The Best Cheese For Pasta

The Definitive Guide to Cheese and Pasta Pairings


This comprehensive guide is to explore the ideal cheese options for pasta dishes made with both white and red sauces. The guide will not only identify the top cheese choices, but also provide insight into how and when they should be used to achieve the best results.

How To Choose A Cheese For Pasta Dishes

Flavor Pairings

There are some great natural flavor pairings for pasta and cheese. Gouda and bechamel sauce. Feta in a basil and tomato penne pasta. Or the classic pairing of Parmesan on top of a creamy Carbonara.

Texture Of The Cheese When Heated

A better option would be the cheese that doesn’t melt. It can soften, like feta, Parmesan, or camembert, but it shouldn’t melt. This helps add some more texture with a creamy mouthfeel still.

Best Cheese For Creamy Pasta


We start off with an extremely common and globally available cheese, cheddar. What makes this option great is that it’s easy to find, affordable, and comes in a multitude of flavors, all of which melt completely.


This is another very safe, easy-to-find, and budget-friendly melting cheese to use. Its neutral flavor profile makes it easy to pair while it still adds a creamy rich texture.


Mozzarella is traditionally more used in pizza than pasta. But, like Gouda, it’s a fantastic basic melting cheese that can be used along with other options.

Best Cheese For Red Sauce Pasta


This parmesan cheese can be added finely grated or as small shavings. They add a salty flavor with a bitter undertone. This combination of qualities helps create a well-balanced tomato pasta.


Feta cheese is arguably the easiest to add for red pasta types. And you also get different textures for it. The feta cheese will soften when heated but never melt.


This type of cheese will add a zingy, bitter, and complex flavor to your pasta, especially red options. That being said, don’t be scared of adding it to white pasta as well. It works surprisingly well.