Similar Taste and Substitution Ratios for Cotija Cheese

Cotija is one of Mexico’s most well-known cheeses. If you need a cotija cheese alternative, there are various choices to pick from, including feta cheese, queso fresco, and goat cheese crumbles.

What is Cotija Cheese Made Of?

Cotija cheese is a cow’s milk cheese from Mexico. It is named after the town of Cotija in Michoacn. One serving size (1 oz) of cotija cheese has around 100 calories, the majority of which are from fat and some from protein.

The texture of Cotija cheese is crumbly and hard. The cheese is white in color and has a milky and salty flavor. Cotija cheese is normally available in two varieties: young and fresh cotija cheese and aged or aejo cotija cheese; these two kinds have distinct textures and culinary applications.

Cotija cheese is initially white, salty, and crumbly. Cotija cheese becomes harder and crumblier as it matures. Originally, the cheese was prepared by hand from raw milk that had been matured for at least three months and up to a year. The cheese is available in pre-grated or block form on the market.

Cotija cheese has a distinct salty taste, which is present in both fresh and aged varieties. Cotija cheese is soft and crumbly while young, but considerably tougher when aged. Aged cotija cheese has a stronger taste and a similar appearance and texture to other aged cheeses.

Cotija cheese does not melt and is used to add taste to a number of Mexican meals. The cheese is often used to top tacos, beans, enchiladas, or Mexican street corn. However, cotija cheese and fresh cotija cheese are occasionally used in distinct recipes.

Our 5 alternatives to cotija cheese:

  • Feta cheese
  • Queso fresco
  • Goat cheese crumbles

The major focus of a cotija cheese substitute is the salty taste. In addition to the saltiness of a cotija cheese substitute, look for the crumbly qualities of young cotija cheese and the sharp, dry characteristics of aged cotija cheese.

Find a substitute that has the same texture and salty taste as cotija cheese and meets the requirements of your recipe. Each cotija cheese dish will have its own distinct taste profile. Certain tastes complement cotija cheese substitutes better than others. Every cotija cheese substitute we’ve mentioned delivers on both texture and taste.

The first three items on the list areFeta cheese, queso fresco, and goat cheese crumbles are excellent substitutes for young cotija cheese in recipes. The last two cheeses on the list, romano and ricotta salata, are suitable alternatives for aged cotija.

Except for ricotta salata cheese, use a 1 to 1 substitution ratio for each cotija cheese replacement.

Feta Cheese: Best Cotija Substitute Cheese

Feta is a famous Greek cheese that is similar to cotija in almost every manner. This cheese is crumbly, creamy, powerful, and salty all at the same time.

Feta cheese may be used in place of young cotija cheese. You won’t have to change anything about the cheese if you use it as a replacement. In terms of flavor and texture, feta cheese is comparable to young cotija cheese. It tastes like young cotija cheese and is salty and velvety.

This cheese has around 100 calories per 1 oz, the majority of which are from fat and some from protein. Feta cheese is popular, and most manufacturers offer healthier alternatives. Typically, reduced-fat feta cheese is available.

All types of feta may be found at practically every supermarket shop. Feta cheese is the finest and simplest substitute for cotija cheese to find.

In the culinary world, feta cheese is commonly regarded as a substitute for fresh cotija cheese in dishes such as migas. Migas is a traditional Mexican morning meal that consists of scrambled eggs, tortilla chips, vegetables, and cheese.

If you have extra feta, freezing it is typically the best method to keep it.

Queso Fresco

Queso fresco is an excellent substitute for young cotija cheese.

Queso fresco is a Mexican-style cheese with a taste comparable to cotija. The taste of queso fresco is softer and less salty than that of cotija cheese. Queso fresco is made from cow’s milk as well.

Queso fresco contains less calories per ounce than cotija cheese. Queso fresco has 80 calories, the majority of which are fat and some protein.

Queso fresco crumbles well, resembling young cotija cheese in texture. Queso fresco ranks first on our list of young cotija cheese substitutes. The issue is that queso fresco, like cotija cheese, may be difficult to get in certain areas.

If you can locate it, queso fresco is often preferable to feta cheese. However, the convenience and flavor of feta cheese are difficult to top.

In dishes using Mexican refried beans, queso fresco works best as a cotija cheese substitute.

Goat Cheese Crumbles

Goat cheese crumbles are an excellent replacement for fresh cotija cheese. Goat cheese crumbles resemble feta cheese and are widely available in supermarkets. It has a salty taste comparable to real cotija cheese, making it an excellent replacement.

Goat cheese crumbles contain more calories per ounce than cotija cheese, averaging about 120 calories per 1 ounce. Goat cheeses digest and metabolize more easily than cow cheeses.

This cheese complements fresh cotija cheese dishes, such as Mexican salads.

If you opt to use goat cheese, choose one that is crumbly, a little dry, and resembles feta cheese. Other goat cheese on the market comes in the form of a log.

The logged goat cheese is not a suitable alternative for cotija cheese.

Romano Cheese

Choosing romano cheese over parmesan cheese may spark some debate. Cotija cheese is known as the Parmesan of Mexico. The texture and look of aged parmesan and cotija cheeses are similar, thus the term.

