If you are a fan of the great delicacies of Mexico, I am sure you must like the different types of cheese that the cuisine has to offer. Whether I talk about queso panela or good old cream cheese, the cuisine offers a lot.
However, have you ever tried Oaxaca cheese? Oaxaca cheese is like the Mexican version of mozzarella. It goes extremely well as an addition to various tacos, quesadillas, salads, and stews.
Although, what would you do if your recipe calls for Oaxaca and you don’t have any? This article is worth your time, in that case!
This article will help you find the best substitute for Oaxaca cheese. Moreover, it will help you understand which substitute works best for different recipes.
Coming back to the main question, what are good Oaxaca cheese substitutes? The best Oaxaca cheese substitutes are mozzarella, string cheese, queso panela, queso fresco, cheese curds, and ricotta.
However, before we get to the substitutes, let me introduce you to Oaxaca cheese a little more. This will help you understand it better as I am sure it is a new concept for most of us!
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Quick Peek: Oaxaca Cheese
This section will help you with all the information on Oaxaca cheese. You will get to know its flavor, texture, uses, and nutritional information in this section.
What Is Oaxaca Cheese?
Oaxaca cheese, also known as queso Oaxaca, is a creamy, stringy, semi-hard cheese originating from Mexico. It has a texture similar to mozzarella. It is named after the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, where it was first made.
Oaxaca cheese is made with cow’s milk, unlike mozzarella, which is made with water buffalo milk. The production of Oaxaca cheese involves stretching the cheese into long ribbons.
The ribbons are further rolled up like a ball of yarn. This makes the cheese stringy in texture. Another cheese made using this method is mozzarella cheese. Hence, the two types of cheese tend to have a similar, stringy texture.
Describing Oaxaca Cheese: Flavor And Texture
I think you already know that the texture of Oaxaca cheese is similar to mozzarella or string cheese. It is stringy, chewy, and has a melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
Oaxaca cheese has a buttery, mild flavor with a little hint of saltiness when I talk about flavor. The flavor of this cheese is not too overpowering, which is why it is extremely popular amongst people even outside Mexico.
Uses Of Oaxaca Cheese
Oaxaca cheese is most popularly used in Mexican cuisine. Because of its mellow flavor and stringy texture, it is used to fill tacos and quesadillas where you don’t want the cheese to overpower the flavor too much.
It is moreover used for a variety of Mexican and Latin American dishes. It can be used as a stuffing in hot peppers, baked and used as a dip, and can be used in any dish that requires a cheese with a stretchy consistency.
Moreover, Oaxaca cheese is now not limited to Mexican or Latin American cooking. Oaxaca cheese can also make a great pizza topping if you want to use something with a consistency similar to mozzarella.
Oaxaca Cheese On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Oaxaca cheese, being a type of cheese, is definitely high in calories. Around 28 grams or 1 ounce of Oaxaca cheese usually has 100 calories, with 80 calories from fat.
Oaxaca cheese also contains high sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fats. This makes it unhealthy for certain people, especially those with cholesterol and cardiovascular issues. Hence, it should be eaten in moderation.
It contains a very small amount of protein. However, it has no carbohydrates or dietary fibers. Oaxaca cheese also contains minute amounts of vitamin A and calcium.
Now that you know so much about Oaxaca cheese, how about we dive into its best substitutes? The next section will help you with the same.
11 Best Oaxaca Cheese Substitutes
The list of Oaxaca cheese is surely a bit long. So, let’s go! The best Oaxaca cheese substitutes are given below.
Mozzarella has a consistency very similar to Oaxaca cheese. Moreover, it also has an extremely mild flavor. This makes it the best substitute for Oaxaca cheese.
Buffalo mozzarella is very easily available in most stores and has a creamy texture. However, it might be a bit bland in taste compared to Oaxaca cheese.
The best way to use mozzarella as a substitute for Oaxaca cheese is to sprinkle some salt on top of the cheese. This will give the cheese a richer flavor and can positively be used as a substitute in any recipe!
2. Monterey Jack Cheese
Monterey jack cheese is a white, semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a mild flavor, just like Oaxaca cheese. This makes it a great substitute for the same.
While using Monterey Jack cheese as a substitute for Oaxaca cheese, one important thing to remember is that your cheese must be unaged. Aged Monterey Jack has a sharper flavor, which might not work too well in all recipes.
However, unaged Monterey Jack has a very similar flavor to Oaxaca cheese. You can easily substitute it in Mexican and non-Mexican recipes.
3. Muenster Cheese
Muenster cheese is a type of semi-soft cheese from the United States. It has a mild flavor, just like Oaxaca cheese, making it a great substitute.
Muenster cheese also melts well and gives a consistency similar to Oaxaca cheese once heated. It has a mildly sweet flavor, making it a great substitute for quesadillas, tacos, and enchiladas.
