The 7 Perfect Queso Fresco Substitutes

Chris Starks
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Queso Fresco Substitutes

Queso fresco, a type of hard farmer’s cheese, has a somewhat salty flavor, creamy texture, and firm bite that makes it a perfect option for entertaining. Shredded, it is the perfect garnish for tacos and quesadillas. When melted, it adds a creamy texture to any dish.

If you are looking for the perfect substitute for queso fresco and don’t want to make your own cheese, here is a list of several cheese options that you can purchase and enjoy.


This rich dessert cheese is smooth, creamy, and has an impressive elastic texture. It’s perfect for making creamy sauces for desserts like tiramisu.


Often used in baked goods and pasta dishes, ricotta is a soft salty cheese with a mild flavor that’s best used in recipes that require melting.


Feta is made from goat’s milk and has a strong salty flavor and a crumbly texture. It’s typically crumbled or grated on salads and mixed with vegetables before broiling.


Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a popular Greek cheese that is made using sheep, goat, or a combination of sheep and goat milk.

Feta is a crumbly, white cheese (that is typically grayish-brown as a result of the brine used in packaging) and is stored in a salty brine. Although feta cheese is similar to mozzarella, it has a more grainy texture. Feta also has a stronger and more distinct taste than mozzarella.

Feta cheese is also similar to ricotta cheese, but it is much saltier and its brine taste is more pronounced.

Feta cheese is used in salads, on sandwiches, in sauces, and as a topping for pizzas in a variety of recipes. It is often used as a replacement for dry milk in recipes, and it is used in many dishes that call for mozzarella cheese. Like many cheeses, Feta can be eaten as is, or it can be baked to add a little more flavor.


Ricotta cheese is a fresh, dense type of cheese made from milk, whey, rennet and salt. It is one of the most popular cheeses for use as a queso fresco substitute in Mexican and Southwestern cooking. Because it is made from whey it has a milder flavor than queso fresco, which is made from whole milk.

Because of its texture and mild taste, ricotta cheese is a great option for recipes that require the queso fresco to be spread or melted. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for a milder flavored spread that goes great with milder flavored dishes.

Another reason why it’s such a common substitution is because its lighter texture works well as a filling in various recipes. For example, it can serve as an excellent queso fresco substitute in stuffed peppers, tacos, and enchiladas.


Paneer Cheese is the most common substitute for queso fresco. It is a non-melting Indian cheese that is very similar to the Mexican cheese. Paneer is generally the closest thing that you can find to queso fresco in terms of texture, ingredients, and color.

Paneer is pressed cooked, semi-hard cheese that is crumbly and crumbles easily. It has a soft taste and works well with vegetables, sauces, and other toppings.

Paneer cheese acts as a good alternative to queso fresco in almost every dish. You can sprinkle some over Mexican dishes like chili, tacos, and fajitas. If you want, you can also slice paneer cheese and fry it as a snack. You can also use it as a topping for pancakes, pizzas, and burgers.

Farmer Cheese

Queso fresco is a popular Mexican cheese that is used to make quesadillas, chalupas, fajitas and is a perfect substitute for cottage cheese and ricotta. As well it is used to make all kinds of Mexican meals and traditional sweets.

Queso fresco is made from skimmed cow's milk and whey. It is very similar to farmer cheese in preparation method and production process.

Despite its popularity, queso fresco can be hard to find in most stores.

Luckily, there are several queso fresco substitutes that are easily accessible and much more affordable.


Tofu is an excellent ingredient to substitute queso fresco because it has a similar texture and flavor. It’s also a high-quality protein, and readily available, cheap and can be bought in bulk.

Depending on the brand and flavor, tofu can also be used to imitate soft cheeses, sour dairy products, cream cheese, yogurt, and even baked goods.

In some cases, tofu and other soy products that are made mainly of protein, calcium, iron and vitamin D, can be healthier options to replace the ones that are made mainly of milk, fat, and cholesterol.

Pot Cheese

Substitute: Poutine

Poutine is basically a plate that is full of everything delicious and yet manage to associate itself with the word healthy. The fries would be loaded with gravy and cheese curds and the cheese curds are actually a little bit sour.

This combination of flavors and textures makes the poutine as beautiful as it is delicious.

This sweet and sour that you’re getting from the cheese curds is what your queso fresco substitute should be able to provide you with.

As I imagine you might have guessed, I’ve been making myself some delicious poutine today, which have worked really well as an alternative to queso fresco.

Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack cheese is a semi-soft cheese that can be found in most grocery stores. It has the flavor and texture of cheddar with a mild and buttery taste. Monterey Jack cheese is good for making enchiladas, quesadillas, grilled sandwiches, and cheeseburgers. You will commonly find Monterey Jack cheese shredded.