Almost any aged cheese works well as a replacement for aged cotija cheese. Consider the recipe when deciding which aged cheese to use as a substitute.

We picked romano cheese for its acidic, salty taste in this situation. Romano cheese also complements Mexican meals better than other aged cheeses that are typically used to substitute aged cotija cheese.

Parmesan cheese, for example, is a popular alternative for aged cotija cheese. Parmesan cheese has an overpowering Italian flavor that does not go well with Mexican cuisine.

There are certain exceptions when substituting parmesan cheese, since the cheese is said to go well with Mexican street corn. Overall, we think that romano cheese is the greatest cotija substitute since it is more adaptable.

Romano cheese is widely available in supermarkets and has around 110 calories per 1 oz. The majority of the calories come from fat and protein.

Ricotta Salata Cheese

Ricotta Salata cheese may be used in place of aged cotija cheese. Remember that Ricotta Salata cheese is not the same as normal ricotta cheese. Ricotta salata is dried and salty, as opposed to fresh, ordinary ricotta.

Ricotta salata cheese is an excellent replacement. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to buy in supermarkets than romano and other familiar aged cheeses. If you can get ricotta salata cheese, we highly suggest it.

Ricotta salata cheese is not very salty. So, using ricotta salata as a replacement for aged cotija cheese requires a little more work on your side. All of the other cheeses on this list need a one-to-one substitution ratio.

When substituting ricotta salata cheese for aged cotija cheese, add a sprinkle or two of salt to the ricotta salata. This will provide the salty flavor of cotija cheese.

Ricotta salata cheese has around 70 calories per 1 oz. Ricotta salata calories come from fat and protein, same like the other replacements.

Final Thoughts

Make careful to check your recipe when deciding which cotija cheese substitute is ideal! Take note of whether the recipe asks for young or aged cotija cheese.

Consider which cheese will best suit your dish. Certain dishes’ tastes may merge better using feta cheese as a replacement, rather than goat cheese. Everything is in the recipe!

Unfortunately, there are no vegan cotija substitutes available. So, if you’re trying to veganize a dish, you may need to use something more widely available, like vegan feta cheese.

If you are vegan and ready for the task, there are several vegan cotija cheese recipes available online. The majority of vegan cotija cheeses are cashew-based and have gotten rave reviews.

There are also tofu cotija recipes if you are vegan and allergic to nuts. Apple cider vinegar, salt, and nutritional yeast flavor the tofu cotija cheese.


What cheese is comparable to cotija?

Feta is a fantastic replacement for fresh cotija cheese. Parmesan or Romano is a decent substitution for aged cotija cheese.

What is a good substitute for cotija?

Feta cheese is the finest like-for-like alternative for cotija cheese overall. You may use it the same way you would cotija (as a filler or garnish). It has a similar crumbly texture, salty and mild taste, and is available at most local supermarkets. It’s also less expensive than cotija!

Is cotija cheese similar to parmesan?

Cotija cheese (sometimes known as Mexican parmesan) is a dry grated Mexican cheese. It’s manufactured from cow’s milk and tastes similar to feta and conventional parmesan. It gets its name from a city in Mexico and is quite popular in Mexican cuisine and Tex Mex cuisines in the United States.

Can I substitute ricotta for cotija?

Salad with Ricotta

This cheese may be unfamiliar to you, but it is a fantastic alternative for aged cotija. Because it is less salty, you may need to increase the quantity of salt in your recipe. This cheese may not be easily accessible in grocery stores, but it may be sold in specialized cheese shops.

What does the Mexican style cheese cotija taste like?

How Does Cotija Cheese Taste? Cotija cheese is a mild and salty cow’s milk cheese. Because of its propensity to add salt, oil, and umami to a variety of Mexican cuisines, it is regarded as the Parmesan of Mexico. Cotija is saltier than other cheeses.

Does queso fresco taste like cotija?

How Do You Tell the Difference Between Cotija and Queso Fresco? Cotija and queso fresco are often used as garnishes and stuffings, although they vary in a few key ways. Taste: Queso fresco has a milder taste and is not nearly as salty as cotija, particularly aged cotija.

What can I use instead of cotija cheese in Oaxaca?

Alternatives to Oaxaca cheese

Asadero cheese, from the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, is a popular replacement. If you can’t locate asadero, try mozzarella, Monterey jack, or Muenster, which are all commonly accessible in the United States.

Does cotija cheese taste like mozzarella?

Cotija cheese is a Mexican cheese that may be crumbled and used in salads. Cotija cheese, which has a similar taste to parmesan cheese, will provide more flavor to the meal than mozzarella.

Does cotija taste like feta?

Cotija cheese has a taste that is comparable to feta cheese: strong, acidic, and salty. Younger cotija may be crumbled or minced into a recipe to offer a particular taste, but older cotija is best for grating. It’s not a soft cheese. It has a heartier, fluffier texture with some chew to it.

What can I use instead of cotija cheese in Europe?

Pecorino romano, a hard, salty Italian cheese derived from sheep’s milk, is a decent alternative for aged cotija cheese. Pecorino romano cheese, formerly a mainstay of the Roman army’s diet, is one of Italy’s oldest cheeses, still manufactured according to its ancient recipe.

Rate this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *