Welcome to a world of creamy, tangy, and deliciously melty possibilities! If you thought the pizza was just about mozzarella, prepare to have your culinary horizons expanded. In this post, we’re diving into the flavorful universe of 30 different types of cheese for pizza that can truly elevate your pizza game.
From the classics to the unexpected, each cheese brings its own unique personality to your pizza, creating a symphony of flavors in each slice. Whether you’re a professional pizzaiolo or a home cooking enthusiast, there’s much to explore and experiment with.
So grab your apron, preheat your oven, and get ready to discover a whole new world of pizza potential. Read on to explore these 30 pizza-perfect cheeses that will transform your pies into artisanal masterpieces.
The perfect slice is just a cheese choice away!
Let’s get started!
Here’s What You Will Find:
Pizza cheeses are essential ingredients that add flavor, texture, and creaminess to the popular dish. The most commonly used pizza cheese is mozzarella, renowned for its mild flavor, gooey texture, and excellent melting properties that create the quintessential cheese pull.
However, other cheeses also play a significant role in the world of pizza. Provolone offers a slightly sharper taste, while cheddar can provide a more intense, tangy flavor. Gorgonzola or blue cheese can be used for an assertive, pungent note, especially in gourmet pizzas.
Parmesan and Romano are often sprinkled on top of pizzas for a savory, nutty finish. The choice of cheese can significantly influence the overall flavor profile of a pizza, allowing for a diverse range of taste experiences across different recipes and regions.
Types of Cheese for Pizza
When considering the types of cheeses for pizza, we can categorize them into hard, semi-hard, and semi-soft cheeses. Hard cheeses, like Parmesan and Pecorino Romano, are often used as a final garnish on pizzas. They are known for their strong flavors and grate well, providing a nutty and savory taste to the pizza without adding too much moisture.
Semi-hard cheeses, such as Provolone and Cheddar, melt well and can provide a more diverse range of flavors. Provolone offers a hint of smokiness, while Cheddar can provide a rich, tangy flavor. Semi-soft cheeses are typically the mainstay of most pizzas due to their excellent melting properties.
Mozzarella, a semi-soft cheese, is the go-to for most pizza makers because of its mild flavor, creamy texture, and the iconic stretchy cheese pull when it melts. Meanwhile, Gorgonzola, another semi-soft cheese, can be used in gourmet pizzas to add a punch of intense, pungent flavor.
Let us first learn more about the types of cheese for pizza. Usually, cheese is categorized depending on how it is made.
This guide will discuss the different types of cheese for pizza according to the length of fermentation, moisture content, and how firm they are.
These types of cheese for pizza include:
This type of cheese contains less moisture than semi-hard and semi-soft cheese. It is also firm, takes longer to ripen, and has the most extended shelf life.
Since hard cheeses are firm, they are suitable for grating. Depending on their ages, they generally have a crystalline texture, and some even crumble.
Hard cheese ferments for not less than 6-12 months, with some going for years, making it lose moisture. Many people love these types of cheese because of their strong taste.
This type of cheese ages longer than semi-soft cheese but less than hard cheese. The cheese has more moisture content than hard cheese but less than soft and semi-soft cheese.
The fermentation period makes it partially firm, which is also suitable for grating.
This type of cheese has more moisture and a mild taste. That is because they mature for a shorter period, about a month.
The cheese is softer and more difficult to grate. However, it is suitable for melting in your everyday cooking.
How to Buy Cheese for Pizza?
It is always better to purchase block cheese than pre-shredded cheese.
First of all, block, rounded, and wedge cheese taste better. Pre-shredded cheese comes with additives that change the taste of the original cheese.
Many manufacturing companies add potato starch to reduce cheese and another product clumping. They also combine powdered cellulose with potato starch to offer the same service and, most importantly, add color.
They also spray Natamycin on the cheese to preserve it and prevent mold from forming. In the end, the shredded cheese will taste different and also melt with a different texture.
How to Cut Cheese for Pizza
Now that we have agreed that buying a block, round, or wedge of cheese is better, how can you cut it? There are three different ways you can cut the cheese before adding it to your pizza:
- Shredded cheese
- Finely grated cheese
- Shaved into thin strips
Shredding, grating, and cutting your cheese for pizza into smaller pieces allows your toppings to mix well with the cheese. Also, the cheese can melt evenly without some of the pieces burning while others are still in blocks.
