Monterey Jack cheese is one of America’s most favourite cheeses. It is known for its versatility as well as flavour. It is heavily used in classic American recipes like burgers. There are plenty of Monterey Jack cheese substitutes on the market. However, the difficult part is choosing the appropriate one which suits the given recipe that calls for Monterey Jack cheese. This post will tell you all about Monterey Jack cheese and which are the best Monterey Jack cheese substitutes. You’ll also learn the vast differences between a Monterey Jack cheese and the classic cheddar cheese. Keep reading to find out more!
top 7 Monterey jack cheese substitutes
Monterey Jack cheese is commonly known as Jack cheese. It is an all-American, as well as Mexican, favourite cheese and is globally available in stores. Named after the Californian city of Monterey, it is a white cheese and is semi-hard in terms of texture. Generally, it is made out of cow’s milk and aged for roughly one month. Other varieties of Monterey Jack cheese can age for up to six months! The cheese itself melts easily so it is an excellent choice for baking. In addition, it’s also a very popular snack and you can easily enjoy as slice or cube of cheese by itself or in a sandwich. So, if you run out of Monterey Jack, make sure you have these below-mentioned Monterey Jack cheese substitutes at hand.
You can purchase Monterey Jack cheese in larger blocks or in thin pre-packaged slices. For the best possible quality, I highly recommend you source the Monterey Jack cheese in a cheese specialty shop, or directly from a cheese farm. This principle applies also to all of the other Monterey Jack cheese substitutes.
what are the types of Monterey Jack cheese
There are different varieties of Monterey Jack cheese. It is very common to add herbs and spices to a simple young Monterey Jack cheese to enhance the overall flavours. In effect the,re are also a lot of Monterey Jack cheese substitutes. The most popular variety of Monterey Jack is Dry Jack.
Dry Jack is the mature version of the Monterey Jack cheese, maturing up to 6 months. It was established in 1915 in San Francisco. Regarding texture, it is much firmer. It’s good for grating or eating it on its own.
Another popular variety of the Monterey Jack cheese is the famous Pepper Jack. Pepper Jack calls for a combination of black pepper as well as hot chilli peppers. You can find it in many Mexican recipes like quesadillas or tacos.
Lastly, you can also come across Colby Jack as well as Cheddar Jack. These two varieties are a mix of Monterey Jack and Colby cheese and cheddar cheese. One can say that these cheeses take the best of both and to make one perfect cheese!
Monterey jack vs cheddar
The most common question regarding Monterey Jack is – how does it differ from Cheddar cheese? First of all, Cheddar cheese is English and not American! Cheddar cheese has a slightly more creamy texture than that of the Monterey Jack. In comparison, Cheddar cheese has a sharper flavour because it ages more. All in all, I would say that Cheddar cheese is more creamy and complex in terms of flavour.
best Monterey jack cheese substitutes
So, what are the best Monterey jack cheese substitutes? Here they are!
Being a versatile cheese as well, Gouda cheese is one of the best Monterey jack cheese substitutes. Similarly, it also melts very well. It is a Dutch yellow cheese which is also made out of cow’s milk. So, it comes very close to the Colby Jack and Cheddar Jack cheese. Substitute Monterey Jack with Gouda when baking. For example, this avocado mac and cheese can work with Gouda.
Havarti cheese is a Danish semi-soft cheese with a mild flavour. Similarly to Monterey Jack, it’s also made with cow’s milk. This version is slightly more creamy than Monterey Jack cheese. It is best to substitute Monterey Jack with Havarti in grilled recipes. For example, grill it with this butternut and chickpea burger. It’ll add a lovely creamy flavour.
Edam cheese is a classic solid cheese from Holland. It is best recognized in its cylindrical shape with the red wax coat. Due to its very firm texture, you can easily slice the cheese and eat alone on a cheese platter. That’s why it’s one of the most versatile Monterey Jack cheese substitutes! Serve thin slices or small cubes of Edam cheese with these baked parma ham and parmesan croquettes. They’ll all make the perfect finger-food!
Do not confuse this American version of Meunster cheese with the French version. The French Meunster cheese comes from near the Alsace region and is very heavy, almost smoky. The American version is yellow in colour and has a semi-soft texture. Taste-wise, it is very similar to Monterey Jack. That’s why it’s an excellent substitute. Use it in a delicious sandwich recipe which calls for slices of semi-soft cheese.
Parmesan cheese is an excellent substitute for the Dry Jack Monterey cheese. Since Dry Jack cheese is firm and can easily be grated, Parmesan is the best alternative. Don’t go for the very mature Parmesan cheeses, they’ll have too much of a granular texture which is not common for the Monterey Jack. Substitute with a young Parmesan cheese. For example, both cheeses work well with this pasta alla norma recipe.
Colby cheese is a sort of a variety of cheddar cheese originating in the U.S. Comparatively to Monterey Jack cheese, it is also made with cow’s milk so they taste relatively the same. In fact, there is a variation of Monterey Jack which combines Colby cheese. Try it in the four cheese pizza or a.k.a quattro fromaggi pizza.
Use cheddar cheese as a last resort. It can be used one of Monterey Jack cheese substitutes, but it is too creamy. It will only work in baked recipes which call for cheese.
Monterey jack cheese recipes