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The 7 Best White American Cheese Substitutes

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White American cheese is one of the most popular cheese varieties in the US. No burger is ever complete without a slice of creamy gooey American cheese.

But while it tastes good and melts easily, American cheese is surely not the healthiest cheese product. So, you may consider using other cheeses instead. 

What are the best white American cheese substitutes? The best substitutes for white American cheese include Monterey Jack, white cheddar, mozzarella, Fontina cheese, Havarti, Oaxaca cheese, and Velveeta cheese.

In this article, you will learn not only about American cheese substitutes but also what are the reasons to substitute it with other cheese varieties!

What Is American Cheese?

American cheese is one of the most popular cheeses used in the US. A slice of American cheese is commonly found in cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.

In case you don’t what American cheese is, it is the cheese that comes in individual plastic wrappers unlike any other cheese variety though it may also come in blocks. 

The reason why American cheese is so popular is that it melts well. American cheese has a smooth, and creamy texture and melts very fast. When melted, American cheese is soft and gooey.

As for the flavor, American cheese is creamy and slightly salty and fits the flavor preferences of most people. 

So, American cheese is all delicious and melts heavenly. But the truth is, American cheese is not really cheese.

It is a cheese product and isn’t legally considered to be real cheese. In fact, some brands don’t even use the word cheese. Instead, they call their cheese product singles or slices. 

American cheese was initially made of a blend of different cheeses, including Cheddar and Colby.

Now, most brands also use milk, milk fats, whey protein, and other flavor and texture-altering additives to make this processed cheese. 

American cheese comes in two colors: white and yellow. The two are quite similar and with some brands, you have to pay close attention to the flavor to notice the differences between white and yellow American cheese. 

The main difference between the two varieties is obviously the color. The yellow-orange color of American cheese often comes from annatto. These seeds are a natural coloring popularly used to dye cheese. 

Reasons Not To Eat American Cheese

There are many reasons why may look for a substitute for American cheese. You may simply not like this cheese variety because of its flavor and slightly rubbery texture.

Even if you do like American cheese, there are still reasons to substitute it with another cheese variety. 

Here are a few reasons why eating too much American cheese may be a problem. 

  • American cheese contains preservatives. If you read the labels of American cheese, you will find that most of them are rather heavy on preservatives. 
  • It is high in sodium. While is it is typical of cheese to have high sodium content, the sodium in American cheese may be too high for regular consumption in large amounts. 
  • American cheese is high in fat. If you are trying to keep your calorie intake at bay, American cheese may not be the best cheese option for you. A slice of American cheese contains around 9 grams of fat, including 5 grams of saturated fat. 
  • It is often made with vegetable oils. Check the label of your favorite American cheese. If it contains vegetable oils, it may be one reason to start looking for a substitute for American cheese. 

Is There A Substitute For American Cheese?

American cheese melts well and doesn’t have an overpowering flavor.

You can use it not only for burgers and sandwiches but also for mac and cheese, various cheese sauces, casseroles, omelets, and more. But as you have already learned, it is not the healthiest cheese variety. 

Luckily, there are multiple substitutes for American cheese. You can surely find an option that you like

Depending on the reason you are looking for a substitute for American cheese, there are two things to consider when picking an alternative. 

First, consider the flavor. The flavor of American cheese is mild and creamy. If you don’t want to change the flavor of your dish, pick a cheese variety that has a similar flavor profile. 

And second, check the sodium content. As we have mentioned above, the sodium content of American cheese is quite high.

If this is what makes you want to replace it in a recipe, make sure to check the sodium content of the cheese you are going to use. 

The 7 Best White American Cheese Substitutes 

Here are the 7 cheese varieties you can use instead of white American cheese!

RankSubstitute Best Uses 
1.Monterey Jack Mac and cheese, dips, grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, casseroles
2.White CheddarSandwiches, dips, sauces 
3.Mozarella Sandwiches, pasta dishes, fillings, and stuffings 
4. Fontina cheeseSandwiches, sauces, pasta dishes 
5.HavartiGrilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese 
6.Oaxaca CheeseQuesadillas, tacos, various fillings
7.Velveeta Cheese Sauces, dips, pasta dishes, soups

1. Monterey Jack

Monterey jack is one of the best substitutes for American cheese thanks to its flavor and texture. This cheese variety has a mild flavor profile and melts very well. 

Monterey Jack is typically made from pasteurized cow’s milk. But it may also be made from goat’s milk. You will come across two types of this cheese: high-moisture and low-moisture. 

High-moisture Monterey Jack is known for its good melting properties. So, opt for this variety of Monterey jack if you are looking for an American cheese substitute

You can use Monterey Jack instead of American cheese in burgers and sandwiches. It is also a great cheese option for mac and cheese and queso dip. 

2. White Cheddar

When it comes to cheese that melts well, cheddar is certainly one of the best options. Go for white cheddar as a substitute for white American cheese.

Use white cheddar as a topping or base for sauces and dips. If you want it to melt evenly, shred the cheddar cheese. 

As cheddar can have a sharp flavor, try to pick a milder variety if you will be using it instead of American cheese. Though sharper cheddars will work too if you don’t mind the flavor differences. 

3. Mozzarella

Mozzarella cheese is another good substitute for American cheese. This is a cheese variety to go for if you are trying to maintain a healthy diet.

Fresh mozzarella cheese is lower in fat and calories. It also contains a high amount of calcium. 

Aside from being healthy, fresh mozzarella cheese also melts well. If fresh mozzarella is not widely available where you live, you can opt for pre-shredded mozzarella.

Shredded mozzarella melts well too and is great for making smooth cheesy sauces. 

As for the flavor, mozzarella cheese is very delicate, so it won’t affect the overall flavor of the dish. 

4. Fontina Cheese

Fontina cheese is a semisoft cheese variety that you can use instead of American cheese in a variety of different recipes.

Thanks to its high fat content, this cheese melts very well. When opting for Fontina cheese, keep in mind that Fontina cheese has a slightly different flavor profile. 

While the flavor of Fontina cheese is mild, this cheese variety has nutty undertones that are missing in white American cheese. It is also saltier than American cheese. 

5. Havarti

Havarti cheese may not be similar to American cheese in terms of flavor. But it is a great substitute for American cheese in terms of how it melts. Havarti cheese melts into gooey and stringy goodness thanks to its buttery and creamy texture. 

As far as the flavor is concerned, it may vary, ranging from mild to sweet and nutty. And still, it is a perfect cheese option for grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese. 

6. Oaxaca Cheese 

Oaxaca cheese may not be a popular cheese variety but it is one of the best when it comes to white American cheese substitutes.  

This Mexican cheese is made from cow’s milk. It has a stringy texture that is very different from the texture of American cheese. But this cheese melts very well and can be used for a variety of dishes. 

Oaxaca cheese has a mild buttery flavor and is only slightly salty. You can use this cheese for baking recipes and fillings, quesadillas, or tacos.

7. Velveeta Cheese

If you are looking for a healthy substitute for white American cheese, Velveeta cheese is certainly not an option for you.

Also, Velveeta cheese has a distinctive orange color. If this is something you can overlook, use Velveeta cheese instead of American cheese in various cheese sauces and dips, pasta dishes, soups, and so on. 

The thing is, Velveeta cheese is a cheese product similar to American cheese. The consistency of Velveeta cheese has a springy consistency and a flavor a lot like American cheese

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