Queso fresco is a mexican cheese which is liked by people across the world due to its soft crumbly texture and semi firm thickness.
some times it happens that you are not able to get queso fresco in market due to unavailability thats when you would require to use a substitute for this mexican cheese.
here i have shared some of the commonly found alternatives which would give your recipe same taste as queso fresco and are readily available across the market for you to buy and enjoy with your friends and family.
What is Queso fresco cheese
queso fresco is very popular cheese used in different mexican dishes. as you can see in image below its firm in nature and comes with little bit salty and tangy flavor. you can add herbs also in it while making to give it different flavor. it is used in many dishes across the world and name means fresh cheese in normal language.
it is easy to crumble on dishes and topping and comes with low fat and sodium content when compared to other cheese in this category which makes it healthy for consumption by adults and kids.
it is shaped in circle and pressed by hands by makers in big kitchens. it is prepared using cow milk but sometimes goat milk is also added to add different texture and firmness.
it does not melt easily and remains little bit soft when heated which makes it easy to hold and eat. mainly people use in soups, salads, in tortillas fillings, eat with sauces and spice mix, marinate it and eat as a side dish in evening snacks etc. overall it taste good and everyone you share it with will definitely like to have more of different flavor.
Best Queso Fresco Substitutes and alternatives
Monterey jack cheese
Do you like to eat Mexican dishes with cheese like tacos, burritos etc. then this cheese is perfect for you. it is mild in flavor and comes with little bit firmness and creamy texture which makes it perfect substitute for queso fresco when it comes with Spanish, Mexican, French and similar dishes.
due to its creamy texture is high in fat content but comes with large number of flavors with different herbs and can be found in all super markets making it popular among people, so try it once if you don’t have Queso fresco with you. you can eat it with nachos and other spicy dishes with green chilis, chili powder, cayenne peppers etc. as its creamy texture will compliment the hotness of the dish making it a perfect combination.
It comes with high fat content due to which you wont require much of it to make your recipe tasty as it will impart its creaminess in every bit of it to make your recipe tasty. you can enjoy it with rice platters, burritos, quesadillas, tacos etc. but avoid adding it to curry recipes and soups.
many people across the world seems to be lactose intolerant but loves to eat cheese this is where this cottage cheese comes in to play. you can make it with dry curd and store it for long time. its firm and dry in nature and bland in taste. it is also know is farmers cheese or paneer if you are on lookout for it in super markets in different parts of the world.
it comes with about 98kcal of energy in about 100 grams of cottage cheese along with 4.30 gram of fat and 11 grams of proteins which makes it a good food item for people looking to eat vegetarian protein food.
Process for making cottage cheese at home
if possible make it at home from full fat milk as its hygienic and free from any impurities. the method is very simple all you need to do is take milk and boil and when closing the burner then add vinegar or lemon juice( 1-2 spoon vinegar or 1 lemon juice for every 500 ml milk) and then mix for few minutes and cheese will separate from milk leaving whey liquid behind which can be used for making curry recipes, making dough from wheat/corn flour etc.
then with the help of strainer separate the cheese and wash it under cold water for few seconds to remove any lemon/vinegar taste from it and cool it down as if it remains hot for long it will become hard. then add it in muslin cloth to remove excess water form it and then wrap the cloth and put some weight on it to help the cheese form a square shape or you can add in bowl in scrammed form directly after washing if you want to use in salads or any recipe which requires scrambled cheese.
you can make this at home also if you like trying different items and add in the recipe as per your requirement to make it tasty or simply buy from market. its great to have for people who don’t like lactose in their food items and are looking for queso fresco alternative.
It works great in pasta maker recipes also. besides that you can add it to curry recipes like spinach cheese curry, potato cottage cheese curry, grilled cottage cheese platter with bell peppers and onion and mint dip are quite tasty too, don’t forget to marinate the cottage cheese before grilling to further enhance it taste. you can also add it to tortillas and tacos for added richness in the mix or use it in sandwich dressing with other veggies, sauces and herbs.
It is an Italian alternative to queso fresco which is made from sheep milk and has texture similar to queso. it is dry and firm in nature which makes it great to add in salad plates and soup bowls to enhance the texture and taste,
when its made fresh its little bit salty but with time its salt content decreases as it gets old. the ideal to consume it would be after 3 months when its outer layers starts to turn yellow.
feta cheese is another popular alternative which can replace queso fresco cheese easily because its soft and creamy. it gives taste like queso fresco but is bit stronger so it is advised to use in small quantity or use mild flavor one. it is white in color and resembles queso cheese and processes little tangy flavor which makes recipes taste great juts like queso fresco.
The French version of feta cheese comes with dry texture which makes it more crumbly so that you can easily crush it over your recipe. it contains little bit tangy flavor with low salt content to make it taste mild.
Danish feta cheese comes in many different flavor to choose as per your taste needs. it is smooth and creamy in nature . you can also cut and use it as slices over the dishes or in panini sandwiches also to make the recipe taste heavenly.
It is a Mexican variety of white cheese which can be used as substitute for queso fresco. queso blanco comes with mild flavor and is creamy in nature. it is made from mixture of cow and goat milk or cow milk mostly.
It is firm in nature and does not have moisture. it smells like sweet and sour aroma. it is very popular and can be found easily in super markets. people generally use in veggies salad bowls with some spice mix, grilled chunks with some dips, sauce also taste good, grate in soups as garnish, add some crumbled queso Blanco on American and Mexican dishes like corn tortillas, chile relleños and quesadillas etc. to get a rich and creamy texture in your dish thus enhancing its flavor overall.
It has low fat and sodium in it which makes it one of the ideal choice cheese for health conscious people who don’t want to add too many calories in their body but enjoy the great taste of cheese in their recipes.
Tips for using queso fresco and its substitutes
Add the substitutes in small quantities in the recipe to make it according to your taste and later on add more if required
it is advised to use right types of alternative for queso fresco with the dish to get good flavor and texture. like when using for salads make sure your cheese crumbles easily over the salad but when using for filling tortillas and quesadilla or in soups make sure that your cheese melts easily in the filling to give good taste while easting after cooking it.
make sure to store the queso cheese and its alternatives in air tight container in fridge to last long. once the packet is open it would last for 2-4 weeks when kept in fridge. for different cheese read the back label to check its actual shelf life. use it under defined shelf life to get the best taste out of your cheese always.
queso fresco does not melt well and is hard cheese. queso fresco become soft upon melting so it is advised to go with some other variety of cheese like mozzarella etc. if you are looking for good melting cheese.
what does it mean by crumbled queso fresco?
you can grate and crumble the small blocks of queso fresco with your hands to crumble it and sprinkle over some dishes of your choice as a topping like on pizza, pasta bowl, salad bowl etc. for great tasting recipe with queso fresco on the top.
what’s the difference between queso fresco cheese and cotija cheese?
cotija cheese and queso fresco cheese comes under same category of cheese but the difference is that cotija cheese is more aged and dense when compared to queso fresco cheese due to which its taste, flavor and texture can be little different than queso fresco. you can replace cotija cheese with queso fresco and vice versa to make the dish delicious the absence of either from you fridge.
queso fresco is great to use with Mexican recipes and other similar dishes but if you cant find it market then its substitutes also work great to make tasty recipes. checkout quesco fresco guidelines to learn more about it before buying from market.
hope you were able to get some of the substitute for queso fresco from above given list. if you like the alternatives then share this post with all your cheese lover friends.
if you would like to share some other alternatives to queso fresco cheese the let us know in comment section below and we will add to the list.
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