The 6 Best Substitutes For Akkawi Cheese

What can I use instead of Akkawi cheese? Mozzarella is the best Akkawi cheese replacement, offering a similar stretchy consistency and milk taste. However, nabulisi comes in a close second but has a milder flavor than Akkawi. You can also use panela, Mizithra, feta, or paneer cheese as Akkawi alternatives. 

Akkawi cheese is a Middle Eastern cheese with a chewy, smooth texture and a mild, slightly salty taste. Akkawi cheese is mainly used as a table cheese, eaten with soft flatbread, fruit, or as is. If you can’t find Akkawi cheese, look for a slightly salty and chewy textured cheese as a substitute – here are our top recommendations.

The Best Akkawi Cheese Substitutes

Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella is the most popular substitute if you don’t have access to Akkawi cheese. It offers a similarly smooth, dense, and stretchy consistency and melts well.

Mozzarella is a softly spoken, sliceable curd cheese with a mild taste and light aroma of wholesome cream.

In terms of taste, mozzarella falls short of saltiness. However, you can substitute Akkawi cheese with torn mozzarella pieces and a sprinkling of salt.

Nabulisi Cheese

Nabulisi cheese is a Palestinian white brined cheese made in the Middle East. Its mild, salty flavor and soft, stretchy texture (when melted) makes it an ideal Akkawi substitute.

Nabulisi cheese is often confused with Akkawi cheese. However, Nabulisi is made with sheep or goat’s milk and endures a brief brine period, giving it a milder flavor than Akkawi.

Nabulisi is a white, semi-hard cheese with low salt content and excellent melting properties. You can eat Nabulisi fresh as a table cheese or fry it in oil for a finger-licking appetizer.

Panela Cheese

Soft, white panela cheese is a Mexican cheese that you can use to replace Akkawi cheese, thanks to its lightly salted flavor and firm, flexible texture.

Panela cheese is made using skim milk. As a result, it has a chewy and slightly rubbery texture, causing it to “squeak” when you bite into it.

Panela is a table cheese that can be cut but not crumbled. Like Akkawi cheese, panela cheese’s mild salty flavor pairs well with bread, fruit, salads, or plain.

Mizithra Cheese (Xynomyzithra)

Mizithra is a Greek cheese that isn’t always readily available outside Greece and comes at a pretty price.

However, if you can get hold of this exotic cheese, it’s definitely worth every penny and makes a delicious substitute for Akkawi cheese.

Young, unsalted Mizithra is sweet and milky with a fluffy texture. It progresses into an aged, slightly sour, and crumbly cheese, perfect for grating.

Use slightly fermented Mizithra, also known as Xynomyzithra, for a creamy, sour taste.

Feta Cheese

Feta is a soft, crumbly cheese cured in salty brine. Feta is another suitable replacement for Akkawi cheese.

Feta may cost a little more than other common cheeses; however, a little feta goes a long way.

Known as a pickled cheese, feta’s becomes saltier, sharper, and firmer as it ages. In addition, feta softens but never fully melts.

Like Akkawi cheese, feta is mouth-watering on flatbread. However, you can also sprinkle it onto roasted veggies, savory pastries, baked casseroles, salads, quiches, and more.

Paneer Cheese

Paneer is a fresh cheese with a neutral flavor and spongy texture, making it a suitable replacement for Akkawi cheese.

Paneer is a non-melting cheese due to using heat and acid instead of curdling the milk. You can fry, grill, or simmer paneer without it melting.

Paneer’s sponge-like texture readily absorbs flavors and spices of other ingredients. Enjoy paneer as a snack or appetizer or in rice or curried dishes.