It is not difficult to find a substitute for paneer among a lot of cheeses. Paneer is a famous cheese with a distinctive flavor and smell. It is a rich source of protein and calcium, so people have used it a lot in cooking.
It is suitable for you to know other ingredients that can substitute for paneer when you cannot find it. They will help you diversify the flavor of your recipes. Take a trip to discover perfect replacements for paneer.
Diversifying Your Cooking Recipes With Paneer Substitutes
You are cooking a dish that requires paneer, but you cannot find it in your kitchen. Do not worry! There are 16 different choices that you can use as alternatives to paneer. These are pretty standard ingredients in cuisine.
- Colby-Jack Cheese
- Halloumi Cheese
- Mexican Queso Blanco
- Cottage Cheese
- Circassian Cheese (Adyghe)
- Panela Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Feta Cheese
- Extra-Firm Tofu
- Homemade Paneer
- Well-Drain Ricotta
- Queso Fresco
- Gouda Cheese
Essential Features Of Paneer
Paneer is a fresh cheese used in many Indian recipes. You can easily find paneer in the cuisine of Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Other names of paneer are curd cheese and farmer’s cheese.
The main ingredients to make paneer include curdled milk and acidic fruit or vegetables. Lemon juice is the most commonly used component. Paneer is a type of unaged and unsalted cheese.
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Paneer has a fixed texture and shape, which means it will not melt like other cheeses. So, you can use paneer in many different recipes, such as grilled, fried, or stirred dishes. It will add more flavor to your plates.
Compared to other cheeses, paneer has a mild flavor. You can feel the milky taste when you taste paneer. The texture of the paneer is soft and quite similar to firm tofu. It is a favorite choice for desserts, curries, salads, and veggie dishes.
There has not been any information confirming the exact origin of the paneer. Many theories show that the Persians and Afghans first produced paneer in the 16th century in Southeast Asia.
16 Paneer Substitutes To Save Your Recipes
To save your dishes, I will bring you 16 incredible alternatives to paneer. These replacements are the optimal and most effective options for you without paneer in the kitchen.
1. Camembert – Secure Alternative For Paneer
If you run out of paneer, you can use camembert to continue cooking. Camembert is a famous French cheese worldwide. It has a soft paneer-like texture, and you will feel the attractive odor wafting from this cheese.
Earthy and nutty flavors are prominent flavors of camembert. It is a good substitute for paneer in salads, pasta, desserts, and other popular Indian dishes. Its aroma is pretty strong, and you should use spices to reduce its odor.
Travel to French to discover all the great information about camembert cheese. Watch this video to know more:
2. Manchego – A Great Replacement For Paneer
Manchego will guarantee a fantastic taste like paneer. Manchego has a creamy texture, and this is a cheese made from cow’s milk. Unlike paneer, manchego is stiffer because of the aging process. Salty and tangy are typical flavors of manchego.
You can grate or thinly slice the manchego to incorporate in salads and toasted dishes. In addition, you will feel the buttery taste when enjoying dishes containing manchego. It gives a mild and nutty flavor to the talks.
You should use the small amount of manchego to substitute for paneer, and test the flavor before adding more manchego to create the most perfect-tasting dishes.
3. Colby-Jack Cheese – The Combination Of Cheddar And Monterey Cheese
An alternative to paneer that you can choose from is Colby-jack cheese. This cheese is pretty famous in the US and has a significant market share in California and Wisconsin. Colby-jack cheese will bring a pleasant and comforting touch to dishes and baked goods.
The main ingredients that make up Colby-jack are cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese. Its mild flavor is perfect for burgers and pasta bakes. You can find round or semi-round shapes when shopping for Colby-jack at the supermarket.
Colby-jack cheese is a good source of protein and calcium for your body. The moderate firmness of the Colby-jack will be remarkable for your recipes.
4. Halloumi Cheese – Best Choice For Vegetarians And Meat Lovers
Diversify your list with halloumi cheese, this is a famous cheese that was first produced in Cyprus and gradually spread throughout Europe and America. The semi-soft halloumi cheese is a perfect substitute for paneer.
The combination of goat’s milk and sheep’s milk makes terrific cheese. The melting point of Halloumi is pretty high, so it is suitable for fried and grilled dishes. Using halloumi cheese as an alternative for paneer in meat and vegetable dishes is a perfect option.
Halloumi has a mild salty taste, and you can also feel some tanginess. It will add a large number of calories to your body. You should use 1 part of halloumi cheese to replace 1 part of paneer in every recipe.
