Queso fresco, or fresh cheese, is a salty Mexican white cheese. Most local grocery shops or establishments that offer Mexican cheeses and other things should have queso fresco.
If you are unable to locate this product, the following are potential alternatives.
The best substitutes for queso fresco are
- Cottage cheese
- Feta cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Queso Blanco
- Farmers cheese
- Monterey Jack
- Pot cheese
If you can’t locate the aforementioned substitutions, keep reading for a thorough list of the finest queso fresco substitutes, taking taste, texture, and method of preparation into consideration.
- 15 Best Queso Fresco Cheese Substitutes
- Why you might want to have or need a Queso Fresco substitute
- What is a good substitute for queso fresco cheese?
- What is the closest cheese to queso?
- What is the difference between queso fresco and Cotija cheese?
- What is the difference between queso fresco and feta cheese?
- What is a good substitute for Mexican cheese?
- Does queso fresco melt like mozzarella?
- What Mexican cheese is similar to queso fresco?
- What cheese can I use instead of white queso?
- What is the white cheese used in Mexican restaurants?
- What is a good melting Mexican cheese?
15 Best Queso Fresco Cheese Substitutes
Unfortunately, you may have ran out of stock at the last minute. It’s okay, we all have bad days now and again. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other options to substitute queso fresco.
Some of these may even be made in the comfort of your own home. According to our findings, the best replacement for queso fresco is queso blanco.
However, if you don’t have it, consider the alternatives listed below.
Cottage cheese is popular in the diet and fitness sector since it has less calories and is healthier than other cheeses. This mild-flavored cheese has a creamy, smooth texture.
Cottage cheese, like queso fresco, is considered a fresh cheese since it does not need maturing and may be enjoyed immediately.This is why most young and fresh cheeses have a short shelf life and a milky taste.
Cottage cheese is created from curds of various pasteurized cow milks. It may be served as a nutritious snack on toast with various herbs, or it can be utilized in a variety of dishes.
Homemade Cottage Cheese
- 1.5l whole milk
- 1 lemon
- heavy cream or creme fraiche
- a strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth
- Wooden spoon
- A container
Bring the milk and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low when you notice the milk foaming and producing bubbles and add 6 tablespoons of lemon to the milk.
The milk begins to curdle nearly immediately, so have the wooden spoon ready to begin stirring straight away. Stir the mixture lightly for five minutes to prevent it from burning or sticking to the bottom.
After the cheese curds have formed (the cheese should have a buttery texture when finished), drain it through wet cheesecloth and let aside for 10 minutes.
When the cottage cheese has rested, close the cheesecloth and run it under cold water. Add more crème fraiche or heavy cream shortly before serving to make it even sweeter and creamier.
This recipe works well with corn, black beans, refried beans, toast, or as a replacement for queso fresco in Mexican dishes. Refrigerate it in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.
Feta is a brined, cured white cheese manufactured in Greece from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It has a semi-soft texture and an acidic, salty taste.
Feta is one of the greatest cheeses for adding a salty taste to salads and sandwiches, as well as to lighten up heavy foods like quesadillas, pies, and galettes.
There are many variants of this great cheese, including Danish feta, French feta, Bulgarian feta, and others.The only unique recipe is for Greek feta cheese.
Feta cheese may also vary in texture, meaning it can be firm, medium-hard, or soft.
While it cannot be melted, this creamy cheese may be crumbled in a variety of savory meals such as soups, salads, and pasta dishes. I propose using mild feta cheese to replace the queso fresco.
Recipes With Feta Cheese
- Greek Salad- A Greek salad with salty feta cheese is ideal for a lighter meal or lunch.
- Pasta- Enjoy a dish of penne pasta with oven-grilled feta cheese and cherry tomatoes.
- Feta Cheese Quesadilla- sprinkle feta cheese on top of your favorite quesadilla recipes, or drizzle with feta sauce.
- Spanakopita- A Greek pastry dish prepared with feta (or ricotta) cheese and fresh spinach. It goes well with a cup of yogurt or sour cream on the side.
Ricotta, like cottage cheese, is a soft cheese with a grainy, crumbly texture and a tangy taste. It may be prepared from any kind of milk (cows milk, sheep milk, goats milk, buffalo milk), but the traditional Italian method uses cows milk and has a moderate flavor.
