4 Substitutes for Burrata Cheese

It's rich, decadent and almost impossible to resist. If you don't have this type of fresh mozzarella on hand, what's the best burrata cheese substitute?

This rich, buttery cheese tastes great no matter how you prepare it, from classic apps like bruschetta or grilled nectarines with burrata to Instagram and TikTok trends like burrata boards and burrata pizza. But what if your recipe calls for burrata and you don’t have it on hand? Don’t worry; we can help you find a burrata cheese substitute.

What Is Burrata?

Burrata is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that looks like a large ball of fresh mozzarella, but slicing open the orb reveals a gooey surprise. It’s basically a cheese dumpling comprised of two kinds of cheese: a mozzarella shell stuffed with stracciatella, or shreds of fresh mozzarella soaked in cream.

This process to make this delectable cheese is strikingly similar to mozzarella, with cheesemakers heating the milk and setting the curds with rennet. From there, the curds are warmed with boiling water until they’re stretchable. Some of the stretched curds are formed into a loose pouch while others are left as strands, soaked in cream and stuffed inside the pouch. Finally, the ball is sealed and stored in whey or salted water, like fresh mozzarella.

How Does Burrata Taste?

Burrata means “buttered” in Italian, referring to the cheese’s undeniably rich flavor. Enjoying burrata is more than the taste of the cheese, though, as the beautiful combination of textures really comes into play here. The difference between the smooth shell and the soft curds inside excites the senses as the slightly sweet, buttery flavors hit your palate.

4 Burrata Cheese Substitute Ideas

Few cheeses truly live up to burrata’s flavor and texture, but that doesn’t mean you have to make a special trip if your store is out of stock. The best substitute for burrata depends on the type of recipe you’re making.

Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella is the closest swap for burrata when it comes to flavor, although it lacks burrata’s creamy interior texture. Look for mozzarella balls packed in water or whey for the closest match. This swap is perfect if your recipe calls for melted cheese. Burrata’s appeal is in the soft center, which is lost when the cheese melts, so you’re better off with fresh mozzarella anyway.

Stracciatella

If you can find it, stracciatella is an ideal substitution in recipes that call for raw burrata, like Caprese salad or bruschetta or as a finishing garnish for pasta or pizza. It has the same texture as the inside of a burrata ball because it’s used as the filling. It’s not as common as fresh mozzarella or burrata, but you may find it in a small container in the deli section at your grocery store.

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is significantly bolder and saltier than burrata, but it has a similar creaminess that makes it work as a substitution. Look for sheep’s milk feta for its superior texture and richer flavor. This cheese can be used as-is in melted recipes, but you might want to make a whipped feta to get the consistency right when using it for raw applications.

Ricotta

Ricotta wouldn’t be our first choice as a substitute for burrata, but it will work in a pinch. This cow’s milk cheese is typically made from the whey leftover after making mozzarella, and it has a creamy texture and a lightly tangy flavor. It lacks burrata’s chewy consistency, but does emulate the cheese’s creamy interior. Don’t use ricotta in any recipe that calls for melted burrata, as this cheese doesn’t really melt.

Recipes That Would Be Better with Burrata (or a Burrata Substitute)

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.