Oaxaca cheese is a white, semi-hard cheese that originated in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It has a mild, buttery flavor with hints of smoke. Substitutes for Oaxaca cheese can be tricky to find. This cheese is a bit of a specialty item, and it’s not carried by all grocery stores. However, there are a few substitutions that will work in a pinch.
There is a variety of substitutes for Oaxaca cheese available on the market today. While they may not have the same flavor as traditional Oaxaca cheese, they can still provide a delicious and nutritious option to the diet.
What is Oaxaca cheese?
Oaxaca cheese is a type of Mexican cheese that is named after the state of Oaxaca. It is a white, semi-soft cheese with a mild flavor and a slightly crumbly texture.
Traditionally, Oaxaca cheese is made from the milk of cows, goats, or sheep, but it can also be made from a blend of milk from different animals. The milk is first heated and then curdled with rennet. The curds are then drained and pressed into rounds or blocks.
Oaxaca cheese can be used in a variety of dishes, including quesadillas, enchiladas, and chilesrellenos. It is also often shredded or melted on top of tacos or burritos.
13 Substitutes for Oaxaca cheese
Maybe you have tried Queso Fresco or even cotija cheese, but none of them tasted as great as Queso Oaxaca. But what if you still love the Oaxaca cheese vibe but aren’t anywhere near that province, or state?
Here are the 12 substitutes for Oaxaca cheese, that will get you as close to the real thing.
1. Queso Blanco:
This cheese is very similar to Oaxaca cheese in both taste and texture. Queso Blanco is a white, semi-soft cheese that originates from the Mexican state of Puebla. It has a mild, milky flavor with a slightly crumbly texture.
Queso Blanco can be used in the same way as Oaxaca cheese and is a great substitute for those who are looking for a similar flavor profile.
2. Queso Fresco:
Queso Fresco is another white, semi-soft cheese that originates from Mexico. It has a mild, salty flavor with a slightly crumbly texture.
Queso Fresco is a great substitute for Oaxaca cheese in dishes where the cheese will be melted, such as quesadillas or chilesrellenos.
Queso Fresco is one of the most famous Mexican cheeses.
3. Cotija Cheese:
Cotija cheese is a white, hard cheese that originates from the Mexican state of Michoacán.
Cotija cheese can be a great substitute for Oaxaca cheese in dishes where the cheese will be shredded or melted. However, since the flavor and texture aren’t exactly like that of Queso Oaxaca, your dish may not taste exactly as when you used the latter.
4. Queso panela:
Panela cheese is a white, semi-soft cheese that originates from the Colombian Andes. It has a mild, salty flavor a characteristic that makes it part of salads and quesadillas.
Queso panela is a great substitute for Oaxaca cheese in dishes where the cheese will be required to melt and served as a dip. Queso Canasta is another name for Panela cheese.
5. Manchego Cheese:
Manchego cheese is a hard cheese that originates from the La Mancha region of Spain. It has a nutty, earthy-sweet flavor with a slightly firm, consistent, and buttery texture.
Manchego cheese can be used in the same way as Oaxaca cheese and is suitable for grating on top of salads. Manchego is a versatile cheese that can also substitute Romano and Parmesan types.
6. Chihuahua Cheese:
Chihuahua cheese is a white, semi-soft cheese that originates from the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It has a mild, nutty flavor with a slightly crumbly texture.
Chihuahua cheese is slightly drier than Oaxaca cheese, making it ideal for dishes where the cheese will be melted, such as quesadillas or chilesrellenos.
7. Mozzarella Cheese:
Mozzarella cheese is a white, semi-soft cheese that originates from Italy. By far, this is the closest substitute to Oaxaca cheese. Made from water buffalo milk, it is less salty but creamier and has a sweet flavor. For a richer Oaxaca-like flavor, you may need to sprinkle some salt on this substitute.
When shopping around for Mozzarella as a substitute, go for the low-moisture options for a closer match in texture.
Mozzarella cheese can be used on both sweet and savory dishes. May it be desserts and salads, or Mexican dishes like tostadas, quesadillas, or tacos, Mozzarella cheese can pass as a decent Oaxaca cheese alternative.
8. Queso Asadero:
Queso Asadero is a white, semi-soft cheese that originates from the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
The semi-firm texture makes it slightly different from Oaxaca cheese but still substitutes well with foods like quesadillas, tacos, burritos, macaroni, and pizza dishes.
Its mild, slightly salty taste complements other Mexican ingredients such as green chili, cilantro, and poblano.
