Havarti: The Low-Calorie Cheese You Didn’t Know You Needed

In the world of cheeses, Havarti stands out as a versatile and flavorful option that can elevate any dish. But did you know that this Danish delight is also a surprisingly low-calorie choice? Yes, you heard it right! Havarti cheese, with its creamy texture and tangy undertones, can be a part of your health-conscious diet without compromising on taste. Let’s delve into the world of Havarti and discover how this cheese can be a delicious ally in your low-calorie culinary adventures.


Havarti cheese, a delightful product of Denmark, is a semi-soft cheese that is renowned for its versatility in the culinary world. It’s a cheese that’s rich in flavor, with a buttery, slightly acidic taste that’s often described as sharp and tangy. But what makes Havarti stand out in the realm of nutrition?

Firstly, Havarti cheese is relatively low in calories compared to other cheeses. A one-ounce serving of Havarti cheese contains approximately 120 calories. This is significantly lower than other popular cheeses, such as Cheddar or Gouda, which can contain upwards of 150 calories per ounce. This lower calorie content can be attributed to Havarti’s moisture content. Semi-soft cheeses like Havarti contain more water than hard cheeses, which reduces their calorie density.

But don’t let the lower calorie content fool you into thinking Havarti is lacking in nutritional value. Quite the contrary! Havarti is a good source of protein, with about 6 grams per ounce. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, and it also plays a crucial role in maintaining muscle mass, which is particularly important if you’re engaging in regular exercise.

Havarti also provides a good amount of calcium, a mineral that’s essential for bone health. A single serving of Havarti cheese can provide about 20% of the daily recommended intake of calcium. This makes Havarti a great choice for individuals looking to support their bone health, particularly those who may be at risk of conditions like osteoporosis.

Moreover, Havarti contains a decent amount of vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining healthy vision, supporting the immune system, and promoting cell growth.

When it comes to weight loss, Havarti’s lower calorie content can certainly be beneficial. However, it’s important to remember that cheese is still a calorie-dense food, so moderation is key. Pairing Havarti with high-fiber foods like whole grain bread or fresh fruits and vegetables can create a balanced, satisfying meal that supports weight loss efforts.

In conclusion, Havarti cheese is a flavorful, versatile cheese that offers a range of nutritional benefits. Its lower calorie content, combined with its good protein and calcium content, make it a great choice for those looking to enjoy a tasty cheese while also supporting their health and weight loss goals.

Nutrition facts

Here’s an approximate nutritional profile for Havarti cheese per 100g serving:

  • Calories: 350-400
  • Protein: 20-25g
  • Fat: 25-30g
    • Saturated Fat: 15-20g
  • Carbohydrates: 1-2g
    • Sugar: 0-1g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 70-100mg
  • Sodium: 500-700mg
  • Calcium: 20-25% of the Daily Value
  • Vitamin A: 4-6% of the Daily Value

Please note that these values can vary depending on the specific brand and preparation of the cheese. It’s always best to check the nutrition label of the specific product you’re consuming for the most accurate information.

As for the ingredients, Havarti cheese is typically made from cow’s milk, rennet (an enzyme used in cheese making), salt, and bacterial culture. Some versions may also include herbs or spices for flavor.

Different types

Havarti cheese is a versatile cheese that comes in a variety of flavors. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Plain Havarti: This is the traditional form of Havarti cheese. It’s a semi-soft cheese with a buttery, slightly acidic taste. It’s great for sandwiches, crackers, or just on its own.
  • Dill Havarti: This version of Havarti has dill herbs mixed into the cheese. The dill adds a fresh, slightly tangy flavor that pairs well with the creamy Havarti.
  • Caraway Havarti: Caraway seeds are added to this Havarti cheese, giving it a distinct, aromatic flavor. It’s a great choice for those who enjoy a bit of a unique twist on their cheese.
  • Cream Havarti: Cream Havarti is a higher-fat version of Havarti. Extra cream is added during the cheese-making process, resulting in a richer, creamier texture and flavor.
  • Jalapeno Havarti: This Havarti cheese has jalapeno peppers mixed in, adding a spicy kick. It’s perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their cheese.

Here’s a summary table comparing these types of Havarti cheese:

Type of Havarti Description Unique Features
Plain Havarti Traditional, semi-soft, buttery, slightly acidic Great for sandwiches, crackers
Dill Havarti Dill herbs mixed in Fresh, slightly tangy flavor
Caraway Havarti Caraway seeds added Distinct, aromatic flavor
Cream Havarti Higher-fat version, extra cream added Richer, creamier texture and flavor
Jalapeno Havarti Jalapeno peppers mixed in Adds a spicy kick

Please note that the nutritional content can vary slightly between these types of Havarti, particularly for Cream Havarti which has a higher fat content. Always check the nutritional information on the packaging for the most accurate details.

Mixers and alternatives

Havarti cheese is a versatile cheese that pairs well with a variety of foods. Here are some mixers that go well with Havarti:

  • Fruits: Apples, pears, and grapes all pair well with Havarti. The sweetness of the fruit complements the creamy, slightly tangy flavor of the cheese.
  • Crackers and Breads: Whole grain crackers and breads provide a nice crunch and fiber content that pairs well with the softness of Havarti.
  • Meats: Lean meats like turkey and chicken can be paired with Havarti in a sandwich or on a cheese board.
  • Vegetables: Fresh vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes can be used in a sandwich with Havarti or served alongside it.
  • Wine: Light to medium-bodied wines like Chardonnay or Pinot Noir pair well with Havarti.

