Goat Cheese vs. Parmesan

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Aaron

Goat cheese and parmesan are both delicious cheeses that have a strong presence in many dishes. While they can be used interchangeably in some recipes, there are also distinct differences between them that make each one unique.

In this post, we’ll explore the differences between goat cheese and parmesan, so you can choose the right cheese for your recipes. We will also discuss the characteristics and ways to use each cheese in cooking. And comparing the nutrition facts of the two cheeses, so you can decide which one best suits your healthy diet.

Let’s take a closer look.

Is Parmesan a Goat Cheese?

No, parmesan is not a type of goat cheese and is rarely made from goat milk. While they have some similarities, such as their strong flavor, there are several characteristics that set them apart.

Parmesan is a type of cheese made with cow’s milk, while goat cheese refers to a category of cheese made from the milk of goats. There are many types of goat cheese, some of the better-known ones are Humboldt Fog, Crottin, Bûcheron, feta, ricotta, Buche de Chevre, and more.

French loves goat cheese. You may be heard of Añejo cheese from Mexico, or Majorero cheese from Spain. Some other cheeses that are often made combined with goat milk are manchego, gouda, Kunik, and brie.

If you are looking for parmesan-like goat cheese, try Caprino. Go for an aged Formaggio Caprino like this one. However, it may not always be available and can often be quite pricey to get (~$38 per pound).

Flavor Profile

The flavor profiles of goat cheese and parmesan are quite different. Parmesan is salty, nutty, tangy, and sharp with a strong umami taste. It’s also grainy in texture. On the other hand, goat cheese is usually soft, creamy and buttery with a slightly tart flavor.

Parmesan is longer-aged (12 months up) and has a hard, granular texture. While Goat cheese, on the other hand, is typically around 6 months and the texture can be crumbly-soft to firm-smooth depending on the type. Some of the acid-set goat cheese like feta (pH:4.6-4.9) will also have a higher acidity than parmesan (pH: 5.1-5.4) — making them not melt well.

While aged parmesan has a pleasant fruity aromatic smell, people may find goat cheese to be off-putting with the “goaty” smell from the barnyard. For example the Mont St. Francis, it is a washed-rind goat cheese that is described as “aged beef and barnyard.” Other younger fresh goat cheese can smell milder and grassier.

So if you are looking for a cheese that has a similar flavor profile to Parmesan, goat cheese may not be the best choice. We’ve discussed the parmesan substitutions in the other post.

Can I Replace Parmesan With Goat Cheese?

Not the best option but yes, you can replace parmesan with aged hard goat cheese in some recipes, or the other way around. Use aged goat cheese such as the Garrotxa or Formaggio Caprino for a similar firm texture where a rich flavor is expected. You could also try manchego or pecorino romano.

So, Which One Is Actually Healthier?

When it comes to the health benefits provided by these two kinds of cheese, they are both fairly healthy. By comparing the USDA data of regular grated parmesan cheese to chevre cheese log by the 365 Whole Foods Market this one, we can see some interesting data.

  • They provide similar calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, and calcium content.
  • Parmesan has a significantly higher sodium content than goat cheese. Saltier!
  • Parmesan has a slightly higher protein content than goat cheese.
  • Goat cheese provides higher Vitamin A and some minerals than Parmesan.

The source of milk could be the determining factor. See the images below for macronutrients:

While goat milk is believed to provide more nutrients than cow milk overall, according to HealthifyMe, the other source which comparing the micronutrients showed that goat cheese has more iron, niacin, omega-6 fatty acids, and riboflavin, while parmesan contains more pantothenic acid and Vitamin B12.

Therefore, when it comes to micronutrients, goat cheese can be the better option.


  1. Food DataCentral – USDA – source
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