Can You Use Mozzarella Instead of Parmesan in Pesto?

When it comes to adding flavor and texture to your pasta, salad, or sandwich, few ingredients are as versatile as cheese. Both mozzarella and Parmesan are two popular types of cheese that work well in almost any dish.

Both have neutral flavors by themselves and don’t require much preparation before they can be added to other ingredients. There are several key differences between these two cheeses that you should take note of when you plan on using them in a new recipe.

Both Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese have different uses, flavors, textures, and fat content.

To help you decide which one is the right choice for your next recipe, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of each type of cheese so you can choose with confidence the next time you cook with them. Let’s take a closer look:

To answer the question quickly, Yes. You can use Mozzarella instead of Parmesan in Pesto its just not the best choice. The flavor profile will be different considering parmesan is a hard cheese whilst Mozzarella is a semi soft cheese. With that being said, its possible to pull off a great pesto mozzarella dish.

What is Mozzarella Cheese?

Mozzarella is a stringy cheese that has a mild, milky flavor. The cheeses are typically white in color, semi-soft in texture, and are best served fresh.

When mozzarella is processed, whole milk is boiled with an acid (usually citric or lactic) for about five minutes until it curdles into a solid mass.

The curds then get heated and stretched by hand to form the strands of cheese. This type of cheese is used in dishes like lasagna, pizza, and calzones.

What is Parmesan Cheese?

Parmesan cheese is made from cows’ milk that is heated and then pressed into a hard block. It’s often powdered to make it easier to work with in recipes. The flavor of Parmesan is much stronger than Mozzarella because it has a higher fat content. # What is Mozzarella Cheese?

Mozzarella cheese is made from water buffalo milk, which gives it a less powerful flavor than Parmesan. Unlike Parmesan, it doesn’t need to be powdered before cooking, and many people find the taste milder than Parmesan. It also melts easier than most cheeses, making it a good choice for dishes like pizza or lasagna.

The Differences Between Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese

Mozzarella: Mozzarella is the most popular cheese in America. It has a mild, delicate flavor and a high water content. This means that it can be eaten without cooking and will melt in your mouth when you eat it.

It’s typically used to top pizza or lasagna, but it also works well in pasta dishes like macaroni and cheese or spaghetti bolognese. Parmesan: Parmesan comes in two varieties- grated and shredded.

Grated Parmesan is best for topping any dish with a long simmer time like pasta sauce, soup, or stew. Shredded Parmesan is best on top of salads, pasta dishes, and sandwiches. When you buy pre-grated Parmesan cheese from the store, this is what you are usually getting.

Which One to Use in Pesto?

The most popular way to use Mozzarella cheese is to shred it for use in a variety of recipes like pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and more. Because it has a neutral flavor, Mozzarella is often the go-to cheese for many different dishes. As a general rule of thumb, you should use Parmesan cheese in dishes that have an Italian flare. We recommend using Parmesan as the primary or main ingredient in pesto because it gives your dish that traditional Italian taste.

Its possible to use Mozzarella in Pesto, its just not our first choice. Check out the example below.

How to Store Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese?

Mozzarella cheese is best stored in the refrigerator. The cold temperatures will help to keep the cheese fresh for about a week. When storing slices of mozzarella, you should use wax paper and wrap it tightly so that it doesn’t dry out or absorb other flavors from other foods in your fridge.

Parmesan cheese can be stored in a similar way as mozzarella, but unlike mozzarella, Parmesan should not be refrigerated. This is because Parmesan has a higher fat content than mozzarella and thus needs to be kept at lower temperatures so that its flavor doesn’t fade.

You can place the unopened packages of Parmesan into a cabinet or on your countertop without worrying about it going bad any time soon. If you are using an opened package and you want to keep it out, cover the top of the package with plastic wrap or aluminum foil so that air doesn’t get in and add moisture to the cheese which will cause moldy patches to form.


Mozzarella is a type of cheese that’s typically made from cow’s milk. It has a very mild flavor and is best used in dishes like pizzas, pastas, and salads.

Parmesan, on the other hand, is made from sheep or cow’s milk and has a stronger flavor than Mozzarella due to the aging process. The difference between these two cheeses lies in their texture and use.

Whilst Mozzarella has a much softer texture than Parmesan, it also melts better. This means that if you need your cheese to be easily spreadable or to have a creamy texture, then Mozzarella will work best for you.

Meanwhile, Parmesan can be grated on top of dishes like soup or pasta with its hard texture adding substance and flavor to the dish.