How to Shred Cheese for Pizza
Shredding cheese for pizza is a relatively simple process that can greatly enhance the evenness of melting and distribution of flavor. You’ll need a quality cheese grater and your chosen cheese block to start. Semi-hard and hard cheeses are easier to shred when they’re cold, so it’s best to refrigerate your cheese before shredding.
Hold the grater in one hand (most prefer to place it at an angle for stability) and the cheese in the other. Apply a firm, downward pressure to grate the cheese, moving it along the grater’s surface. Be careful of your fingers as you near the end of the cheese block.
Once shredded, you can scatter the cheese evenly over your pizza for optimal melting and coverage. This simple step can significantly improve the texture and taste of your homemade pizza.
How to Shred Cheese for Pizza Using a Grater
To shred cheese for pizza, you can use a box grater or a hand grater, shredding the cheese against the larger grater holes.
It is best to shred cheese just before using it. Shredding the cheese hours before using it will lose too much moisture and turn dry. The cheese will start to lose moisture after 30 minutes of being shredded.
If you want to be accurate, purchase a large piece of cheese and weigh it to see when you’ve shredded the appropriate quantity.
To shred it, place a small bowl on the scale, set the weighing mechanism to zero out with the bowl in place (this is known as the “tare” on most scales), then shred the cheese into the bowl.
Alternatively, figure out how much the block of cheese weighs upfront (8 ounces, for example), then shred some cheese, weighing the block intermittently until you’ve gotten as much shaved off as you need, then remove the total.
For example, if you need 3 ounces, a 5-ounce chunk of the 8-ounce block should remain once you’re through.
Here’s What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend
With minimal effort, you can perfectly shred and slice cheese and vegetables. Get creative and make dinner exciting again by grating, slicing, and making fresh zest to take your meals to another level.
Best of all, it's dishwasher safe and backed by a Lifetime Warranty.
How to Shred Cheese for Pizza Using a Food Processor
To shred cheese for pizza, you can use the shredding blade of a food processor. You’ll need to weigh the cheese first and then feed as much as you need into the tube.
Cheese is not like flour, yeast percentage, or hydration percentage, where you need to be more precise.
It can’t hurt to have a bit of additional cheese for cheese purposes. You can estimate the cheese amount and still make the best pizza!
How to Finely Grate Cheese for Pizza
Grated hard cheeses, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or aged Asiago, can be grated into considerably more delicate threads.
You can use a box grater with tiny holes or a small-holed Microplane to finely grate cheese for pizza.
Here’s What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend
Grate parmesan into fluffy mounds that melt quickly and look beautiful when treating yourself of the family to rustic bowls of pasta. Sprinkle fresh parmesan over eggs, salads, or any dish for a burst of flavor. Grate other hard cheeses like Asiago, Pecorino and Padano.
When finely grating cheese, try not to leave small balls and lumps. If the final piece slips over the grates, purchasing more cheese is easier than you’ll need and shred just a section of the block.
If you want to be sure you’ve grated the appropriate quantity, use a kitchen scale.
How to Cut Cheese for Pizza in Long Strips (Cheese Shavings)
To cut cheese for pizza in paper-thing strips, you can use a vegetable peeler or a cheese plane, a specialized instrument that runs over the block and shaves a tiny strip via a large slit in the plane.
You may also use a mandoline, a specialty kitchen instrument with a razorsharp blade. However, the difficulty of dealing with a mandoline and/or cleaning it may negate the benefit.
If you don’t have a cheese plane, use the shaving blade on the side of a box grater or a food processor’s 1mm slicing blade.
30 Types of Cheese for Pizza
Here are the 30 different kinds of cheese you can use for pizza. You can also check our Recommended Pizza Ingredients for more.
The Italian Asiago Pressato is a cow’s milk, semi-soft Italian cheese with a fresh nutty flavor. The cheese is mild and creamier than parmesan cheese. It can be a great substitute for Pecorino or other hard cheeses.
Look for drier versions of the Asiago for pizza, as it’s best for grating. Wetter versions of the asiago cheese can quickly melt and fall off the crust. The cheese is best, or pizza with vegetable toppings. On the other hand, we have the mature Asiago D’allevo with a firm, dry and sharp taste.
- Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is like a general category of some cheeses, stilton and gorgonzola, made in the presence of penicillin. These chee can either be hard or soft, depending on how they are manufactured. They vary in color and have blue or green veins. The assertive, spicy, and slightly salty flavor makes making quality pizza at home and in the restaurant convenient. You can dilute it with cream when making pizza if you’re new to cheese.
