9 Best Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese


The Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan cheese named after the Italian province of Parma, Parmesan cheese is a hard, dried cheese made from cows’ milk that can only be produced in Italy, including Bologna, Manua, Modena, and Parma.

Parmesan cheese has a rich, sharp flavor, crumbly texture, and intense aroma that come after aging cheese for at least two years.

However, Parmesan cheese can be difficult to find, so we have a list of the best substitutes for Parmesan cheese in this article.

9 Best Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese

The best substitute for Parmesan Cheese are – Cotija Cheese, Asiago, Romano Cheese, Sapsago Cheese, Grana Padano, Manchego, Piave, Nutritional Yeast, and Soy Parmesan. They are discussed in detail here –

Cotija Cheese

Cotija is a Hispanic-style hard, crumbly cheese is an aged Mexican cheese made from cow’s milk named after the Cotija town in the Mexican state of Michoacán .

In earlier times, Cotija cheese was made by culinarians with raw milk aged for three to twelve months; however, commercial productions add an enzyme to fasten the ripening process.

As this cheese age, it becomes hard and crumbly like Parmigiano-Reggiano, also called “Parmesan of Mexico.”


Cotija used for grating on salads, soups, casseroles, tacos, tostadas, and chili is also typically shredded onto cooked foods and in salads and fruit.


Asiago is an Italian cheese produced only on the Asiago plateau in the Veneto foothills in Italy with a smooth texture and mild flavor when it’s fresh .

A DOP cheese goes through many changes with age, and it forms a harder, firmer, crystallized texture and sharp, savory flavor.

It is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk however has a stronger, nuttier flavor than Parmesan or Romano.

Asiago is usually eaten by itself or as part of a cheeseboard.


It can also be used for grating, melting, and slicing on various salads, sandwiches, soups, pasta, and sauces.

Romano Cheese

Romano cheese, hard cheese of Italian origin, is a hard cheese prepared predominantly with cows or sheep or goats or mixtures of two or all .

One of the most widely known Italian cheeses, Romano cheese, has a grainy texture, a hard and brittle rind, and grates easily.

Extremely versatile Romano cheese shows different shades in texture, flavor, and cooking uses.

It is variably used over pasta, soups, and salad or shaved onto cooked dishes and cream sauces.


Romano cheese is produced from pasteurized or unpasteurized milk using animal, plant, or microbial rennet and makes as excellent as a table cheese.

Sapsago Cheese

Schabziger or sapsago is the traditional one of the oldest protected cheeses in the world, cheese made in the Canton of Glarus in Switzerland.

It is made out of the skimmed cow milk and a special kind of herb, blue fenugreek, which gives the cheese a pale lime color.

Sapsago cheese is dry, hard, and aged; it has savory, spicy, and delicious.


This cheese is high in protein and almost fat-free, making it an excellent substitute for Parmesan cheese.

Grana Padano

Grana’s cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, refer to the valley Pianura Padana in which it is made derive their name because of the grainy texture of the ripened cheese.

Derived from aged cow’s milk, Grana Padano is slightly less crumbly, milder, and less complex.

It has a sweeter, full-bodied, this hard cheese delivers a savory and nutty touch subtler flavor.

This particular cheese is made from a single milking, and the milk is skimmed by creaming for eight hr.


Grana Padano creamy, mild, and with a lingering aftertaste can be eaten on its own or as an accouterment to your dish.


Manchego is a semi-hard cheese made from pasteurized sheep’s milk s a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain.

It is one of the known cheeses from Spain; Manchego has a tangy flavor with its rind inedible with a distinctive, traditional herringbone basket weave pattern pressed on it.

This cheese is classified by the age of the cheese and available in varieties.


Manchego cheeses are best paired with sherry in salads, sandwiches, and also with eggs.


Piave cheese is an Italian pasteurized cow’s milk cheese named after the Piave river.

It is a hard, cooked-curd DOP cheese sold at five different points of the aging process.

A DOP-protected Piave cheese is the only authentic made in the Dolomites area of Belluno province of Veneto.


Piave cheese goes well grated over salads and pasta or is commonly used as a garnish to oven-baked polenta.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast, a yeast species known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae , is gluten-free and helps various dishes and flavors.

This famous yeast is grown specifically to be a food product often used in vegan cooking.

Culinarians sprinkled nutritional yeast over food because it has a nutty, savory flavor similar to Romano cheese.


Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor and can also be combined with cashews to give it a more buttery, nutty flavor.

Soy Parmesan

Soy Parmesan is a non-dairy substitute for Parmesan cheese.

It is known to be cholesterol-free and has low amounts of fat.


Soy Parmesan vegan is a great substitute and can be besprinkled over savory meals instead of real Parmesan.


Is eating Parmesan cheese good for you?

Parmesan cheese is a natural source of protein, low in fat, free of carbs, and lactose-free, rich in vitamins and minerals are excellent for a balanced diet.

Where is Parmesan cheese used?

Parmesan cheese is served grated on pasta or as an appetizer, is especially flavourful in melted dishes such as soup and sauce recipes, and is Also used in mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie, macaroni, and cheese, casseroles, etc.

Bottom Line

Parmesan cheese is mostly grated over kinds of pasta, used in soups and risottos. There are, however, many substitutes available in place of Parmesan cheese with similar use and taste.

I hope this list helps find you your suitable replacement for Parmesan. Also, do share your experience and recipes in the comments section.

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About Amanda Jones

Amanda is a person with an eye for detail. She has been cooking since her childhood and loves to bake too. Recently, she's made the decision to pursue baking full-time and quit her 9 to 5 job. In the meantime, she still enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family, especially when it comes time for special occasions like birthdays or holidays!