Kasseri is a Greek cheese that is traditionally made from sheep’s milk combined with up to 20% goat’s milk. It has a sharp, salty flavor with a sweet aftertaste and a springy texture. Kasseri melts well and can be fried, grilled, sauteed or brandy flamed and used for saganaki. It is also delicious in sandwiches or grated into omelets.
If you haven’t got any kasseri cheese in the fridge then you’re going to need a suitable alternative. We’ve compiled a list of some delicious cheeses that work well as a kasseri substitute, whether you’re eating it on its own or adding it to recipes. Keep reading to get the answers.
What can I use to replace kasseri?
To replace kasseri cheese the best options are Kefalotyri, Caciocavallo, or Mozzarella. Although they won’t perfectly mimic the taste and texture of the original cheese, they all have some similarities and will work in any recipe that calls for it.
Kefalotyri is a sheep’s milk cheese that is tangy and salty with a flaky texture. Like kasseri, it is a Greek cheese that is excellent grilled and works well as an appetizer. Once cooked its texture becomes creamy and suitable for frying grilling or flames with brandy. If you ever need an halloumi substitute then Kefalotyri is also useful for this purpose.
Caciocavallo is a pasta filata cheese that is made in southern Italy from sheep or cow’s milk. Its name can be translated to “cheese on horseback” and comes from the Italian tradition of hanging cheese forms in pairs over a wooden board to age.
Its flavor is sharp, tangy, and salty with a springy texture that is a lot like kasseri. Use this cheese for grating into pasta, melted into pastries, or for adding to an antipasto platter.
Mozzarella has a similar spongy texture with excellent melting properties. Both kinds of cheese become gooey once heated and are perfect for topping a pizza or pasta bake. If you’re looking to make kasseropita, a classic Greek pie, then mozzarella will work well.
Kasseri has a sharper, saltier flavor when compared to the mild taste of mozzarella. This may be a positive if you’re cooking for people that don’t like strong flavors.
Asiago is produced in the northeast of Italy using cow’s milk. It has a sharp flavor like kasseri but also has a nutty undertone. This cheese is great for melting onto pizza or into sauces, soups, and casseroles. Depending on where you live, some areas may find it difficult to find this cheese in stores. If it’s not available in your local supermarket then try a specialty cheese store.
5. Pecorino Romano
Eaten as part of a cheeseboard, the differences between romano and kasseri would be easy to spot. Most noticeably, the texture of kasseri is springy while romano is firmer and chalkier. But once cooked with other ingredients the difference isn’t so apparent. Use Romano in soups, sauces, and stews to add salty, cheesy, umami flavor.
Colby is a mild-flavored cheese that is high in moisture content and tastes a lot like cheddar. Its melting properties are excellent, especially when grated over baked dishes, nachos, or grilled in a cheese sandwich.
Colby isn’t made from sheep or goat’s milk, so it doesn’t have the same sharp flavor or sweet aftertaste. But its texture and taste aren’t far off kasseri. Unless you’re trying to impress your guests who have just arrived from Greece, most won’t be offended by the use of Colby as a substitute.
Tip: Need a replacement for American cheese? You will find that Colby does a good job in this area as well.
Provolone is a semi-hard cheese from the pasta filata family and originated from Southern Italy. When aged for over 4 months, this cheese has a sharp buttery flavor, with excellent melting properties. You will find the texture of provolone grainier than kasseri, but it will still work as a delicious substitute once cooked.
How is kasseri cheese made?
Authentic kasseri is produced in Turkey or Greece and is made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk and sometimes some additional goat’s milk. For the best flavor, this cheese should be made with fresh unpasteurized milk. The cheese is aged for at least four months although six months and longer is not uncommon.
Popular uses for kasseri cheese
A popular use for kasseri cheese in Greece is to serve it as a table cheese with sandwiches, omelets, and pastries. It is also an excellent melting cheese and is well known for its use in the Greek fried cheese dish, saganaki.
The Turks serve this cheese as an appetizer and also with pastries for breakfast. In the United States, kasseri is often used as a substitute for provolone or mozzarella.
- Alternative names for kasseri include Kasar, Ksara, Kaseri, and Kaser.
- Kasseri is a part of the pasta filata family, which includes Muenster and Provolone.
- It is one of the most popular Greek cheeses with a unique flavor and texture.
- Young kasseri has a sweet flavor, but it becomes saltier with a pungent aroma as it matures.
- The name “kasseri” derives from the Turkish word “kaser” that is believed to have come from the Hebrew word for kosher.
Kasseri has built a reputation over the years for being a delicious tasting cheese with excellent melting properties. If you’re looking to bake a traditional Greek pastry like kasseropita then we recommend using kasseri cheese if you can find it. The best substitutes for kasseri are kefalotyri, caciocavallo, mozzarella, asiago, romano, colby, or provolone. They won’t perfectly mimic the original cheese, but they all have excellent melting properties and won’t overwhelm your food with a pungent flavor.
Have you ever made saganaki before? What cheese did you use to make it with? Please let us know in the comments below.