There are two forms of cheese: those created from the curd of the milk and those made from the leftover liquid from manufacturing the curd, known as whey.
Ricotta is a whey cheese produced with just enough curd to give it shape and a firm texture. One of my favorite things to cook with this milk cheese is cheesecake, but I also like to create crispy baguette toast with ricotta and honey drizzle.
Ricotta is really rather simple to make, and if you want to try something new, I recommend you try this simple recipe for homemade ricotta cheese.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- Full Fat Milk
- Lemon Juice
- Salt to taste
A broad saucepan, a sieve, cheesecloth, and a bowl are all necessary culinary tools. I recommend gathering all of the ingredients before beginning this dish.
Place the folded cheesecloth in line with the strainer, and place the lined strainer over the bowl. If you have a ricotta basket, you may also use it. Now it’s time to make the cheese.
In a big saucepan, combine the milk and salt and cook for approximately 20 minutes on medium heat. Remember to whisk the milk periodically so that the bottom of the pan does not burn or stick.
When you observe the milk producing bubbles and foaming somewhat, you know it’s ready to go on to step two, which is adding acidity.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the lemon juice or white vinegar. The acidity of the lemon juice will cause curdles to develop almost immediately.
After approximately 5 minutes of stirring, transfer the mixture to the previously prepared cheesecloth and strainer. The fresh ricotta cheese should have a soft, crumbly texture and be ready to eat right away, but if you have time, keep it covered in the cheesecloth strainer for a half-hour to improve the flavor and let it filter.
And there you have it, a homemade ricotta cheese.
[Related Article: Can Ricotta Cheese Be Freezed And Will It Affect The Taste?]
Tofu isn’t technically a form of cheese, but it may be an excellent queso anejo alternative for those who don’t or can’t consume cheese.
Tofu is prepared from the squeezed curds of soy, almond, or peanut milk and is therefore a viable vegan equivalent for queso fresco as well as a substitute for most dairy cheeses.
Tofu is white (or the color of an eggshell), soft, spongy, and chewy. The sponginess of the tofu enables it to absorb and adapt to any flavor in any recipe, sweet or savory.
This vegan feta (as some name it) may be found at any larger store in your area. This vegan cheese comes in three varieties: firm tofu, extra firm tofu, and soft tofu.
Summer Salad With Marinated Tofu Cheese
I am a huge salad fan, but I quickly get tired of the clear flavors of the veggies. This salad is everything from dull, and it’s also a good way to get your protein and amino acids.
Marinading The Tofu Cheese
It emitted fluids. Because there is more space now that the water has been drained from the tofu, it can absorb any marinades and spices much better.Always press your tofu to get as much water as possible.
When deep-fried or stir-fried, this method makes the tofu crispier. Set the tofu aside to rest after all of the squeezing, then begin the marinating.
Combine soy sauce, white vinegar, honey or maple syrup, sesame oil (avocado oil is even better! ), garlic powder, and chili flakes in a mixing bowl. Allow the tofu to soak up all of the flavor by marinating it in this mixture for at least an hour.
When you’re through marinating, cut the tofu into cubes and throw it in a pre-heated frying pan with olive oil (again, avocado oil would be an excellent substitute for olive oil). Cook the marinated cheese until golden brown and put aside to cool.
Preparing Your Salad Bowl
You get to pick which vegetables go into your salad. I normally prepare a taco bowl salad with beans and corn, or a basic romaine lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado cubes, shredded carrots, olives, sweet peppers, chickpeas, and anything else I have on hand.
If you’re preparing a taco bowl, season the salad with taco seasoning (available in many Mexican stores). Finally, top with your marinated tofu cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy this delightful, savory summer salad.
It’s a popular misperception that queso blanco and queso fresco are the same thing. They are created in distinct ways, with queso fresco made from rennet and queso Blanco made from curdled milk.
Because they are so similar, queso blanco may be used in place of queso fresco, and vice versa. Queso Blanco is used in the same ways as queso fresco is.
What better way to replace Queso fresco than with one of its relatives? That’s true, we’re substituting this fresh white cheese.
Many people believe that Queso Blanco and Queso Fresco are the same product, and they are partially correct.
They are both fresh white cheeses with extremely similar flavors. The main difference is that Queso Blanco is a little sourer.
