Types of Semi-hard Cheese

A cheese’s water or moisture content determines its texture and softness — the less moisture a cheese has, the harder its texture is. Semi-hard cheeses undergo an aging process of up to about 6 months, resulting in a moisture level higher than hard cheese but significantly lower than soft cheese (usually between 40-45%).

This group is distinguished by its mild, delicate flavor, featuring savory and tangy notes coupled with a dense yet springy texture. You can easily make thin slices of semi-hard cheese and add them to sandwiches and burgers.

Semi-hard Cheese

The Common and Notable Types of Semi-hard Cheese

Some of the most recognized and widely consumed cheeses, like Monterey Jack and Oaxaca, have a semi-hard texture. Find out more about different semi-hard cheese varieties and their use.

NameMilk SourceTaste & TextureCountry of OriginCalories/oz.How to Eat
OaxacaCowStringy and mildMexico~80 kcalIn Mexican dishes like quesadillas and tacos 
Monterey JackCowMild and creamyUnited States~110 kcalMelted in quesadillas, tacos, pizzas, casseroles, and sandwiches
CotijaCowSalty, with a crumbly textureMexico~110 kcalGrated over tacos, salads, and soups
EmmentalCowNutty amd firmSwitzerland~110 kcalFondue, sandwiches, and gratins
PanelaCowMild, with a soft, smooth textureMexico~90 kcalGrilled, fried, or used in salads
EdamCowMild and nuttyNetherlands~100 kcalIn sandwiches, salads, and as a snack
ProvoletaCowSmoky, similar to ProvoloneArgentina~120 kcalGrilled and served as an appetizer
AsaderoCowCreamy and mildMexico~100 kcalMelted in casseroles, quesadillas, and pizzas
EmmentalerCowNutty, with a solid dense textureSwitzerland~120 kcalFondue, sandwiches, and salads
WensleydaleCowCrumbly and fruityEngland~110 kcalPaired with fruits, salads, and desserts
CotswoldCowCreamy and tangyEngland~110 kcalMelted on toast, sandwiches, and crackers
HaloumiSheepSalty and firmCyprus~110 kcalGrilled in salads and sandwiches
BrunostCow/GoatSweet yet intense flavor, reminiscent of the caramelized milk dish dulce de lecheNorway~110 kcalSpread on bread or crackers, used in desserts
KasseriSheep/GoatNutty, mild, and butteryGreece~100 kcalGrilled dishes, pies, and sandwiches
SardoSheepSharp, yet delicately flavored with herbsItaly~110 kcalGrated over pasta, salads, and soups
Basket CheeseCow/GoatSoft and mildVarious~90 kcalEaten fresh, in salads and with fruits
KashkavalSheep/CowSalty and slightly nuttyBalkans~110 kcalIn grilled sandwiches
BucheronGoatCreamy and tangy with a distinct ‘goat cheese’ flavorFrance~120 kcalSpread on bread, salads, and desserts
Fourme d’AmbertCowRich, creamy with a tangy and earthy tasteFrance~110 kcalCrumbled on salads, in sauces, and with fruits
Gloucester CheeseCowNutty and full-bodied with a smooth textureEngland~110 kcalMelted on toast, in sauces, and soups
ChancoCowMild and creamyChile~90 kcalEaten fresh, in salads, and sandwiches
Beaufort CheeseCowNutty, fruity, and slightly sweetFrance~120 kcalFondue, gratins, and sandwiches
CabralesCow/GoatStrong and pungent blue cheese with a creamy and crumbly textureSpain~110 kcalCrumbled on salads, in sauces, and with fruits
Cantal CheeseCowEarthy and robustFrance~110 kcalSliced on sandwiches, in salads, and snacks
ChubutCowMild and creamy with a slight tangArgentina~90 kcalMelted in dishes, sandwiches, and pizzas
P’tit BasqueSheepSmooth, buttery and nuttyFrance~110 kcalEaten fresh in salads, and with fruits
SulguniCowElastic and slightly smoky, with a mild milky flavorGeorgia~90 kcalGrilled or fried in salads and sandwiches
GarrotxaGoatEarthy, slightly sweet with herbal flavor and crumbly textureSpain~90 kcalSliced on sandwiches, in salads, and snacks
MaasdamCowNutty and sweet with characteristic holes Netherlands~110 kcalSliced on sandwiches, in salads, and snacks
MariboCowNutty and mildDenmark~100 kcalSliced on sandwiches, in salads, and snacks
MondseerCowMild and nutty, similar to EmmentalAustria~100 kcalSandwiches, pizzas, and other dishes with melted cheese

List of Some More Types of Semi-hard Cheese

  • Kaseri
  • Nabulsi
  • Ossau-Iraty
  • Shanklish Cheese
  • Shifra
  • Torta Del Casar
  • Vacherin Fribourgeois
  • Nabulsi
  • Cornish Yarg
  • Goya Cheese
  • Leerdammer
  • Parrano
  • Serra Da Estrela (semi-hard variant)
  • Bleu Des Causses
  • Gamalost
  • Añejo Cheese
  • Boerenkaas
  • Red Windsor
  • Reggianito
  • Harzer
  • Molbo
  • Abondance Cheese
  • Le Marechal
  • Metsovone
  • Payoyo
  • Salers Cheese
  • Lighvan Cheese
  • Fynbo
  • Hushållsost
  • Turrialba Cheese
  • Laguiole Cheese
  • Majorero
  • Nøkkelost
  • Redykołka
  • Tilsiter
  • Abbaye De Belloc
  • Atleet
  • Casín
  • Gołka
  • Balaton Cheese
  • Bellingham Blue
  • Carlow Cheese
  • Circassian Cheese
  • Coquetdale
  • Duhallow
  • Eesti Juust
  • Graskaas
  • Herrgårdsost
  • Ibores
  • Keltic Gold
  • Maaslander
  • Mallorca Cheese
  • Mont Des Cats
  • Oštiepok
  • Raclette Du Valais
  • Scharfe Maxx
  • Svecia
  • Tafí Del Valle
  • Kars Gravyer
  • Paipa Cheese
  • Palmito Cheese
  • Van Herbed Cheese
  • Grevé
  • Kadaka Juust
  • Remoudou
  • Trappista Cheese
  • Tylżycki
  • Pikauba
  • Yamandú
  • Flor De Guía
  • Galil Cheese
  • Pategrás
  • Colony Cheese
  • Vlašić Cheese
  • Ardsallagh Hard Goat’s Cheese
  • Knockalara Sheeps Cheese
  • Zgorzelecki
  • Tzfatit
  • Charisma Cheese
  • Holanda Cheese
  • Santarém Cheese


Is there a semi-hard white cheese?

Oaxaca and Monterey Jack are the two most popular types of white cheese with a semi-hard texture.

What are a few examples of semi-hard yellow cheese?

Many of the types in the above list come as yellow cheeses, with emmental and edam being two prominent examples.