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10 Best Substitutes For Paneer

Paneer is a staple in Indian cuisine, but what if you don’t have any? No worries! We’ve compiled 10 substitutes for paneer that will keep your cooking going strong. From Cottage cheese to Extra-firm tofu, these options are sure to please anyone who’s looking for something new and delicious.

You can do substitute for paneer cheese with Cottage cheese, Ricotta, Feta, Halloumi, Mozzarella, Manchego, Gouda cheese, Colby-Jack Cheese, Mexican Queso Blanco, Extra-firm tofu.

Paneer Cheese Substitutes

  1. Cottage cheese
  2. Ricotta
  3. Feta
  4. Halloumi
  5. Mozzarella
  6. Manchego
  7. Gouda cheese
  8. Colby-Jack Cheese
  9. Mexican Queso Blanco
  10. Extra-firm tofu

1. Cottage cheese:

Cottage Cheese

Chilled cottage cheese is a great substitute for paneer (Sanskrit word meaning ‘cottage cheese’). Made from fresh cow’s milk, it has an impressive shelf life. Laiterre gives this classic food product its own spin with the addition of organic herbs and spices to create Flavour Mountain USA’s Cottage Cheese. With a mild taste that is quite reminiscent of quiche, you are sure to enjoy this everyday meal option.

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Crunchy and smooth with a light sour taste, this is one of those dairy products that’s good for you. Eating foods like yogurt or cottage cheese are an easy way to stay healthy because you can use it in many cooking recipes. It’s also a great alternative ingredient for vegan dishes if you’re not much of a cooked food person due to its versatility. Give yourself the freedom!

2. Ricotta:

10 Best Substitutes For Paneer

Perhaps the most important ingredient of lasagna – ricotta cheese. It’s perfect for pasta dishes and is one of the highest-protein dairy products available. Try it as a meatless paneer cheese  substitute in your Indian curries for biryani.

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Ricotta is nothing more than cheese. Ricotta, or ricciotti in Italian, translates simply to “little things”. But it’s not. Actually, you can serve ricotta as one big chunk and is so smooth and elastic. Even you can sometimes use it for mozzarella sticks, too!

This is a soy-free vegan cheese substitute with coconut milk that is nutritious and versatile in taste. Despite the ricotta name, this has nothing to do with dairy products. You can use it as you would paneer or tofu instead of any other kind of Indian cheese.

3. Feta:

10 Best Substitutes For Paneer

Feta is a cheese that’s usually made out of cow’s milk, then aged in a mix of salt and vinegar. It has a soft, crumbly texture with small holes. It is also a good paneer substitute.

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Adept for salads, as a spread on bread, or to top off dinner. Our Feta has protein and calcium providing the growing body needs that it might not be getting enough of. The addition of feta cheese to your diet will also provide the dairy products needed in order to foster a healthy digestive system playing an important role in proper absorption and digestion of nutrients consumed. What’s more? Adding feta cheese on top of any meal brings some diversity into one’s diet by adding different flavors and textures!

4. Halloumi:

Substitutes For Paneer

Halloumi is a go-to cheese for vegetarians and meat lovers alike. It’s the perfect substitute for paneer because it’s easy to find in both Indian and Mediterranean markets, doesn’t melt when heated, and won’t dry out if refrigerated. Largely unknown outside of Greece and Cyprus until recently, Halloumi has quickly become a staple cheese worldwide!

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Halloumi. It’s salty without being too salty. It has just a hint of tanginess in its taste while not tasting overly sour. This cheese is an excellent substitute for paneer with higher calories or less flavor! A perfect level that kids will love and more advanced pilates will enjoy it as well! You can keep your recipe tastes interesting by searing on both sides before adding sauce or making into tikkis and serving with the best sauce around: sweet chili chutney combo you’re about to see!

5. Mozzarella:


Have you been looking for a cheese substitute that’s free of dairy and easy to melt? If so, then Mozzarella is the best thing for you! Similar in style to paneer (specially south Asian cousins) this substance melts down once heated up with just some salt sprinkled on.

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This golden bounty of cheese is perfect for any meal. Mozzarella has the consistency that you can use on pizzas, in salads, pastas and other dishes. What makes this cheese so versatile? For anyone who needs to eliminate dairy as an allergen or wants alternatives for their diet, mozzarella is something special.

6. Manchego:


Manchego is a fresh and creamy cheese that you can use as an alternative to paneer. This white cow milk cheese. The aging process makes it firm enough to grate or slice, but not hard like Parmesan or Asiago. With a delicious salty taste and delightful tanginess, Manchego is perfect in salads, grilled dishes like bruschetta, crostini and quiche where you would traditionally use goat’s cheese. Keep a block of this gold star artisan product on hand so you will always have the best substitute for paneer!

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Extraordinary cheese with delightfully mild and buttery taste. The method of curing & storing, makes this a perfect addition for anything from pasta bolognese, to grilled salmon!

7. Gouda cheese:

Gouda cheese

Gouda cheese is a kind of cow’s milk cheese, and this delicate snack in the Netherlands by Gus Organics produces gouda. You can substitute the lactose-free food for paneer in Indian dishes and is high in protein content.

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Each 3/4″ piece has at least 37 calories with 4g of carbohydrates, 8g fat (or 6% DV), 1g saturated fat (or 4% DV), 0g trans fat (or 0% DV) good source RDA Vitamin B12.

The flavor of this cheese has a connection with its age, so if you’re looking for something smooth and mild just stick to the fresh variety.

