Edam Cheese Substitutes

Edam Cheese is a popular Dutch cheese known for its mild flavor, pale yellow color, and semi-hard texture. It is commonly used in sandwiches, salads, and appetizers because of its easy melting properties and light taste. However, if you find yourself short on Edam Cheese or want to switch things up in your recipes, there are several substitutes that you can use to achieve similar flavors and textures.

Gouda, Havarti, and Monterey Jack are just a few of the many options you can explore when substituting Edam Cheese. These alternatives maintain a comparable taste and texture, making for a seamless transition in your dishes. In addition, they each bring their own unique qualities to the table that could potentially elevate your meal.

To choose the best Edam Cheese substitute for your needs, consider the dish you’re preparing and the flavors you want to emphasize. Some substitutes might provide a bolder taste, while others may maintain that mild essence characteristic of Edam Cheese. By experimenting with these alternatives, you can discover new, delicious ways to enjoy your favorite recipes.

What is Edam Cheese

Origin and History

Originating from the Netherlands, Edam Cheese gets its name from the Dutch town of Edam. It has a long history dating back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest Dutch cheeses. In the past, Edam Cheese was a popular choice for trading due to its ability to retain its quality for long periods.

Characteristics of Edam Cheese

Edam Cheese has a semi-hard texture and comes in a distinctive spherical shape. This Dutch cheese is made from cow’s milk, which gives it a mellow, creamy taste and a mild flavor. The cheese’s rind is covered in a brightly colored wax, usually red or yellow, protecting it and contributing to its long shelf life.

The following table highlights some key characteristics of Edam Cheese:

TextureSemi-hard, smooth
Milk TypeCow
FlavorMild, slightly nutty

Culinary Uses

Edam cheese’s mild, nutty flavor and semi-hard texture make it a versatile ingredient in various recipes. Here are a few culinary uses for this Dutch cheese:

  1. Sliced or cubed – Edam cheese can be enjoyed on its own or added to cheese platters and sandwiches.
  2. Grated – The cheese’s texture makes it suitable for grating, adding a touch of creaminess to dishes such as pasta and casseroles.
  3. Melted – Edam cheese melts smoothly, making it ideal for sauces, fondues, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
  4. Baking – Thanks to its low salt content, Edam cheese can be used in savory baked goods like quiches and tarts.

So, when you’re looking for a delicious substitute cheese with a rich history, consider trying Edam Cheese in your next recipe, and experience the taste of the Netherlands!

Reasons for Substituting Edam Cheese

Dietary Restrictions

For those with lactose intolerance or allergies to dairy products, finding a suitable alternative to Edam cheese is essential. Vegans also require a non-dairy option, as traditional cheeses are made with animal-derived ingredients, such as cow’s milk and rennet. Fortunately, there are plant-based cheeses available made from ingredients like soy, cashews, and almonds that can mimic the taste and texture of Edam cheese while adhering to dietary restrictions.

Availability Issues

In some regions, Edam cheese may be difficult to find or simply not available at local stores. Instead of settling for a less-than-ideal meal, you can substitute a local cheese with similar taste and texture characteristics, such as Gouda or Colby. These versatile alternatives will not only make your dish delicious, but they may also introduce you to new flavors that you’ll come to enjoy.

Flavor Preferences

Everyone has different taste preferences – some people love milder flavors while others prefer bold tastes. Edam cheese can often be described as mild and slightly salty. If you’re looking for a bolder flavor, consider substituting one of these options:

  • Gruyère: nutty and earthy
  • Sharp Cheddar: tangy and robust
  • Monterey Jack: buttery and mild with a hint of tang

Remember to keep an open mind when substituting Edam cheese, as it’s a fantastic opportunity to explore new flavor combinations and discover a newfound appreciation for different types of cheese.

Cheese Substitutes Overview

Hard Cheese Alternatives

When searching for a substitute for Edam cheese, it’s important to find cheeses with similar textures and flavors. For a hard cheese option, you can look at both Gouda and Cheddar. Gouda has a rich, creamy flavor that is closer to Edam, while Cheddar offers a sharper taste.

