If you’re looking for a scrumptious replacement for monterey jack cheese, you’ve come to the right place. While monterey jack cheese is a tasty addition to any meal, there are plenty of alternatives you can turn to if you’ve run out or can’t find it at the store.
Some good substitutes for monterey jack cheese include different varieties of cheese, like pepper jack cheese, havarti cheese, gouda cheese, edam cheese, colby cheese, and cheddar cheese.
While some cheese lovers will even use parmesan cheese or muenster in place of monterey jack cheese, these cheeses have a stronger taste that may not appease everyone. Some monterey jack substitutes, like colby cheese, have the same appearance. While others, like gouda cheese or cheddar cheese will feature either the white hue or orange hue that is present in a monterey jack cheese mixture.
Top Alternatives for Monterey Jack Cheese
The top substitutes for monterey jack cheese gain recognition as strong competitors because of their taste, texture, or appearance. Not all cheese are acceptable as replacements for monterey jack cheese, but the following options are our top choices.
1. Pepper Jack Cheese
Pepper jack cheese as a replacement for monterey jack cheese stands out from others for its peppery taste and little chunks of peppers within it. It is soft and melty, which is reminiscent of some of the best qualities of monterey jack cheese.
Going well on crackers or sandwiches, pepper jack cheese mimics the strong buttery flavor that we love about monterey jack cheese. While pepper jack cheese is a great replacement for monterey jack cheese, you’ll have to consider if it will contribute to or take away from the dish you are using it in.
Not everyone wants spicy peppers in their sandwich, and that’s okay to go with a different replacement for monterey jack cheese than a pepper jack variety.
2. Havarti Cheese
Light in color and soft in texture, Havarti cheese is also a good substitute for monterey jack cheese. It melts well, and it’s flavor is similar to that of monterey jack cheese.
Havarti cheese is often found in deli counters at local grocery stores, but you typically won’t find it in a grated form like you will monterey jack cheese. Havarti is more commonly found in thick slices that can be used on charcuterie boards or sandwiches.
The mild and buttery taste of Havarti cheese helps it stand out from others. It’s quite the delectable cheese to use in daily dishes.
3. Gouda Cheese
The creamy texture of gouda cheese with a bit of tangy flavor makes it a top substitute for monterey jack cheese, too. You can find gouda in two varieties, young and aged, which contributes to its overall flavor. Aged gouda will be richer, while young gouda will be more milk in flavor and will closely resemble monterey jack cheese.
Gouda cheese differs from monterey jack cheese, because it comes from goat milk, whereas monterey jack cheese comes from cow’s milk. Therefore, Aged Gouda cheese is a better alternative for Aged Jack cheese, and vice versa with young gouda.
4. Edam Cheese
Not as popular as other monterey jack substitutes, edam cheese is easily recognized for its red, waxy coating. When you imagine a cheese wheel, you’re thinking of traditional edam cheese. Edam cheese is firmer in texture, which mimics the feel of monterey jack cheese.
Young edam cheese is comparable to monterey jack cheese, because it is creamier and smoother than aged varieties. An Aged Edam cheese will give you a flavor profile that is closer to Aged Jack cheese, if you prefer it.
5. Colby Cheese
Perhaps bearing the closest resemblance to monterey jack cheese, colby cheese is comprised of the bright orange cheese that makes up monterey jack. Both are made from cow’s milk, and there is even a version of monterey jack cheese that is blended with colby cheese better known as colby jack cheese.
Colby jack closely resembles monterey jack cheese, and the two can often be confused for one another in the grocery store. Both monterey jack cheese and colby jack cheese are similar in their firm texture, but colby jack cheese ages quickly and gets dry fast in comparison to the more resilient monterey jack cheese.
6. Cheddar Cheese
As a last resort for monterey jack cheese replacement, cheddar cheese is one of the more distant relatives of this type of cheese. It is much creamier in texture than monterey jack, so it melts better in dishes.
Cheddar cheese is best used as a substitute for monterey jack cheese as well as dubliner cheese when it is baked into dishes, rather than eaten alone.
Less Favorable Substitutes for Monterey Jack Cheese
There are still a few other substitutes that can be used in place of monterey jack cheese, but they aren’t as comparable in texture and flavor. Yet, in a pinch, you can consider using parmesan cheese or muenster cheese as a replacement for your standard monterey jack cheese.
7. Parmesan Cheese
Acceptable for use as a substitute to Aged Jack cheese, parmesan cheese is harder with a more distinctive flavor that not everyone cares for. It will definitely be the center of attention in your dish and should be used sparingly as a monterey jack cheese alternative.
Even the texture of Aged Parmesan is different from that of Aged Jack, as it is more granular and crumbly. It should be used as a topping instead of a mainstay in any dish.
8. Muenster Cheese
Muenster cheese can be found in mild or more bland varieties, some of which are a close substitute for monterey jack cheese. It melts well, which makes it an excellent addition to burgers, pizzas, or sandwiches, even more so than American cheese or other substitutes.
Its creaminess and flavor profile resembles that of monterey jack cheese, while muenster cheese is still semi-hard in texture.