10 Best Havarti Cheese Substitutes

Havarti Cheese

Havarti cheese is a delicious, unique, versatile cheese. It has a strong, complex flavor and a smooth texture that gives a buttery mouthfeel.

Havarti cheese adds an intense flavor and an amazing, creamy texture to any dish that you add it to. However, it can get difficult to get your hands on some Havarti cheese sometimes.

In that case, you can use different substitutes to obtain a similar taste and texture that is just as good, earthy, and mouth-watering!

Cheddar cheese, Comte cheese, Gouda cheese, Emmental cheese, Gruyere cheese, or some of the following options can successfully replace Havarti cheese.

Read on to know more about each of these substitutes in detail.

What is Havarti Cheese?

Havarti is a semi-hard cheese that originates from Denmark with a very intense, complex flavor that can be described as salty and nutty with hints of sweetness.

The recipe and method of preparation followed to make this cheese has remained the same as the very first time it was made in the mid-1800s.

As it ages, Havarti cheese acquires a tarty, earthy, and more nutty flavor.

Havarti cheese has a smooth texture that gives a buttery and creamy taste. It has a remarkable and well-rounded flavor that makes it a perfect addition to cheese boards.

It goes well with just about any dish you can think of, like sandwiches, soups, pizzas, etc.

Best Havarti Cheese Substitutes

The following substitutes can successfully replace Havarti cheese and save your recipe because they provide similar taste and texture.

1. Cheddar cheese

English cheddar cheese

Cheddar cheese is super versatile and commonly used. However, not many people know that it shares many qualities with Havarti cheese.

Like Havarti cheese, Cheddar acquires a strong earthy flavor with hints of tart taste as it ages. In fact, aged Cheddar cheese tends to have a stronger flavor than Havarti cheese.

In addition to a more intense flavor, cheddar cheese also has a firmer texture than Havarti cheese. However, this does not pose a problem because Cheddar melts nicely and turns creamy and buttery like Havarti cheese.

2. Comte cheese

Comte Cheese

Comte cheese is a traditional French cheese with a complex flavor profile that resembles that of Havarti cheese. Naturally, this makes it an ideal substitute for Havarti cheese.

This cheese has a salty and buttery taste along with a hint of sweetness. As Comte cheese ages, it acquires a nutty and earthy taste similar to that of Havarti cheese.

Moreover, Comte cheese is semi-hard and has a texture similar to Havarti. So, you will not have a problem replacing it in dishes like sandwiches, fondue, cheese boards, etc.

3. Gouda cheese

Gouda Cheese

Gouda cheese is another semi-soft cheese that originates from Denmark. It shares a similar appearance, texture, taste, and origin with Havarti cheese.

Both Gouda and Havarti have an earthy and nutty flavor with a sweet aftertaste. They also share a similar pale yellow appearance and similar texture that provides a buttery, smooth mouthfeel.

You can substitute Havarti cheese with Gouda on cheese plates, fondue, sandwiches, pasta, etc. However, note that Gouda cheese tends to be sweeter in taste than Havarti.

4. Emmental cheese

Emmental Cheese

Emmental cheese is a traditional Swiss cheese that has many similarities with Havarti. It is also known as Emmentaler or Emmental cheese.

It is a semi-soft cheese with a nutty and earthy taste with tones of fruitiness. Additionally, it has a buttery and smooth mouthfeel that is close to that of Havarti cheese.

Emmental cheese works great in cheese boards and fondue. You can also use it in other dishes like sandwiches, pasta, sauces, soup, etc to replace Havarti cheese.

5. Gruyere cheese

Gruyere Cheese

Gruyere cheese is one of the closest substitutes to Havarti that you could find. It is a traditional Swiss cheese with a complex flavor profile and versatile uses.

Gruyere cheese is also popular semi-soft cheese with a strong taste and aroma that can be described as salty, earthy, and nutty. It also has a touch of sweetness like that of Havarti.

Gruyere cheese can be a great choice to replace Havarti cheese in cheese plates. Moreover, due to its excellent melting properties, you can use it in any dish you want.

6. Edam cheese

Edam Cheese

Edam cheese is a semi-hard, savory cheese that works well in place of Havarti cheese.

It has a smooth, buttery, and creamy texture. The best part? As it ages, it acquires a nutter and earthier taste similar to Havarti cheese. It is semi-soft and melts very well.

Edam cheese tastes best when paired with different fruits. However, you can also use it on cheese boards in place of Havarti cheese and dishes like sandwiches and with crackers.

The taste of aged Edam cheese can be described as similar to caramelized butter and hazelnuts, which makes it an ideal choice to use instead of Havarti cheese.

7. Tilsit cheese

Although the origins of Tilsit cheese are very close to that of Emmental, it works as an excellent substitute for Havarti cheese due to its shared complex flavor.

Like Havarti cheese, Tilsit has a nutty and earthy flavor with a buttery and creamy texture. Additionally, this cheese also has a spicy and tangy aftertaste and aroma.

Tilsit cheese also has a pale yellow color like Havarti cheese. Although it is best suited on cheese boards, you can also add it to your fondue, sandwiches, soups, etc.

8. Monterey Jack cheese

monterey jack cheese

This cheese may not seem like the most obvious substitute for Havarti, however, they share a lot of similarities in almost all aspects other than texture.

Monterey Jack cheese is also buttery and sharp. It also has a tinge of sweetness similar to that of Havarti cheese. Both these options are excellent melting cheese with a similar pale yellow appearance. The only difference is that Monterey Jack cheese is harder.

Therefore, if you are looking for a great Havarti substitute that is easily available with a similarly interesting and layered taste, Monterey Jack is your best choice.

9. Fontina cheese


Fontina is a popular Italian cheese that ranges from semi-soft to hard in texture. You can use it in place of Havarti in dishes like soups, chowders, pasta, or sauces.

This cheese has a milder flavor in comparison to Havarti cheese. However, the two share a salty flavor that becomes more savory and nutty with age.

Due to a similar flavor profile, Fontina and Havarti cheese can easily be interchanged. Moreover, they also have a similar buttery and creamy taste and excellent melting properties.

10. Esrom cheese

Like Havarti, Esrom is a semi-soft Danish cheese with a pale yellow color and earthy and nutty flavor that becomes more intense with age.

The two also have a slightly fruity aroma and aftertaste. However, Esrom cheese tends to be sweeter than Havarti cheese.

Esrom cheese is a good fit for cheese boards or to accompany fruits, crackers, and bread. You can also use it in dishes like soups, sauces, sandwiches, fondue, and more.

Related Questions 

Is Havarti cheese similar to Mozzarella?

Havarti cheese can resemble the taste and texture of Mozzarella after being cooked. It normally has a quite intense and salty flavor that becomes creamier and less salty after cooking. Thus, you can interchange Mozzarella and Havarti cheese in some dishes if you want to.

Are Havarti and Gruyere cheese similar?

Both Havarti and Gruyere cheese have a similar appearance and taste. They are both nutty and earthy in taste and have a slightly sweet, caramelly aftertaste. They are both excellent choices for cheese boards and can also be easily interchanged in other dishes.

Can I substitute Havarti cheese for Swiss cheese?

You can replace Havarti with Swiss cheese. Both have a complex salty flavor along with a buttery and creamy taste, and similar pale yellow color. However, it is important to note that Havarti and Swiss cheese differ in texture.

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