If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, then you know that Parmesan cheese is a must-have ingredient in many traditional dishes. From pasta to risotto, Parmesan adds a unique flavor and texture that’s hard to replicate.

But what if you don’t have any Parmesan cheese on hand? Can you use goat cheese instead? Let’s find out.

Goat Cheese vs. Parmesan Cheese

Before we dive into whether or not goat cheese can be used as a substitute for Parmesan, let’s take a look at the key differences between these two cheeses.

Parmesan cheese is a hard, aged cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a nutty, savory flavor and a crumbly texture. It’s often grated and used as a topping for pasta dishes or salads.

Goat cheese, on the other hand, is made from goat’s milk and has a tangy, slightly sweet flavor. It comes in various forms such as soft, crumbly, or aged.

While both cheeses are delicious in their own right, they have distinct flavors and textures that may not always be interchangeable.

Can You Use Goat Cheese Instead of Parmesan?

The short answer is yes – you can use goat cheese instead of Parmesan in some recipes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the flavors of these two cheeses are quite different. So while goat cheese may work well as a substitute in certain dishes, it may not be the best choice for others.

Here are some examples of when you could use goat cheese instead of Parmesan:

  • As a topping for salads: Crumbled goat cheese can add a tangy flavor to your salad just like grated Parmesan.
  • In pasta dishes: If you’re making pasta with tomato sauce or pesto, crumbled or shaved goat cheese can be used as an alternative to grated Parmesan.
  • As a pizza topping: Goat cheese can be used as a substitute for Parmesan on top of your pizza for a unique twist on the classic dish.

However, there are some dishes where using goat cheese instead of Parmesan may not work as well. For example:

  • In risotto: The nutty flavor and texture of Parmesan is crucial to making a creamy, flavorful risotto. Goat cheese may not provide the same depth of flavor.
  • In dishes with heavy cream sauces: Goat cheese has a tangy flavor that may not pair well with heavy cream-based sauces.


In summary, goat cheese can be used as a substitute for Parmesan in some recipes. However, it’s important to keep in mind the distinct flavors and textures of each cheese and how they will affect the overall taste of your dish.

So next time you’re out of Parmesan cheese, don’t hesitate to give goat cheese a try – just be sure to use it appropriately based on the recipe you’re making.