Brie is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from France that has a mild flavor. This creamy cheese is encased in an edible white rind. However, for making pizza, the rind should be removed. The creamy and buttery cheese makes the best caramelized-onion pizza, vegetable, apple, or pear-based pizza.
When using brie for pizza, slice off the top rind with a knife, then set it aside until it reaches room temperature. You can spread the cheese across the pizza crust using a rubber spatula.
In the past, Italians made burrata cheese from buffalo milk, but now they make it from cow’s milk. The semi-soft chee is rich and creamy. You can choose to place mozzarella with this cheese because it is softer and more flavorful. Remember to put the cheese on the pizza after you have cooked it. People mainly use the Burrata cheese to prepare Margherita-style pizza, tomato-based pizza, and many more recipes.
- Cheddar (White and Yellow)
Cheddar is a complicated cheese for pizza with a sharp taste and a strong smell. Cheddar cheese mostly comes from England, although is super popular in the US.
Cheddar cheese is classified as mild, medium, sharp, and extra-sharp. You can pair it with other cheeses to create a deeper flavor.
Also, there is not much taste difference between the white and yellow cheddars. They both don’t react well to high temperatures and have low elasticity.
However, the yellow cheddar gives a great color to your pizza.
We find that medium cheddar works best for pizza. You can grate cheddar cheese for pizza into smaller pieces on your pizza toppings like chicken, savory meat, and sweet pineapple pizza.
You can use Edam cheese on your pizza for a mild, smooth, and nutty flavor.
This cheese has a firm texture because it is semi-hard and made from skimmed milk. It is a great substitute for Emmental, Cheddar, Gouda, or even Gruyere. It is also softer than these other cheeses for pizza, primarily due to its lower fat content.
The good thing about this cheese from the Netherlands is that it has no smell compared to other cheeses in this category.
However, Edam has low elasticity and can be stodgy. That means it can not bubble or turn brown. Therefore, you should pair it with mozzarella when making pizza.
This is a Swiss-looking, medium-hard cow’s milk cheese with a mild savory taste. Use this cheese on pizza, but only when paired with softer cheese.
The cheese alone has more oil, which will make it stodgy.
The cheese will not brown. As a result, we often use it as part of the topping with another cheese like mozzarella.
Feta cheese is made from goat, sheep, and/or cow’s milk. This Greek cheese is a form of cheese curd. It is crumbly, white, and salty. It’s best stored in brine because it dries very quickly.
Feta Cheese is most popular for Greek pizza.
Many countries produce fontina cheese like the US, Sweden, Denmark, Argentina, France, and Quebec. This is cow’s milk, semi-soft, smooth, creamy, and slightly savory in taste and smell.
You cannot replace this one with mozzarella because of the nutty aftertaste.
On the other hand, the semi-hard has a firmer texture and a distinctive nutty taste and smell.
You can grate pizza like Parmiggiano-Reggiano or pair both the semi-hard and semi-soft with different cheeses.
- Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is a soft cheese that gives the pizza a savory taste. It’s often called chevre, French for “goat.” It is mostly sold in small, cylinder-shaped pieces.
Hundreds of varieties are on the market, including aged, hard, fresh, and soft.
The cheese is also creamy but doesn’t melt like the mozzarella.
Goat cheese comes in different flavors, like herbed or peppered, but choose the plain version for pizza.
You can place it in the oven to soften smoothly. The cheese is excellent for making Mediterranean, focaccia, and flatbread pizzas.
The blue-marble gorgonzola is typically a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from Italy. But you can also find soft, aged, and sweet varieties.
Unlike many other hard kinds of cheese, the crumbly gorgonzola quickly melts.
For pizza, choose the soft version. This cheese also has a distinctive taste, perfect for caramelized-onion pizza or charred con with rosemary pizza.
Gouda is a cow’s milk, semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands. People love the cheese because it comes in smokey or buttery flavors and adds color to your cheese.
The cheese doesn’t melt quickly or stretch into strands. However, you can pair it with other cheeses to give it that elastic pool.
The smoky gouda is excellent for meaty pizzas, while the buttery flavor is excellent for thin crusts and flatbreads to balance savory flavors.
- Grana Padano
Grana Padano is a hard Italian cheese rich in salty and savory flavors. Italians make the cheese using unpasteurized milk.
You can often use this cheese instead of Parmesan because it is crumbly and melts well. Compared to Parmiggiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano is slightly sweeter and milder.
