12 Best Queso Fresco Cheese Substitutes

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This is the ultimate guide to help you substitute Queso Fresco Cheese in all kinds of recipes.

So, let’s get started. 

Best Queso Fresco Cheese Substitutes

The Best Queso Fresco Cheese Substitutes are – Feta Cheese, Ricotta Cheese, Tofu, Farmer’s Cheese, Monterey Jack, Queso Blanco, Paneer, Pot Cheese, Cotija, Oaxaca, Muenster Cheese, and Requeson Cheese.

They are discussed in detail here-

1. Feta Cheese

This Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk comes closest to Queso Fresco in terms of flavor and texture.

It is salty and tangy with a soft texture. You can crumble it over dishes like tacos or use them as fillings in quesadillas instead of Queso Fresco. 

How to Substitute? 

You can replace Queso Fresco with equal measures of Feta cheese. But keep in mind that Feta cheese can be on the saltier side, so you might want to adjust the seasoning or portions accordingly.

Check out this quesadilla recipe made with feta cheese instead of queso fresco – 

2. Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is a great alternative to queso fresco with its creamy texture and mild flavor.

It is less salty in comparison (you could use Ricotta Salata for a saltier version) and is perfect for both sweet and savory recipes.

It is perfect as stuffing because it is crumbly and doesn’t melt through.

How to Substitute? 

You can substitute queso fresco with a 1:1 ratio of ricotta cheese in most recipes. You might want to adjust the seasoning to get the right flavors but otherwise, it is a seamless substitution. 

Here is a Ricotta cheese taco recipe to try when you can’t get your hands on queso fresco – 

3. Farmer’s Cheese

Farmer’s cheese is a mild and tangy cheese that makes a great alternative in Mexican recipes instead of queso fresco.

It is not salty but has the acidic element and cheesy chewiness that can bring out the flavors in a burrito, tacos, or wraps. 

How to Substitute? 

You can replace the queso fresco in the recipe with equal amounts of farmer’s cheese. But keep in mind that farmer’s cheese can be firmer in texture and less salty which would require adjustments in seasoning to get the right flavors.

Here is how you can easily make farmer’s cheese at home in case you want to make your cheese alternative – 

4. Tofu

Tofu is a great alternative to queso fresco for vegan and lactose intolerant foodies out there.

Its bland and mild flavor with notes of tanginess makes it a perfect canvas for both sweet and savory flavors.

Firm tofu can work well in most Mexican recipes from tacos to desserts.

How to Substitute? 

You can replace queso fresco with a 1:1 ratio of tofu. But because of its bland flavor, you might want to adjust the seasoning in the recipe to fine-tune the overall dish. 

For a vegan tofu taco recipe that you can easily make, check out this YouTube tutorial by “It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken” on YouTube – 

5. Paneer

Paneer is a bland and milky cheese that is like ricotta cheese or farmer’s cheese in terms of texture and works as a great alternative to queso fresco.

It is chewy, cheesy, and firm and works well in recipes like burritos, stews, or grilled recipes. 

How to Substitute? 

Because of its similar texture and melting properties, you can replace queso fresco with a 1:1 ratio of paneer in most recipes. But since paneer is quite bland, you will have to add additional salt and seasoning to get the flavor right. 

Check out this Paneer tortilla recipe that you can try when you don’t have queso fresco to work with – 

6. Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack is a cheese commonly used in Mexican recipes and it makes a great substitute for queso fresco.

Unlike queso fresco, it melts wonderfully and it is perfect if you love melty cheese.

It shares the same mild and tangy flavor profile as queso fresco making it a quick fix alternative. 

How to Substitute? 

Since it melts well and is fattier than queso fresco, you might want to start small with the Monterey Jack portions in your recipe. You can add and adjust the ratio as you prefer. 

Here is a quesadilla recipe with Monterey Jack by “Joshua Weissman” on YouTube – 

7. Queso Blanco

Queso Blanco is a tangier cheese alternative to queso fresco that you can easily make at home.

It is perfect for any kind of Mexican recipe that you would use queso fresco in, from cooked black beans and tacos to wraps.

It’s great to crumble it over your dish for a kick of flavor. 

How to Substitute? 

Queso Blanco and queso fresco are often used interchangeably in most recipes, so you can replace the queso fresco with a 1:1 ratio of Queso Blanco.

For a quick Queso Blanco dip recipe, check out this video by “Laura in the Kitchen” on YouTube – 

8. Pot Cheese

Pot cheese is a creamy and runny version of farmer’s cheese or ricotta cheese. It is mild in flavor and tangy, making it a great substitute for queso fresco.

It is a great topping on tacos, to use as a filling, or even in a sweet dish.

How to Substitute? 

Because of its runny texture, you might want to start small and then add and adjust the recipe as you go. But flavor-wise, pot cheese should work just as well as queso fresco in most recipes. 

To easily make pot cheese at home for a quick fix alternative to queso fresco, check out this tutorial – 

9. Cotija

Cotija is a great Mexican cheese substitute for queso fresco with its salty flavor and crumbly texture.

It is perfect for any recipe that you would use queso fresco in – tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and more.

Make sure to use mild or less aged Cotija for the right texture and taste because as it ages it gets harder and sharper in flavor. 

How to Substitute? 

You can replace queso fresco with equal amounts of Cotija but you will have to reduce the salt content of the recipe because Cotija is naturally saltier than queso fresco. 

10. Oaxaca

Yet another Mexican cheese, Oaxaca is perfect for those who like the chewy stringy cheese texture. Oaxaca, much like Mozzarella cheese is stringy and melts wonderfully.

It is great in quesadillas, burritos, bakes or to grate over tacos. 

How to Substitute? 

You can replace queso fresco with equal portions of Oaxaca cheese in most recipes. But keep in mind that, unlike the crumbly queso fresco, Oaxaca is stringy and stretchy. 

For an easy and tasty chicken quesadilla recipe with Oaxaca cheese, give this tutorial a shot – 

11. Muenster Cheese

Muenster cheese is ideal for those who enjoy melty and mild-flavored cheese instead of queso fresco.

It works wonderfully well in quesadillas or sandwich recipes. It also pairs well with meat dishes. 

How to Substitute? 

Though it is not ideal for all recipes, you can replace queso fresco with equal portions of Muenster cheese in quesadillas, or other grilled recipes. You could also use it in equal measures in dips or sauces. 

12. Requeson Cheese

If you love tangy and acidic flavors, Requeson is a great alternative to queso fresco.

It is much like ricotta cheese in terms of basic flavor but is a more acidic and creamier Mexican version of the cheese.

This spreadable cheese goes well with tacos or as fillings.

How to Substitute? 

You can replace queso fresco with more or less the same amount of Requeson but keep in mind that the textures are quite different and that Requeson is more acidic in flavor. 

Is Queso Fresco the Same as Mozzarella? 

Queso fresco is often compared to Mozzarella in terms of flavor, but both cheeses are quite different and have unique flavor and texture profiles. Queso fresco is tangier and bolder in flavor in comparison and has a crumbly texture, unlike mozzarella cheese.

Moreover, queso fresco is best compared to ricotta cheese or feta cheese with a salty and crumbly texture and it is ideally suited for Mexican recipes, unlike Mozzarella which is best suited for pizzas and pasta. 

Bottom Line 

I hope after going through this guide, you have found the perfect substitute for queso fresco in your recipes. 

If you have any other substitutes in mind,

Do share this article with your family and friends who love cheesy Mexican recipes. 

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.

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