Leicestershire cheese or red leicester, British hard cheese made from cow milk close up

The Cheese Puzzle: Unlocking the Secrets of the Best Substitutes for Red Leicester Cheese

Red Leicester cheese is a popular British cheese that is often used in dishes such as cheesecake, mac and cheese, and Welsh rarebit. But what do you do if you run out of this cheese and need a substitute? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best substitutes for Red Leicester cheese.

What are the best substitutes for Red Leicester Cheese? Cheddar cheese is a good option having the exact same flavor. Edam cheese is another good choice, as it has a mild flavor and slightly crumbly texture. To get creamy consistency in your food, use Cantal cheese. For a nutty and caramel-like flavor, use Aged Gouda or Fontina. And for a salty option, try Parmesan or Mimolette.

Let’s first find out about Red Leicester Cheese briefly, Then, we’ll discuss all these substitutes one by one.

What Is Red Leicester Cheese?

Red Leicester cheese is a cow’s milk cheese that is orange-red in color and has a nutty, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor. The texture is soft and creamy. The cheese is composed of cow’s milk, bacterial culture, rennet, and salt. It has a fat content of about 47%.

Red Leicester cheese is sometimes also called English Leicester, Leicester Red, or Ruby Leicester. It is named after the English city of Leicester. It was first made there in the late 1800s.

It is available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. It can be found at most major grocery stores.

Recipes that use Red Leicester Cheese

Red Leicester cheese is used in many recipes. Some are as follows:

  • Use it with cauliflower
  • Sprinkle over the spaghetti bolognaise
  • Put it in mashed potato recipes
  • Bake it in chive scones
  • Use it in any kind of pizza
  • Put it in a grilled sandwich
  • Use to make onion chutney with puff pastry
  • Make a cheese bread
  • Top your steak
  • Add it to your vegetable salad
  • Make a red Leicester cheese board
  • Stuff it in potatoes
  • Put it in omelete
  • Use it as a macaroni cheese

Health Benefits of Red Leicester Cheese

Every 100 grams of Red Leicester cheese provides you with 2462 calories, 50-gram fat, and 35-gram protein. When added to any recipe, it helps promote the digestion of food and thus keeps your gut healthy. Red Leicester cheese is claimed to be good for your brain and body growth.

It is a good source of calcium and thus helps strengthen your bones and teeth. This cheese is also good to prevent hypertension by maintaining optimum blood circulation inside the arteries.

Apart from numerous health benefits, there could be some drawbacks to using red Leicester cheese. Overconsuming this cheese may lead to obesity due to the high calories present in it. Some people might be allergic to Red Leicester cheese and get itchiness and redness on consumption. This might be the reason you are searching for an alternative to Red Leicester cheese.

7 Best Substitutes for Red Leicester Cheese

Sr. No.Red Leicester substituteColorFlavorBest Used For
1Cheddar cheeseOrange or whiteSharp pungent flavorMashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie, nachos, mac and cheese, sauces, soups. Dips, macaroni, sandwiches
2Edam cheeseOuter: Red, Inner: Pale YellowMild flavor, slightly salty and nuttyKaasstengeis, kue cubit, roti bakar, pannenkoek, snacks, hams, tartar sauce,
3Cantal cheeseIvory or light goldStrong nutty, tangy, and buttery tastequiches, salads, gratins, pastas, soufflés
4Aged Gouda cheeseYellowBurnt caramelQuesadillas, mac & cheese, macaroni, mashed potatoes, fondue, soups, sandwiches
5Fontina cheeseOrange-brown rind, pale cream interiorMild, but distinctively nutty and savoryFondue, Italian toasts, Chicken Valdostano, cheesy tots, sandwiches, eggs, rolls
6Parmesan cheesePale yellowSharp tangy, savory, nutty, and a bit fruityPizza, pasta, Caesar salad, soups, jalapeno popper, alfredo sauce, Chicken fingers, and piccata
7Mimolette cheeseBright orangeSavory nutty and fruityStuffed mushrooms, salad, mashed potatoes, macaroni, pasta


1.    Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar Cheese

If you’re looking for a good substitute for red Leicester cheese, cheddar cheese is a great option. Cheddar is a type of hard cheese that originated in the English town of Cheddar in the 12th century. It’s made from cow’s milk and has a composition that includes proteins, fat, water, and lactose.