Farmers cheese is a kind of dry-cured cheese comparable to cottage cheese.
It may be produced from goat, cow, or sheep milk. The flavor varies according on the milk used, but it is wonderful in any case.
Farmers cheese is available in several locations.
In reality, in the Mexican area, queso fresco is a kind of farmers cheese. Farmers cheese from the United States, on the other hand, is an excellent substitute for queso fresco.
It is essentially a pressed cottage cheese, which means that most of the moisture has been squeezed out. It has a crumbly texture and is prepared using rennet, similar to queso fresco.
Farmers cheese is a mild, creamy product with a somewhat sour flavor. It may be used as a replacement for queso fresco in all of your favorite taco recipes.
Paneer is an Indian cottage cheese with a smooth texture. It is readily sliced into cubes and is often served in cube shape. Despite being soft, it does not melt as readily as other forms of cheese when heated.
This is a fresh cheese, which means it does not need to be aged and may be eaten right away. It is a sort of Indian cottage cheese prepared from buffalo or cow milk.
It has a light milky taste and a crumbly texture that is comparable to queso fresco. Paneer’s taste properties make it an ideal complement to spicy foods, particularly Indian curries, sweets, and specialities.
Monterey Jack Cheese
Monterey jack, a Monterey cheese, is a semi-soft semi-hard cheese with a mild and buttery taste. Monterey jack cheese is available plain or with little particles of chile, peppers, and other spices.
This makes it an ideal alternative for queso fresco, which is often coupled with spicy Mexican meals.
Monterey Jack cheese is accessible in practically every grocery shop or food market due to its worldwide appeal.
Pot cheese is the middle ground between farmers cheese and cottage cheese. It has a soft, crumbly texture with bigger pieces and a thicker consistency than cottage cheese.
Pot cheese is considerably softer and has more liquid in it since the curd is not drained after it is made.
The flavor is similar to that of our favorite ricotta cheese, gentle and buttery with a dash of acidity. This is a difficult to obtain cheese that is mainly offered on farms.
It also works well as a yogurt replacement since it has a minor resemblance to Greek yogurt. It combines well with berries or honey glaze and is simple to make at home.
It should be eaten as soon as possible, preferably within a few days.
Queso aejo, often known as just aejo cheese, is a Mexican cheese. It has a hard and crumbly texture and a salty flavor, similar to queso fresco.
However, its taste may be harsher than typical queso fresco, and it melts better than queso fresco, which remains solid even when heated.
It is often used in grilled or baked foods. It is also a tasty option for dips and fillings since it melts easily.
Quark, which translates to “curd” in German, is a chunky and somewhat creamy dairy product. Cheese is the official classification. It is, nevertheless, a popular replacement for yogurt or cream spreads and fillings.
It may be used as a replacement for queso fresco since it has a similar texture. It is, however, not as salty or sour as queso fresco and is merely a mild, creamy cheese.
Another sort of Mexican cheese is Cotija. It’s also known as cincho cheese. It tastes milky and salty, and is somewhat comparable to queso fresco. It is also drier and crumblier than queso fresco.
Young cotija cheese, on the other hand, is comparable to feta cheese, the most popular alternative for queso fresco. Cotija cheese that has been aged is more akin to parmesan cheese. Because of its crumbly texture, it is a favorite garnish for enchiladas and nachos, comparable to queso fresco.
Requeson is a high-quality Mexican cheese that is comparable to ricotta. It has a thick texture with a creamy, somewhat salty flavor.
It’s a fantastic option for individuals who like creamier cheeses but still want that chunky texture.
You can probably guess from the name queso that this is yet another sort of Mexican cheese on our list. It is sometimes known as Oaxaca cheese or just quesillo.
Queso Oaxaca is supposed to taste more like a young or unaged Monterey jack, another sort of cheese on our list. However, unlike the majority of the cheeses on this list, queso Oaxaca has a stringy and elastic feel comparable to mozzarella or string cheese.
Queso Oaxaca, unlike queso fresco, is meltable, but it still serves as a decent alternative due to its creamy and salty flavor, which is ideal for Mexican foods like quesadillas and enchiladas.
It’s also a great cheese to pair with Mexican chili meals, with the spice and creamy taste combining to provide a bold yet tasty dish.
