7 American Cheese Substitute

Although America produces hundreds of excellent cheeses, the name “American cheese” will forever be associated with the single-wrapped creamy, processed cheese squares recognized for their melty, gooey quality. It’s the most frequent burger topping, and it’s often comprised with cheddar, granular cheese, and Colby cheese.

However, no matter how delicious it is, you may be desiring something else or just cannot get American cheese in your local grocery shop.

In that scenario, Monterey Jack, Colby, cheddar, Gouda, Muenster, Swiss cheese, and havarti are excellent alternatives for American cheese. Let’s find out more about them.

American Cheese Substitutes: Nutritional Value & Cooking Ratio

One slice of: Calories Fat Carb Protein Fiber Ratio
Monterey Jack 106 8.58g 0.19g 6.94g 0g 1:1
Colby 110 8.99g 0.72g 6.65g 0g 1:1
Cheddar 113 9.28g 0.36g 6.97g 0g 1:1
Gouda 101 7.78g 0.63g 7.07g 0g 1:1
Muenster 104 8.52g 0.32g 6.64g 0g 1:1
Swiss Cheese 106 7.78g 1.51g 7.54g 0g 1:1
Havarti 105 8.41g 0.79g 6.59g 0g 1:1

What Does American Cheese Taste Like?

American cheese has a mild, salty, and milky taste. It is prepared by blending semi-hard cheeses like Jack or cheddar with milk or cream. This combination is responsible for the cheese’s smooth and velvety feel.

Then there are emulsifying ingredients, which help the cheese melt steadily and gratifyingly without becoming too greasy.

After pasteurization, the processed cheese is chilled and sliced into thin slices before being wrapped.

Because this end product, known as American cheese, has a very low melting point, a slice of American cheese over lightly toasted bread with a burger makes a great sandwich.

Furthermore, despite its low melting point, American cheese seldom burns, which is why many chefs use it while grilling hamburgers or preparing macaroni and cheese.

American Cheese Nutritional Value

One slice of American cheese contains:

  • 96 calories;
  • 7.39g fat;
  • 23 mg cholesterol;
  • 368 mg sodium;
  • 1.97g carbs;
  • 0g fiber;
  • 5.37 protein;

Substitutes for American Cheese

  1. Monterey Jack
  2. Colby
  3. Cheddar
  4. Gouda
  5. Muenster
  6. Swiss Cheese
  7. Havarti

Monterey Jack

If cheeses were superheroes, Jack would be the creamy partner of American cheese.

Monterey Jack is a semi-hard California cheese. It has a high fat and moisture content, so it melts much like American cheese. Furthermore, the subtle taste does not overshadow the other components.

Because of its great melting characteristics, Monterey Jack is a staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines. It’s also great shredded on top of tomato soup, melted into dips, and sprinkled on top of mac and cheese.

You should absolutely try the following Monterey Jack brands:

  • Blasers Habanero Ghost Pepper Monterey Jack;
  • Shullsburg Creamery Colby Jack Cheese;
  • Pepper Joes Ghost Pepper Monterey Jack Cheese;


Colby is suitable for everyone, but it will especially appeal to cheese connoisseurs who like mild flavor profiles.

Given that Colby cheese is often one of the key components of American cheese, it is the most similar replacement.

Colby cheese has an orange hue and a mellow, sweet taste; in fact, its flavor is so delicate that it will not add sharpness to a meal like other cheeses.

Its flavor complements both salty and sweet ingredients. You may top it with lasagna or macaroni and cheese, or grill it and use it in quesadillas and cheese sandwiches.

If you choose this option, the best Colby cheese brands to test are:

  • Boars Head Colby Cheese Longhorn;
  • Shullsburg Creamery Colby Cheese;
  • Deer Creeks The Robin;


Because cheddar is commonly used to manufacture American cheese, it only makes sense to include it as an option on our list.

Cheddar was initially manufactured in the English countryside in the 12th century.

