesan as a topping or mixed into a pizza, pasta, salad, or in many dishes.


One of the best and most healthy alternatives to parmesan cheese is Sapsago. This cheese type is made from skimmed cow’s milk and so it is a low-fat substitute. Sap sago cheese is made in Switzerland and comes in pale lime color. This hard cheese type is mainly used for grating and top-on in any of the recipes.

The flavor of sapsago is nutty which is similar to the parmesan cheese flavor. Also, it is a quite pungent cheese and also it has a distinct taste so add half of the amount at first and then increase the quantity as per your taste.

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Best Parmesan Cheese Substitutes

Best Parmesan Cheese Substitutes 1

Nutritional Information (Approx)
5 Servings Per Pack
Serving Size – 20

Amount per 100 g 20 g* %RDA
Energy (kcal) 309 62 3%
Total Fat (g) 25 5.0 7.1%
Saturated Fat (g) 16 3.2 14.5%
Trans Fat (g) 0.5 0.1 5%
Cholesterol (mg) 62 12.4
Carbohydrate (g) 4 0.8
Total Sugars (g) 0 0.0
Added Sugars (g) 0 0.0 0.0%
Protein (g) 17 3.4
Sodium (mg) 1512 302.4 15.1%
Calcium (mg) 532 106.4
Phosphorus (mg) 219 43.8
Vitamin A (mcg) 256 51.2

Recommended Dietary Allowance is calculated based on 2000 kcal energy for an average adult.
*Average Values

Soy Parmesan (Vegan Parmesan Cheese Alternative)

For all vegan diet people who are looking for a vegan alternative to replace parmesan cheese in recipes, Soy parmesan is the best non-dairy substitute that is used in the same way.

It is the healthiest substitute now because it is cholesterol free, low-fat, and as rich as traditional parmesan. Replace parmesan cheese with parmesan soy in a 1:1 replacement or instructed in the recipe or packet of soy parmesan.

Want to know about other best vegan parmesan cheese substitutes? Then look at the list below carefully:

  • Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • Olives
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Salted Roast Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Toasted Breadcrumbs
  • Sea Salt Flakes

Is Parmesan Cheese Healthy?

Parmesan cheese has more nutrients too like rich in calcium, vitamin D, protein, and high levels of vitamin A. These nutrients help to promote good bone health, reach peak bone mass, great for superlative eyesight, and protein content in it helps to build and repair muscles.

After seeing such healthy facts about parmesan cheese, you may think to consume it daily and in more quantity. But it’s a wrong decision because the food with parmesan cheese may raise sodium levels in your body and causes high blood pressure and heart diseases.

FAQs on What You Can Substitute For Parmesan Cheese?

1. What kind of cheese is similar to parmesan cheese?

The dairy product that is the best and most similar to parmesan cheese is pecorino. It is made from sheep’s milk and it is more acidic and sharper.

2. Can I Use Swiss Cheese Instead of Parmesan?

The answer to the query Can Swiss be a substitute for Parmesan cheese? is simply yes. Swiss cheese is generally a hard cheese used for grating mainly. So, grated swiss cheese can easily be replaceable with grated parmesan cheese.

3. What is the best vegetarian substitute for parmesan cheese?

The list of vegetarian alternatives to parmesan cheese is as follows:

  • Italian-Style Hard Cheese
  • Gran Kinara
  • Breadcrumbs
  • VBites Dairy-Free Italian Hard Style Cheezly
  • Nutritional Yeast

4. What is the healthy substitute for parmesan cheese in alfredo sauce?

Pecorino, Piave, or Grana Padano are three Italian kinds of cheese that can be used as a healthy substitute for parmesan cheese in alfredo sauce. These three healthy parmesan cheese alternatives are salty taste and sharp as the original one so check the taste and substitute accordingly in alfredo sauce.

5. What cheese can replace parmesan?

The names of good parmesan substitutes are listed and explained on our page but here we are giving a few alternatives for your reference. Those are Romano, Asiago, Grated Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, Manchego, and Sapsago.

Key Outcomes

The above-furnished explanation about the best parmesan cheese substitutes like asiago cheese, romano cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, soy parmesan cheese pecorino romano Italian cheese assisted you to the fullest while you don’t have parmesan on your hands. If you need some other cheese substitute information do visit our website regularly without fail and gain proper knowledge on the same.

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