Paneer vs Mozzarella Cheese: What Is the Difference?

If you love cheese, you’ve probably heard the words Paneer and Mozzarella. But in case you have not, let us just quickly inform you that those two terms refer to two very popular kinds of cheese.

As mentioned, it is doubtful that you don’t know this, though. But do you really know what the terms Paneer and Mozzarella mean? Are you even entirely sure that you can tell them apart? Maybe not, and that isn’t anything to be ashamed about!

So what is the difference between Paneer and Mozarella? The most significant difference between Paneer and Mozzarella is that the former is made using an acid agent. On the other hand, the key to making Mozzarella is a thermophilic bacteria.

But are there any more differences? And if so, what are they? Well, that is precisely what we are going to discover in this article!

Paneer vs Mozzarella Cheese

Are mozzarella and paneer the same?

No, Mozzarella and Paneer are definitely not the same! Firstly, Mozzarella is a traditional Italian cheese, while Paneer comes from India. Secondly, there is the fact that Paneer is an acid-set kind of cheese.

On the contrary, the process used to make Mozzarella relies on thermophilic bacteria. Then the pasta filata method is used to provide the well-known final product.

What is the difference between paneer and mozzarella cheese?

Because of the fundamental differences mentioned above, Paneer and Mozzarella differ in a lot of their properties. We can begin with the fact that Paneer is a semi-solid cheese that isn’t juicy at all, while Mozzarella is soft and moist.

What’s also worth mentioning is that Paneer is often served in small cubes, but Mozzarella in little balls. There’s much, much more to talk about, though, so let’s take a look!

Paneer vs. mozzarella taste

Let’s start with the probably most important thing; their taste. So what is the difference between the way Paneer and Mozzarella taste? Well, even though Mozzarella and Paneer have different backgrounds, to be fair, their taste isn’t that much different.

Both of these kinds of cheese share a mild and milky taste. Mozzarella’s taste can be called a little bit more affluent, though.

That’s because Paneer has the same problem other fresh cheese often do – many people simply consider it to be too bland on its own. Mozzarella, on the other hand, compensates for this better due to its creaminess and interesting texture.

Paneer vs. mozzarella melting

Probably the most significant difference between Paneer and Mozzarella regards their melting abilities. Mozzarella melts excellently and is, therefore, besides others, the most common choice to make pizza.

This isn’t nearly the case with Paneer, though, since this Indian cheese doesn’t melt at all! Hence, it can often be prepared by frying the small individual cubes. 

Paneer vs. mozzarella fat content

Another critical property of cheese is the fat content, so how does Paneer differ from Mozzarella here? Well, to be honest, not drastically – both Paneer and Mozzarella have fat content near to 25 %.

Usually, Mozzarella contains a little bit less fat, maybe even something like 20 %, but this varies product by product. It is plausible to see some Paneer that contains less fat than some Mozzarella, then.

Paneer vs. mozzarella price

Do you wonder not only about their culinary differences but also wow is it with Paneer’s and Mozzarella’s prices? If so, don’t worry, buddy; we’ve got the answers for you!

So, to put it simply, both of these kinds of cheese are relatively cheap, with Mozzarella being the even cheaper one.

Paneer vs. mozzarella uses

You can probably tell this by yourself now, but, for certainty, let us put it plainly: uses of Paneer and Mozzarella are entirely different!

This is mainly because of the different ways they act while being exposed to heat. That means Mozzarella is most often used in dishes like pizza or cheesesteak, where we want the cheese to melt.

On the contrary, Paneer is used in those meals where we want the cheese to act similarly to meat ingredients – it is usually just roasted just like the meat, too.

When we talk about the uses of Paneer and Mozzarella, it is also convenient to mention their countries of origin. Indeed, Mozzarella is an Italian cheese, while Paneer will shine the brightest in Indian cuisine.

Paneer vs. mozzarella nutrition

Those two kinds of cheese differ in nutrition values as well. For the comparison, we’ve got here a table with the nutritions values for 100 grams of both Paneer and Mozzarella:

PaneerMozzarella
Calories321300
Total fat25g22g
Carbohydrates3.6g2.2g
Protein21g22g
Cholesterol56mg79mg
Sodium420mg304mg

Does paneer taste like mozzarella?

Paneer has a mild and milky taste, which resembles the one of other types of fresh cheese. So yes, paneer does kind of taste like Mozzarella. Mozzarella’s flavor is a little bit more creamy and less bland, though. 

Which is better, mozzarella or paneer cheese?

It is impossible to say whether it is better Mozzarella or Paneer cheese – that’s because this depends just and only on your own preferences.

If you like more solid kinds of cheese you can roast and eat as a whole, Paneer will suit you better. On the other hand, you seek nicely melting, creamy cheese for, for instance, your pizza, the better choice is Mozzarella.

Can I substitute mozzarella for paneer and vice versa?

No, you can’t substitute Mozzarella for Paneer. These two kinds of cheese differ greatly in their culinary use – Mozzarella is an easily melting cheese, which makes it a fantastic choice for pizza and similar dishes.

Quite the contrary, Paneer is a type of cheese that basically doesn’t melt at all. Hence, it is best just to roast it and eat it as it is with some seasoning and side-dish, as though it was meat.

Is paneer cheese healthier than mozzarella?

Paneer cheese isn’t healthier than Mozzarella, but that doesn’t make the latter the healthier one either. 

That’s because even though all of their many differences, both of these cheeses share fairly similar nutrition values (check the table above). Therefore, their effects on our health don’t vary.

Can you mix paneer and mozzarella?

Yes, you can mix Paneer and Mozzarella in some cases – for example, while making cheese sticks. You have to remember that those two kinds of cheese act very differently while being heated, though, and that makes mixing them a tough task in most cases.

Can we use paneer instead of mozzarella in pizza?

No, you definitely cannot! Why? Well, because Paneer is a kind of cheese that is nearly impossible to melt. That means it isn’t wise to use it on pizza since you simply won’t be able to get the same result you would with the Mozzarella. 

Summary

Mozzarella and Paneer share some similarities; however, they are still two very different kinds of cheese. They differ not only in their country of origin, texture, and taste but also in their way of preparation.

That results in the most essential difference between these two kinds of cheese – while Mozzarella is an exceptionally easily melting cheese, Paneer can’t be melted at all. Hence, recipes using one of these kinds of cheese will be really different from those using the other.

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Image credits – Canva

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