GoudaHardCreamy, Mild
CheddarHardSharp, Tangy

Semi-Hard Cheese Alternatives

If you prefer something with a slightly softer texture, consider going for a semi-hard cheese. Swiss cheese is a popular choice, as it pairs well with various dishes and has a mild, nutty flavor that is somewhat similar to Edam.

Swiss CheeseSemi-HardMild, Nutty

Nutty Flavor Substitutes

For those who desire a nutty flavor in their cheese, a few alternatives can provide that distinct taste. In addition to Swiss cheese, which has a mild nutty profile, other options with a stronger nutty taste can be explored.

  1. Comté: A French cheese with a sweet, nutty flavor
  2. Manchego: A Spanish cheese with a pronounced nutty taste

Remember that when substituting cheeses, it’s essential to consider factors such as texture, flavor, and versatility in various recipes. By exploring these alternatives, you’ll be able to find the perfect cheese substitute for your needs.

Specific Edam Cheese Substitutes

Gouda as an Alternative

If you’re looking for a substitute for Edam cheese, Gouda is an excellent alternative. Both cheeses hail from the Netherlands and share a similar texture. Gouda has a slightly higher fat content, resulting in a creamier taste and smoother texture. It’s available in various stages of aging, offering a range of flavors to suit your preferences.

  • Young Gouda: Soft and mild
  • Aged Gouda: Harder and stronger in flavor

Cheddar: A Versatile Substitute

Cheddar, a popular cheese, works well as an Edam substitute. It is commonly available and offers a variety of flavor profiles, from mild to sharp. Both Edam and Cheddar are semi-hard cheeses, so the consistency remains similar. Choose the Cheddar type that suits your taste and the dish you’re preparing:

  • Mild Cheddar: Smooth and creamy
  • Sharp Cheddar: More intense, slightly tangy flavor

Swiss Cheese Varieties

Swiss cheese varieties, such as Emmental, Gruyère, and Appenzeller, can replace Edam cheese in dishes. These cheeses share a similar semi-hard texture and nutty flavor profile. They melt beautifully, making them a great choice for recipes requiring melted cheese.

  1. Emmental: Mild, nutty flavor
  2. Gruyère: Earthy, slightly sweet taste
  3. Appenzeller: Tangy, fruity undertones

Fontina and Emmental Options

Fontina cheese, another semi-hard option, can stand in for Edam. With its smooth, creamy texture and mild, slightly nutty flavor, Fontina works well in dishes requiring melted cheese. Additionally, Emmental offers a versatile, nutty, and mild taste profile that also complements recipes needing Edam cheese.

  • Fontina: Creamy and mild
  • Emmental: Nutty and versatile

Italian Cheese Replacements

Some Italian cheeses can also replace Edam in recipes. Asiago, a semi-hard cheese with a nutty, slightly fruity flavor, works well as an alternative. You might also try Provolone, which offers a mild, slightly tangy taste and smooth texture.

  • Asiago: Nutty and fruity flavors
  • Provolone: Mild and tangy

Substitutes in Recipes

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

When preparing a grilled cheese sandwich, you might consider using Gouda or Muenster as suitable alternatives to Edam cheese. Both of these options melt well, giving you that desired gooey texture. For instance:

  • Gouda: a versatile option with a mild yet creamy flavor
  • Muenster: known for its smooth texture and ability to complement a wide array of ingredients

Fondue Creations

In the realm of fondue, finding a suitable Edam cheese substitute can be quite simple. Some of the most popular options include:

  1. Gruyère: its earthy, nutty taste fares well in cheesy fondues
  2. Emmental: a mild, slightly savory Swiss cheese that melts smoothly
  3. Fontina: a softer Italian cheese with a subtle, sweet flavor (perfect for balancing sharp and tangy ingredients)

Experimenting with various cheese blends in your fondue creations may lead to delectable combinations you never knew you’d love!

Pasta and Baked Dishes

For pasta and baked dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, gratin, and quiches, you have a few attractive cheese substitutes to choose from. Consider the following table to help you decide:

CheeseCharacteristicsBest for
ProvoloneSmooth, mild, and easily meltedMacaroni and cheese, gratin
CheddarFlavor can range from mild to sharp; excellent melting cheeseMacaroni and cheese, quiches
MozzarellaCreamy, mild, and has exceptional melting propertiesPasta dishes, pizza

By selecting from these substitutes and more, you can create a variety of delicious meals without sacrificing taste or quality. Remember, experimenting with different cheeses in your favorite recipes can elevate them to new culinary heights!

