14 Unusual Oaxaca Cheese Substitutes You Can Use Right Now

Oaxaca is a state in Mexico that is pronounced wa-hah-kah. Queso Oaxaca was invented in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, thus the name. This southern Mexican state is now known as one of the main cheese producers in the country.

Queso Oaxaca is a soft white cheese that is used in many Mexican dishes. Empanadas and quesadillas are often made with Oaxacan cheese.

If you happen to run out, here are some excellent Oaxaca cheese substitutions you may try.

  1. Mozzarella Cheese
  2. String Cheese
  3. Muenster Cheese
  4. Unaged Monterey Jack Cheese
  5. Cotija
  6. Cheddar Curds
  7. Asadero Cheese
  8. Ricotta Salata
  9. Queso Fresco

Quick Fact

Mexican mozzarella is another name for Oaxaca cheese. Shredded Oaxacan cheese balls are used as toppings for tostadas and antojitos (appetizers).

Before we get into the possible alternatives, let’s learn a little more about the origins of this cheese and how it’s created.

14 Best Substitute For Oaxaca Cheese 

This Mexican cheese is classified as semi-hard and is created from cow’s milk. To manufacture Oaxaca cheese, the Italians invented the string cheese technique.

Curd cheese is stretched into long ribbons before being rolled into soft cheese balls. Quesillo Oaxaca (thread cheese) refers to these cheese balls.

Asadero (roaster or broiler) or queso quesadilla are the names given to cheese bricks. Making cheese is an art form.

Typically, the cheese pieces are used on chili rellenos and quesadillas. It has a creamy texture and a moderate taste profile. It readily melts, making it great for filling chile rellenos and quesadillas. When shredded, it may be used as a garnish on tostadas, sops, and beans. [Source]

Oaxaca cheese is being produced in the United States and the United Kingdom. Oaxaca cheese may be found at Mexican specialty shops as well as certain local grocery stores. If you can’t locate it, you may use Italian-style mozzarella or American string cheese.

Let us now go through each of these replacements in detail.

Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella comes first on our list since it is the most similar to Oaxaca cheese and is less salty. Mozzarella cheese is typically prepared from cow or goat milk. However, the creamier buffalo mozzarella (produced from buffalo milk) is the ideal replacement for this beloved Oaxacan cheese.

Buffalo mozzarella is widely accessible at supermarkets and grocery stores. Water and buffalo milk are combined to make it.

The ideal method to utilize it is to season buffalo mozzarella with more salt to make its taste profile more akin to that of Oaxaca cheese.

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When cooking a savory meal, mozzarella cheese may be used as a sauce or as a topping. You may cut them into cubes and add them to your favorite salads and pasta recipes. It’s great for desserts like cheesecake. Cubed mozzarella may also be used to fresh fruit salads.

Aside from being creamy, it is also tasty and will go well with tacos, quesadillas, or tostadas.

String Cheese

In fact, American string cheese is more widely accessible in most supermarkets and grocery shops. It is a fantastic substitute for Oaxaca cheese since it is somewhat creamy and salty. It also melts beautifully. String cheese may be grated and used as a garnish, or it can be sliced and used to pasta, salads, or sandwiches.

String cheese is a food that some people like. It is adaptable and tasty. However, it may also be used in recipes that call for cheese. Here are a few ideas on how to utilize string cheese:

  • Use string cheese as a pizza topping.
  • Add or mix string cheese with pasta.
  • Add it to your chicken or turkey sandwiches.
  • Use it as additional filling to your quesadilla.
  • Form it into a medium-sized ball and serve with a tasty marinara sauce.

Muenster Cheese

Muenster cheese is native to the United States. It is a semi-soft cheese with a moderate taste profile that melts readily. It may be used in recipes that call for Swiss or American cheese. Its texture is similar to Oaxaca cheese, making it another excellent choice.

The optimal ratio is one to one. Its creamy texture and somewhat sweet taste make it an excellent substitute for Oaxaca cheese in grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, and quesadillas. Muenster cheese also improves the taste of salads and casseroles.

It must be kept in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for up to two weeks.

Unaged Monterey Jack Cheese

Oaxaca cheese has a gentler taste profile than unaged Monterey Jack cheese, which also has a moderate flavor profile and melts easily. It may be used in a variety of meals ranging from sandwiches to pasta. If you can’t locate Oaxaca cheese in your local grocery, you may substitute this and get the same results in your recipes.

To use as a garnish, slice unaged Monterey Jack cheese or grate it. It is also great for fajitas, quesadillas, and tacos.

The second kind is aged for at least 60 days, which gives it a more nuanced and fuller taste than unaged cheese.

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You may shred, grate, or cube it before adding it to the dish to ensure that the cheese melts evenly. This also ensures that your food has the right consistency.


Cotija, like Oaxaca cheese, is a cow’s milk cheese from Mexico. It tastes salty and has a flaky texture.

Cotija cheese is named after the town of Cotija in Michoacan state. Cotija cheese comes in two varieties: fresh and aged (aejo). Its fresh form is soft, however the aged version is firmer, similar to the feel of parmesan cheese.

When substituting cotija cheese for Oaxaca cheese, the recommended ratio is 1:1.

Cheddar Curds

Cheddar curds are a kind of unfermented, somewhat squeaky cheese. These curds are the substance that is separated from the whey after boiling milk. Cheddar curds are widely available in many local grocery stores and supermarkets.

This cheese has a similar feel to Oaxaca cheese, making it an excellent substitute. Cheddar curds melt nicely and, despite their softer taste profile, improve the flavor of any meal.

Cheese curds are often the finest addition to any dish since they enhance the flavor of the other components such as green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. You may top your spaghetti with cheddar curds. You may also include them into the stuffing for your stuffed tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and zucchinis.

