Substitute for Parmesan Cheese

7 Awesome Substitute for Parmesan Cheese in Alfredo Sauce

Cheese makes everything better! Whether meatballs, burgers, or pasta, cheese can alleviate the entire flavor profile and make the dish yummy, creamy, and cheesy! However, there are tons of different types of cheese. And not all the types are for all of the recipes.

For example, when you think of alfredo sauce, the first cheese that will come to your mind is parmesan. But what if you do not have it in your fridge and are craving pasta drenched with the alfredo sauce? Can you use a parmesan cheese substitute and enjoy the dish either way? Yes, you definitely can!

Want to know what can make up for a proper parmesan cheese replacement? You should read through this entire guide to find out.

Substitute For Parmesan Cheese in Alfredo Sauce - 7 Awesome Alternative Discussed

It might seem like you can not really replace parmesan in alfredo sauce because of the taste and flavor complexities that the cheese brings to the table. However, the that’s simply not the case. Loads of cheese can complement the sauce. And here is a brief description of each:

1. Piave


Looking for the best parmesan cheese alternative for alfredo cheese? The answer would be Piave! It is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that closely resembles parmesan cheese at its core.

Now, the fact that this replacement is generally aged only 12 months might pop a red flag in your mind, considering that parmesan is 18-36 months old. However, the Piave cheese does not require that much aging. It goes along with anything that would go well with parmesan cheese, including alfredo sauce.

Wondering what the taste is like? The cheese is sweeter than parmesan cheese. It is also creamier! For that reason, you will be capable of enhancing the overall taste of the dish you plan to enjoy with the alfredo sauce. Also, the fact that it is readily available in grocery shops is a cherry on the top.

2. Pecorino Romano

Pecorino Romano

Another excellent replacement for parmesan in alfredo sauce is Pecorino Romano cheese. In fact, you can use it for any recipe that requires parmesan. Yes, it is that compatible! The cheese is usually from sheep’s milk. And if you have had Pecorino Romano, you know that it contains more fat than the cheese made of cow’s milk.

The increased fat will enhance your alfredo sauce's texture and flavor. And that will further improve your experience with the food you are having with the alfredo sauce.

If you were to replace the parmesan with Pecorino Romano, you would need to use it at 1:1. That will allow you to bring the best out of the alfredo sauce. Nonetheless, this Italian cheese is saltier and sharper than the Mexican cheese when it comes to taste.

3. Grana Padano

Grana Padano

Just like Pecorino Romano cheese, Grana Padano is Italian. You will find this type of cheese in some areas of Italy. And it is an excellent replacement for parmesan. But the great part is that it is usually more affordable than other fancy cheese that you would find in Italy.

It is at an affordable price point because it is not that hard to produce. Any producer having a good cheese-making experience and resources can make the cheese. On that note, this cheese is generally from cow’s milk. That means it will not have an over-the-top saltiness. Instead, it will have a generally mild taste.

Furthermore, Grana Padano also has a slightly nutty flavor. And that flavor note is a lot similar to that of the Parmesan cheese. And when it comes to the texture, it is less crumbly than parmesan cheese. It is reasonably soft, and you will be capable of working it with alfredo sauce pretty effortlessly.

4. Asiago Cheese

Asiago Cheese

We have yet another cow's milk cheese that can perfectly replace parmesan cheese. Yes, we are talking about Asiago cheese. But the best thing about this cheese is that it closely resembles the parmesan cheese when it comes to flavor. However, in comparison, it is creamier and nuttier.

Additionally, you should note that it will develop a sharp flavor when the cheese ages for nine months or more. So, if you are looking for something mild, you need to opt for the less aged ones. But if you are a fan of the sharp flavor, you will not be capable of resisting yourself and might have a chunk of the cheese on its own.

5. Dry Jack

Dry Jack

This cheese is something that you might have come across that often. However, you already know how sharp the flavor is if you did. Also, it has a reasonably hard texture, which would make it crumble a bit like the parmesan cheese. So, how sharp is the flavor? Well, it is not unpleasant, thanks to the nutty note.