Factors in Choosing Substitutes

When it comes to finding the perfect Edam cheese substitute for your recipe, there are several factors you need to keep in mind. In this section, we will explore the aspects that are crucial to consider, including texture, flavor, melting qualities, and health and diet considerations.

Texture Considerations

A primary aspect of any cheese substitute is its texture. Edam has a smooth texture that is semi-hard, making it an excellent choice for slicing as well as grating. When looking for a suitable substitute, consider cheeses that have similar characteristics. Some options include:

  • Gouda: Known for its creaminess and smooth texture, it’s easily sliceable like Edam.
  • Havarti: Another creamy and semi-hard cheese that can be sliced or grated with ease.
  • Mild Cheddar: Also has a smooth texture and can easily be sliced or grated.

Flavor Matching

Since taste is often a deciding aspect when selecting a substitute, finding a cheese with similar flavor profiles is essential. Edam is known for its mild and slightly salty taste. Here are some cheeses with comparable flavors:

  • Gouda: With its buttery and nutty taste, it is close to Edam’s flavor.
  • Havarti: Creamy and slightly tangy, this cheese’s flavor profile is similar to Edam.
  • Mild Cheddar: Its subtle but sharp taste can complement dishes in a similar manner as Edam.

Melting Qualities

Edam falls into the melting cheese category, meaning it melts well without becoming too greasy or stringy. This is an important factor when selecting a substitute for your recipe. The following cheeses possess excellent melting qualities:

  • Gouda: Its smooth and melting characteristics make it an ideal replacement.
  • Havarti: Known for melting evenly and blending well with other ingredients.
  • Monterey Jack: Its texture makes it an excellent choice for melting purposes.

Health and Diet Considerations

If you have specific health or dietary preferences, consider the fat content and other nutritional features of the substitute cheeses. Edam tends to have a lower fat content than other cheeses like Gouda or Cheddar. Suitable options include:

  • Low-fat Gouda: As a reduced-fat alternative to traditional Gouda, this choice is closer to Edam’s nutritional profile.
  • Reduced-fat Havarti: Similar to low-fat Gouda, this is a lower fat option that still maintains its desirable characteristics.
  • Swiss cheese: With moderate fat content and a robust flavor, Swiss cheese strikes a balance between healthy and enjoyable eating.

By considering these factors, you can make the best choice for your Edam cheese substitute based on your preferences and recipe requirements.

Storage and Preservation


Caring for Edam Substitutes

When it comes to taking care of your Edam cheese substitutes, it’s crucial to ensure that you are treating them correctly to maintain the best taste and texture. Refrigeration is essential and one of the best ways to store your cheese. Make sure to keep it in a specific cheese drawer or a sealed container in the refrigerator to help prevent the loss of moisture. This will keep your aged cheese fresh and protected from other flavors and bacterial growth.

It is worth noting that some Edam substitutes may contain annatto – a natural food colorant. While annatto helps in preserving the cheese, it does not impact the care needed for the cheese.

You can also employ these storage techniques for your cheese substitutes:

  1. Wrap the cheese in parchment or wax paper – This helps the cheese breathe, making it last longer.
  2. Avoid using plastic wrap or plastic bags – These materials trap moisture, accelerating bacterial growth and molding.

Shelf Life

The shelf life of Edam cheese substitutes varies depending on the specific type and ingredients in the cheese. Generally, aged cheese tends to have a longer shelf life than softer cheese. To extend the shelf life of your cheese substitutes, consider these tips:

  • Always check the expiry date – This is the most reliable way to know when your cheese substitute is no longer safe to consume.
  • Store in the refrigerator – Proper refrigeration can help slow down bacterial growth and prevent spoilage.
  • Inspect the cheese regularly – Check your Edam substitute for any signs of mold or unpleasant smells. If detected, it’s best to discard the cheese.

Keep in mind that a cheese substitute’s shelf life relies heavily on the storage conditions and how well it’s cared for. By following these guidelines, you should be able to maintain your Edam cheese substitutes’ quality and delicious taste.