8. Colby-Jack Cheese:

Colby-Jack Cheese

Colby-Jack Cheese is a popular cheese substitute for paneer. Colby- Jack has that same melt-in -your mouth feeling and so many possibilities when it comes to cooking and baking.

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Made from cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, this delicacy packs a zesty  milder flavor that’s not too overpowering! Not only is this cheese delicious, it offers the perfect grams of protein and calcium as well! If anything ever goes wrong in your kitchen again, just use some Colby-Jack Cheese and everything will turn out right – like magic!

9. Mexican Queso Blanco:

Mexican Queso Blanco

A fresh white cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk. You can use Queso Blanco as a substitute for paneer. This mild-flavored dairy product has no artificial colors or preservatives added to it.

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Mexican queso Blanco is a cheese product that originated in Mexico for Mexican dishes. You can make it from cow’s milk and has a milky flavor that is as milder than cheeses like cheddar or queso fresco. Mexican queso Blanco was cheap and accessible for many people who lived on the border of Texas and Mexico, but fairly difficult to find otherwise until now! Quero products offer you the same delicious taste without the hassles of hard-to-find ingredients or complicated directions. You’ll be able to have pure delight every time with this perfect substitute for paneer.

10. Extra-firm tofu:

Extra-firm tofu

Tofu is the answer for when you feel like an old-school vegetarian, but it’s not a problem if you’re vegan either! It makes for a healthy substitute to fresh paneer in Indian cooking, too.

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Tofu is a plant-based protein intake with no cholesterol but plenty of healthy nutrients.

This lean and flavorful protein works wonders as a dairy substitute and you can prepare it any way from crispy baked cubes or creamy pad thai sauce dip.


What can be used instead of paneer?

There are many substitutes for paneer such as tofu, soy cheese, goat cheese, or ricotta.
Tempeh is a great replacement for Paneer because the texture is very similar and it’s made from fermented whole soybeans. However, if you’re looking for something dairy-free, cubed steamed tofu or raw firm silken tofu can be used in any recipe that calls for Paneer. And don’t forget about vegan cheeses!

Can I use cheddar instead of paneer?

Absolutely, yes! Cheddar cheese will work just fine in most recipes that call for paneer.
Slices of Cheddar are often perfect substitutes for creamy Indian cheeses like Paneer or Ricotta Cheese in no-cook recipes because they are firm enough to still hold their shape when heated.And you usually don’t need any adjustment for the amount of cheddar flakes you use in your recipe.
Some cooks might need to add more water if using Cheddar rather than Paneer or Ricotta but as long as you keep your eye on it while simmering, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Can I use mozzarella instead of paneer?

Sure, you can substitute it for the paneer. There are many kinds of mozzarella (plain or marbled), provolone and cheddar just to name a few, which makes some great options for different flavors.
Mozzarella is full of creamy goodness and low in fat which makes it a great choice!
We would recommend using 3/8 cup or 50 grams of cheese unless otherwise specified by the recipe. Mozzarella is similar in taste but has less salt than paneer which may need to be adjusted accordingly if using more.

Can you substitute feta for paneer?

Yes. Fetal is a protein that comes from sheep and goats, similar to paneer which is made from cheese curds. Paneer can also be made with soy milk for tofu-based vegan diets. There are versions of feta cheese available in the US that come from cows rather than sheep or goats, so it’s an option for those who don’t consume meat products but might enjoy different varieties of Greek-style cheese served as accompaniments at a meal.

Is mozzarella a paneer?

Yes, but the cheese that Italians call “mozzarella” is usually a soft and mild fresh cheese with a delicate milky taste.

What is paneer called in English?

Paneer is called “pressed cheese” in English.
Paneer starts out like regular hard cheese — andouille, parmesan, pepper jack, goat cheese — that has been heated with enough salt to draw the moisture out of it. When you eat Paneer, you’re eating really thick curds made by heating the whey or milk to a high temperature before adding more milk and letting it cool down until curds form. The leftover cheese milk is dry until all that’s left are the curds which have an amazing ability to withstand heat without breaking apart because it has no water or fat content of its own.

What can I replace paneer with?

You can replace paneer with ricotta cheese.
Ricotta is made from milk, or a combination of milk and whey (the watery part of the dairy). Whey protein contains slightly more protein than whole milk, so it’s good to add a little extra in if you make your dough with water instead of milk. If you’re looking for a vegan substitute, try cashew ricotta or soy ricotta. I have some instructions for ricotta cheese pizza that’s not very difficult to make! You’ll need eggs as well as pudding mix (chocolate works too) so please read through all my directions before proceeding!

Can you substitute mozzarella for paneer?

Sure! While mozzarella is the Italian word for water buffalo milk, it can be made from cow’s milk as well. When you mix it with other ingredients, this cheese becomes stretchy enough to slice into strings to make pizza toppings or linguini sauce. Paneer is a type of fermented cheese common in Indian cuisine that includes a caking agent and tastes best when pan-fried on both sides until golden brown.

Can I replace paneer with feta?

Yes. The two ingredients are similar in their use but significantly different in texture and flavor.
Paneer is a fresh cheese that you can find at most Indian groceries and can be cut into cubes for use. It has a very mild, pleasant taste when cooked with a small amount of stirring, and doesn’t need to be simmered or heated too much because the protein coagulates so easily. It’s also gluten-free which makes it an excellent substitute for better-known nut cheeses which are highly processed and contain fillers like wheat gluten for mouthfeel, etc.


As we all know, paneer is a staple in Indian cuisine. But what if you can’t find it or don’t want to pay the high price? To be honest, some of these alternatives might even taste better than regular old-fashioned paneer. Try them out and let us know which ones work best for you!

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