Learn About Queso Fresco

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Queso Fresco?

Queso fresco is a type of cheese with strong roots in Mexican cuisine.  It is a white crumbly cheese usually made from cow’s milk, but it is sometimes made of a mixture of goat’s and cow’s milk.  Its name translates to “fresh cheese” and queso fresco is often sold fresh or slightly aged.  Queso fresco feels light and does not leave a heavy feeling when eaten.

What Does Queso Fresco Taste Like?

Queso fresco is mild with a light salty taste.  Because of their similar tangy flavor, queso fresco compares to light feta cheese.

Learn About Queso Fresco
A wedge of queso fresco on a wooden table.

How Do You Eat Queso Fresco?

Most people enjoy queso fresco the way it comes. Queso fresco does not melt like other cheeses. Because it softens over hot foods, people crumble queso fresco over the top of finished dishes.  Queso fresco often tops foods like tacos, enchiladas, rice, and quesadillas.  Guacamole dips, soups, sauces, and salads use fresh crumbles of queso fresco to complete the dish.  Queso fresco is sometimes even fried.  

Where Can You Buy Queso Fresco?

Look for queso fresco in the cheese section of the grocery store.  It may also be found in or near the produce section in a chilled area by the leafy greens.  It is also found in international grocery stores.

How Do You Store Queso Fresco?

Place all queso fresco in a sealed, airtight container and store in the refrigerator.  Fresh queso fresco usually does not last long, but most varieties found in the grocery store will last for longer.

Fun Fact About Queso Fresco

It’s often sold right after it’s made for maximum freshness.

Did You Know?

You can make queso fresco at home!  Make sure to use all of the ingredients, or you might end up making queso blanco, a similar and delicious cheese.

Recipes Using Queso Fresco

Rajas con Crema

This vegetarian dish is perfect for taco night and also pairs well with steamed rice. Take roasted poblano chiles and slice them in strips, along with an onion. In a sauté pan, cook the onions in oil until softened, and add the poblano peppers and corn. Cook until the peppers are heated through and the corn is cooked. Then, stir in sour cream queso fresco, and serve.

Huevos Rancheros with Queso Fresco

Bring tomatoes and queso fresco to breakfast with huevos rancheros, or “ranch eggs.” In a saucepan, combine a can of hatch chiles and enchilada sauce and cook until slightly thick. Blend the salsa using your blender or a hand blender. In a skillet with oil, fry corn tortillas until brown and crisp on each side. Once the tortillas are fried, use the skillet to cook an egg over-medium. To put the meal together. put the fried tortilla on the plate, top with black beans, the egg, and spoon the salsa over top. Top with avocado, queso fresco, and Mexican crema.

Mexican Street Corn with Queso Fresco

Dress up your grilled corn with this recipe inspired by Mexican street corn. Grill corn until tender and slightly charred. Spread a light layer of mayonnaise over the corn, add lime juice, dust with chili powder, and roll in finely crumbled queso fresco.

Tomato and Avocado Salad with Queso Fresco

This salad is great for summertime with fresh avocado and tomato. To make it, arrange sliced avocado, tomato, onion, and season with salt and pepper. For the dressing, whisk white vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, and lime juice together. Pour over the vegetables and top with queso fresco and garnish with cilantro.

Sweet Potato Pasta with Brown Butter and Queso Fresco

To make the sweet potato pasta, use a spiralizer, julienne peeler, or buy the noodles already cut. Sauté the sweet potato in a frying pan with olive oil until slightly soft, and set aside. Then, add butter and rosemary and continue to fry until the butter is browned and the rosemary is fragrant. To serve, top with crumbled queso fresco.

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