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6 Manchego Cheese Substitutes

6 Manchego Cheese Substitutes

You’re set to cook up a storm, but you suddenly need to find a Manchego cheese substitute. There are plenty of other cheeses that can be used as substitutes for Manchego, and they won’t disappoint.

This guide has six great alternatives that rescue your recipes and bring similar results. But before we dive in, take a moment to get better acquainted with Manchego cheese.

Substitutes for Manchego cheese

While we adore the enchanting taste of Manchego, there are times when we run out of it, calling for a worthy replacement. Thankfully, the world of cheese offers alternatives that can step into the spotlight when Manchego takes an intermission.

Here are six kinds of cheese we recommend as a Manchego cheese substitute in recipes in a measure-for-measure ratio:

Sharp Cheddar

Sharp Cheddar is a distinguished option for dishes that demand a strong cheesy presence due to its creamy texture and tangy profile. With its bold and robust flavor, your favorite dishes retain their appeal.

Pecorino Romano

Its salty, sheep milk tang is reminiscent of Manchego tanginess, making it a worthy replacement. You can grate it over pasta dishes, add it to salads, or savor it just the way it is with a glass of fine wine.


With its versatility and approachable flavor of buttery undertones and pleasant earthiness, Gouda can gracefully act as a substitute. Whether you add them atop crackers or grilled cheese sandwiches, Gouda is one of the best replacements for Manchego cheese.


With its mild and slightly nutty flavor, Edam is a friendly substitute. Its smooth texture makes it a great stand-in. Slice Edam cheese, melt it, or enjoy it with crackers the way it is—it’s a reliable option that can add flavor and beauty to cheese platters, salads, and cooked dishes.


Its creamy and earthy essence, with a nutty finish that is similar to parmesan, can be a delightful addition to your culinary creations. Whether it is used by grating it over pasta, melting it into a gratin, or enjoying it on a cheese board, Fontina brings a new twist to your favorite dishes!


Gruyère brings charm and elegance to the table by tantalizing your taste buds through its slightly sweet character with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Gruyère can be enjoyed solo or by melting it into your favorite recipes.

The flavor of Manchego cheese

What I love about this semi-soft sheep’s-milk cheese is how delightful and sweet it is from the first bite to the last. Imagine a slightly crystalline “sandy” texture, with a fruity bite and nutty finish. 

Thanks to the grassy mold unique to Manchego (making the hatch marks on the rind), the cheese also gets infused with the lovely scent of dried herbs—creating a flavorful blend that brings out exciting differences in every bite.
As Manchego cheese ages, its flavor deepens and sharpens. Manchego varieties might age for 2 weeks up to 2 years.

How Manchego cheese is often used

Due to its beautiful texture and vibrant flavor, Manchego cheese becomes a cherished ingredient that effortlessly transforms your average dishes into gourmet food favorites.

Cheese Platters

Manchego cheese is a timeless choice for any cheese platter. You can easily pair it with nuts, honey, fresh fruits, jams, and wines to make its flavor pop.


Sprinkle or cube Manchego cheese (or a Manchego cheese substitute) onto your salads for an extra kick. Its exceptional taste can boost the yum factor of your salad!


Manchego cheese is known to be a tapas superstar in Spain. Enjoy it solo, in thin slices, or team up with pals like Serrano ham for a flavor fiesta.

Cooked Goodies

In the cooking scene, Manchego cheese is also a fantastic ingredient for several dishes, from pasta to gratin. Manchego cheese is a smooth operator in sauces, adding texture and taste.


Believe it or not, Manchego cheese is also great as a dessert! Pair it with honey and fruit for a delicious twist, and you can even switch it in for cream cheese in cheesecake recipes.

The bottom line

There is no cause for concern if your recipe requires you to use Manchego cheese, and it just so happens that you have none left in the fridge, your store isn’t carrying it, or any other reason.

We have a list of delectable cheese substitutes that won’t make you compromise on the flavor and texture of the recipe. I hope you enjoyed this guide and found your favorite Manchego cheese substitute.

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