The 5 BEST Substitutes for Queso Fresco Cheese

Have you ever wondered about Queso fresco cheese? This crumbly white cheese is a staple in Mexican cuisine and many other Latin American countries.

For anyone looking to get creative in the kitchen, Queso Fresco can be used as an ingredient for dishes ranging from salads to tacos.

For those wanting to enjoy its delicious flavor in the traditional way, try garnishing a chile relleno with it.

There are also five great substitutes for Queso Fresco if it isn’t available or desired.

Whether you like improvising or sticking close to classic recipes, you should give this gem of Latin American cuisine a try.

What’s Queso Fresco Cheese?

Queso Fresco is a mild, crumbly Mexican cheese that has a salty and tangy flavor with a creamy texture.

It can be found in either block or round forms, with the latter being more common in Latin America.

The cheese has a bright white color and is usually sold at room temperature.

Queso Fresco is one of the most versatile cheeses when it comes to cooking and adds a mild yet flavorful element to dishes like tacos, salads, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and arepas.

Queso Fresco can also be used as a topping for soups or chili dishes.

When baking, due to its crumbly nature, it’s best used as an ingredient rather than a topping.

Queso fresco has a uniquely slightly tangy flavor that stands up well to bold flavors such as garlic and chili peppers.

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Its versatility makes it an ideal choice for adding creaminess to any dish without overpowering the natural flavors of other ingredients.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Queso Fresco Cheese

If you’re looking for a great alternative to queso fresco cheese, you should consider these five substitutes.

Each offers a different flavor and texture that makes them ideal replacements for your favorite Mexican dishes.

1 – Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is unlike any other.

With its distinctive salty taste, crumbly texture, and bright white color, it’s a delight to the senses.

It originates from Greece and is made from sheep’s milk or goat’s milk – two delicious components that have been brought together to create this unique gem of cheese.

Try using Feta in your next vegetable frittata, or sprinkle some over roasted tomatoes and Brussels sprouts for an amazing flavor experience.

Perfect in salads or as a pizza topping, Feta can even be used as a substitute for Quess Fresco cheese due to its salty moisture-rich taste – excellent for making sauces and dips.

2 – Ricotta Salata

Ricotta Salata is a truly unique cheese that is sure to spice up any dish.

It’s pressed and salted sheep’s milk ricotta cheese that has been aged for two to three months and is typically made in the shape of a wheel or short log.

The texture ranges from crumbly to semi-hard, with an assertive, salty flavor profile.

Ricotta Salata does wonders as a table cheese or in salads, where it enriches any topping of veggies, meat, and fish dishes – its nutty taste is particularly popular with fried vegetables.

And if you’re in the mood for queso fresco but can’t find it around your kitchen? Substituting ricotta salata will work as well; although arguably more flavorful than queso fresco and with a harder texture due to its aging process, ricotta salata provides an intense cheesy kick that’s sure to please.

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3 – Farmer’s Cheese

Farmer’s cheese is an unsalted, unripened cheese traditionally made with freshly curdled milk.

It is a mild, crumbly cheese that packs a flavorful punch thanks to its slightly acidic aftertaste.

Its texture is much crumblier than queso fresco, and it has a more concentrated flavor that can complement dishes ranging from appetizers to salads and main courses.

In some recipes, farmer’s cheese can be used in place of queso fresco for both its taste and the fact that it tends to melt less when cooked.

Regardless of how you use it, this zippy cheese will deliver an umami kick and high-impact flavor to your plates.

4 – Oaxaca Cheese

Oaxaca Cheese, nicknamed “quesillo,” is a type of string cheese that originated in Mexico.

It has a mild, slightly salty flavor and a soft, rubbery texture – when melted, it can be pulled into long strings.

This unique preparation makes this cheese an ideal topping for tacos, quesadillas, and chilaquiles.

As well as melting easily on top of dishes, it can also be cubed and thrown into soups or salads for added flavor in contrast to the saltiness of the cheese.

Additionally, it can be used as an excellent substitute for Queso Fresco if you want something with a bit more flavor.

With its ability to melt seamlessly and its mild taste that pairs perfectly with many Mexican dishes, Oaxaca cheese is an excellent addition to any kitchen.

5 – Panela Cheese

Panela cheese is an unaged, firm Mexican cheese that has been used in Central America for centuries.

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It’s a popular item in many Latin-American recipes, and its mild and creamy flavor makes it an excellent addition to a variety of dishes.

Its slightly crumbly texture melts into light, salty flavors making it an ideal substitute for Queso Fresco cheese.

It can also be grated over tacos, pasta dishes, and vegetable medleys for a delicious finishing touch.

The delicate saltiness of Panela adds richness and depth to any meal, whether stirred into soups or combined with onions and Fried Potatoes for a morning breakfast dish.

Overall, Panela cheese is perfect for adding creaminess and subtle saltiness to meals in place of widely available Queso fresco cheese.


In conclusion, Queso fresco cheese is a versatile staple that can be used in many Latin American dishes.

However, if you’re in a pinch and can’t find it around you, there are several excellent substitutes available to give your food the salty and creamy flavor of Queso fresco.

These include feta cheese, ricotta salata, farmer’s cheese, Oaxaca cheese, and panela cheese.

Each of these provides a unique flavor to your dishes while still delivering the same creaminess and saltiness as queso fresco.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Queso Fresco Cheese

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Queso Fresco Cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 – Feta Cheese
  • 2 – Ricotta Salata
  • 3 – Farmer’s Cheese
  • 4 – Oaxaca Cheese
  • 5 – Panela Cheese


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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