Cheese – it’s creamy, salty, flavorsome and essential in so many of our favorite dishes.
However, some people find themselves struggling to eat cheese due to dietary restrictions or allergies.
If you’re one of the unfortunate few who can’t enjoy that velvety goodness like everyone else, don’t fret!
There are plenty of alternative ways you can still get the full cheese experience without missing out on anything.
We’ll be sharing five amazing basket cheese substitutes here today that will make your food seem just as indulgent and delicious as ever!
Read on to learn more…
What’s Basket Cheese?
Basket cheese, also known as basket feta, table cheese, and Arab cheese is a type of fresh unripened white brine cheese found in many Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Turkey.
The cheese is made from raw ewe or sheep milk that is curdled using goat or lamb rennet.
The curds are then drained in a basket-weave pattern before being salted and sealed in a brine bath.
This soft and rich cheese can have a slightly crumbly texture, making it ideal for crumbling over salads and pastas.
It has a sharp aroma similar to feta but with much less salty taste.
Many people find the flavor of basket cheese to be milder than feta since it isn’t aged or ripened like traditional cheeses are.
Due to its unique flavor profile, some may find it difficult to find an appropriate substitute if they cannot find basket cheese at their local grocer.
Fortunately, there are several types of cheese that offer similar textures and flavors that could work nicely as substitutes for this traditional dish.
5 Basket Cheese Substitutes You Should Try
1 – Cream Cheese
Cream cheese is the soft, white cheese made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk.
This cheese has a mild flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes from crepes and pizza to salads and sandwiches.
Cream cheese makes an excellent substitute for basket cheese as it melts easily and adds a creamy, smooth texture to dishes.
To ensure that cream cheese does not break apart when cooked, it is best to cook it over a low heat for 15-20 minutes.
2 – Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is another type of Italian cheese that makes for a great Basket Cheese replacement.
Ricotta is traditionally made with the whey from cow, sheep, or goat’s milk.
It has a higher moisture content than most hard cheeses and can easily be spread on toast or crackers.
When replacing Basket Cheese with Ricotta, you’ll get the same creamy texture and smoky flavor notes.
The flavors will be slightly milder than Basket Cheese, but still delicious.
If you’re cooking or baking with Ricotta, you’ll find that it requires much less fat than its rival Basket Cheese Buttermilk—so keep that in mind.
3 – Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean type of cheese.
It is salty, tangy, and crumbly and it looks a lot like Basket Cheese in texture.
For that reason, many people opt to use Feta Cheese as a substitute for Basket Cheese in their recipes.
Feta cheese can sometimes have an overpowering flavor though so it’s best to add it in small amounts or mix it with other mild-tasting cheeses.
Additionally, due to its texture, you may want to mash or crumble the feta before adding it to your recipes like salads or sandwiches – but be sure not to mash it too much as you don’t want it to become too soft.
4 – Goat Cheese
Goat cheese, or Chevre, is an excellent substitute for Basket Cheese as it is similar in texture and also has a mild, slightly tangy flavor.
Be sure to select a softer variety of goat cheese such as feta or plain Chevre when you’re looking for a substitute for Basket Cheese.
You can even add herbs or spices to give it more flavor.
Some of the most popular types of goat cheese are soft, spreadable chevre, feta and creamy goat brie.
Goat cheese is naturally lower in fat than cow’s milk cheeses; just 1 ounce contains 94 calories and 6 grams of fat compared to regular cheddar which packs 110 calories and 9 grams of fat per ounce.
It’s also easier to digest than cow’s milk, so it’s often recommended for those who have lactose intolerance or other sensitive stomachs.
5 – Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella cheese is one of the best substitutes for basket cheese because it has a similar texture and mild flavor.
It’s often used as a topping for pizzas, but can also be incorporated into a variety of dishes for an added layer of flavor.
Mozzarella melts nicely and retains its shape when cooked.
As far as nutritional value is concerned, it contains high amounts of both calcium and protein.
It comes in two varieties: traditional or low-moisture; the latter is firmer and less likely to become stringy when melted.
Basket cheese is incredibly hard to find outside of Eastern Europe, which means that it is not a viable option for many recipes.
Fortunately, there are several amazing alternatives that can be used in its place, ensuring that you don’t have to miss out on your favorite dish.
Feta and ricotta salata are two of the best substitutes for basket cheese, offering similar flavor and texture without the need to search specialty stores.
Halloumi can also work wonders in dishes like pastitsio, providing an interesting twist on the traditional recipe.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian-friendly substitute for basket cheese, queso fresco is an excellent option.
The mild flavor of this creamy cheese works perfectly with fresh vegetables and delicate sauces.
Lastly, if you’re working with dishes from India or Pakistan, paneer is the perfect choice.
Its lightly acidic flavor complements spicy recipes beautifully and can be prepared easily at home using store-bought ingredients.
By familiarizing yourself with these five substitutes for basket cheese, you’ll never run out of delicious options when recreating your favorite Eastern European dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Basket Cheese?
Basket cheese is a type of cheese that is made into a hollow form that looks like a basket.
It is usually made from a mixture of cow’s milk and sheep’s milk, and it is popular in the Middle East and North Africa.
What are the best substitutes for Basket Cheese?
The best substitutes for Basket Cheese are halloumi, paneer, feta, ricotta, and queso blanco.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!