If you’re looking for lower calorie alternatives to Havarti cheese, here are a few options:

  • Feta Cheese: Feta is a tangy, crumbly cheese that’s lower in calories than Havarti. It’s great in salads and Mediterranean dishes.
  • Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in calories, making it a good choice for a healthy snack or addition to meals.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Part-skim mozzarella is lower in calories than many other cheeses, including Havarti. It’s a good choice for sandwiches, pizzas, and pasta dishes.
  • Swiss Cheese: Swiss cheese is lower in fat and calories than many other cheeses. It also has a mild flavor that can substitute for Havarti in many dishes.
  • Ricotta Cheese: Part-skim ricotta is lower in calories and can be used in a variety of dishes, from pasta to desserts.

Remember, while these cheeses may be lower in calories, they also have different flavors and textures from Havarti. It’s always a good idea to consider the overall balance of flavors in your dish when choosing a cheese.

Low calorie recipe

Here’s a simple recipe for a low-calorie salad featuring Havarti cheese:


  • 2 cups of mixed salad greens (spinach, romaine, arugula, etc.)
  • 1 medium apple or pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts or almonds, chopped
  • 2 ounces of Havarti cheese, diced or shredded
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the ingredients: Wash the salad greens thoroughly and pat them dry. Slice your apple or pear into thin slices. Chop the walnuts or almonds. Dice or shred the Havarti cheese.
  2. Assemble the salad: In a large salad bowl, combine the salad greens, sliced apple or pear, chopped nuts, and Havarti cheese. Toss gently to mix the ingredients.
  3. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Dress the salad: Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss gently to ensure all the ingredients are coated with the dressing.
  5. Serve: Serve the salad immediately, or refrigerate it for up to an hour before serving to let the flavors meld together.

This salad is a great way to enjoy the creamy, tangy flavor of Havarti cheese in a light, healthy dish. The fruit adds a touch of sweetness, the nuts provide a satisfying crunch, and the simple vinaigrette ties everything together. Enjoy!

Interesting facts

Here are some interesting facts about Havarti cheese:

  • Origin: Havarti cheese originated in Denmark in the mid-19th century. It was first made by a Danish farmer named Hanne Nielsen who traveled across Europe to learn the art of cheesemaking and brought her knowledge back to her farm, Havarthigaard, from which the cheese takes its name.
  • Aging Process: Unlike many cheeses that improve with age, Havarti is typically aged for only around three months. This short aging process gives it a smooth, semi-soft texture and a subtle, buttery flavor.
  • Versatility: Havarti is a very versatile cheese. It can be sliced, grilled, or melted, making it suitable for a wide range of dishes, from sandwiches and burgers to gourmet recipes.
  • Flavored Varieties: Havarti is often flavored with herbs and spices to create different varieties. Some popular versions include dill, caraway, and jalapeno Havarti.
  • Nutritional Value: Havarti is a good source of protein and calcium. However, like many cheeses, it’s also high in fat and calories, so it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
  • Popularity: Havarti is one of the most popular imported cheeses in the United States. Its mild flavor and versatility make it a favorite among cheese lovers.
  • Cream Havarti: There’s a version of Havarti known as “Cream Havarti”. This is a “dessert cheese” that’s made with extra cream for a richer flavor and texture. It’s often served with fruit and wine.
  • Production: The production of Havarti involves a process called “interior ripening,” where the cheese is allowed to mature from the inside out. This gives Havarti its characteristic tiny holes or “eyes.”
  • Pairings: Havarti pairs well with a variety of wines, but particularly with light to medium-bodied wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Noir. It also pairs well with light beers and ciders.


Where does Havarti cheese originate from?

Havarti cheese originated in Denmark in the mid-19th century. It was first made by a Danish farmer named Hanne Nielsen.

What does Havarti cheese taste like?

Havarti has a buttery, slightly acidic taste. It’s often described as mild and tangy. The flavor can vary slightly depending on the age of the cheese and any added ingredients.

What dishes can I use Havarti cheese in?

Havarti is a very versatile cheese. It can be used in sandwiches, melted in casseroles or on burgers, or served on a cheese board. It’s also great for grilling.

How should I store Havarti cheese?

Havarti cheese should be stored in the refrigerator. It’s best to keep it wrapped in wax paper or cheese paper, then loosely wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in a plastic bag. This allows the cheese to breathe while still keeping it fresh.

Does Havarti cheese have a lot of calories?

Like many cheeses, Havarti is relatively high in calories and fat. However, it’s also a good source of protein and calcium. As with any food, it’s best to consume Havarti in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Are there different types of Havarti cheese?

Yes, there are several types of Havarti cheese. In addition to the traditional plain Havarti, there are also varieties flavored with herbs and spices, such as dill, caraway, and jalapeno. There’s also a cream Havarti, which is made with extra cream for a richer flavor and texture.

What wines pair well with Havarti cheese?

Havarti cheese pairs well with a variety of wines, but particularly with light to medium-bodied wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Noir. It also pairs well with light beers and ciders.


In conclusion, Havarti cheese is a testament to the fact that low-calorie doesn’t have to mean low on flavor. This Danish cheese, with its unique taste and texture, can be a delightful addition to your diet, offering nutritional benefits while keeping your calorie count in check. So, the next time you’re looking for a cheese that’s both tasty and waistline-friendly, remember Havarti. It’s not just a cheese; it’s a celebration of balanced indulgence.

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