Oaxaca Cheese Substitute

Oaxaca cheese substitutes are Mozzarella, Monterey jack, or Muenster, which are all widely available in the U.S. A common substitute is asadero cheese which is from the northern part of Mexico in the state of Chihuahua.

What Is Oaxaca Cheese?

Etla, a municipality in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, is credited as the birthplace of Oaxaca cheese. The saltiness of the cheese is subtle and complements the creamy flavor. Fresh Mozzarella is typically broken or shredded into thin strands and used as a topping for foods like sandwiches, or it can be melted and used in the same way.

It’s typically sold in the cheese aisle of well-stocked supermarkets and the international galleries of Latin American marketplaces. Oaxaca cheese is similar to American string cheese and fresh Mozzarella in that it is solid but elastic and can be easily shredded into thin ribbons by pulling at its ends.

Italians use the term pasta filata for all of the cheeses (“spun paste”). The curds are then cooked, stretched, and pulled into desired forms. Oaxaca cheese is a type of string cheese since it is usually sold in a ball, although it is first stretched into long strands and then wound.

How to Make Oaxaca Cheese?

If we can produce Oaxaca cheese according to these guidelines, we will be able to do so:

  • Make sure your workspace and stoves are spotless. Before beginning to make cheese, it is recommended that you thoroughly clean all surfaces. Check that you have everything you need on hand before continuing.

  • It’s best to start with a spotless stove top and table. Before manufacturing cheese, all surfaces should be well-cleaned and disinfected. Ensure easy access to all your equipment.

  • Add citric acid solution, milk, then calcium chloride solution. The milk should be heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit over low heat with continual stirring. Take the pan away from the heat immediately.

  • After the milk has been heated, add the rennet solution and stir in a figure 8 pattern for 30 seconds. It will ensure that the rennet is evenly distributed throughout the milk. Put the lid back on the pot, put away the spatula, and let the contents sit for 10 minutes.

  • The curds are ready to be cut after a ten-minute resting period with the lid off. Make 1/2- to 1-inch-thick slices across the curd in one direction and then again in another to create a grid pattern.

  • Low-heat the pot. Very gently whisk the curds and bring the whey to 110°F. The curds will break apart, separate from the whey, and sink as they warm. Keep stirring until the thermometer hits 110. Then remove the pot again.

  • Off-heat, whisk the curds for 3 minutes, then let them rest for 5 minutes. In the meantime, place a colander lined with damp cheesecloth or a moist paper towel over a bowl or saucepan.

  • Scoop curds from heated whey into a colander. Carefully strain the remaining whey through the colander to remove any remaining curd. Move the colander if it’s lying in the drained whey. Salt the curds and fold them. Flip the curds mound halfway through the draining.

  • While the curds drain, heat water to 175°F (steaming, just before simmering). You can work the curds directly in the saucepan, but I prefer a separate bowl into which I pour hot water when the temperature drops. I find drained whey more challenging to work with than water.

  • Half curds after 30 minutes. Two cheeseballs. The remaining half was cut into little cubes and placed in a bowl. Cover the curds with an inch or two of hot water. Serve after 2 minutes.

  • Spoon-mash the curds. Wait 1 minute to mash. Stretch and fold clumping curds. Pulling and folding the curd makes it smoother. Repeat tugging and folding, warming as needed.

Summary: To create this one-of-a-kind cheese, the curd is softly stretched into long ribbons, which are then customarily carefully coiled into a knot or shaped into a ball. Oaxaca, like Mozzarella, is usually finished by being dipped in salt water to create a thin rind. Oaxaca cheese has a mellow, earthy flavor, similar to a young Monterey jack, but it is butterier and melts much more quickly.

Best Oaxaca Cheese Substitutes

There are a few alternatives that you may use in its place if you don’t have any Oaxaca on hand or cannot get it in any of the stores located in your area. As a general rule of thumb, other cheeses that are either semi-soft or stretch-curd cheeses are typically considered to be the best replacements for Oaxaca.

1. Mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella cheese is similar to Mexican Oaxaca cheese, although somewhat less salty. The closest cheese to Oaxaca cheese is Buffalo mozzarella, which has a creamier texture. You can find it at any grocery store or cheese shop. To achieve a taste similar to Oaxaca cheese when substituting buffalo mozzarella, sprinkle on some additional salt. Tostadas, quesadillas, and tacos benefit from having a layer of creamy, delicious Bufala mozzarella sprinkled on top.