However, Asadero cheese is quite rare. In fact, if you didn’t find Oaxaca cheese, there’s a fair chance that you may not find Asadero as well.
9. Armenian string cheese:
String cheese is a type of fresh cheese made from goat’s milk. It is the equivalent of the American string cheese and is often stretched the same way as Oaxaca and Mozzarella cheeses.
The mild flavor and stringy texture make it an ideal swap for Oaxaca cheese, especially in tacos, enchiladas, and tostadas. Although it’s somewhat rare in supermarkets, you’ll easily source it from Armenian and Middle Eastern shops.
10. Cheddar curds:
Cheddar curds are a type of fresh cheese that originates from the United Kingdom. It is made from cow’s milk and has a mild, milky flavor with a slightly crumbly texture.
Cheddar curds are often used in dishes where the cheese will be melted, such as in grilled cheese sandwiches. They can also be used in salads and as a topping on burgers, as well as in poutines.
11. Unaged Monterey Jack cheese:
Jack cheese is a white, semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk. Unlike Aged Monterey Jack which has a sharp flavor, the unaged variant has a flavor milder than Oaxaca. Nevertheless, the flavor is much similar and can par well with Mexican food flavors. It also has a stringy, rubbery texture that makes it a great stand-in for Oaxaca cheese.
Jack cheese can be used on a variety of dishes, from breakfast egg dishes and omelets to macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, and enchiladas.
12. Muenster cheese:
Muenster cheese is a white, semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a smooth texture. Muenster cheese is often used in dishes where the cheese will be melted, such as in grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas.
Muenster is a versatile cheese substitute that can also be used in place of Swiss and American cheeses to spice up salads and casseroles.
13. Ricotta Salata:
Ricotta Salata is a type of ricotta cheese that has been aged and pressed to remove excess moisture. It originates from Italy and has a firm texture with a salty, slightly sweet flavor.
Ricotta Salata is often used as a topping on salads and pizza, or as an ingredient in pasta dishes and stuffing. This cheese substitute is also a good alternative to feta cheese.
What is Oaxaca cheese used for?
Oaxaca cheese is sometimes known as Queso Oaxaca or Quesillo. The cheese has a mild, mildly salty flavor and a soft, elastic texture. It is typically used in dishes such as quesadillas, enchiladas, and chilesrellenos. It can also be melted and used as a topping for tacos or nachos.
While Oaxaca cheese is most commonly associated with Mexican cuisine, it can also be used in a variety of other dishes from around the world. So whether you’re looking for a cheesy garnish for your next dish or simply want to experiment with a new flavor, Oaxaca cheese is worth trying.
What does Oaxaca cheese taste like?
Oaxaca cheese has a mild, mildly salty flavor and a soft, elastic texture. It is typically used in dishes that require melted cheese, such as quesadillas, enchiladas, and chilesrellenos.
Oaxaca cheese nutrition facts
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of Oaxaca cheese contains:
|Net Carbs||1 gram|
|Total Fat||5 grams|
|Saturated fat||3 grams|
|Vitamin||A: 60 mcg|
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does Asadero cheese smell bad?
Asadero cheese does not typically smell bad. However, if the cheese is starting to spoil, it may have a sour smell. If you are unsure whether the cheese is still good, it is best to discard it.
Where to buy Oaxaca cheese?
Oaxaca cheese is not always easy to find in stores. However, it can typically be sourced from supermarkets, or even bought from online dealers through e-commerce sites like Amazon. Walmart is also a good place to buy Oaxaca cheese.
Is Oaxaca cheese pasteurized?
Oaxaca cheese is usually made with pasteurized milk. However, some brands may use unpasteurized milk, so it is always best to check the label before purchasing. The milk used is mostly goat’s or cow’s milk.
Can you freeze Oaxaca cheese?
Oaxaca cheese can be frozen, but it may change in texture and become crumbly. It is best to use frozen Oaxaca cheese within two months for the best quality. Freeze the unopened Oaxaca in its original vacuum-sealed plastic packaging if you’re not using it right away. Alternatively, cover it securely in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then seal it in an airtight zipper-lock bag. To store, freeze for up to two months, and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
how to make oaxaca cheese
So whether you’re looking for a cheesy garnish for your next dish or simply want to experiment with a new flavor, Oaxaca cheese is worth trying. With so many delicious substitutes available, you can easily find a specialty cheese that will complement your meal perfectly. So get creative in the kitchen and start cooking up some amazing dishes today!