Pastrami is undoubtedly the star ingredient when included in a sandwich.
This smoky cut of beef is full of flavor and needs no other item to complement its bold flavors.
However, if you’re looking to jazz things up a bit, you can add cheese to your pastrami sandwich.
Here are some of the best cheese varieties that work well with pastrami.
9 Cheese Varieties that Go with Pastrami
Pastrami sandwiches are always a best-seller at restaurants and delis.
They’re just as delicious as a cold cut, as they are in a pastrami sandwich.
But pastrami tastes even better when paired with cheese.
So, which cheese goes well with pastrami? Let’s find out.
1. Swiss Cheese
Swiss cheese is a classic accompaniment for pastrami.
The two are constantly paired together in sandwiches because of how well they work together.
As you may already know, pastrami has a bold, smoky flavor. It’s meaty, luscious, and highly satisfying.
So, you don’t need strong cheese since it would overpower or clash with the flavors of pastrami.
The cheese should instead allow the distinct flavors of pastrami to shine through.
Swiss cheese satisfies this condition.
It doesn’t overpower the flavor of pastrami but is rich enough to make the meat taste creamy.
The best way to pair pastrami with Swiss cheese is in a rye bread sandwich with sauerkraut and coleslaw for a fully-satisfying and indulgent meal.
Another good thing about using Swiss cheese is that you can mix it with other types of cheese, like Blue cheese, to create a cheesy sauce for pastrami and other types of meat.
This cheese is very versatile, with a semi-soft texture that works in sandwiches.
It’s good for meat sandwiches because Provolone melts beautifully and coats the meaty part of the filling.
You can add a few slices of Provolone to your pastrami sandwich or use it to prepare a cheese sauce to coat the meat.
The sharp and smoky flavors of Provolone blend beautifully with the rich and spicy flavors of pastrami.
When you add Provolone to a pastrami sandwich, you seldom need additional ingredients.
Just top it with a few slices of tomatoes or shredded lettuce, and it should be good to go.
Cheddar tastes great with pastrami.
Cheddar has sharp and bold flavors, but it complements the smoky and spicy flavors of pastrami beautifully.
Cheddar cheese has a yellow to orange color, and you can shred, grate or slice it.
Interestingly, you can pair it in any form with your pastrami, and it’s guaranteed to work.
Add a slice of cheddar to the bread or shred or grate it into the sandwich.
You can eat it as such or warm your sandwich until the cheddar melts and coats the pastrami so that you have an indulgent cheesy-meat filling.
The flavor of cheddar cheese changes as it ages, and it becomes sharper.
Although any cheddar would do well with Pastrami, we suggest combining younger cheddar with pastrami for better results.
4. American Cheese
American cheese is technically not a single type of cheese but a processed cheese made by mixing different cheese varieties.
The exact flavor and texture would vary from one brand to another.
This cheese is designed to be versatile, and the flavors are mellow and work in almost any recipe.
Pastrami is no exception.
This cheese makes pastrami saltier, indulgent, and creamy.
However, it doesn’t add much in terms of flavor. Hence, this combination has both lovers and haters.
The good thing about mixing American cheese with pastrami is that the flavors of the cheese don’t shadow the pastrami but allow the richness of the meat to shine through.
This cheese is a good choice if you wish to make a grilled pastrami sandwich.
If you’re looking for an unusual but exciting twist for your pastrami sandwich, go with Havarti.
Havarti is a Danish cheese with a semi-soft texture. This cheese has a sharp and acidic flavor with hints of butter.
It’s rich, creamy, and delicious on its own. However, this cheese also pairs well with a variety of ingredients.
Havarti cheese is typically added to cheese platters, where it’s served with fruits like grapes and dates.
It also works well with strong-flavored meat cuts like pastrami.
This cheese is slightly sweet and complements the strong salty and smoky flavors of pastrami.
This cheese also tastes well with rye and multi-grain bread.
Hence, it’s perfect for traditional pastrami sandwiches made with rye bread.
6. Monterey Pepper Jack
This American cheese packs heat and spice into a dish, adding more bold flavors when paired with pastrami.
While the traditional version of Monterey Jack cheese isn’t spicy, Pepper Jack cheese is made by adding peppers, herbs, and chilies to Monterey Jack cheese.
These additional ingredients alter the taste profile of the cheese and make it spicy and full of strong flavors.
The texture of this cheese is soft when it’s young, and it hardens as it matures.
Monterey Pepper Jack melts beautifully, which is why it’s commonly used as a melting cheese in Mexican wraps and burritos.
This characteristic also makes it attractive in pastrami sandwiches.
When warmed, this cheese melts and coats the pastrami, infusing it with the spicy heat of peppers.
This adds an extra punch to the delicious flavors of pastrami and makes it taste better.
Camembert is a moist and creamy white cheese made from cow’s milk.
It’s pungent with a unique earthy flavor profile with hints of mushrooms, garlic, and grass.
It has a strong and distinct flavor profile that is somewhat similar to that of Brie. Hence, it’s not suitable for everyone.
Camembert cheese is usually baked and enjoyed as a dip for bread and breadsticks.
However, you can also pair it with other strong-tasting vegetable dishes and meat cuts like pastrami.
The strong meaty flavors of pastrami will be enhanced by the pungency of Camembert, making it a delicious and exciting combination.
Since Camembert is moist and melts when baked, you can use it in a cheese sauce to pour over pastrami in a sandwich.
8. Blue Cheese
Just like Swiss cheese, Blue cheese is another variety of cheese that is widely paired with pastrami.
This semi-soft cheese is renowned for its strong salty and pungent flavors as well as its unique visual characteristics.
The cheese has blue marbling over the entire white surface, which resembles mold.
Depending on the age and the variety, it may also have hints of sweetness.
Blue cheese is usually easy to crumble and easy to add to sandwiches and wraps.
Since it’s a soft cheese, it melts well.
You can use this cheese in your Pastrami sandwiches along with other varieties of cheese like Swiss cheese that complement the meat and the blue cheese.
Mixing more than one variety of cheese will not only enhance the flavors of the pastrami but add more complex flavors to the combination.
Mozzarella is a versatile cheese that goes with almost anything.
The traditional variety is made using buffalo milk.
It has a clear white color and soft texture when freshly prepared.
It’s moist, but this cheese loses its moisture the longer it sits. It also changes from white to yellow with age.
Mozzarella is creamy and stretchy. It melts and spreads well when heated.
This cheese is widely used as a pizza topping and also added to pasta and other dishes.
It’s a good idea to pair pastrami with mozzarella if you want a mild but salty cheese that doesn’t overpower the flavors of the meat.
Mozzarella will add moisture and creaminess to the meat but allow the original flavors to shine through.