You can pair this cheese with mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, honey, apple, nuts, or olives to make a tasty pizza.
Gruyere is a type of mild, salty, Swiss hard cheese for pizza from Sweden with a savory flavor. Unlike other hard cheeses, this cheese melts well to color your pizza slightly.
Gruyere has a sweet, earthy, and nutty taste that pairs well with white and red pizza sauces.
The cheese doesn’t blister easily, making it versatile for any pizza.
The Danish Havarti is a semi-soft cheese that is very buttery and creamy.
The cheese also has a mild savory flavor that combines well with the sweet diced tomatoes.
You can also use garlic, basil, or other herbs. People mainly use this cheese to prepare gluten-free or low-carb pizzas.
Jarlsberg is a cow’s milk, hard cheese from Norway with a nutty and sour taste.
Jarlsberg has an inedible rind and characteristic waxy sheen, but it’s buttery, more pliable, and sweeter than Emmental.
When making pizza, you can pair this cheese with provolone or mozzarella.
You can also use it as a substitute for Gruyere and Emmental cheese.
Manchego is a sheep’s milk, semi-hard cheese from Spain with a rich, savory flavor. It can be both shredded and grated.
It has an inedible rind, so it has to be removed before consumption.
You can shred or crumble this cheese on your pizza to add a nutty and earthy taste.
- Monterey Jack
This is a semi-hard American cheese for pizza that is slightly sweet and has a mild flavor.
People compare the taste with cheddar. You can replace the Monterey with mozzarella since it melts well.
However, try to avoid the Pepper Jack version or any other flavored version for pizza.
This semi-soft goat cheese is available worldwide. It is white, fresh, and has a tangy flavor.
You can crumble the Montrachet cheese on your pizza toppings to add a mild flavor.
- Mozzarella (Low-Moisture)
The king of classic pizza, Low moisture mozzarella is the most commonly used cheese for pizza.
We can categorize the cheese as semi-hard cheese because it has a moisture content lower than 52%, making it easy to melt.
Low-moisture mozzarella is from Italy, but some European countries, like Belgium, still make the cheese. Mozzarella has a milder taste than others, with a creamy feel on the tongue.
You can mix mozzarella with other tastier cheeses since it is excellent for making cheese blends for pizza.
- Mozzarella (Fior de Latte)
This type of cheese comes from cow’s whole milk.
It has a fresh, creamy taste; you can see the strands when stretching.
The flavor is more delicate and sweeter than mozzarella.
Besides, it has a lower fat content. Since the cheese has a higher moisture content, you can make Greek or Neapolitan pizza.
- Mozzarella DiBuffala
Buffalo mozzarella is a type of mozzarella cheese for pizza made from buffalo milk.
The cheese is traditional and only comes from certain parts of Italy. The cheese is creamy, smooth, and springy.
You can pair the cheese with basil, tomato, red pepper, and salami for your pizza toppings.
The semi-soft muenster cheese is from the US. The cheese is smooth, sweet, and has a nutty flavor.
The rind is also orange, unlike the rest of the cheese.
You can use the cheese on pizza alone since it has a creamy texture and a richer taste.
If muenster cheese is too soft to grate, place it in the freezer for up to 3 hours so it will firm up just slightly.
The Parmegiano-Reggiano, commonly called Parmesan, is a hard Italian cheese.
The cheese has a nutty, sweet, and umami taste that changes when heated.
For this reason, you should not bake it in the oven.
We often use it as a garnish on pizzas and pair it with provolone or mozzarella cheese.
This cheese is excellent for making Margherita and Hawaiian pizza.
Italians make the hard pecorino cheese for pizza from sheep’s milk. The cheese has salt crystals that improve the texture and flavor.
As a result, Pecorino has a sharp toasted hazelnut flavor and a spicy aftertaste.
You can replace Parmesan with this cheese because it is saltier and tastier. Therefore, people use it to make red pizza sauce or bake pizza with leeks, lamb, or tomato toppings.
Provolone cheese is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that falls under the semi-hard category.
The taste is different depending on the age of the cheese. Usually, the more mature one has a dry texture and a sharper taste.
On the other hand, less mature is sweeter and creamier. You can blend this cheese with different types of cheese.
You can use it alone and make a Greek or any other pizza if you like. You can include sausages, chicken, onions, red peppers, pesto, basil, and broccoli, among other toppings.
- Queso Blanco
The semi-soft Queso Blanco cheese softens instead of melting, making it great for reshaping the pizza.
