The 11 Best Farmer’s Cheese Substitutes

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You may need to substitute farmer’s cheese with another dairy product for different reasons. Whether you don’t have it at the moment or simply don’t like it, you can find an alternative for this cheese variety for nearly all recipes. 

What are the best farmer’s cheese substitutes? The best substitutes for this are soft and unripened cheese varieties such as are ricotta, goat cheese, paneer, American Neufchatel, Queso Blanco, quark, creamed cottage cheese, dry cottage cheese, feta, Havarti, and Manouri. You can also substitute store-bought farmer’s cheese with its homemade version. 

In this article, we will tell you about the 11 best substitutes for farmer’s cheese. You will also learn how to make farmer’s cheese at home in case none of these options seem to work for you. 

What Is Farmer’s Cheese?

Farmer’s cheese is a soft and unripened cheese variety made from cow, sheep, or goat milk. It is often described as pressed cottage cheese and is made by adding bacteria to the milk to coagulate and acidify it

When it comes to the flavor, farmer’s cheese is mild and not salty. This cheese variety also has notes of tanginess. Texture-wise, farmer’s cheese is crumbly yet soft and spreadable

How It’s Used

Farmer’s cheese is mostly popular in European countries. However, those who start eating it in other parts of the world, including the US, fall in love with the mild flavor and versatility of this cheese. 

When it comes to the uses for farmer’s cheese, they range from easy to complicated. You can eat this cheese as is with chopped herbs for added flavor. Or, you can make more advanced dishes using farmer’s cheese.

Here are some popular uses for this soft cheese variety: 

  • A creamy filling for pierogis 
  • Salad topping 
  • Creamy cheesecakes and other desserts 
  • Pasta stuffing
  • Curries and other Indian dishes 
  • Eaten plain with fruits, honey, jam, and other toppings
  • Dips and sauces when blended with yogurt or mayonnaise

The 11 Best Farmer’s Cheese Substitutes 

If a recipe calls for farmer’s cheese and you don’t have it home, or you don’t want to use farmer’s cheese for some other reasons, choose one of the following substitutes. 

RankSubstituteBest for
1.RicottaPasta dishes, desserts, dips
2.Goat cheeseSalads, pasta dishes, dips, sandwiches 
3.Paneer Sandwiches, wraps, salads 
4.American NeufchatelPasta dishes, dips, cheese frosting
5.Queso Blanco Frying and grilling, soups, salads, dips
6.Quark Toast spreads, dips 
7.Creamed Cottage CheeseDesserts, dips, sweet recipes 
8.Dry Cottage CheeseBaking 
9.FetaSalads, pasta, sandwiches, wraps, pastries 
10.Havarti Salads, sandwiches 
11.Manouri Salads, pasta topping, cheesecake

1. Ricotta 

Ricotta is a popular Italian cheese variety often used as a substitute for other cheeses and dairy products. 

This fresh cheese is light and creamy. Some fresh cheese varieties, including farmer’s cheese, are made from the curds. Ricotta, on the other hand, is made from the whey left behind cow’s or sheep’s milk. 

Ricotta cheese has a mild flavor and low salt content. This makes it perfect for both sweet and savory dishes. This cheese is a popular in pasta dishes.

However, you can also use it to make pancakes, tarts, cheesecakes, and various other desserts. You can easily turn your ricotta cheese into a delicious creamy dip. 

2. Goat Cheese

Goat cheese has a crumbly texture and a very mild flavor which makes it a great substitute for farmer’s cheese. Goat cheese is made from curdled milk.

Some type of acidic ingredient or rennet is added to the milk to make goat cheese. 

Goat cheese is a great cheese option for those who are trying to avoid cow’s milk and dairy products with high lactose content. 

As there are different types of goat cheese, from fresh to hard aged, we recommend finding the most suitable one to use instead of farmer’s cheese. 

Fresh goat cheese is certainly a better pick if you will be using it to substitute farmer’s cheese.

As the cheese ages, it becomes harder and the flavor intensifies. Fresh goat cheese is the best option to work as a substitute for farmer’s cheese texture and flavor-wise. 

