Substitute for Queso Fresco

Substitute for Queso Fresco
Substitute for Queso Fresco

If you love Mexican dishes, 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; you will find retailers selling it in tub packets and round shapes. Queso fresco is typically made using cow’s milk. Besides, it has a crumbly texture and is 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 cuisine because of its cheesy goodness. Finding the best replacement for queso fresco will make you return for more. First, you need to store the cheeses properly; otherwise, it will 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, so we recommend using mild feta cheese. Alternatively, 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 goat’s or sheep’s milk, which makes it drier and a bit tangier in taste. The Danish feta is 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. You buy feta in classic, garlic, and olive flavors. Yellowish feta shows that it has been oxidized outside the brine, so I suggest going for the white feta. It contains a small number of 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. You can also use it as a dessert or 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. 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 to use in salads or soups when you run out of queso fresco. It contains many proteins, fats, calories, 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 complement all the flavors of the fillings, and it goes well with many Mexican or Spanish dishes. Monterey jack cheese has a creamy texture and mild characteristics similar to butter. There are many varieties to choose from in shops and supermarkets. This cheese originates from Monterey County, but it is highly produced in California today. Typically, it ages about six weeks, but you can ripen it up to three months. It is pale ivory and has a bland flavor suitable for spicey American dishes or sandwiches. A rare dry jack version is made by aging Monterey jack cheese, which 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. You can store it 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.

Summary Table

Substitute Flavor Profile Texture Best Used In Source
Fontina Cheese Rich, nutty, mild Semi-soft Melting, fondues, sandwiches Cow’s milk cheese
Cheddar Cheese Sharp, tangy, aged Firm Sandwiches, sauces, snacks Cow’s milk cheese
Mozzarella Cheese Mild, milky Soft, stretchy when melted Pizzas, Italian dishes, salads Cow’s milk cheese


What can I use if I don’t have queso fresco?

If you don’t have queso fresco, you can use other crumbly and mild cheeses like feta, ricotta salata, or farmer’s cheese as substitutes.

What Mexican cheese is similar to queso fresco?

An alternative Mexican cheese similar to queso fresco is queso blanco. Both cheeses are mild and crumbly, making them suitable substitutes for each other.

Can you replace mozzarella with queso fresco?

Queso fresco and mozzarella have different textures and melting properties. While you can use queso fresco as a topping for dishes, it might not provide the same melting qualities as mozzarella in recipes that require gooey melted cheese.

Is queso fresco the same as feta cheese?

Queso fresco and feta cheese are similar in that they are both crumbly and somewhat salty cheeses. However, they have distinct flavors and come from different cultures. Queso fresco has a milder taste, while feta has a tangier flavor.

Yuki Tanaka

Written by Yuki Tanaka

I'm from Utashinai and I love tasty food and nice words. I also write blogs, take pictures of food, and create recipes. Cooking and baking are my favorite things to do!

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