Muenster, sometimes known as munster, is a kind of cheese from the United States that is often sliced into thin slices or medium-sized cubes. It tastes mild and buttery, comparable to Monterey Jack.
Muenster cheese has a smoother texture and melts more readily than queso fresco. However, it may still be an excellent replacement since it is much simpler to obtain in supermarkets or grocery shops in the United States.
It goes well with quesadillas, cheeseburgers, sandwiches, pizza, mac and cheese, and other foods that go well with soft melting cheese.
Why you might want to have or need a Queso Fresco substitute
Queso Fresco is a fantastic addition to a variety of recipes since it is not overbearing and enhances the taste of the other components. However, you may desire or require a replacement for queso fresco for the following reasons:
You don’t have queso fresco in your pantry.
Sometimes we just forget to purchase a certain component. Or we discover we don’t have any more of them. Or we want to ensure that we have a strong turnover system in our pantry by utilizing what we currently have rather than purchasing new items every time.
There are several reasons why you could have this reason. This list of queso fresco replacements might help you determine if you already have a viable equivalent in your cupboard waiting to be utilized.
You’re trying to cut down on cost.
Queso fresco may be expensive in particular places or at specific supermarkets and grocery shops. Some of the other cheeses on this list are less expensive and more readily available at grocery shops.
As stated in the first argument, you may have a decent alternative lying about ready to be utilized, in which case there is no need for you to go out and purchase a new product.
You want to try vegan options
others of the cheeses on this list are healthier alternatives, and others are vegan, such as tofu. It’s a terrific opportunity to branch out and add diversity to your recipes and cuisines.
You don’t like certain qualities of Queso Fresco
Finding queso fresco replacements may be a lot of fun. You may like the flavor of queso fresco but dislike its texture.
Alternatively, you may like the texture of Queso Fresco but want a small or complete change in flavor. This list provides you with a nice collection of possibilities for changing things up a bit in your recipe books.
What is a good substitute for queso fresco cheese?
Some supermarkets and Mexican merchants carry queso fresco. Feta cheese is an excellent replacement. If possible, use a mild one, or soak a block of feta in fresh water to reduce its tanginess. A young ricotta salata (firm Italian cheese available in most stores) may also suffice.
What is the closest cheese to queso?
Curds of Cheddar Cheese
Cheese curds are manufactured from cow’s milk and have a mild, milky taste with a crumbly texture akin to mild feta. Curds are perfect for melting, making them comparable to queso oaxaca, but they can also be used for so many other things, such as mac & cheese.
What is the difference between queso fresco and Cotija cheese?
Texture: Queso fresco is softer and moister than cotija, which is drier and more hard. Queso fresco may be created from either cow’s milk or a mix of goat and cow milk, but cotija is often solely made from cow’s milk.
What is the difference between queso fresco and feta cheese?
The distinction between the two is based on origin: queso fresco is from Spain and Mexico, whilst feta is from Greece. Both cheeses are mild, crumbly, and soft. However, feta might be a little saltier than its Mexican version.
What is a good substitute for Mexican cheese?
Paneer, halloumi, or a firm ricotta are the finest replacements.
Does queso fresco melt like mozzarella?
It’s as delicious either way, but pressed acid-set cheeses like paneer and queso fresco are special since they don’t age and don’t melt. This makes them ideal for grilling (or just eating immediately).
What Mexican cheese is similar to queso fresco?
There are gentler forms of cotija cheese, which are ones that have not been matured for a lengthy time. Unlike queso fresco, which has a moderate taste, cotija can lend a robust flavor to any meal. That’s why you shouldn’t use too much of it, so the flavor doesn’t become overbearing.
What cheese can I use instead of white queso?
What exactly is this? White cheeses such as Feta, Halloumi, Farmer’s Cheese, and Monterey Jack are available. Each of these cheeses has a distinct flavor, but they are all suitable alternatives for Queso Blanco.
What is the white cheese used in Mexican restaurants?
This choice, which translates to “white cheese,” is yet another crumbly cheese for Mexican dishes. Because it’s milder than Cotija, it’s a more delicate choice for refried beans, salads, and enchiladas. Queso Blanco is distinct in that it melts nicely without totally dissolving.
What is a good melting Mexican 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.