Use goat cheese to top salads, pizza, and pasta dishes. It is also great for sandwiches and dips. 

3. Paneer

Paneer is a popular Indian cheese. It is made by curdling milk with the help of a natural acid such as lemon juice. Paneer isn’t aged and is a soft cheese variety that doesn’t melt.

The flavor of paneer is quite mild and milky which is usually the case for all fresh cheese varieties. The texture of paneer can be described as spongy, firm, and creamy at the same time.

Unlike farmer’s cheese, paneer doesn’t crumble. Thanks to its firmness, you can cut paneer into blocks. 

Paneer is a good source of protein. This non-melting cheese can be fried and eaten with different sides.  

Paneer cheese is not as salty as other cheese varieties. Some people even describe its flavor as sweetish-acidic, with a hint of nuttiness. Thanks to its neutral flavor, this Indian cheese can substitute farmer’s cheese in various recipes. 

4. American Neufchatel 

If you live in the US, American Neufchatel is another cheese variety you can use instead of farmer’s cheese. 

American Neufchatel resembles cream cheese in terms of its texture though it is softer than cream cheese thanks to its high moisture content. This spreadable cheese variety is also characterized by a low fat content. 

You can use American Neufchatel in pasta dishes. It is also good for dips and frosting. 

5. Queso Blanco 

Queso Blanco, meaning “white cheese” in Spanish, is a creamy cheese variety with a mild flavor. This Mexican cheese is very easy to make. You only need an acidic ingredient to coagulate the milk and make Queso Blanco.

As many use lemon juice to make Queso Blanco, you may get hints of lemon from the cheese

Queso Blanco has a mild and milky flavor and is only slightly salty. As for the texture, it is firm and crumbly. This cheese doesn’t melt but softens. This is why people often use Queso Blanco for grilling and frying. 

But you can use Queso Blanco for a range of other cooking tasks too. You can eat Queso Blanco with fresh fruits.

Additionally, you can use it to top salads and soups. Queso Blanco dips are also quite common. In the US, many use Queso Blanco to make cheesecake. 

6. Quark 

Quark may not be as widely popular as a few of the products on this list. However, it is certainly worth a try if you are looking for a farmer’s cheese substitute that is also healthy. 

So what is quark? This a dairy product made from milk. Manufacturers add lactic acid to start the coagulation process and separate the solids from the liquid.

When the whey is separated from the curds, the curds are gathered and turned into a fresh dairy product – quark. 

As far as its flavor, quark seems to be a cross between yogurt and cottage cheese. It is not sweet or sour but creamy and mild.

The texture of quark is thick and only slightly grainy. You can make quark very smooth if you push it through a fine mesh. 

Quark is a healthy low-fat alternative to many dairy products as it doesn’t contain any salt or sugar. It is also made without rennet which makes it suitable for vegetarians. 

You can use quark as a spread for toasts and in various sweet and savory recipes too. 

7. Creamed Cottage Cheese

Creamed cottage cheese is essentially cottage cheese with curds. If you add 4 to 8 percent cream to your cottage cheese, you will get creamed cottage cheese which makes a great farmer’s cheese substitute. 

The flavor of this fresh dairy product is mild. You may feel faint acidic notes too as the curdling process is done with the help of vinegar or other acidic ingredients.

As for the texture, you can probably guess that creamed cottage cheese is creamier and smoother than farmer’s cheese. 

Thanks to its texture and relatively mild flavor, creamed cottage cheese is a good substitute for farmer’s cheese in certain recipes. It works particularly well for desserts and dips. 

8. Dry Cottage Cheese

Dry cottage cheese, as you can guess by the name, is the liquid-free variety of cottage cheese. It is not creamy but rather grainy and works better as a substitute for the drier varieties of farmer’s cheese. 

The flavor of dry cottage cheese is mild and very similar to the flavor of farmer’s cheese. This makes it a great substitute for farmer’s cheese in all recipes where the texture of the dairy product is not of central importance.

