gouda cheese

Cheese Similar to Gouda: What You Need to Know

When you need a cheese that goes well with just about anything, you need Gouda!

When you don’t have Gouda, but need a cheese similar to gouda in terms of taste and texture, I got you covered! Gouda may not always be the most convenient cheese to have on hand.

Gouda is a mild tasting delicious cheese that I’ve grown to love over the past year. It goes well with almost everything without overpowering other foods you’re serving. It’s absolutely perfect for melting on top of meats, veggies, and bread.

So what do you do when you don’t have Gouda or are in a situation in which you need a cheese similar to gouda?

In this post, I’ll cover what Gouda cheese is, when you might need it, what to do when you need a substitute, and list out the top 6 cheese similar to gouda to make sure you’re prepared for any situation!

best gouda cheese brand to pair with your favorites!

What is Gouda?

Gouda is a mild Dutch delicacy cheese with a slight nutty flavor This cheese has its origins in the Netherlands, where it is still made today. It dates all the way back to the year 1184.

When choosing the best cheese similar to gouda, it’s important to note some basic characteristics of gouda cheese itself.


Age is an important factor to consider when choosing any cheese. It can change the flavor. Young gouda will have a mild and slightly sweet taste. Aged Gouda is stronger with a buttery and nutty flavor.


The best Goud cheese has a strong flavor and melts well when cooking. Young gouda has a smooth and creamy flavor, which older gouda cheeses have more of a crumbly texture.


If you want a mild taste, young gouda is the way to go. If you prefer a more robust and flavorful cheese, aged gouda might be your forte.

Milk Used

The type of milk used is equally important, as it can affect the flavor, texture, how it ages, and the taste.

  • Cow’s milk is the most common type of milk used when it comes to makin gouda cheese. It provides a rich taste that is both buttery and creamy. Cow’s milk will also give the cheese it’s yellow color.
  • Goat’s milk is also a common type of milk used to make gouda cheese. The main difference between goat and cow’s milk is that it’s fattier, which helps give it that hard texture. It can give gouda a more tangy taste and a dry texture.
  • Sheep’s milk is the least common choice of dairy used to make specialty cheese, including gouda. Sheep’s milk has been described as a creamy mouthful, due to the high butterfat content. You can also see this cheese visibly sweat if left out at room temperature, due to the high fat content.
best gouda cheese brand

How is Gouda Cheese Made?

Several steps are included in the gouda cheese making process. Each artisan cheese maker will have his or her own specific process, but here is a high level overview of the process!

  • Step 1: Milk must be curdled and heated to specific temperatures. This is done with the help of rennet and lactic acid for a certain amount of time until it reaches its curdling point. A mass will form, called curds.
  • Step 2: The milk curds are drained and the whey, or remaining moisture, is removed. The curds then need to be washed in cold water so that it becomes smooth, elastic, and easier to work with. This process also removes any bacteria or mold from the surface of them. It can take up to two hours for this step alone!
  • Step 3: Next the curds are molded and pressed into a large vat for brining, where salt can be added.
  • Step 4: Salt helps slow down any unwanted bacteria growth and release the flavor!
  • Step 5:  A cheese coating is added and the cheese is left at room temperature to age.

Depending on the age, the more robust the flavor. The longer it ages, the more moisture is released and can affect the texture.

Top 6 Cheeses Similar to Gouda

Here are the top 6 gouda cheese substitutes!

Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere Cheese is a semi hard cheese that has a similar nutty and mild flavor to Gouda. It is often used as an ingredient in fondue, but can also be served as a table cheese. Gruyere Cheese is typically aged for three months or more to develop its characteristic strong taste and dry texture. Aged gruyere tastes stronger and robust, much like gouda.


If you’re looking for a cheese that parallels Gouda, then Munster might just do the trick. The taste becomes more flavorful with age! It’s a mild cheese with a slightly sweet flavor full of sweet and creamy notes! Also, if you want to substitute gouda for something cheaper, munster is the way to go!

Edam Cheese

Edam cheese is a semi hard cheese that has a mild and slightly sweet flavor. It’s commonly made from pasteurized cow’s milk, like gouda. The creamy texture adds to the taste! It’s up there in price with gouda, but well worth it if you can find it in your grocery store.

Havarti Cheese

This is a semi soft cheese that does not disappoint! This buttery, sweet, smooth cheese will be the talk of any party! It’s aged anywhere from a few months to a few years. Just like gouda, the longer it aged, the more flavorful the profile!

Monterey Jack cheese

Monterey Jack cheese makes a great sandwich cheese if that’s what you’re looking for with gouda! It has a more buttery flavor, but still has that semi hard texture with a white or pale yellow color.

Monterey Jack is typically a younger cheese, aged for about one month, before hitting the grocery stores.

Young Cheddar

Young Cheddar has a very mild flavor with a creamy and buttery taste, making it the perfect substitute to gouda.

Smoked Gouda Substitutes

Smoked Gouda cheese has that same semi-hard texture as it’s counterpart, which is equally creamy and mild. The difference is that it has a smoked flavor and musky and nutty aftertaste.

A suitable substitute for smoked gouda is one that offers that same smoked taste. Go with a smoked Colby or smoked young cheddar for the best deep flavor!

When is a cheese similar to gouda necessary?

There are many reasons you may need a substitute to Gouda cheese!

  • Gouda is not a typical cheese that many people have on hand, so you may need to find a substitute.
  • Gouda cheese is typically more expensive. Sometimes a cheaper alternative is needed!

So there you have it!! Whether you use Gouda or need an alternative, there are many options to choose from that will give you that same mild buttery texture and robust flavor!

Let me know in the comments your favorite!

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