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Queso Fresco Cheese Recipe

Written by Marly Schimmelschmidt on February 20th, 2013.      3 comments

Queso Fresco directly translated in spanish means fresh cheese, and is a traditional mexican cheese. In New Zealand Queso Fresco is hardly heard of, let alone found to purchase.  Fear not however when a mexican dish calls for Queso Fresco, because making Queso Fresco is so incredibly easy it's a surprise it is hardly available.  With growing popularity in mexican cuisine, so too will there be in this mexican cheese. I wouldn't, by any means, only let myself be restricted by using it only in mexican dishes, as this soft, moist, mild flavoured cheese is so versatile, it can be used across the board.  The unique property that distinguished queso fresco from other cheeses, is that it does not melt, which I liken to cheeses such as Paneer and Halloumi.
Alright folks, you've heard it here, jump on the popular bandwagon that is mexican food, and get creative with adding beautiful mexican flavours.  I myself experimented, in this case, with beautiful smoked chilpotle chillis and Mexican Oregano from Tio Pablo, dispersed through my cheese.  I kept this recipe rustic and traditional, and finished by wrapping my cheese in dried corn husks, perfectly wrapped as little cheese gifts.


  • 2 litres un-homogenized milk
  • 1ml Calcium Chloride
  • 1/8 sachet Mad Millie Mesophilic Starter Culture
  • ½ rennet tablet, dissolved in 1 Tbsp of non-chlorinated water
  • 2 tsp cheese salt
  • 1 tbs Tio Pablo Chilpotle Chillis finely sliced (optional)
  • 1 tbs Tio Pablo Mexican Oregano (optional)
drained curds


Step 7: Hang curds (either as one or two cheeses) and allow to drain overnight. Alternatively press curds in bowl for 1 - 2 hours by placing a weight on top of the curds, or using the Mad Millie cheese press. I personally like the appearance of the rustic outcome of hanging the curds overnight.

Step 1: In a pot on the stove, heat the milk to 32°C, add the calcium chloride and mesophilic starter culture, stir in well.
Step 2: Add in the diluted rennet and stir for 1 minute.
Step 3: Allow to set for 45 – 60 mins minutes before cutting the curd into 2cm cubes and leaving to sit undistributed for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Gently heat your curds to 35°C over 10 minutes whilst stirring gently. Leave to sit undisturbed for another 5 minutes
Step 5: Line a colander with the cheese cloth and pour off the whey and curds into the cheese cloth lined colander
Step 6: Allow to drain for 5 minutes before mixing through your cheese salt and other optional flavours
hanging curds
 The next day the cheese can be eatin or used in a recipe as it is,   
     drained queso  or perhaps you would like to wrap it in dried corn husks, as I did, and gift it to a friend.   corn husk label

                   finished queso



Susan says ...
Why is this recipe different than the one that came with my kit?
Kira says ...
Yes this recipe is completely different and mine came out like ricotta, not Haloumi - please help!
Jan says ...
The wording says it was likened to haloumi and paneer because it didnt melt not because of the way it looked......
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