Young cheddar is exceptionally mild, creamy, and smooth. It has a buttery, luscious, and melty flavor. It’s a versatile dish that’s sure to satisfy.

In contrast, aged cheddar has a nuttier, crumblier, and sharper taste. If aged cheddar is not the primary ingredient in a dish, it may overpower the other flavors.

It comes in a variety of colors, ranging from milky white to blazing orange. The following are some of the top cheddar brands:

  • Sargento Cheddar Cheese;
  • Tillamook Cheddar Cheese;
  • Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese;


Gouda is one of the world’s oldest cheeses, having been invented in the Netherlands in the early 1100s.

Gouda comes in a variety of flavors, each with its own particular taste character. Young gouda is somewhat sweet, while aged gouda has more nuttiness, tang, and caramel overtones.

If you want to replicate the taste of American cheese, avoid smoked Gouda. These have a smoky flavor that may overpower your dishes (unless you like smokey-flavored cheeses).

When sliced and heated, Gouda melts delightfully, much like American cheese, but a little more stretchy rather than creamy.

The best Gouda cheese brands to search for are:

  • Sargento Gouda Cheese Slices;
  • Van Kaas Dutch Gouda;
  • Ewephoria Aged Gouda Cheese;


Muenster cheese is the all-purpose cheese. It has a mild, nutty-buttery flavor, although it is not as meltable as the other options.

Muenster is a smooth, yellow cheese with an orange rind made from pasteurized cow’s milk. The distinctive rind is formed by the vegetable coloring used during the cheesemaking process.

Its taste is perhaps the most similar to American cheese, however its texture is not as sticky. It may generate a robust taste with a rich scent when properly aged, making it less comparable to American cheese.

Nonetheless, it may make any American cheese dish creamier and more delicious. It complements sandwiches, mac and cheese, and cheeseburgers.

Muenster must-try cheese brands are:

  • Red Rind Wisconsin Muenster Cheese;
  • Mc Adam Muenster Cheese;
  • Sargento Muenster Cheese;

Swiss Cheese

When we were young, we believed the moon resembled a circular chunk of Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese has all of the qualities of an alpine-style cheese: it is mild, sweet, and nutty.

A stunning slice of Swiss will attract your sight with its slightly golden tint, and you will be charmed by its buttery smoothness when you taste it.

Swiss cheese has a harder texture and does not melt as quickly as American cheese. It’s still good for sandwiches, burgers, and casseroles.

The best Swiss cheese brands to try are:

  • Hooks Swiss Cheese;
  • Deppelers Baby Swiss Cheese;
  • Edelweiss Creamery Emmentaler;
  • Carr Valley Aged Swiss;


Simply said, Havarti is a must-try cheese. This semi-soft cow’s cheese has a creamy, silky, and elastic feel.

On the first taste, you’ll be blown away by how buttery and delicious Havarti is, wonderfully mellow but never uninteresting.

Aside the classic Havarti, there are several variants for those wishing to experiment. Dill-infused Havarti or horseradish Havarti, for example, will provide a fragrant touch to any meal.

Having said that, Havarti cheese may not be equivalent to American cheese in terms of taste. It may taste more acidic depending on the cultivar.

However, it is a good alternative for melting. Havarti cheese complements grilled cheese sandwiches and mac & cheese dishes due to its buttery and creamy texture.

The best Havarti cheese brands are:

  • Carr Valley Cheese Havarti;
  • Roth Cheese Dill Havarti;
  • Decatur Dairy Pepper Havarti;

Because of its mild and versatile taste, American cheese is straightforward to utilize in creamy recipes. Here are some of the most well-known recipes that use American cheese.

Homemade Cheeseburger

Any cheeseburger will include American cheese, but we wanted to highlight our favorite, the Juicy Lucy Burger. Beef patties, melted American cheese, tomatoes, and onions are on the menu.

The ingredients are stacked on a soft bun and drizzled with a mayo-mustard mixture. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll be biting into one of the best burgers you’ve ever had.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A tasty grilled cheese sandwich is one of the simplest and most satisfying meals you can make. Try the Fried Bologna Sandwich, which is toasted and buttery and covered in molten American cheese.

