Can I use feta cheese instead of mozzarella? (benefits and drawbacks)

In this article, we will answer the following question: “Can I use feta cheese instead of mozzarella?” and discuss the differences between feta cheese and mozzarella, the benefits and drawbacks of using feta cheese instead of mozzarella and the recommended substitutes for mozzarella cheese.

Can I use feta cheese instead of mozzarella?

Yes, you can use feta cheese instead of mozzarella, as both types of cheese are sources of milk proteins, calcium and other nutrients commonly found in cheese.

However, mozzarella and feta cheese are cheese types with different properties and have in general different applications. While mozzarella is widely used in pizza toppings and as a food ingredient, feta is usually eaten in salads and as a table cheese (1, 2).

What are the differences between mozzarella and feta?

Feta cheese and mozzarella have many differences and similarities. The properties of these two cheese types are summarised in the table below (1, 2, 3, 4):

Cheese type Mozzarella Feta cheese
milk source cow milk sheep milk, goat milk or a mixture of both
pasteurisation yes yes
Lactic acid culture added Streptococcus thermophilus Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbruekii cusp. bulgaricus
salt added 0.1 to 0.5 % 1.2 to 5.1 %
fat content 25 to 47 % 20 to 29 %

No, although ageing is desired to improve the cheese’s characteristics

minimum of 60 days
pH 5.6 to 5.8 4.5 to 4.7
shelf life 21 days 90 days
uses pizza, hot sandwich, toppings sprinkling on foods
texture soft, good melting, good flow and shredding crumbled texture, bad shredding, bad flow 

What are the benefits of using feta instead of mozzarella?

The benefit of using feta instead of mozzarella is the improved flavour of feta, which is achieved by the ageing process. Feta cheese is generally aged for 60 days. Mozzarella, on the contrary, has a milky and mild flavour.

Mozzarella is appreciated by its melting, stretching and flow properties upon melting and not due to its flavour (1). Feta has a very salty cheese and has an aromatic characteristic of butyric acid, or slightly rancid, due to the ripening, which generates short-chained fatty acids and amino acids (1, 2).

The drawbacks of using feta instead of mozzarella are the high sodium content of feta cheese, which is considered a health risk, in addition to the lack of melting and stretching properties.

The increased intake of salt in the diet is related to higher risks of certain diseases, such as hypertension and heart stroke and health professionals suggest that the reduction of salt in food products is required.

Feta cheese can be sprinkled on food but does not melt. It has a crumbled texture, rather than a good stretching characteristic. 

Other FAQs about Mozarella that you may be interested in.

Is Havarti cheese similar to mozzarella?

What brand of mozzarella is best?

Can I use Swiss instead of mozzarella?

What are good substitutes for mozzarella?

Good substitutes for mozzarella are cheeses that have a relatively good melting property. Some examples are parmesan, processed cheese and aged cheddar. Another example is the Oaxaca (1, 4).

Parmesan has an intense flavour and a harder consistency when compared to mozzarella. However, it is often used as a food ingredient to be added to bakery products, due to the property of being melted. 

Parmesan is aged for a period of 6 to 36 months in which the fatty acids are hydrolysed to produce the improved and characteristic flavour and aroma of parmesan.

Processed cheeses are produced by mixing different types of cheese, such as mozzarella and cheddar, emmental and cream cheese, which results in a cheese with better melting and flowing properties than feta cheese and a more intense flavour than mozzarella. 

Processed cheeses may be added with other spices and ingredients to improve the texture and therefore are widely used in the food industry and baked products.

Oaxaca is, similarly to mozzarella, a pasta filata cheese, which means that it is produced by stretching the cheese mass under a heated water bath, into a fibrous network.

This process renders the cheese good melting, stretching and flow properties. Therefore, Oaxaca is known as the Mozzarella of Latin America. 


In this article, we answered the question “Can I use feta cheese instead of mozzarella?” and discussed the differences between mozzarella and feta cheese, the benefits and drawbacks of using feta cheese instead of mozzarella and what are the best substitutes for mozzarella.

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