2. String Cheese

If you can’t find Oaxaca, you may easily substitute string cheese, similar to Oaxaca in texture and flavor but more readily available. It’s great for melting. It may be used as a topping or an ingredient in a meal when sliced or grated. If you can’t find any Oaxaca cheese, a regular American string cheese from the grocery is an excellent substitute.

3. Unaged Monterey Jack Cheese

Oaxaca has a light flavor similar to unaged Monterey, Jack, in that it melts nicely and has a mellow flavor. It’s versatile and works great in everything from sandwiches to pasta. Monterey Jack will do in a pinch if you can’t find any Oaxaca cheese. Both slicing and grating will yield identical outcomes when used in cooking. It’s also widely distributed so that you can find it in most grocery stores.

4. Muenster Cheese

The American cheese Muenster has a medium firmness and hails from the United States. Due to its mild flavor, it works well in cooking and melting. You can use Munster cheese instead of Oaxaca cheese at a one-to-one ratio due to the similarities in texture and flavor when substituting Oaxaca cheese. Muenster cheese is a versatile ingredient that works well in any recipe.

5. Asadero Cheese

Another Mexican cheese with a similar flavor to Oaxaca but a somewhat different texture is Asadero. Tacos, enchiladas, and tostadas all taste great with this seasoning blend. Asadero cheese has a beautiful texture in addition to its superb flavor, ease of melting, and rapid grating. It is a good alternative if you’re in Mexico and can’t locate Oaxaca cheese.

6. Homemade Oaxaca Cheese

Oaxaca cheese is difficult to replicate, so it’s usually easier to buy it. Because of its similarity to Mozzarella, there is no shortage of recipes for it on the internet. You should heat milk and lemon juice together. The curds must be stretched. The key is practice. Your own Oaxaca cheese can be manufactured in your kitchen.

7. Cheddar Curds

Cheese curds are the solid byproduct of curdling milk—squeaky, unripened cheese. The U.S. and Canadians both love poutine, a dish that features cheese curds. They’re a fantastic substitute for Oaxaca cheese due to their mild flavor and excellent texture. Due to its soft texture, pleasant flavor, and melty nature, you can almost drop one into your mouth and have it dissolve.

8. Armenian Style String Cheese

Like Oaxaca, the flavor and texture of Armenian-style string cheese are mild and nutty. Mildly firm goat cheese. It’s perfect for tacos, enchiladas, and tostadas, stretching like Oaxaca cheese. Look for it in a store specializing in Armenian or Middle Eastern goods. Occasionally, you can get them in grocery stores.

Is Oaxaca Cheese Like Mozzarella?

It’s reasonable to assume that you share Oaxaca’s admiration for them. To make it semi-soft and super-melt able Mexican cheese, the curds are stretched and kneaded into long ribbons, and then the stripes are delicately twisted into a ball or knot. The Dominican friars were responsible for bringing the method of producing Mozzarella to Mexico from Italy.

Oaxaca cheese, also known as a-ha-ka cheese, has a buttery texture that melts with a mild and earthy flavor, much like a younger version of Monterey jack. Children appreciate it because its taste and consistency are not overpowering, while grownups adore it because it is sweet and meaty.

Cheese quesadillas are a necessary part of life. Wisconsin is the only place you can get genuine Mexican Mozzarella. The people of Wisconsin are very proud of their delicious, melty cheese. If you’ve never tried this classic Mexican cheese, you’re missing out on life. It would help if you gave an Oaxaca brewed in Wisconsin a go.

Oaxaca Cheese Recipes

Oaxaca is a staple in Mexican cooking, but it’s also delicious with a side of fresh fruit. Oaxaca can easily incorporate into regular meals by shredding, peeling, and melting it into pizzas, quesadillas, birria tacos, empanadas, and nachos. Oaxaca cheese can deeply fry to create super-elastic, crunchy cheese curds.

Queso fun dido with chorizo is a typical appetizer in authentic Mexican steakhouses, and the recipe for it can be found on the food blog Mexico in My Kitchen. The flavor comes from this world when paired with warm, crispy tortilla chips if you want to appreciate Oaxaca’s milky flavor and semi-soft texture, cheese maker George at Crave Brothers suggests trying it at room temperature for the first time.

How to Store Oaxaca Cheese?

Keep Oaxaca cheese that has not been opened in the refrigerator. After it has been opened, Oaxaca cheese should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in an airtight plastic bag with a zip-top closure, or stored in a container that can seal. You can keep it for up to a week in the section of your refrigerator that is the coldest.

If mold forms on the cheese, you should throw it away and get new. Although freezing Oaxaca cheese will hurt its texture when used for new applications, the cheese can still melt when used for cooking after it has been frozen and then thawed.

