Italy makes so many delicious varieties of cheese, so we've decided to feature the 15 most popular Italian cheeses! From sweet dessert cheese to salty hard cheese and everything in between - there's a cheese for any occasion!
A list of the most popular and well-loved cheeses made in Italy!
If you are like me, then you love cheese. Cheese is one of the few foods that can be eaten with almost anything or by itself.
As I have grown older, my love for cheese has expanded, and I have discovered many new varieties of cheese. I would love to help you discover a few new types as well!
Most Popular Italian Cheeses
These incredibly flavorful cheese varieties range from soft to hard consistency, with some being perfect for melting and others being the the hallmark flavor of well-known dishes! There are plenty of familiar Italian cheeses here that are just as popular here in the States!
Mozzarella is probably the most widely known cheese on the list. This soft cheese is perfect for sandwiches and of course, pizza!
Mozzarella melts easily and is most commonly made with cow's milk, but other types of milk can be used.
Try some of these tasty recipes featuring mozzarella: tortilla pizza, garlic pizza, hasselback chicken (with spinach, bacon, and mozz), ham and potato casserole, and fried string cheese (easy mozzarella sticks)!
Ricotta cheese is one of my favorite types of cheese. You can find this soft cheese in sweet treats such as cannoli or savory dishes like stuffed shells!
Ricotta can be made with cow, goat, or sheep's milk. The texture of your ricotta will depend on which type you choose. It may be grainy or even watery.
Sweet and savory recipes that use ricotta: Italian ricotta cookies, lasagna, and stuffed Italian sausages.
Provolone cheese is an aged cheese that can be used for sandwiches, pizza, or quiche. It has a hard texture and nutty flavor that can range from mild to sharp.
Provolone cheese is made from cow's milk and can be smoky, tangy, or even spicy.
Looking for great recipes to pile up with some provolone? Take a look at these: air fryer grilled cheese sandwich, charcuterie board, prime rib philly stuffed portabella mushrooms, pinwheel sandwiches (with 13 tasty flavor combos), and leftover prime rib sandwiches!
4. Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese)
Parmesan cheese is an aged cheese that matures over 12 to 30 months. This cheese is made with unpasteurized cow's milk and is considered a 'hard' Italian cheese.
Parmesan is delicious when grated on top of pasta or sliced and tossed into a Caesar salad. It's particularly delicious when paired with garlic, lemon, basil (and pesto), Dijon mustard, artichokes, mozzarella, and much more!
Here are some of our popular recipes featuring Parmesan cheese! Chicken Parmesan, baked eggplant parmesan, chicken parm pizza, garlic parmesan angel hair pasta, creamy parmesan garlic mushroom chicken, and parmesan risotto to name a few yummy foods!
Asiago cheese is a semi-cooked cheese that is made with cow's milk. You can eat it fresh or age it a bit to bring out its full flavor.
Asiago cheese can be eaten with toasted bread or grated on top of your favorite pasta.
Mascarpone is a soft and sweet cheese that is quite delicious! This dessert-like cheese is great when spread on crackers and is one of the main ingredients in tiramisu.
Mascarpone is rich and creamy with high-fat content, which can be used in place of whipped cream!
Burrata cheese is similar to mozzarella and could be called its cousin! This soft cheese is creamy and delicate, but amazingly delicious.
Similar to mozzarella, burrata cheese is also made with cow's milk. Use burrata cheese in salads, sandwiches, or eat it on a slice of cucumber.
Fontina cheese is a semi-cooked cheese made with cow's milk and aged for a few months. It is soft and slightly sweet with an elastic texture.
Use fontina cheese in French onion soup or mixed into a salad.
Gorgonzola cheese is a type of blue cheese that can be spicy or sweet. This aged cheese is semi-soft and full of flavor.
Use Gorgonzola cheese in risotto or pasta, or eat it on top of pizza.
10. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano cheese is an aged Italian cheese made with sheep's milk. Often compared to Parmesan, it is a hard cheese that can be grated onto salads or over pasta dishes.
If you buy Pecorino Romano in the United States, it is likely made with cow's milk and will have an altered flavor.
Caprino cheese is a soft Italian cheese that is traditionally made with goat milk. This cheese must be refrigerated and has a short shelf life, so you will want to enjoy it rather quickly.
Eat caprino cheese with toasted bagels, fruit jam, crackers, or salami. This cheese es very versatile, and you can explore how to pair it with ideas of your own!
Toma is a semi-hard Italian cheese made with cow's milk. It has a creamy texture and is buttery and tangy in flavor.
Toma cheese can be eaten with fruit such as peaches, figs, or grapes. Or pair it with other sweet treats like honey or roasted nuts.
Bruss cheese is a fermented cheese made with sheep's milk. This cheese is very sharp and is only for those who love a pungent-smelling cheese.
Bruss cheese can age for up to four years and pairs well with bruschetta or is used in salad dressings.
Casizolu cheese is an Italian cheese that is made from cow's milk and aged for about 3 to 6 months. It is known for its buttery flavor and nutty finish.
Eat casizolu cheese as the filling for dumplings or use it as the base for soup. Don't feel limited though, because this versatile cheese can be used for much more if you use your imagination.
15. Bel Paese
Bel Paese cheese is a semi-soft Italian cheese that is aged for about 2 months. This cheese is made with pasteurized or raw milk and is fresh and delicious.
Eat bel paese cheese with fruit or sweet pairings such as jam or chutney, or eat it as a snack all by itself.
More Great Italian Cheeses Include:
- Puzzone di Moena
- Bitto Storico (one of the most expensive cheeses in the world!)
- Caciocavallo Podolico (another in the list of most expensive cheese varieties!)
- Formaggio di Fossa
- Bagòss (the third great cheese among the world's most expensive that originates from Italy!)
Surprise everyone with a mix of cheese that they have never tried before, and let them in on your love of Italian cheese. Don’t forget to leave us a comment to let us know which of these most popular Italian cheeses end up being your favorite!
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!
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