Therefore, you can pair this elastic with other cheeses like mozzarella but not replace it.
To prepare the Mexican pizza, you can add dark chocolate, jalapeno pepper, and avocado. You can also make a German pizza by using mustard instead of sauce.
You can get the Raclette semi-hard cheese if you want soft, buttery cheese with a milky and nutty taste.
This somewhat aromatic cheese is from Switzerland and France, but it doesn’t separate when it melts.
You can use raclette cheese interchangeably with Gruyere. Remember to remove the rind before consumption.
- Ricotta (Saletta)
Ricotta Salata is a semi-soft cheese from Italy that comes from the whey leftovers of cow, goat, and buffalo milk.
The cheese gives your pizza a pale to light brown color and a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
The Ricotta Saletta is creamy, making it suitable for making white sauce pizzas like the grilled flatbread pizzas and Pizza Bianca.
To create a cheesier pizza, you can also pair it with other cheeses like fontina, Gruyere, gorgonzola, and mozzarella cheese.
The French make blue Roquefort cheese from sheep’s milk. This blue cheese is slightly moist and has a tangy, crumbly feeling.
The cheese is also smooth and creamy, making it great for pairing with other pizza toppings. However, the FDA has banned Roquefort because of a harmless version of the E. coli bacteria.
The name already gives the location of the Swiss cheese. Yes, it is a semi-hard cheese from Switzerland with a savory and spicy flavor.
This cheese for pizza is an excellent substitute for mozzarella if you want an intense flavor. Besides, the cheese is elastic and melts well.
You can combine the nutty taste with zucchini, apples, or mushroom toppings.
Where to Buy Cheese for Pizza
Buying cheese for pizza can be as simple or as adventurous as you’d like. For common types like mozzarella, cheddar, or Monterey Jack, your local supermarket or grocery store will typically have a broad selection in the dairy aisle. If you’re seeking more unique or gourmet varieties like Gorgonzola, Provolone, or Pecorino Romano, a specialty food store or a cheese shop might be your best bet.
Many of these stores offer a wide array of international and artisanal cheeses. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations or samples to help you decide. Additionally, farmer’s markets can be a good source of locally produced cheeses.
For convenience, numerous online platforms also offer a vast array of cheeses that can be delivered right to your doorstep. Always remember to check the freshness and quality of the cheese before purchasing.
Here’s Where the PROs of Homemade Pizza Pro Buy the Best Cheese for Pizza
Gourmet Food Store is an epicure's paradise, an online store for those who love great food and great ingredients. They offer you the ultimate selection of international specialty foods such as caviar, cheese, foie gras and pate, gourmet chocolates, oils and vinegars, smoked salmon, specialty meats, teas, fresh truffles, and many other gastronomic delights. Explore the best and most elegant foods in the world at prices that will amaze you. Discover recipes, wine pairings, tips, and everything you need to know about gourmet food all in one place:
The Last Slice
In general, we learned about the various categories of cheese for pizza, how to buy cheese to keep the test and the various types of cheese.
We’ve also seen where every kind of cheese comes from, how it’s classified, and how you can use it on your pizza.
Now that you’ve found the perfect cheese for pizza, you can begin baking your homemade pizza.
With the right cheese and toppings, nothing can go wrong.
Additional Cheese Resources
What Cheese Goes on Pizza? you asked. What cheese goes on pizza? – a question as old as the tradition of pizza making itself, and we’re about to dive deep … Read more
Aging Cheese Have you ever tried aging cheese? As you may already know, cheese is one of the most universally loved foods in the world. It is so versatile that … Read more
Stretching all the way from the tray to our mouths, cheese is known to be one of the top favorite pizza toppings of all time. But what is the best … Read more
Are you ready to embark on an epic journey to transform your homemade pizza game with the ultimate secret to heavenly, melted mozzarella cheese? Imagine biting into a slice of … Read more
Are you confused with all the different mozzarella ball sizes? Have you ever visited the supermarket and looked at all these cheeses with these weird Italian names? They all look … Read more
Not a PRO? Not a Problem!
Take a pizza class to bring your pizza skills to the next level,
so you can be a PRO!
Costco Pizza Price 2023 Costco Pizza is one of the best options for finding delicious and affordable pizza. Its large …
Check Out Our Pizza T-Shirts
Check Out Our Preferred Vendors
Subscribe to our Recipe of the Week newsletter and receive our partners’ latest recipes, tips, and discount offers.
Keep in Touch!