5. Mexican Queso Blanco – An Excellent Cheese From Mexico
One Mexican-sourced alternative that will not disappoint is Mexican queso Blanco. This is a famous cheese in Mexico and Latin America. Mexican queso Blanco is white, with the main ingredient being cow’s milk.
You will feel reassured that there are no artificial colors in this cheese. The milky taste is typical of queso Blanco but not too strong. Its texture is soft when cooked, and this is a cheese that doesn’t melt. Low-fat content will be a good criterion for your health.
Substitute Mexican queso Blanco for paneer in salads. You can make queso Blanco at home with simple ingredients, such as milk and vinegar or lemon juice.
6. Cottage Cheese – It Will Not Let You Down
Cottage cheese is produced in the Middle East region. Cottage cheese first became widely known in America during the First World War. The main ingredient that makes cottage cheese is fresh cow’s milk. Please use cottage cheese in the absence of paneer.
Cottage cheese has a mild and creamy taste, and you will also feel the slight sourness of cottage cheese. You will love its soft and fluffy texture in recipes like salads, sandwiches, and curries. Low fat and high protein content will be suitable for your health.
When replacing paneer with cottage cheese, you should pay attention to the amount of salt added to the dish because the cheese will bring a slightly salty taste to the plate.
Explore some easy recipes that you can use cottage cheese.
7. Brie – A Colorful Substitute For Paneer
A famous French cheese that will make the perfect substitute for paneer is brie cheese. Cow’s milk is a necessary ingredient to make brie. It is suitable for those who like soft cheeses. I like the slight color of brie, which adds a distinctive hue to the dishes.
Its earthy and nutty flavor is a beautiful substitute for paneer. It needs about 4 to 5 weeks for the aging process. The flavor of brie will become stronger after a long time. Incorporating brie in pakoras, cutlets, and bread rolls are great.
8. Circassian Cheese (Adyghe) – A Good Alternative From Russia
Beautiful Russia offers a fantastic alternative to paneer, which is Circassian cheese. It was first produced in the Northern Caucasus from cow and sheep’s milk. In some cases, it can be made from goat’s milk.
Circassian cheese has a mild flavor, and its texture depends on its varieties. Thanks to its high melting point, it will not melt if you use it in fried or baked dishes. Combining it in salads will create nutty flavors.
9. Panela Cheese – Its Flavor Deserves To Appear In This List
Another Mexican version of cheese that will help diversify your cooking recipes is panela cheese. It has many similarities with paneer, so it will be a perfect replacement for paneer in dishes. This type of cheese appears a lot in Mexican words.
Cow’s milk is an indispensable component in queso panela cheese. This is a molded fresh cheese. Panela cheese will give a soft and creamy texture to foods. This type of cheese does not melt quickly when cooked.
You will never forget the typical milky taste of panela cheese. I like panela cheese’s ability to absorb spices well, especially with garlic and chili peppers. It is perfect to substitute with a ratio of 1:1.
10. Mozzarella Cheese – Best Alternative To Paneer
Mozzarella cheese is an excellent alternative from the South of Italy. Buffalo’s milk plays an essential role in making mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella cheese appears pretty a lot in recipes. It is a type of non-aging cheese.
Eat mozzarella cheese as soon as it is ready. Mozzarella contains many nutrients that are good for your health. The texture of mozzarella cheese will change when cooked at high heat.
Mozzarella has a relatively mild flavor when paired with dishes. Mozzarella cheese is an indispensable ingredient in Italian pizza. Replacing paneer with mozzarella in sandwiches will not disappoint.
Take a look at the process of making fantastic mozzarella cheese.
11. Feta Cheese – Fantastic Substitute For Salads
This list will become more complete with feta cheese. It is a white cheese first found in Greece. The combination of goat’s milk and sheep’s milk makes lovely cheese. This is a soft cheese, so it is a perfect choice for paneer.
Because it is aged with vinegar and salt, you will feel the salty and tangy taste when you taste feta cheese. You can use feta cheese instead of paneer in salads, pizza, and sandwiches. The protein and calcium in feta cheese will bring a lot of value to your health.
Use feta cheese to give your makhani a wonderful flavor. The rich flavor, silky texture, and non-melting of feta are also perfect for replacing paneer in sauces.
12. Extra-Firm Tofu – Perfect Paneer Substitute For Vegans
If you are seeking a paneer substitute for vegan dishes, you should not ignore extra-firm tofu. It is a fantastic ingredient that originated in China. The texture of extra-firm tofu is similar to paneer, so it is good to replace paneer.
The core ingredient of extra-firm tofu is soybean, and tofu contains a lot of protein for your body. Its soft and smooth texture will be suitable for fried and grilled recipes. Extra-firm tofu has a mild flavor, so you need to add some spices to increase its flavor.