If you are lactose intolerant, then dry cottage cheese is one of the best options to go for. As a result of the technique used to make dry cottage cheese, there is little to no lactose in it. 

You can find dry cottage cheese in both supermarkets and farmer’s markets. But we do recommend heading to the farmer’s markets for dry cottage cheese as you are more likely to find fresh and flavorful cottage cheese there. 

Dry cottage cheese is good for baking and the low-fat version of any recipe that calls for farmer’s cheese. 

9. Feta 

Feta cheese is a popular and well-loved Greek cheese variety. Feta is brined curd cheese made from sheep’s or goat’s milk, or a mixture of both. This cheese is aged for 4 to 6 weeks before it is fully developed. 

Feta is soft with a slightly crumbly texture. Some people may find its flavor to be sharper and saltier compared to farmer’s cheese. However, feta is still a good substitute for a range of cooking tasks. 

You can use feta as a topping for salads and pasta dishes. It can go into sandwiches and wraps and even pastries. 

10. Havarti

Havarti may not be the most popular curd cheese but it is certainly a good alternative to farmer’s cheese if it is available where you live.

Havarti is a Danish cheese variety. It is made by coagulating the milk with the help of rennet. Once the curds are separated and drained, they are pressed into the molds where Havarti cheese is aged. 

So, the texture of Havarti cheese is different from the texture of farmer’s cheese. It is semi-soft, sliceable, and has a springy texture. Flavor-wise, Havarti is quite mild. It can go into salads and sandwiches. 

11. Manouri 

Manouri is another Greek cheese variety made from sheep’s or goat’s milk. In fact, Manouri is made from the whey drained from the production of feta cheese. 

The salt content of Manouri cheese is not very high. Manouri is less salty than feta but creamier as manufacturers use cream in the production of Manouri cheese. 

Manouri works great as a salad or pasta topping. It is also good for making desserts, including cheesecake. You can also eat Manouri as is, with dried fruits and honey. 

DIY Farmer’s Cheese 

If none of the abovementioned substitutes for farmer’s cheese work for you, your best option is to make it yourself. Homemade farmer’s cheese is the best alternative for commercially manufactured farmer’s cheese. 

Luckily, making farmer’s cheese at home is easy and doesn’t require much time or effort. Here’s how it’s done. 

  1. Gather the ingredients. To make farmer’s cheese at home, you’ll need pasteurized whole milk, white vinegar, salt, fresh dill, or chives.
  2. Pour half a gallon of pasteurized milk into a pot and set the heat on low. Stir the milk from time to time until it comes to a boil. You should keep the heat of the stovetop low as high heat will scorch the milk on the bottom of the pot especially if it is not one with a heavy bottom. 
  3. As soon as you see small bubbles forming on the surface, turn off the heat. This happens when the temperature of the milk is 190°F
  4. Slowly add ¼ cup of white vinegar to the milk. Stir the milk while doing this. Adding the vinegar into the milk will immediately form curds in it. 
  5. Stop stirring the milk and let it sit for 15 minutes
  6. Optionally add finely chopped dill or chives to the mixture. 
  7. Drain the mixture using a cheesecloth or a towel and a colander. The whey, which is the liquid separated during the cheesemaking process will drain, leaving being the curds. 
  8. Wrap the cheesecloth or the towel you are using around the drained curds. Twist the fabric to drain the remaining water
  9. Release the curds and add salt
  10. Use the same towel to shape the cheese. Leaving the cheese wrapped in cheesecloth for an hour will give it a satisfying round shape. 

Can You Substitute Farmer’s Cheese With Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese is different from farmer’s cheese in terms of texture and flavor.

Cream cheese has a soft and creamy texture as opposed to the crumbly nature of farmer’s cheese. As for the flavor, cream cheese lacks the tanginess of farmer’s cheese

But despite these differences, the two cheese varieties are interchangeable for certain cooking tasks, such as making desserts. For example, you can make a cheesecake using both cream cheese and farmer’s cheese. 

Additionally, you can use both cream cheese and farmer’s cheese to make dips. 

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