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The 8 Best Substitutes For Parmesan Cheese

If you’re looking for a delicious topping or flavoring to add to your meal, look no further than parmesan cheese.

Parmesan is one of the most popular and widely used cheeses in the world, with its sharp and nutty flavor adding depth to any dish.

However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option or just want to try something different, there are several substitutes that can be used in place of parmesan cheese.

From nutritional yeast to feta cheese and beyond, here are eight of the best substitutes for parmesan cheese so that you can enjoy all the flavors without breaking the bank.

What is Parmesan Cheese?


Parmesan cheese is a type of hard, granular cheese originating from Italy.

It is made from raw cow’s milk and aged for up to two years or longer.

The aging process gives Parmesan its distinct texture and flavor, which is nutty and slightly sweet with a hint of sharpness.

Its crumbly texture makes it easy to grate onto dishes as it melts quickly when heated.

Parmesan has been widely used in Italian cuisine for centuries, most notably in pasta dishes such as lasagna and spaghetti carbonara.

It can also be used in salads, soups, omelets, risottos, pizza toppings, stuffings, and more — adding a delicious salty-sweet flavor to any dish!

The 8 Best Substitutes For Parmesan Cheese

If you are looking for a good Parmesan cheese substitute, then this article is for you.

I have put together a list of the 8 best substitutes for Parmesan cheese that will help you get the same flavor and texture in your favorite dishes.

Read on to find out more about these amazing alternatives and how they can be used in cooking!

1. Granada Padano

Granada Padano

Granada Padano is a grated cheese made with cow’s milk and aged for anything between nine to 18 months.

This semi-hard cheese has a buttery, nutty flavor and an almost sweet aftertaste.

It also melts easily, making it perfect for pasta dishes or grilled dishes like pizza.

The texture of Granada Padano is not as crumbly as parmesan, due to its higher moisture content; nevertheless, the flavor makes it a great substitute when you don’t have access to parmesan cheese or want to opt for something lighter in calories than the traditional parmesan.

To substitute one cup of Parmesan cheese with Granada Padano use 1¼ cups of this Italian specialty plus two tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley if your recipe calls for it.

Be sure to sprinkle some on top too – that’s how we do it in my family!

2. Piave Cheese


Piave cheese is an Italian cow’s milk cheese with a nutty flavor and slightly sweet aftertaste.

It has a medium-firm texture which makes it easy to grate or shred – making it the perfect replacement for parmesan in recipes.

Being less salty than parmesan, Piave cheese may require you to add more salt while cooking.

You can also opt to top off your dish with flakes of this delicate Italian cheese before serving.

When used as a substitute for Parmesan, you need only half cup of piave cheese compared to one cup of Parmesan (due to its lighter flavor).

With that said, adapting any recipe that calls for parmesan should become easier!

3. Manchego Cheese

Manchego cheese

Manchego cheese is a hard, slightly buttery-flavored Spanish sheep’s milk cheese.

It has a medium-strong flavor and is nutty and creamy in texture.

It also has an earthy aroma due to the acidity of the milk used during production.

Manchego makes for an excellent substitute for Parmesan cheese because its saltiness, acidity, and sweetness are all balanced nicely when incorporated into dishes.

Due to its hardness and ability to pair well with a variety of flavors, Manchego adds more depth to your cooking than most other cheeses making it an easy replacement for parmesan.

When substituting Manchego for Parmesan use double the amount; 2 tablespoons of grated Manchego equals 1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese.

4. Asiago Cheese


Asiago cheese is a nutty, hard Italian cheese that can be used as an alternative to parmesan in many dishes.

It’s made from cow’s milk and has salty undertones.

Asiago cheese has a very similar texture to Parmesan but it does not have the strong flavor of Parmesan so you may need to use a little more when substituting for it in recipes.

If using Asiago cheese instead of Parmesan, you may want to add some salt or other herbs and spices to help bring out the flavor further.

Additionally, while it melts well on pizza and casseroles like Parmesan would, Asiago won’t get quite as browned or bubbly so you may need to adjust cooking times slightly.

5. Romano Cheese

Romano Cheese

Romano cheese is an excellent substitute for Parmesan.

It has a saltier, sharper flavor and a harder texture than Parmesan.

Romano cheese also melts quickly when heated and can be used to enhance the flavor of soups, sauces, baked dishes, pasta meals, and pizza toppings.

When substituting Parmesan with Romano cheese in recipes, bear in mind that it’s stronger-tasting so you should add less of it than what the recipe calls for.

It’s better to adjust its amount gradually until you achieve your desired flavor profile.

Also despite its strength, Romano remains slightly mellower compared to other hard Italian cheeses such as Pecorino or Asiago cheeses.

6. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional Yeast
Lindsay Kreighbaum / The Spruce Eats

Nutritional yeast can be a great substitute for parmesan cheese.

It has a roasted nutty, cheesy flavor that makes it perfect to replace parmesan in recipes.

It is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals making it a healthier alternative than traditional parmesan cheese.

To use nutritional yeast as a replacement for parmesan in your recipes, try adding around 1 tablespoon for each ounce of grated Parmesan typically called for in the recipe.

You may need more or less depending on how strong you like the taste of your dish.

7. Feta Cheese


Feta cheese is a crumbly white cheese with an extremely sharp and salty flavor.

It’s perfect for adding flavor to pizzas, salads, or other recipes that require a strong-tasting cheese like parmesan.

The texture of feta is different from that of parmesan, but the flavor can be substituted in most recipes. Feta will add a creamy, salty component to any dish you make.

You won’t need to use as much feta as you would parmesan because it has such a powerful taste.

For best results when using feta in place of parmesan, crumble it over top of whatever you’re cooking towards the end so that you get all the flavors from meltiness combined with the creaminess from the small bits of feta.

8. Gruyere Cheese


Gruyere cheese is a semi-hard cheese that has been used in many European dishes for its nutty, earthy flavor.

This type of cheese is made from cow’s milk and can be grated or melted directly on top of dishes.

Although Gruyere does not have the same texture or flavor as Parmesan cheese, it is a great substitute when you don’t have access to Parmesan.

The flavor of Gruyere is buttery and nutty with salty, sweet notes.

It melts easily which makes it perfect for adding to pastas and risottos.

You can also use it in salads and gratins instead of Parmesan.


So as you can see, there are plenty of alternatives to Parmesan cheese that can be used in cooking.

From Granada Padano to Nutritional Yeast and Feta cheese, these substitutes can help you get the same flavor and texture as Parmesan cheese without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or just want to try something new, these substitutes will help you get the same delicious flavor without spending a fortune.


The 8 Best Substitutes For Parmesan Cheese

If you're out of parmesan cheese or just looking to switch things up, this article is for you. I'm sharing my top 8 substitutes for parmesan cheese that you can use in a variety of recipes. From vegan cheese alternatives to nutty flavors, I have something for everyone. Plus, I'll give you tips on how to choose the right substitute and how to use it properly in your recipes. So grab your favorite cheese alternative and let's get cooking!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 380 kcal


  • Granada Padano
  • Piave Cheese
  • Manchego Cheese
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Romano Cheese
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Feta Cheese
  • Gruyere Cheese


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.