To turn tofu into a perfect substitute for paneer, you need to blend all the ingredients, namely mustard, water, garlic and onion powder into a mixture, and evenly cover the tofu with this mixture. After frying tofu, you will have a substitute for paneer.
13. Homemade Paneer – Do Not Worry About Running Out Of Paneer
You cannot buy commercial paneer, and it is simple to make paneer at home as a substitute for paneer. Creating homemade paneer with a soft and creamy texture is standard for a paneer alternative.
You should not use homemade paneer instead of bought paneer in grilled dishes due to its creamier texture. It does not take too long to make paneer at home. However, you should use homemade paneer for about a few days for best results.
Learn how to make homemade paneer to substitute for store-bought paneer.
14. Well-Drained Ricotta – Compatible Choice For Paneer Replacement
Well-drained ricotta is a famous Italian cheese. Its flavor can pair well with many different recipes. This is a white cheese with a creamy, soft texture and mild sweetness. This would be a suitable replacement for the paneer.
You can make well-drained ricotta by using cow and sheep’s milk or heat leftover whey to produce ricotta. You can understand “Ricotta” in Italian means “recooked.” This is a rich source of calcium for your body.
Ricotta is low in sodium. Pairing ricotta with pasta, desserts, or vegetables will add a nutty flavor to dishes. Do not leave the ricotta too long in the refrigerator because it can turn yellow and spoil. With 1 part paneer, you need about 1 part well-drained ricotta.
15. Queso Fresco – Perfect Selection For Curries
You should try replacing paneer with queso fresco, the effect will satisfy you immediately. Queso fresco originates from Mexico, it is a fresh cheese with a soft texture. When you heat queso fresco, its texture is not changed either.
Goat and cow’s milk are the main ingredients to make queso fresco. You can use queso fresco as a substitute for paneer in curries to add more flavor to them. You can feel the salty and acid flavor when tasting queso fresco.
The soft texture and characteristic white color of queso fresco will be suitable for making sauces and dipping sauces. The taste of queso fresco is also pretty mild.
16. Gouda Cheese – Famous Cheese Of Netherlands
If you need a cheese with a lot of protein, you should consider using gouda cheese. Gouda cheese was first produced in the Netherlands. Cow’s milk is an indispensable component when making gouda cheese. It is a great alternative to paneer for Indian recipes.
The flavor of gouda cheese is pretty mild with a distinctive sweetness. The gentle flavor and softness make gouda cheese suitable as an alternative to paneer. The taste of gouda cheese will be stronger and more intense when aging for a long time.
What Benefits You Can Get When Consuming Paneer?
Let’s find out what substances your body will load when eating paneer and the health benefits you get from paneer. This section will explode your mind.
1. Substances That You Can Get From Eating Paneer
Paneer not only enhances the taste of dishes but also brings many nutritional components to the body. Paneer is high in calcium, carbs, and protein. In addition, vitamin A, saturated fats, lipids, and cholesterol are the ingredients that you can find in paneer.
The table below shows the value of the nutrients in 100 grams of paneer:
|Nutrients||Value (in 100 grams)|
|Saturated fats||16.07 grams|
|Vitamin A||214 mcg|
2. Improve Your Health With Paneer
There are many health benefits that you can get from using paneer. Find out what positive effects there are.
- Paneer is a food that works well in preventing the possibility of cancer, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, thanks to its calcium, vitamin D, and sphingolipids.
- The calcium and vitamin D in paneer and dairy products make your bones and teeth stronger and healthier (1).
- The fatty acid chains of the paneer will digest quickly and speed up the metabolism. This is very beneficial for people who want to lose weight.
- The high magnesium and phosphorus content in paneer will make your digestion easier to avoid constipation.
- This is a good choice for people with diabetes (2). Magnesium helps stabilize the sugar level in the blood. Low carbs are a top priority for people with diabetes.
- The compounds and vitamins in paneer will improve the immune system, prevent disease, and improve health.
Answering related questions about paneer’s substitute will help you consolidate your knowledge and better understand the topic.
Would You Like To Use These Substitutes Right Now?
I want these alternatives to make your menu more diverse in recipes, colors, and flavors. The above replacements are incredible dining experiences for you and your family. Try replacing paneer with them right now!
Like and share this article to bring these fantastic substitutes to many others. I am always waiting for your feedback in the comments section. Thanks for your time!
- Diet for prevention and control of Osteoporosis. (2021).
- Indian snack for type 2 diabetes: Try cottage cheese (Paneer) to lower blood sugar levels and manage weight. (2019, March 18). Time Now News.