Cheddar cheese has a strong flavor and a slightly crumbly texture. It’s best used in savory recipes, like quesadillas, mac & cheese, or burgers. It’s also great in salads or as a condiment on sandwiches. Cheddar cheese is very similar to Red Leicester cheese, but it has a slightly stronger flavor and a firmer texture.

The color of cheddar cheese i.e., red-orange comes from the use of annatto. It starts becoming pungent with age but is still comparable to a mild cheddar. Its rich melting properties make it easy to use in any cheesy recipe like sauces or salad.

2.    Edam Cheese

If you’re looking for a substitute that’s similar in taste and texture to Red Leicester cheese, Edam is your best bet. It’s a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk and has a mild flavor and creamy texture that makes it perfect for snacking, cooking, or using in recipes.

Edam is originally from the Netherlands, but it’s now popular all over the world. It has a slightly higher fat content than Red Leicester cheese, but it’s still a healthy choice and a good source of protein and calcium.

Most versions of Edam cheese are gluten-free. If animal rennet is used during the production of cheese, then vegetarians should avoid Edam cheese. But it can be made for vegans too if the source of rennet is not animal.

3.    Cantal Cheese

Cantal cheese is a cow’s milk cheese that originated from the Cantal region of France. It’s a semi-hard cheese that has a composition of about 50% milk fat, which gives it a smooth, creamy texture and rich flavor. It also has small, irregular holes throughout its body and a slightly nutty taste.

This uncooked cheese was named after the Cantal mountains. It can be made from raw milk, referred to as Cantal Fermier, or produced by using pasteurized milk, referred to as Cantal Laitier. This cheese is aged for several months roughly from 1 -9 months. It develops its flavor over time and can last up to a year and a half without spoiling if stored properly.

Cantal cheese is best used in dishes where you want a strong flavor and creamy texture, such as quiches, gratins, and soufflés. It can also be shredded or cubed and used in salads or pasta dishes. Although it’s not a replica, cantal cheese is the best substitute for red Leicester cheese.

4.    Aged Gouda Cheese

Gouda Cheese

If you’re in a bind and need to find a soft substitute for red Leicester cheese, aged Gouda is a great option. It originates from the Netherlands and is made with cow’s milk. The flavor and texture are similar to Red Leicester, but Gouda has a slightly nuttier taste. It’s also great in recipes that call for melted cheese, like quesadillas or mac and cheese.

This Dutch cheese is quite popular in France and is mostly used in cheeseburgers. Its crunchy bite is oddly satisfying to most consumers. It accounts for more than half of total cheese consumption globally. This hard cheese goes well with red wine, fruity wine, white wine, and beer.

5.    Fontina Cheese

Fontina cheese

Fontina cheese is a type of Italian cheese that is made from cow’s milk. It has a somewhat creamy texture and a strong, nutty flavor. Fontina cheese is not as sharp as red Leicester cheese, but it does have some similar fruity and earthy notes.

Fontina cheese is great for recipes that call for red Leicester cheese, such as macaroni and cheese, quiche, and savory pies. It can also be used in dishes like risotto, pizza, or pasta with tomato sauce.

6.    Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan is a hard, dry cheese that is made from cow’s milk. It has a nutty, fruity flavor and a grainy texture. Parmesan is best used in recipes that call for shredded or grated cheese, such as pasta dishes, salads, and soups.

Parmesan is a good substitute for Red Leicester cheese because it has a similar flavor and texture. However, Parmesan is stronger in flavor than Red Leicester, so you may need to use less of it.

7.    Mimolette Cheese

Mimolette cheese

This semi-hard, orange-colored cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a nutty, fruity flavor. It also has a slightly crumbly texture, making it perfect for crumbling over salads or pasta dishes.

Similar to Red Leicester, Mimolette is a semi-hard cheese that can be aged for up to two years. It’s also often grated into dishes or eaten as a snack. However, there are some key differences between the two kinds of cheese. For example, Mimolette is typically saltier than Red Leicester and has a slightly more acidic flavor.


As with most things, the best substitute for Red Leicester cheese will depend on your individual tastes and preferences. However, these are all great options that will help you to create delicious dishes that everyone will love.   

Leicestershire cheese or red leicester, British hard cheese made from cow milk close up

7 Best Substitutes for Red Leicester Cheese

Seasonal and Savory
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4


  • Cheddar cheese
  • Edam cheese
  • Cantal cheese
  • Aged Gouda cheese
  • Fontina cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mimolette cheese


  • From the list of substitutes above, pick your favorite to use in its place.
  • Use your imagination and be creative with these substitute recipes!

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