4. String Cheese
String cheese has a creamy and salty taste. It has a stretchy consistency, just like Oaxaca cheese. Hence, it makes a great substitute for the same.
String cheese is very easily available in most markets. Moreover, it melts really well and can be easily grated or shredded. It is extremely versatile and can be used as a substitute in any recipe where you don’t want your cheese to be too overpowering.
5. Cheese Curds
Cheese curds are what are separated from the whey once the milk is boiled. Cheddar cheese curds have a mild flavor and similar texture to Oaxaca cheese. This makes them a good substitute.
Cheese curds help bring out the flavor of the rest of the ingredients in any recipe. Moreover, they are an extremely versatile ingredient and can be used in any recipe. You can use cheese curds in a 1:1 ratio while using them as a substitute.
6. Armenian String Cheese
Armenian string cheese is essentially the same as American string cheese. It has a mild flavor and stringy texture. This makes it a good substitute for Oaxaca cheese.
Armenian string cheese is usually made from goat’s milk. It goes through the same process of stretching as mozzarella and Oaxaca cheese. Hence, the similar texture.
Armenian string cheese might not be the easiest to find in a supermarket. However, if you happen to visit an Armenian or Middle Eastern shop, chances are you will easily find it at either of these places.
7. Queso Panela
Queso Panela is another type of white cheese from Mexico. It has a semi-soft consistency and is gently salted. Hence, you can use it as a substitute for Oaxaca cheese.
Panela is firm and has a flexible consistency. The mild flavor of panela is quite similar to that of Oaxaca cheese. It makes a great addition to quesadillas and salads. It can even be used for various other non-Mexican recipes.
8. Ricotta Salata
Ricotta is a soft, Italian whey cheese. Ricotta Salata is, however, much firmer than regular ricotta. It does not have a consistency similar to Oaxaca’s, yet it makes a great substitute.
Ricotta Salata generally has a firm texture and salty taste. It is sold in blocks so that it can be easily shredded. It is also easily available in various supermarkets.
You can use a little less quantity of ricotta Salata while using it as a substitute for Oaxaca cheese. This is to ensure that the salty flavor does not overpower the rest of the dish.
9. Asadero Cheese
Asadero is another type of Mexican cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a soft and mildly salty cheese similar to Oaxaca cheese. It makes a very good substitute for the same.
Asadero tends to melt and can be grated very easily. Hence, it has a very similar texture to Oaxaca cheese. Asadero can be used as a substitute for Oaxaca in any recipe.
However, there is one downfall to Asadero cheese. It might be a little difficult to find. If you have trouble finding Oaxaca, there is a chance you might have some trouble finding Asadero too.
10. Queso Fresco
Queso Fresco has a slightly salty flavor and creamy texture. It works well as a substitute for Oaxaca cheese due to its similar flavor profile.
Due to its creamy and not stringy texture, queso fresco might not work well for all recipes. However, if the consistency of the cheese is not a top-notch priority for you, queso fresco can definitely work well in several recipes.
11. Manchego Cheese
Manchego is a cheese from Spain. It has a firm and compact consistency and a buttery texture, making it a great Oaxaca cheese substitute.
Manchego does have a firm consistency as compared to Oaxaca cheese. So it might not be the best substitute for all recipes. However, it works very well for salads where it can be grated on top.
I am sure by now you must have read the entire article. Although, are you still confused about which substitute would work best for your recipe? Let me help you by breaking it down further for you.
Most Suitable: The most suitable substitute for Oaxaca cheese is mozzarella cheese.
Easily Available: String cheese is the most easily available substitute for Oaxaca cheese.
Best Flavor Profile: Asadero cheese will give the best flavor profile when used to substitute for Oaxaca cheese.
As we have reached the end of this article, I hope it has helped you understand the various Oaxaca cheese substitutes. Oaxaca cheese might be Mexican in origin, but it is making its way into various cuisines.
All the substitutes given are quite worthy options. However, the best substitute for you might depend on your recipe. You can have a look at the list carefully and decide which one works best for you as per their flavor and texture profiles!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Oaxaca cheese the same as mozzarella?
While mozzarella can be made from cow or buffalo milk, oaxaca cheese is generally made with cow’s milk.
What cheese is similar to Oaxaca cheese?
Mozzarella, string cheese and asadero cheese are the closest to oaxaca cheese.
What does Oaxaca cheese taste like?
Oaxaca cheese has a mellow, earthy flavor.
Are Oaxaca cheese and cotija cheese the same?
No, they are two different types of cheese.
What is another name for Oaxaca cheese?
Oaxaca cheese is also known by the name ‘Quessilo’.
Is queso blanco the same as Oaxaca?
They both do have a mild flavor. However, queso blanco holds its shape better, once heated.