8 Delicious Asiago Substitutes to Try Out
Asiago is one of Italy’s great cheeses! It is made using traditional Italian cheese-making methods, giving it a unique and authentic flavor.
Made from whole cow’s milk, which is heated and curdled with rennet to separate the liquid whey from the solid curds, the cheese is then shaped and left to age for varying periods of time, depending on the desired flavor and texture.
Fresh Asiago is soft and mild, with a creamy texture and subtle flavor. It’s perfect for snacking, adding to salads or sandwiches, and melting on top of pizza or pasta dishes. Aged Asiago, on the other hand, is hard and crumbly, with a more intense flavor that becomes sharper and nuttier as it ages. It’s ideal for grating over pasta, risotto, or soups, and pairs well with hearty red wines.
Asiago is perfect for grating. Asiago also melts and has a smooth texture and for this reason, is considered a Swiss-style cheese. Aged Asiago is perfect for grating over pasta dishes, adding a rich, nutty flavor to classic Italian dishes like pasta carbonara, fettuccine alfredo, or lasagna.
The grated cheese adds a beautiful flavor and texture to any dish! Fresh Asiago melts beautifully on sandwiches or paninis, adding a creamy, tangy flavor to your favorite lunchtime fare. You can also mix it with other cheeses such as provolone or mozzarella to create a delicious cheese blend.
Asiago makes a great addition to a cheese board or antipasto platter and pairs well with crackers, nuts, and dried fruits. For a sweet and savory treat, try dipping a slice of aged Asiago in honey or balsamic glaze. The combination of flavors is simply divine! You can also top it with some fig jam or fruit preserves to create a perfect appetizer.
Here are some great substitutions for Asiago if you cannot find it!
1. Grana Padano
Grana Padano is very similar to Asiago and is also made in Italy from unpasteurized cow’s milk.
It tends to be less expensive than Asiago and works the same way – it is an excellent grating cheese, but also melts well when heated over pastas, risottos or on pizza.
The flavor is similar – Grana Padano is salty, nutty, slightly sweet, and full of umami flavor!
2. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano is saltier and tangier than Asiago and has a crumbly texture that’s perfect for grating over pasta dishes or soups. You can use Pecorino Romano as a substitute for Asiago in any recipe that calls for a hard, salty cheese.
Pecorino is known for its sharp, unique flavor, sometimes compared to the smell of “hay,” derived from the sheep’s milk, which has a different flavor profile from cow’s milk.
Without a doubt, Pecorino makes an excellent replacement for Asiago, and might even become one of your favorite cheeses! Pecorino is much saltier than Asiago, so you may need to cut back on the salt in your recipe. It is also bolder in flavor, so let your guests know if anyone isn’t a serious cheese lover.
3. Nutritional Yeast or Vegan Nut-based Cheeses
Nutritional yeast on its own is quite savory and has that same umami flavor you get from Asiago and its substitutes.
By blending equal parts nutritional yeast with toasted walnuts, and adding a generous portion of salt, you can achieve the same texture as finely grated Parmesan or Asiago, as well as the nutty, salty flavor.
You can also find great cashew-based creamed cheeses on the market, which are not exactly like Asiago, but if you don’t eat dairy, these can be amazing alternatives that are rich, delicious, nutritious and satisfying!
4. Real Parmesan Reggiano
Parmesan will lend itself nicely to any dish that requires a hint of salt and nuttiness, but take note: real Italian Parmesan can be quite expensive, so keep this in mind if you choose this as a substitute.
Parmesan is another aged Italian cheese so it is similar in flavor, but it is also slightly different in flavor and texture. Both cheeses are equally delicious so you really can’t go wrong.
5. Cheddar or Gouda
Classic cheddar cheese is often made from pasteurized cow’s milk, so its flavor profile is similar to Asiago. It also melts like Asiago and has a similar richness and fat content.
Cheddar is great for melting, slicing, eating raw, broiling, adding to salads, sauces, and topping higher-end dishes. Good quality cheddar melts and grates like Asiago, especially if you find good quality, aged Cheddar!
The older the better, when it comes to cheddar. If you’re looking for a milder and creamier alternative to Asiago, but cheddar cheese isn’t your thing, then Gouda is your best bet.
This Dutch cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a semi-hard texture and a mild, nutty flavor. Gouda is perfect for melting on sandwiches or burgers, or adding to omelets or quiches. You can use Gouda as a substitute for Asiago in any recipe that requires a mild, creamy cheese.
6. Spanish Manchego
Manchego is made from sheep’s milk, is aged for a certain amount of time, and has a very strong, salty flavor, as well as a grainy, crumble texture, especially the aged variety. The only real difference between Asiago and Manchego is the region in which they are made – Manchego is distinctly Spanish, and Asiago, as we know, is Italian.
The other tell-tale sign is Manchego’s signature rind, which must be removed before eating, so keep that in mind as you may need to purchase a slightly larger piece of cheese to account for cutting the rind off.
Although Manchego has a slightly stronger flavor due to being made from sheep’s milk, it is still quite similar to Asiago in texture and mouthfeel.
Mozzarella is a soft, fresh cheese that originated in Southern Italy. It’s made from the milk of cows or water buffalo, and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a smooth texture.
Mozzarella is a soft, fresh cheese with a mild, slightly sweet flavor and smooth texture, while Asiago is a hard cheese with a nutty, slightly sharp taste.
Both cheeses have their own unique characteristics and are used in different ways. Whether you prefer the soft, creamy texture of mozzarella or the sharp, intense flavor of aged Asiago, both cheeses are sure to add a delicious touch to any Italian dish.
8. Monterey Jack
Monterey Jack is ultra-versatile – it can be sliced and diced for quick snacks and cheese boards, or it can be grated and used to melt all over pizza, pasta, Mexican food, and more. Monterey Jack is known for how well it melts. It has an ultra-high fat content (even higher than Asiago!) and is therefore much softer.
Although there is certainly a difference in taste, price and quality, we think you will find Monterey Jack a great substitute for Asiago in any recipe! Consider this cheese a more approachable, more easy-going cousin of its high-end and, at times, high-maintenance Spanish counterpart.
Asiago is a true gem of the Italian culinary tradition, and its versatility and delicious flavor make it a perfect addition to any meal or snack. Whether you prefer fresh or aged Asiago, there’s no denying the irresistible nutty flavor and creamy texture of this beloved cheese.
So the next time you’re at the grocery store or your local cheese shop, be sure to pick up a wedge of Asiago and explore the endless possibilities of this delicious cheese!