Freeze Oaxaca in the plastic wrapping that it came in, which was initially vacuum-sealed, or securely wrap it in plastic or aluminum foil and then place it in a plastic bag with a zipper lock that is airtight before placing it in the freezer. You may keep it in the freezer for up to three months, but before you use it, you need to let it thaw in the refrigerator for a full day.

Frequently Asked Question - FAQs

Here are a few inquiries on the Oaxaca Cheese Alternative:

1 - What is unique about Oaxaca cheese?

Creamy and mild Oaxaca cheese melts quickly, making it great for quesadillas, enchiladas, and poblano peppers. Shredded can be used to garnish soups, tostadas, tacos, and beans.

2 - How long does the freshness of Oaxaca cheese last?

This fresh cheese doesn’t need to mature. Cover it and store it in the fridge for 1-1.5 weeks.

3 -How similar are other cheeses to Oaxaca cheese?

Oaxaca cheese is grated over tostadas, uWords to describe wineused as a topping, or sliced in quesadillas. This mild-flavored cheese melts well. It won’t dominate other quesadilla ingredients.

4 - What does Oaxaca cheese taste?

Cheese.com describes Oaxaca as mellow, buttery, and salty. Cheese enthusiasts admire its rich but subtle flavour. Oaxaca is chewy, stringy, and creamy.

5 - Does anyone know if can Mozzarella from Oaxaca cheese?

Mozzarella is manufactured from cow or buffalo milk, while Oaxaca is cow’s milk. In contrast to Mozzarella’s sponge-like smoothness, Oaxaca cheese has a stringy texture. Mozzarella is cured, but Oaxaca isn’t. They’re both pasteurized for hygiene.

6 -Does Oaxaca cheese need to be chilled?

Refrigerate unopened Oaxaca cheese. Wrap Oaxaca cheese tightly in plastic wrap or a zip-top bag after opening. Refrigerate for up to a week. Mouldy cheese should be tossed.

7 - What’s different about Oaxaca cheese?

Oaxaca cheese is commonly confused with Chihuahua’s asadero. They have a similar texture, although Oaxaca cheese is moister.

8 - Can you recommend a good cheese for quesadillas?

Quesadillas taste great with Mexican cheese. Oaxaca and Chihuahua melt quickly and stretch well. These variants can be found in most Mexican grocery stores, including Target and Walmart.

9 - Which Mexican cheeses don’t melt?

Panela is a complex, white, skim-milk cheese (it will not melt when heated). It’s lightly salted and can be eaten or sliced for a sandwich.

10 - Do you know if Oaxaca cheese can be frozen and used at a later time?

Both silky melting kinds of cheese, Oaxaca, and Chihuahua cheeses won’t separate as badly when frozen. Thawed, they’ll grate quickly. Grate them both before freezing.

11 - How pungent is Oaxaca cheese?

The Queso Oaxaca produced by Mozzarella Company exudes the aromas of sour milk and butter, and its paste is soft and yielding.

12 - What cheeses are like Oaxaca?

Chihuahua’s asadero cheese is a popular replacement. If you can’t get asadero, try Mozzarella, Monterey jack, or Muenster.

13 - Is it possible to cook Oaxaca cheese?

Oaxacan string cheese melts well and is often used for quesadillas. This gooey grilled cheese and sandwich pairs leftover pork, onion, and tomatillo salsa.

14 - How should Oaxaca cheese be kept?

Refrigerate unopened Oaxaca cheese. Wrap Oaxaca cheese tightly in plastic wrap or a zip-top bag after opening. Refrigerate for up to a week.

15 - What attracts so many people to Oaxaca?

Oaxaca has “exquisite architecture, living indigenous culture, amazing Zapotec and Mixtec archaeological sites, to-die-for cuisine, and some of the most exceptional artisans in all of Mexico,” as Zach states Rabinor, CEO of Journey Mexico.


The best substitute for Oaxaca cheese is Mozzarella. Alternatively, you can substitute Oaxaca cheese with Manchego, Chihuahua, or Monterey Jack cheese. Lastly, if you need stringy cheese, you can replace Oaxaca cheese with Asadero, String, and homemade Oaxaca cheese. You can utilize these alternatives if you don’t have Oaxaca or can’t get it in your region. These are buttery and creamy. Semi-soft or stretch-curd cheeses are suitable substitutes for Oaxaca. Oaxaca and Chihuahua cheeses don’t separate when frozen. They grate when thawed. After grating, freeze. Fresh cheese needs no aging.

Related Articles