7 Excellent Queso Fresco Substitutes

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Queso Fresco is a kind of cheese native to Mexico. This cheese may be prepared using either raw cow milk or a blend of cow and goat milk. If you purchase in the United States, you’ll almost certainly get the pasteurized version (unless you know where to find!). The taste of Queso Frescos is unique and wonderful, with most people describing it as fresh, milky, bright, and mild.

Queso Fresco complements a variety of foods, including enchiladas, salads, and grilled vegetables; it is suitable for both heavy and light dishes. This cheese is well-known for its salty and sour flavor, and although it is naturally creamy and fresh, it does not taste too buttery or rich.

Queso Fresco is a solid yet crumbly cheese, and when cooked, traditional types will not melt. But, as the cheese’s popularity has increased, numerous new variations have been developed to provide the ideal melty feel seen in more common cheeses. It is also a common ingredient in Mexican meals due to its ability to give them a deliciously creamy texture. Quesadillas, empanadas, and enchiladas are among the foods available. It’s also a terrific addition to many other sorts of sweets, soups, and salsas.

This cheese is often best enjoyed when it is still fresh. If you have leftovers, just wrap them firmly in a plastic bag before putting them in your refrigerator. Queso Fresco normally keeps for approximately 2 weeks in refrigerated storage, so you won’t have to hurry through it all.

Mexican cheeses are particularly popular due to the unique taste they can provide to recipes. Queso Fresco and other Mexican cheeses may develop a sour flavor with time, but consumers still like them. These are a few of the reasons why this is our favorite Mexican cheese:

  • It’s created using cow milk or a mix of cow and goat milk: basic components and a simple technique. To prepare Queso Fresco, heat the milk and acidify it using vinegar, lemon juice, or any other acidifying agent. Following the acidification, it is constantly agitated until it is ready to curdle. The curds are drained through a cheesecloth to separate the whey. Wait a few hours, and then boom. Your delicious handmade Queso Fresco is finished.
  • Why does this creamy cheese complement so many dishes? Its fresh, creamy, and bright flavor is what lends it its versatility. It also goes well with both heavy and light foods and doesn’t have an overwhelmingly buttery flavor.
  • Mexican cheeses come in a variety of varieties. The farmer-style cheese, Queso Fresco, is the most prevalent of the five varieties. The remaining four cheeses are Queso Blanco, Queso Panela, Cotija (commonly known as Mexican Parmesan), and Queso Oaxaca. These cheeses may be used for a variety of reasons. Some people favor Queso Panela for grilling, while others prefer Queso Oaxaca for melting. With the variety, it is relatively simple to get Mexican cheeses for sale, and it is clear to see why they are so popular.

Many individuals like cheese; others are even obsessed with it, either eating it alone or adding it to their food. To all of our fellow cheeseheads out there, if you’re searching for something different, give Mexican cheese a try. You could might find a new favorite!

Queso Fresco Substitutes

Making Queso Fresco at home is simple. So don’t worry if you’re not feeling up to the chore or can’t locate it in your local store! We’ve produced a list of the finest Queso Fresco replacements to save your meal and simplify your life.

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a sort of cheese that originated many years ago in Greece. It has a creamy, rich, and delicate texture and is prepared from whole sheep milk. Several varieties of this cheese are now available, some made from goat milk and others from a mix of sheep and goat milk. Feta is another popular cheese in Greek cooking, and it’s difficult to find a Greek recipe that doesn’t include it.

Feta cheese is classified as a soft cheese prepared from 45 to 60 percent fat entire goat or sheep milk. Some people believe that it is best to age feta but not ripen it for 4 to 6 weeks before curing it in a salty whey and brine. This is because the taste of pickled cheese grows saltier and harsher with time.

As previously said, Feta cheese is quite popular in Greece. Its popularity has grown to the point that Greece only exports a small percentage of the Feta cheese it makes. In reality, the majority of imported Feta cheese originates from Italy. As a result, nations such as Australia, Denmark, the United States, and Germany began making their own Feta cheese. As a result, many more Feta varieties arose. Feta is now created from goat’s milk, cow’s milk, a mixture of the two, partially-skimmed milk, or skimmed milk.

However, since there is so little genuine Feta cheese exported, you may have a difficult time locating the original form of this cheese outside of Greece. If you go looking for it, be prepared to pay high price for the pleasure (desperate time calls for desperate measure). This is also why some individuals choose for a less expensive but still adequate Feta cheese substitute.


Ricotta, which also means “re-cooked,” is an Italian cheese that was originally made from the leftover whey from Provolone and Mozzarella cheese, which might be from a cow, sheep, Italian water buffalo, or goat. Traditional Italian cheese-makers still make it this way, but the modern era brought numerous new ingredients and formulas that producers use today.