Pairing with Fruits and Nuts

Charcuterie board | Cheese platter with fruits and nuts

Cheeseboard Recommendations

When creating the perfect cheeseboard, selecting the right combination of fruits and nuts is essential to enhance the flavors of your chosen cheeses. In the case of Edam cheese substitutes, you want to include fruits and nuts that enhance their fruity and nutty tastes. We recommend the following combinations:

  • Fruits: Pears, apples, cherries, apricots, and peaches
  • Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans
FruitsNutsCheese Substitutes
PearsWalnutsGouda, Jarlsberg
ApplesAlmondsGruyère, Fontina
CherriesHazelnutsComté, Emmental
ApricotsPecansMaasdam, Mimolette

Creating Flavorful Combinations

To create flavorful combinations that truly complement these Edam substitutes, consider the following tips:

  • Pears: Their sweet, juicy flavor pairs beautifully with nutty cheeses like Gouda or Jarlsberg. Try slices of pear with a wedge of Gouda for a delightful taste experience.
  • Apples: Their crisp, tangy taste balances the creaminess of Gruyère or Fontina. Thinly sliced apples with a sliver of Fontina can be a perfect combination.
  • Cherries: Their sweet and slightly tart flavor complements the nuttiness of Comté or Emmental. Fresh cherries or cherry preserves alongside Emmental make a great pairing.
  • Apricots and Peaches: Their sweet, aromatic flavor works well with the bold character of Maasdam or Mimolette. Try pairing fresh or dried apricots with Maasdam for a delicious contrast.

Remember, the key to a successful cheeseboard lies in a harmonious balance of flavors and textures. Enjoy exploring these pairings and creating unique combinations with your favorite Edam cheese substitutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are suitable cheeses to use in place of Edam for melting purposes?

In place of Edam cheese for melting purposes, you can consider Gouda, Fontina, or Monterey Jack. These cheeses share similar qualities, such as a semi-firm texture and a subtle taste, which makes them great alternatives for melting.

Which cheeses share a similar flavor profile with Edam?

Cheeses that have a similar flavor profile to Edam include Gouda, Jarlsberg, and Maasdam. All of these options have a mild and somewhat nutty taste, making them suitable substitutes for Edam cheese in various recipes.

Can Gouda cheese be effectively used as an alternative to Edam in recipes?

Yes, Gouda cheese can be an effective alternative to Edam in recipes. They share similar characteristics in terms of flavor and texture, making Gouda a suitable substitute for various dishes that call for Edam.

What are the textural differences between Edam and other semi-hard cheeses?

While Edam is classified as a semi-hard cheese, it tends to have a smoother and more elastic texture compared to others in the same category. Some semi-hard cheeses like Cheddar and Colby might be slightly crumbly, while Gouda and Jarlsberg offer a similar texture to Edam.

Are there any non-dairy alternatives that mimic Edam cheese characteristics?

Yes, there are non-dairy alternatives that mimic Edam cheese characteristics. Look for vegan or plant-based options that are specifically designed to replicate semi-hard cheeses. Brands like Daiya and Violife offer alternatives that may closely resemble the texture and taste of Edam cheese.

In terms of nuttiness and sweetness, which cheeses are comparable to Edam for pairing with fruits?

For a combination of nuttiness and sweetness like Edam, consider Gouda, Jarlsberg, or Emmental. These cheeses complement fruits such as apples, grapes, and pears, making them suitable for pairing with fruit platters or desserts.

Edam Cheese Substitutes + Recipe

Here's a delicious recipe using Edam cheese:
Cheesy Edam Stuffed Chicken Breast
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 344 kcal


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup grated Edam cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a bowl, mix together the Edam cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Cut a pocket into each chicken breast and stuff with the cheese mixture.
  • Secure the openings with toothpicks.
  • Dredge each stuffed chicken breast in flour, then dip into the beaten eggs, and finally coat with breadcrumbs.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the chicken breasts on all sides, then transfer them to a baking dish.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove the toothpicks before serving.
  • Enjoy your delicious cheesy Edam stuffed chicken breast!


Calories: 344kcal
Keyword edam cheese substitutes
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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