What’s the greatest part? It just need three more ingredients: mayo, bologna, and canola oil.

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are a breakfast staple in many households. They’re delicious on their own, but there are ways to jazz them up. Nothing beats a couple slices of American cheese on top.

The cheesy, creamy delight provided by these cheese wrappers complements the fluffiness of the scrambled eggs. The recipe is quick and easy, exactly what you need for a morning pick-me-up!


As can be seen, there are several alternatives to American cheese. Hopefully, you were able to choose the finest one for your recipe.

In a nutshell, there are two elements to consider while looking for an alternative to American cheese.

First, consider the flavor. The flavor of American cheese is smooth and mild. If you don’t want to change the taste of your dish, choose a cheese with a similar flavor profile. Colby, for example, is an excellent match in this sense.

Then, have a look at the recipe. If you’re creating a sandwich, cheddar and Gouda will suffice. Monterey Jack is also excellent in mac & cheese.

To summarize, all of the alternatives we identified may be exchanged in a 1:1 ratio without significantly affecting the recipe. Have fun while cooking!


What can I substitute American cheese with?

Swiss Cheese is the best American cheese substitute. What exactly is this? Velveeta is a kind of cheese. Velveeta is an excellent alternative for American cheese in mac and cheese. …
Mozzarella is a kind of cheese. If you don’t like strong flavors, replace mozzarella.
Colby Jack.
Cheddar, mild.
Cheddar cheese, white.
Cheese Whiz.
Monterey Cheese, Jack.

Can I substitute cheddar cheese for American cheese?

Substitutes. To add extra taste, use Cheddar or Swiss cheese with the American cheese. If you don’t have cheddar cheese, you may use Colby, Cheshire, or American cheese.

What is a substitute for American cheese in mac and cheese?

Alternatively, use American cheese. You may also use mozzarella and provolone in place of the American cheese; however, do not use mozzarella or provolone in place of the cheddar cheese.For the cheddar, you may use Brie, Comté, Edam, Emmental, Fontina, Gouda, Gruyère, or Havarti.

What cheese melts like American?

What is the best cheese for melting?
Colby. An all-American cheese, Colby is firm but mild-flavored and creamy.
Havarti. This Danish easy-melting cheese has a mild aroma and flavor with hints of butter and sweetness.
Monterey Jack.
Smoked Gouda.

What is the same as American cheese?

To be labeled “American cheese,” a processed cheese must be made from cheddar cheese, colby cheese, washed curd cheese, or granular cheese, or any combination of two or more of these, according to the Standards of Identity for Dairy Products, which is part of the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

How to make any cheese melt like American?

By using a teaspoon of heavy cream or milk per ounce of shredded cheese. I was able to create a combination that melted and stretched long, thin, gooey strands as you bit into it while remaining firm enough to stay on top of a hot burger, exactly like a piece of good old American cheese.

Is Jack cheese American cheese?

Monterey Jack is a semi-hard American cheese manufactured from pasteurized cow’s milk. It has a light, buttery taste, a pale yellow hue, and a compact, soft texture.

Is Velveeta the same as American cheese?

Velveeta isn’t quite American cheese, but it comes close. It’s manufactured from aged cheeses, much like Kraft singles, and is treated with emulsifiers to keep it together before being processed to give it the ideal meltiness.

What is American cheese in a recipe?

American cheese is a processed cheese that is manufactured by combining one or more varieties of cheese, such as Cheddar cheese, washed curd cheese, Colby cheese, and granular cheese (1). Although it is often referred to as “American cheese,” its true term is “pasteurized process cheese food.”

Can I use mozzarella instead of American cheese?

In comparison to American cheese, mozzarella is much more rubbery, although it melts rapidly. However, because of its creamy texture, it should be avoided in recipes that call for American cheese. Instead, top burgers, pizza, and nachos with mozzarella.

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