Many people like Italian foods such as lasagna, pizza, and cannoli, and Ricotta is a common ingredient in these recipes. When incorporating ricotta into your cuisine, keep these health advantages in mind. Let’s look at some of the greatest examples below:

  • Ricotta is high in carbs and protein, so it may provide you with just enough energy for the day. Choosing a low-fat or fat-free ricotta can provide you with even more carbohydrates.
  • It is an excellent calcium supplier for your bones. One cup of this cheese already provides 52% of your daily necessary calcium intake.
  • It includes fatty acids that may help to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. Ricotta contains around 0.28 grams of Omega-3 fatty acid and approximately 0.68 grams of Omega-6 fatty acid.
  • One cup of Ricotta has 12% of the recommended intake of Vitamin A, 14% of the daily value of Riboflavin, and 7% of the daily value of Vitamin B12.
  • It is mineral-rich. One cup of ricotta has 52 percent of the recommended intake of selenium, 20 percent of the daily value of zinc, and 40 percent of the daily value of phosphorus.

When it comes to Ricotta cheese, there are several options to try. If you are worried about the fat and calorie level, just replace a semi-skim or fat-free kind for the full-fat variety. Whichever you select, you’ll be pleased you tried it!


Paneer is a beautifully clean and simple cheese that is unaged, unsalted, and fresh. It is produced from cow or buffalo milk and originated in India. Those of you who appreciate Indian food are probably already acquainted with it. It is also well-known in Southern Asian nations like as Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. This cheese has a very delicate and mild flavor, but the tastes and spices from the meal come to the surface when used in sauces or curries.

You may fry or pan-fried paneer in oil, marinate it, and then grill cubes of it on a skewer. It works well as a soft filler for samosas or other wraps, with or without vegetables. But bear in mind that paneer tastes even better when it’s spiced up a little.

Paneer has a lot to offer in terms of health advantages. These are a handful of the numerous nutritious nuggets paneer offers to provide.

  • Folate-rich food. Folate is a B-complex vitamin that is very crucial for pregnant women in terms of fetal development. Apart from that, it is required for the creation of Red Blood Cells.
  • Paneer is high in potassium, which helps our bodies maintain equilibrium. It regulates your bodily fluids and maintains equilibrium in order to manage your blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart.
  • Paneer is high in calcium, accounting about 8% of the daily value. Calcium is essential for maintaining the health and function of our bones, teeth, heart muscles, and neurons.
  • Paneer is high in magnesium and protein. These nutrients contribute to a healthy heart, a strong immune system, and regular blood sugar levels.
  • It helps with digestion. Paneer’s Phosphorus content helps the body’s digestion and elimination. It also aids in the prevention of constipation due to the presence of magnesium, which has a laxative effect.

Farmer Cheese

Farmer cheese isn’t well-known in the United States, although it’s been around for a while and is generally seen in Eastern European cuisine. However, owing to companies like Lifeway, farmer cheese has made a resurgence in recent years.

Because of its mild and juicy texture, this cheese is simple to slice. It’s also tasty on its own or with a side of sugar or fruit. It may also be used in lieu of cheese in dishes such as cheesecake or lasagna. Farmer cheese may be heavy in fat, so take the following nutrition information in mind before adding it to your shopping list:

  • Farmers cheese has 80 calories per ounce. Farmers cheese’s calorie count varies according on the brand.
  • One ounce of farmer cheese has 6 grams of total fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 15 milligrams of cholesterol.
  • It’s also a fantastic source of protein, with around 6 grams per 1-ounce meal.
  • If you want carbohydrates, you should probably seek elsewhere. One ounce of Farmers cheese has slightly under one gram of carbs.
  • It contains a lot of sodium. A 1-ounce serving contains 110 milligrams of sodium. Get low-sodium cheese to limit salt consumption. This will assist to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Here are some recipes that you should consider trying out when using Farmer cheese:
  • Fritters with Zucchini and Farmers Cheese
  • Spec and Arugula Artisan Grilled Cheese
  • Tapenade with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Squash Blossoms with Fried and Stuffed Filling


Tofu is ideal for vegetarians seeking for a protein alternative. Tofu is also known as bean curd or soybean curd. It is also a fantastic alternative since it is inexpensive, simple to buy, suitable for a variety of meals, and a decent amount of protein. It is often used in Southeast Asian cuisine.

The texture of tofu varies from soft to firm to exceptionally hard. It works nicely in a variety of cuisines, both savory and sweet. It also absorbs tastes effectively, which is why it complements so many foods. It is available fresh, dry, or fried. Fresh tofu comes in three varieties: soft or silky tofu, firm tofu, and extremely firm tofu. These differences are mostly determined by the quantity of moisture in the tofu.

Tofu is manufactured from soy milk that has been solidified in a manner similar to that of manufacturing cheese in China. Are you ready for some additional health benefits? Consider the following:

  • It is nutrient-dense. It is high in amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
  • It lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to research, eating beans reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • It has no cholesterol or salt.
  • Saturated fat content is low.
  • Aids in the normalization of blood sugar levels

Pot Cheese

Pot cheese is sometimes confused with cottage cheese due to their eerie likeness, but Pot cheese is softer and moister than other cheeses since the curd used to manufacture it is not pressed or drained. It has a somewhat crumbly, dry, soft, unaged texture. This cheese has a similar flavor to Ricotta and is often used as a spread.

