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Paneer vs. Mozzarella Cheese: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 8, 2023
Paneer is a fresh, non-melting Indian cheese made from curdled milk, while mozzarella is an Italian cheese known for its stretchiness, made from buffalo or cow milk.

Key Differences

Paneer, originating in the Indian subcontinent, is a staple in many Indian dishes. Mozzarella, rooted in Italian cuisine, is a key ingredient in pizzas and pastas.
Paneer is made by curdling milk with lemon juice or vinegar, and then pressing it. Mozzarella involves the process of curdling followed by stretching and kneading.
Paneer has a firm yet crumbly texture and a mild flavor. Mozzarella is known for its soft, elastic texture and slightly tangy taste.
Paneer is often used in curries and grilled dishes in South Asian cuisine. Mozzarella is famous for its melting qualities in dishes like pizza and lasagna.
Both cheeses provide protein, but paneer generally has higher fat content, while mozzarella is known for its calcium and moisture content.

Comparison Chart

Word Origin

Derived from Persian 'panir'
Italian origin, from 'mozzare'


Two (Pa-neer)
Four (Moz-za-rel-la)

Part of Speech


Usage in a Sentence

Common as a subject or object
Common as an object


Paneers (less common)
Mozzarellas (more common)

Paneer and Mozzarella Cheese Definitions


A non-melting cheese used in South Asian cuisine.
Paneer tikka is a popular grilled dish.

Mozzarella Cheese

A semi-soft cheese known for its stretchiness.
He stretched the mozzarella cheese while making pizza.


A cheese made by curdling milk with a fruit or vegetable-derived acid.
She used vinegar to make paneer for the dish.

Mozzarella Cheese

A traditionally southern Italian cheese.
Mozzarella cheese is essential for Neapolitan pizza.


A fresh cheese from India.
Paneer is often cubed and added to curry.

Mozzarella Cheese

A cheese made from buffalo or cow's milk.
We prefer buffalo mozzarella cheese for its richer flavor.


An unaged, acid-set cheese.
We made paneer at home using lemon juice.

Mozzarella Cheese

A cheese characterized by its mild flavor.
Caprese salad uses fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil.


A vegetarian protein source in Indian cooking.
Paneer replaces meat in many vegetarian recipes.

Mozzarella Cheese

A cheese commonly used in Italian dishes.
Mozzarella cheese melted perfectly on the lasagna.


A soft unsalted and unripened cheese made from milk that is simmered, curdled using lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt, or a similarly acidic substance, and then drained and pressed in cheesecloth.


A soft, non-matured, Indian cheese.
The spinach was mixed with paneer to make a satisfying meal.


How is paneer made?

Paneer is made by curdling milk with an acidic food like lemon juice or vinegar.

Can paneer be melted?

Paneer doesn’t melt; it retains its shape when cooked.

What is mozzarella cheese?

Mozzarella is an Italian cheese known for its stretchiness and is commonly used in pizzas.

What dishes commonly use paneer?

Paneer is commonly used in Indian dishes like paneer tikka and palak paneer.

What dishes commonly use mozzarella cheese?

Mozzarella cheese is popular in pizzas, lasagnas, and caprese salads.

What is paneer?

Paneer is a fresh, non-melting cheese from the Indian subcontinent.

Is paneer a good protein source?

Yes, paneer is a good source of protein, especially for vegetarians.

Can you freeze mozzarella cheese?

Yes, mozzarella can be frozen, especially the low-moisture kind.

Is paneer vegan?

No, paneer is not vegan as it is made from cow's milk.

How is mozzarella cheese made?

Mozzarella is made by curdling milk and then stretching and kneading the curds.

Is mozzarella cheese gluten-free?

Yes, mozzarella cheese is naturally gluten-free.

Can paneer be used in Italian cooking?

While not traditional, paneer can be used creatively in Italian dishes.

Can lactose-intolerant people eat paneer?

Paneer contains lactose, so it may not be suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals.

Can lactose-intolerant people eat mozzarella cheese?

Mozzarella cheese contains lactose, though in smaller amounts compared to other cheeses.

Is mozzarella cheese high in calories?

Mozzarella cheese is moderately high in calories due to its fat content.

Does mozzarella cheese melt well?

Mozzarella is renowned for its excellent melting qualities.

Is mozzarella cheese healthy?

Mozzarella cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, but it should be consumed in moderation due to its fat content.

Can you freeze paneer?

Yes, paneer can be frozen, though it may change its texture slightly.

Is paneer high in fat?

Paneer has a higher fat content compared to other cheeses.

Can mozzarella cheese be used in Indian cooking?

Mozzarella can be used in Indian cooking, especially in fusion dishes.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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