7 Gratin Cheese Substitutes: Here are Some Recommended Alternatives

As the weather gets colder, we miss hot meals, don’t we?

Many people, both children, and adults, love gratin, especially when the cheese is hot and crispy.

But let’s make gratin today! But when you start to make it, you may think, “I didn’t have enough cheese! But when I started to make it, I found out that I didn’t have enough cheese! I’m sure many people have had this experience.

Oh no! I don’t have any cheese. I don’t know what to do…

In this article, I’d like to introduce you to some useful substitutes for cheese in gratin.

If you find that you don’t have cheese after you start cooking, please give it a try.

7 cheese substitutes for gratin

Gratin varies in its ingredients, but the finishing touch is the cheese, which is melted and browned in the oven or toaster.

The fragrant smell and the stretching cheese are the best part of the dish, so many people feel that it is not enough without the cheese.

However, the charring and rich flavor can be made to some extent with substitutes.

It’s not as good as the cheese itself, but it’s tasty enough, so keep that in mind!

Substitute for cheese in gratin 1: Mayonnaise


Mayonnaise can be used as a substitute if you just want to brown it.

Mayonnaise contains oil and eggs, which makes it easy to brown and gives it a rich flavor.

It has a milder taste than cheese, so it is recommended for children.

What to prepare

  • Mayonnaise
  • Boiled egg if available


  1. Put the gratin white sauce in a baking dish, mayonnaise on top in a grid.
  2. If you want more volume, you can slice a boiled egg and pour mayonnaise over it.
  3. Bake in a toaster until cooked through, and you’re good to go.

The mayonnaise tends to brown easily, so if you think it will burn, cover it with aluminum foil.

Substitute for cheese in gratin 2: Bread crumbs

Bread crumbs

When you bake cheese, it becomes a little crispy, right?

This is a way to substitute bread crumbs to give that feeling.

You can enjoy the taste of white sauce because it does not have the same taste like cheese.

What to prepare

  • Bread crumbs
  • Butter if you have it (or margarine if you don’t)


  1. Put the gratin white sauce in a baking dish, and sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Fresh breadcrumbs are recommended if possible, but regular breadcrumbs are also fine.
  2. Sprinkle with butter, if available. You can also use a knife to cut the butter into small pieces.
  3. Bake until the breadcrumbs are browned and ready to serve.

If you have butter, it adds a nice flavor. The key is to tear the butter off and scatter it on top.

Gratin cheese substitute 3: Cheese powder

Cheese powder

Cheese powder can also be used as a substitute.

Powdered cheese also melts when heated, so it looks and tastes almost the same as the cheese used in gratin.

However, since powdered cheese is finer, it is important to use a little more of it.

What to prepare

  • Powdered cheese


  1. Put the gratin white sauce in a baking dish, and sprinkle the cheese powder on top. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the gratin.
  2. Bake in a toaster until cooked through.

Substitute for cheese in gratin 4: Egg yolks

egg yolks

Egg yolks can also be substituted for gratin cheese.

Just as you apply egg yolks when making sweet potatoes or bread, you can add the right amount of shine and browning to your gratin.

It is difficult to brush the creamy white sauce on, so using a spoon is a good idea.

Things to prepare

  • Egg yolks
  • Spoon


  1. After cracking the eggs, remove only the yolks and beat them.
  2. Put the gratin white sauce in a baking dish, and flatten the surface as much as possible.
  3. Spread the beaten egg yolks on (2) using the back of a spoon. Use the back of a spoon to coat (2) with the beaten egg yolk, but rather than coating it, it is best to leave it in place.
  4. After that, you can use a toaster or oven to brown it.

Substitute for Gratin Cheese 5: Sliced rice cakes

Sliced rice cakes

Baked cheese stretches, doesn’t it? You can use rice cakes to give it that stretched look.

If you use rice cakes as they are, they are thick and have a strong presence, so slice them thinly and use them.

You can also use rice cakes as a substitute for cheese.

However, since mochi is a carbohydrate, using a lot of it will make it heavy and high in calories, so be careful.

Things to prepare

  • Store-bought rice cakes
  • Knife


  1. Cut the rice cake into thin strips with a knife. It is recommended to cut it as thinly as possible so that the taste of the rice cake does not stand out.
  2. Put the white sauce in a heatproof dish and put the sliced rice cake on top. Try not to overlap them.
  3. Place the rice cake slices on top of the white sauce in an oven or toaster.

Substitute for cheese in gratin 6: Drained yogurt

Drained yogurt

People who make sweets may know that yogurt can be used as a substitute for cheese by draining it.

When yogurt is drained, it becomes creamy, and when it is heated, it becomes chunky, giving it a cheese-like texture.

Also, yogurt is lower in calories and more refreshing than cheese, so it is healthier than regular gratin.

What to prepare

  • Yogurt
  • Colander
  • Bowl
  • Kitchen paper


  1. Line a colander with two sheets of kitchen paper and put the yogurt.
  2. Overlap the colander with a large bowl, leave overnight in the refrigerator. Now you can drain the yogurt.
  3. Once you have prepared the gratin before baking, place the drained yogurt on top. Make sure the thickness is as even as possible. Once it’s on top, just bake it.

Substitute for cheese in gratin 7: Long potatoes

Long potatoes

Grate the long potatoes to make them fluffy. I recommend them as a substitute for cheese.

You can add a little seasoning so that you can be satisfied even without cheese.

What to prepare

  • Long bean curd
  • Silken tofu
  • White miso
  • Mayonnaise


  1. Blend peeled yam, silken tofu, and white miso in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour (1) over the ingredients of your choice, then pour mayonnaise over the top.
  3. Bake in a toaster for 10 to 15 minutes.

Here I’m using a combination of white miso, tofu, and other ingredients in place of the white sauce, so it’s a Japanese-style gratin! This may be perfect for those who are tired of the same taste all the time.

Points to note when using substitutes

By using any of the above substitutes, you can make gratin without the cheese.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using anything other than cheese.

Let’s check before substituting!

  • If you use too many substitutes, you will end up with a substitute taste.

Substitutes are just that, substitutes, so it is hard to get the aroma and flavor of the cheese.

Also, mayonnaise and egg yolks have quite a bit of flavor of their own, so if you use too much, it will taste like mayonnaise instead of gratin, or the egg flavor will be strong.

If you use too much, it will taste like mayonnaise instead of gratin. If you use too much, it will taste like mayonnaise instead of gratin.

  • No stretching

Some people look forward to the stretchy cheese when they eat gratin.

However, the mayonnaise, egg yolk, and bread crumbs introduced here do not give that stretchy feeling.

If you like stretchy cheese, you may find it a little lacking.

If you use a lot of cheese powder, it will clump when it melts and stretch a bit when it’s hot!


  • Gratin cheese can be substituted with mayonnaise, bread crumbs, egg yolk, and cheese powder.
  • When using breadcrumbs, it is recommended to sprinkle with butter.
  • When using substitutes, do not overspread so as not to spoil the taste of the gratin.
  • It does not stretch like cheese, so it is not recommended for those who like stretched cheese.
  • There are different types of cheese, and melted cheese is suitable for gratin.