Pot cheese is mostly produced by farms and dairies since it has a short shelf life due to its unaged nature. As a consequence, Pot cheese might be difficult to get these days, since there are relatively few individuals who still live on farms.

Pot Cheese may no longer be well-known, but it nevertheless provides several health advantages!

  • Cottage Cheese and flax seed oil may help fight cancer.
  • Diabetes can be fought with cottage cheese.
  • Since it is high in calcium, it helps to build the bones.
  • Cottage cheese’s calcium content helps improve digestion and alleviate heartburn.
  • Vitamin B12 lowers the risk of heart disease.
  • Excellent source of protein for body building.
  • Because of its low calorie content, it aids in weight loss.
  • Vitamin A and zinc aid to improve eye vision.
  • Protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and phosphorus concentration make it ideal for pregnant women.
  • It is beneficial to the skin because to the presence of vitamin E.

Some of these may come as a surprise, particularly as many people consider dairy products to be utterly harmful, but not Pot cheese! Thus, if you know of a local farm that sells it, it may be time to test this nutritious little secret.

Monterey Jack

Last, but not least, we have Monterey Jack. Monterey Jack originated in America and has an intriguing backstory as to how it gained its name. It was named after David Jack, a ruthless and dishonest landowner. Time for a brief recap!

David Jack and an attorney called Delos R. Ashley purchased the 30,000 acres of property auctioned out by Monterey in the mid-nineteenth century. After the acquisition of the property, David Jack pressed him to maximize profit as much as possible.

He levied exorbitant taxes on renters and those whose properties had been repossessed, and he sometimes placed notifications in English to confuse Spanish farm owners. Jack’s property included cattle ranches, vineyards, and 14 working diaries.

Jack claimed ownership of everything he produced on his farm, including the famed white cheese, Queso Blanco Pais. It was a popular cheese that California acquired during their time under Mexican and Spanish domination. Jack instantly saw the potential marketability of that cheese and began selling it across Monterey under the moniker Jacks Cheese. As time passed, it grew in popularity and recognition throughout California. As a result, it became known as Monterey Jacks Cheese. Essentially, they are taking the credit from the Spanish missionaries who devised it first!


However, there has been some speculation that Queso Fresco may potentially be harmful to our health. During a recent epidemic of Listeria Monocytogenes, a gram-positive bacteria, Mexican cheeses such as Queso Fresco were discovered to be the primary cause. Check the expiration date of your cheese before purchasing and eating it to protect yourself from any possible health dangers.

That being stated, our list has concluded. Whether you’re out of your favorite Mexican cheese or simply don’t feel like preparing it yourself, these replacements are ideal. Therefore, the next time a cheese meltdown occurs, utilize this list of Queso Fresco substitutes to guarantee you never miss out on your favorite foods again!


What can I use in place of queso fresco cheese?

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 Mexican cheese is similar to queso fresco?

Salata with Farmer’s Cheese or Ricotta

Farmer’s cheese is similar but usually a little saltier. Both of these cheeses are excellent substitutes for queso fresco since they are brilliant white, very mild, milky in taste, crumbly in texture, and do not melt.

What is queso fresco compared to?

Fresh mozzarella or goat cheese are the most similar in flavor. Queso fresco is made in a unique style, which distinguishes it from other well-known cheeses. Queso fresco has a stronger, tangier taste than mozzarella but is smoother and saltier than goat cheese.

What kind of cheese is queso fresco like?

Traditional Queso Fresco is produced with raw cow’s milk or a blend of cow and goat milk. This is what gives it its somewhat salty yet pleasantly tangy fresh flavor. As a consequence, it tastes a lot like farmer’s cheese.

Is queso fresco just feta?

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. Nonetheless, feta might be a little saltier than its Mexican version.

What cheese melts like queso?

While a variety of cheeses may be used to create Queso Dip, I alternate between asadero and quesadilla cheese. This cheese is packed in the shape of a circular circle. Asadero cheese melts well and has a creamy-smooth, velvety feel.

What is the best 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.

What can I substitute for Cotija cheese or queso fresco?

Feta cheese is the finest like-for-like alternative for cotija cheese overall. You may use it in the same way as you would cotija (either as a filling or garnish). It has a similar crumbly texture, salty and mild taste, and is available at most local supermarkets. It’s also less expensive than cotija!

Is Cotija cheese also called queso fresco?

How Can You Tell the Different Between Cotija and Queso Fresco? Cotija and queso fresco are often used as garnishes and stuffings, although they vary in a few key ways. Taste: Queso fresco has a milder taste and is not nearly as salty as cotija, particularly aged cotija.

Is ricotta the same as queso fresco?

Ricotta, Queso Fresco, and Indian cheese Paneer recipes are all the same, as are the ingredients. The only variation is how much moisture remains in the cheese after serving. Ricotta can be spooned, queso fresco crumbles, and paneer may be sliced.

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