Usually, dry jack cheese will be aged for 7 to 10 months. And the ones that are older than that range will have a sharper flavor. Nonetheless, this type of cheese makes up a great alternative for parmesan in alfredo sauce.

In fact, if you are accustomed to the nutty and sharp flavor that the cheese has, you can have it on its own. It goes well with pasta and wine. Furthermore, you can use it on salads as well. But due to the sharp flavor, we recommend using it at a 1:1 ratio first. Then, you can adjust accordingly.

6. Reggianito


Most of the cheese will take longer than six months to age properly. However, that is not the case for Reggianito. It normally takes only six months to have a perfect cheesy taste.

This type of cheese does not have an authentic Italian origin. Instead, it was initially made in Argentina. Now, you might be wondering what we mean when we state that it does not have an authentic Italian origin. Well, an Italian farmer migrated to Argentina and made the cheese there.

Nonetheless, compared to parmesan cheese, this cheese is small in size. It will not come in large drums, which means it will be much more manageable for you to work with a drum of this cheese. And it has a mild fruity taste, which can bring a unique flavor profile to your alfredo sauce.

7. Vegan Alternative To Parmesan

Vegan Alternative To Parmesan

On the lookout for a vegan parmesan cheese replacement for alfredo sauce? We have got your back! You will need four ingredients: unsalted cashews, salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast. These four can offer you a cheese that will be much like parmesan.

Furthermore, this dairy-free alternative to parmesan cheese will be more suitable for lactose-intolerant people. Yes, you can finally enjoy alfredo sauce without worrying too much.

Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Now that you know all about the alternatives that perfectly replace the parmesan cheese in alfredo sauce, we offer you a recipe. Unlike the other complex recipes, this recipe will be easy and provide you with a creamy and delicious alfredo sauce.

With that out of the way, here are the steps that you would need to follow to make this recipe:

Step 1: Get the Required Ingredients

First and foremost, you will need to get the required ingredients. And the list of the components that you will need to work with are as follows:

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese or any of your preferred alternatives in proper quantity

These ingredients will offer you alfredo sauce perfect for four servings. Nonetheless, when you get the ingredients, move to the next step.

Step 2: Prepare the butter.

When you get the required ingredients, you will need to work with the butter. Prepare a saucepan and drop the butter slabs on it. Put it on medium heat and let the butter melt gracefully.

Step 3: Add in the heavy cream.

Pour the heavy cream right when the butter has melted, and bring it to a simmer. When it starts simmering, you will need to reduce the heat. Keep it low and let the mixture simmer gently. Whatever you do, do not let the cream and butter boil.

Step 4: Drop in the cheese and garlic.

Next, you will need to mince the garlic cloves. Add that into the mixture, and then drop your choice of cheese (parmesan or alternatives). Whisk the cheese until the cheese melts, taking around two minutes. And when the cheese starts to melt, you will need to whisk a little more and turn the heat off.

Step 5: Enjoy your alfredo sauce.

All that is left for you to do now is to enjoy the alfredo sauce that you have just made. Enjoy it with pasta, pretzels, crackers, vegetables, or any food that the sauce compliments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is parmesan cheese made from cow or goat?

Parmesan cheese is made from cow's milk. Unlike cheese made of sheep's or goat's milk; it does not have an exceedingly high-fat level. Also, usually, well-aged parmesan cheese is 12 months old.

Why is parmesan cheese so expensive?

The reason why parmesan cheese is so expensive is because of the aging process. It takes at least 12 months to age. However, the aging process is not all. The preparation process is also lengthy. But the good news is that you can pick an alternative from our list. And some of them are comparatively less expensive.

Final Words

You really do not need to have parmesan cheese for Alfredo sauce, which is clearly evident in our parmesan cheese substitute for Alfredo sauce list. And we can assure you that no matter what you pick, you will end up with a delicious, creamy, cheesy Alfredo sauce if you get the proportions right.

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