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Don't Sleep On Monterey Jack Cheese For A Delicious Homemade Pizza

Pepperoni pizza
Pepperoni pizza - Ryzhkov Photography/Shutterstock

When you need a meal that's sure to keep all your party guests happy, pizza is an obvious go-to. And while most people choose to order a pizza to save a bit of time, you can also make your own tasty creations at home. Not only can this be a fun activity to get your guests involved at mealtime, but it also means that you can move away from the typical pepperoni and mozzarella toppings and try something new instead.

One way to get a truly mouthwatering pie, just like you'd find at your local pizza joint, is to use Monterey Jack cheese in lieu of traditional mozzarella. It's a soft cheese that melts well and also browns nicely, giving you a beautiful, gooey finish to your dish. Plus, it has a mild flavor, making it perfect for adding to cheese blends or for using on its own and pairing with a wide range of different pizza toppings.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Why Monterey Jack Works So Well For Pizza And How To Use It

Shredded monterey jack cheese
Shredded monterey jack cheese - Lauraag/Getty Images

Monterey Jack cheese originally hails from California and is a semi-hard young cheese. It's still aged, but only for a minor amount of time, typically only for a few weeks to a few months. Young cheeses tend to be softer than old cheese, and they also tend to melt better, giving you that gooey, stretchy look that gets your mouth watering.

As for flavor, Monterrey Jack has a buttery taste, as opposed to the milky flavor of mozzarella. It also has nutty undertones to it, and you can also find variations on it, which come with their own additional tasting notes added to the mix. For instance, there's Pepper Jack, which features jalapeños and other peppers to give it a slight kick. Another variety is Dry Jack, which is an aged variety of this cheese and has a tang similar to that of aged cheddar. This could work well mixed with other, younger cheeses for easier melting or sprinkled on top of your baked pizza as a finishing touch.

What To Pair With Your Monterey Jack Cheese Pizza

Person sprinkling cheese on pizza
Person sprinkling cheese on pizza - Sestovic/Getty Images

If you're going to use Monterey Jack on your pie, it pays to know that you can also pair it with a few other underrated pizza cheeses for an even more mouthwatering flavor combo. For instance, pairing it with some feta can be a great way to add some more richness to the Monterey Jack and add some tangy notes to your meal. Or, you could add a sharpness by adding a bit of cheddar or Asiago cheese instead.

Besides playing around with cheeses, you can also experiment with different sauces. Ramp up the buttery taste of the Monterey Jack by making a white pizza, for instance. Or, play on its nutty undertones by using a pesto sauce.

Finally, there are the veggies and toppings to think about. Because Monterey Jack is quite mild, it can work with just about anything you choose to add to your pizza. Buttery, caramelized onions could work, sausage, spinach — it's up to you which proteins and veggies you prefer on your pie. Next time you make homemade pizza, give Monterey Jack cheese a whirl and see what topping combos strike your fancy!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.