The Ultimate Guide to Neufchatel Cheese Substitutes: Delicious Alternatives for Every Recipe

The best Neufchatel cheese substitutes

Neufchatel cheese is a lesser known type of cheese that originated in the 6th century in Neufchâtel-en-Bray, a commune in northern France. While it may not be as widely available as other cheeses, there are several excellent substitutes that can be used in its place. Whether you can’t find Neufchatel cheese at your local supermarket or you’re just looking for different options, these substitutes offer similar flavors and textures for a variety of cooking tasks.

1. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is the closest substitute for American Neufchatel cheese. In fact, the two cheeses are so similar that they can be used interchangeably in most recipes. The flavor of cream cheese is tangy and milky, much like Neufchatel. The main difference is in the fat content, as cream cheese has a higher fat and moisture content than Neufchatel. However, the difference is not significant enough to affect the overall outcome of your dish.
Best for: Cheesecakes, frostings, baked goods, dips, sauces, sandwiches, pasta and more.

2. Cottage Cheese

Although cottage cheese does not have the texture of Neufchatel, it can be blended to make a smooth alternative. To do this, blend cottage cheese with an equal amount of half-and-half, or use butter or margarine if you don’t have half-and-half on hand. This blending process results in a texture very similar to Neufchatel cheese. Cottage cheese has a mild, neutral flavor and a lower fat content than cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese.
Best for: Toppings, dips and recipes where a smooth texture is not critical.

3. Ricotta

Ricotta, an Italian whey cheese, is another good substitute for Neufchatel. It has a texture similar to American Neufchatel, being thick and slightly grainy. Ricotta has a light flavor with a hint of salt, making it versatile for a number of cooking tasks. It can be used in pancakes, cheesecakes, pasta dishes, and even as a filling for various recipes.
Best for: Pancakes, cheesecakes, pasta dishes, stuffing and more.

4. Mascarpone

Mascarpone, an Italian cream cheese, is an excellent substitute for Neufchatel cheese in desserts. It has a rich and creamy texture, although there are flavor differences between mascarpone and American Neufchatel. Mascarpone has a sweeter taste and higher saturated fat content, making it a great option for desserts and sweet dishes.
Best for: Desserts, especially those requiring a creamy and rich texture.

5. Cashew Cheese

For those looking for a substitute that captures the nutty, yeasty flavor profile of French Neufchatel, cashew cheese is a great option. Made from cashews, this dairy-free alternative can provide a similar flavor experience. Cashew cheese works well in sauces, pasta dishes, and even on pizza.
Best for: Sauces, pastas, pizza, and recipes where a nutty flavor is desired.

6. Farmer’s Cheese

Farmer’s cheese is another substitute worth considering. It has a mild flavor and can be used as a topping for toast or as a base for dips. While not as versatile as other substitutes, it can still be a suitable substitute in certain recipes.
Best for: Topping for toast, dips, and recipes where a mild flavor is preferred.

Bottom line

While Neufchatel may not be as widely available as other cheeses, there are several excellent substitutes that can be used in its place. Cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, cashew cheese, and farm cheese all offer similar flavors and textures for various cooking tasks. Whether you’re making cheesecakes, pastas, dips, or desserts, these substitutes can help you achieve delicious results. So the next time you can’t find Neufchatel cheese, don’t worry-try one of these alternatives and enjoy your culinary creations with confidence.


What is Neufchatel cheese and why is it not widely available?

Neufchatel cheese is a soft and crumbly cheese that originated in Northern France. It is not widely available due to its lesser known status and limited production compared to other popular cheeses.

Can cream cheese be used as a substitute for Neufchatel cheese?

Yes, cream cheese is an excellent substitute for Neufchatel. Both cheeses have a similar tangy and milky flavor, making cream cheese a suitable alternative in most recipes.

How does cottage cheese compare to Neufchatel?

Cottage cheese has a different texture than Neufchatel cheese, but it can be blended to create a smooth alternative. Blending cottage cheese with half-and-half or using butter or margarine can provide a texture similar to Neufchatel cheese.

What are some suitable substitutes for Neufchatel cheese in desserts?

Mascarpone, a creamy Italian cheese, is an excellent substitute for Neufchatel in desserts. Ricotta cheese can also be used and offers a similar texture and flavor profile.

Can non-dairy alternatives be used to replace Neufchatel cheese?

Yes, cashew cheese is a non-dairy alternative that can be used as a substitute for Neufchatel cheese. Made from cashews, it offers a nutty and yeasty flavor that works well in sauces, pasta dishes and even on pizza.

Is there a milder alternative to Neufchatel cheese?

For a milder taste, farm cheese is a good substitute. It has a mild taste and can be used as a topping for toast or as a base for dips, providing a more subtle flavor compared to other substitutes.