If you love Mexican dishes, then you’ve probably come across queso fresco. It has a firm texture that you can use as a topping. The name itself means fresh cheese, it is white, and it has a slightly tangy flavor similar to the farmer’s cheese. Also, it tastes salty, and you will find it retailers selling it in tubs packets and round in shape. Queso fresco is typically made using cows milk. Besides, it has a crumbly texture and great for preparing dishes such as enchiladas, tamales, or toping it on salads and soups. However, you can eat it alone as a light snack or mix it with salsa.
Tips for choosing the best substitute for queso fresco
Everyone loves Mexican cuisines because of the cheesy goodness. Finding the best replacement for queso fresco will have you coming back for more. First, you need to store the cheeses properly; otherwise, it’s going to alter taste and texture. I recommend using an airtight container before storing it in the fridge. The main reason why people choose queso fresco is because it adds a uniquely delicious flavor to the dishes. So when choosing make sure your alternative has similar or a close taste. Also, it is easy to use, and it crumbles smoothly. Lastly, it is very healthy because it contains lower sodium and fats.
1. Mild Feta Cheese
Mild Feta cheese makes an excellent substitute for queso fresco because it contains a similar texture. You can easily crumble it on cooked dishes or salads. Typically feta cheese is salty, and that is why we recommend using mild feta cheese. Alternatively, you can soak the feta cheese in water to tone down its saltiness. There are so many varieties of feta cheese, but French is creamy and less salty. However, French feta is mostly made from goats or sheep’s milk, which makes it drier and a bit tangier in taste. The Danish feta creamier and smoother compared to the Greek feta cheese.
Since the mild feta is made from whole milk, you can slice it without falling apart. Classic, garlic, and olive are the primary flavors you buy feta in. Yellowish feta shows that it has been oxidized outside the brine, so I suggest going for the white feta. It contains a small quantity of in fats and calories, plus it contains high amounts of calcium phosphorus and vitamin B.
Mild feta cheese has the same texture and similar flavor to that of queso fresco. You can use it to prepare Mexican dishes as well as in salads, grilled foods, and sandwiches. Lastly, Feta cheese is highly nutritious as it contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals.
2. Ricotta Salata
Ricotta is an Italian name that means re-cooked while Salata means cooked. Note that you should eat can when it’s still young. Additionally, you can use it as a dessert or as grated cheese when it’s about five weeks old or more. It has a mild flavor and a creamy texture. Although Ricotta is still creamy, you can slice it carefully, crumble or grate to finish a dish. You can try it on pizza, salad, pasta, beans, roasted vegetables, pineapple or grilled peaches.
Despite having many uses, Ricotta cheese is very cheap, and you can find it in almost any supermarket. It is the best option for you to use in salads or soups when you run out of queso fresco. It contains so many proteins, fats, calories, proteins, and carbs. Some of its health benefits are:
It may promote muscle growth
Can reduce high cholesterol levels
Can help to lower blood pressure
Ricotta Salata is among one of the healthiest cheese. It fits in the shoes of the fresco cheese comfortably. It is excellent when you use it to prepare pizza, soups or salads. Lastly, it is easy to find in the stores at a low price compared to some cheeses.
3. Queso Blanco
If you love it, Mexican, why not use another Mexican cheese? Queso Blanco is another Mexican with a great flavor and characteristics similar to queso fresco. Most people confuse the thinking it’s the same. Well to some extent, the taste, mild milky and crumbly texture is the same in both of them. eIt’s made from cow’s milk, but sometimes you can combine with goat’s milk. You can make Queso Blanco by heating milk and then adding an acidifying agent such as vinegar or lemon. Then stir until curds to form and drain it through a cheesecloth for 4 hours. It easy to make at home and has a short maturation process. This cheese is highly perishable, so you should use it immediately or preserve it in the refrigerator. You can serve queso Blanco as a topping for Mexican dishes or use on its own.
The best alternative for preparing Latin American dishes is queso Blanco. It is very similar to queso fresco and it can be used alternatively. It is easy to make it at home, but it is also available across many stores.
4. Monterey Jack Cheese
The ideal alternative for burritos, fajitas or tacos is the Monterey jack cheese. It will compliment all the flavors of the fillings, and it goes well with man Mexican or Spanish dishes. Monterey jack cheese has a creamy texture and mild characteristics which are similar to butter. There are many varieties to choose from in shops and supermarkets. This cheese originates from Monterey County, but today it is highly produced in California. Typically it ages for about six weeks, but you can ripen it up to three months. It is pale ivory, and it has bland flavor suitable for spicey American dishes or sandwiches. A rare version called dry jack is just is made by aging Monterey jack cheese, and it appears to be deep yellow to gold. Note that it has more fat content and calories compared to Queso Fresco. But it will provide all the texture and creaminess that you need. The good news is that you can store in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks or in your freezer for about six months. You should get the whole cheese in case you see molds appearing.
The best creamy substitute you can use is the Monterey Jack cheese. It lasts in the fridge for an extended period compared to most cheeses. It is ideal for preparing spices, American dishes and Mexican cuisines. If any of the above alternatives are not available, you can also go for paneer, tofu, or the dry curd cottage cheese. They will serve you as perfectly as queso Fresco, and you will hardly notice the difference.