Asadero Cheese

Asadero cheese is another Mexican cheese that may be substituted for Oaxaca cheese in recipes. It’s a semi-firm cheese with a somewhat different texture than Oaxaca.

It has a smokey, peppery taste profile and melts smoothly. It’s somewhat salty, and it goes nicely with traditional Mexican ingredients like green chile poblano and cilantro.

It may be used in a variety of Mexican dishes, including tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. It may also be used to make macaroni and cheese or pizza.

Ricotta Salata

While ricotta salata lacks the texture of Oaxaca cheese, its salty and savory tastes make it an excellent replacement.

It may be found at practically any grocery. Ricotta salata is more firm than conventional ricotta and is often served in blocks. It’s crumbly and dry.

Queso Fresco

Many chefs use queso fresco in recipes that call for cottage cheese or ricotta. It is, nonetheless, a decent alternative for Oaxaca cheese. It complements your favorite veggie or pasta meals.

It’s creamy and a bit salty, making it perfect for savory recipes. Its name translates simply as “fresh cheese.” It is prepared from a blend of goat and cow milk.

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Armenian-Style String Cheese

The texture and flavor of Oaxaca cheese and Armenian-style string cheese are comparable. Armenian-style string cheese, like Oaxaca cheese, is prepared from goat milk.

It is a semi-white cheese that may be stretched similarly to Oaxaca cheese. It is not usually accessible at your local supermarket, but it may be found in specialist stores such as Middle Eastern or Armenian shops.

Tostadas, tacos, and enchiladas go well with Armenian-style string cheese.

Queso Chihuahua

Another Mexican cheese is queso chihuahua, which is soft and white. It comes in balls, rounds, and braids. It originated in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It is also known as queso menonita, after the Mennonite villages in Mexico who were the first to create chihuahua cheese.

It may be used in taco and burrito dishes in lieu of Oaxaca cheese. It may also be used in soup or stew recipes. Bake it with cheese and tomatoes for a simple yet excellent dinner.

Queso Panela

Queso panela is another Mexican cheese that may be used in place of Oaxaca cheese. It’s created from pasteurized cow’s milk.

It has a silky texture, making it an excellent complement to salads, burritos, tacos, and quesadillas. It may also be used as a dip for chips.

It’s also great for fajitas, enchiladas, and queso flameado (similar to fondue). Add queso panela to your scrambled eggs to improve the taste and texture.

It’s both creamy and salty. It melts easily. It’s also known as queso canasta.


Manchego cheese originates in Spain’s La Mancha area. It is prepared from the milk of Manchega breed sheep. It has a dense texture. It has a nutty taste with a tinge of sweetness.

It is often used to replace hard cheeses such as Romano or Parmesan, but it also works well as a replacement for Oaxaca cheese. It is also suitable for both hot and cold foods.

Homemade Oaxaca Cheese


When it is difficult to get Oaxaca cheese in shops, you may create your own at home. The recipe is similar to producing mozzarella, and there are several recipes available online.

This is how to make homemade Oaxaca cheese:

  • Boil milk with lemon juice or another acid.
  • Wait until the milk forms curds.
  • Stretch the curds out.

Stretching the resultant curd might be difficult, but with experience, it gets simpler.


What can I use in place of Oaxaca cheese?

Alternatives to Oaxaca cheese

Asadero cheese, from the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, is a popular replacement. If you can’t locate asadero, try mozzarella, Monterey jack, or Muenster, which are all commonly accessible in the United States.

Can I use queso fresco instead of Oaxaca cheese?

Cheddar Queso Fresco

It works well as an Oaxaca cheese replacement because it melts nicely and its mild taste blends well with the other ingredients in the meal. It’s not a string cheese like queso oaxaca, and it has a saltier taste. However, queso fresco may be used in lieu of Oaxaca cheese.

Is Oaxaca cheese like Monterey Jack?

Oaxaca cheese (pronounced wa-ha-ka) has a mellow, earthy taste similar to young monterey jack, but it’s more buttery and melty. Its mild taste and texture appeal to youngsters, but its melty, gooey goodness appeals to everyone else.

Is mozzarella similar to Oaxaca cheese?

Mozzarella may be prepared with either cow or buffalo milk, but Oaxaca cheese is only made with cow milk. Both are white, but the mozzarella is spongy while the Oaxaca cheese is stringy and soft. Oaxaca cheese is not cured, while mozzarella is.

Is queso blanco the same as Oaxaca cheese?

Okay, so they are all technically white cheeses, but queso blanco is a separate cheese. It has a similar taste to oaxaca, but it keeps its form when cooked, making it ideal for frying or grilling (that kind of grilled cheese).

What cheese is similar to Mexican cheese?

Paneer, halloumi, or a firm ricotta are the finest replacements.

What is another name for Oaxaca cheese?

Oaxaca is a Mexican term for a semi-soft, white, string-type, Hispanic-style cheese manufactured from cow’s milk. It is also known as Queso Oaxaca, Asadero, or Quesillo.

Is Oaxaca cheese the same as quesadilla cheese?

Oaxaca, you guessed it. It has the texture of mozzarella cheese and the taste of young Monterey jack cheese. It’s mild and buttery, and it works well as a melting cheese. As a result, it is the most widely used cheese in quesadillas.

What is Oaxaca cheese in English?

w-HAH-k), also known as quesillo and queso de hebra, is a Mexican white, semihard, low-fat cheese. It tastes like unaged Monterey Jack yet has the texture of mozzarella or string cheese.wəˈhɑːkəQueso Oaxaca (Spanish: queso Oaxaca) (

What is a good Mexican melting cheese?

Queso asadero is a melting cheese from Mexico. It has a moderate flavor and is soft, white, and creamy. It is often used to create pizzas, quesadillas, and queso fundido.

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