The 13 best substitutes for Oaxaca cheese for your recipes
We are all familiar with the most popular types of cheese: feta, gouda, cheddar, and parmesan. But one of the lesser known, but equally delicious cheeses, is Oaxaca cheese.
Somewhat resembling mozzarella, this wonderfully stringy and buttery cheese has become a favorite both for snacking and for use in all manner of foods, such as grating it into pasta dishes. and my personal favorite, which is putting it in a quesadilla.
But being a more specialized type of cheeseIt is not always available in all supermarkets and grocery stores.
That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of best substitutes for Oaxaca cheese so you can enjoy that characteristic flavor and texture without having to look too hard.
|The best substitute for Oaxaca cheese is mozzarella. Alternatively, you can also substitute Manchego, Chihuahua, or Monterey Jack cheese for the Oaxaca cheese. Finally, in case you need a stringy cheese, you can substitute Oaxaca cheese for Asadero, String and homemade Oaxaca cheese.|
The best substitutes for Oaxaca cheese
Oaxaca cheese is made from cow’s milk by combining rennet, which is a complex set of enzymes from a baby cow, lamb or goat while its diet is still 100% breast milk. This gives the cheese its unique, rich and creamy flavor.
The process to make it is quite long and complicated, in which the softened milk curd is thoroughly stretched and kneaded to give it that fibrous quality.
Although Manchego has a slightly firmer quality because it is made from sheep’s milk, it retains much of the rich, buttery flavor that Oaxaca offers.
This makes it less ideal for something like a pizza topping, but for anything baked like lasagna, it’s the perfect substitute.
One of the biggest advantages of ricotta cheese is that it is very easy to get. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting it at your local grocery stores and supermarkets.
Because it has a slightly softer texture (though not in the “stringy” sense), it can also be used as a dip or even as a spread on sandwiches.
Not to be confused with the small dog breed, Chihuahua is actually the name of a small state in Mexico where this particular type of cheese comes from.
So far, all of the suggestions have been fine from a flavor standpoint, but they lack that softer, mushy texture that Oaxaca has, making them less ideal when used as a topping where stringiness is required.
This is where Chihuahua cheese comes in, it’s great melting and has that wonderful soft quality that makes it great for things like quesadillas or salsas.
4. Monterey Jack Cheese
Monterey Jack cheese can be a really good substitute, but there are a few things to keep in mind and take steps to make it the best possible substitute.
The next step is (whether you’re using hard or uncured Monterey Jack cheese) to make sure you shred it regardless of the cooking setting. This will help it melt evenly and achieve a consistency a little more like Oaxaca.
5. Grilled cheese
This gives it that characteristic soft texture and stringy quality when cooked.
Taste-wise, it’s maybe a bit milder than Oaxacan, but if you’re cooking something like pasta or making quesadillas, there’s plenty of opportunity to get that stronger flavor with other ingredients. Try pairing it with green chiles or cilantro for an extra kick.
That texture and stringy quality requires quite a specific process to achieve, so substitutes like this work exceptionally well.
6. String cheese
While perhaps not as authentic (or flavorful) as some of the higher-quality Mexican-produced cheeses mentioned here, the simple processed string cheese has that soft, stringy quality many seek in Oaxaca.
It also gets points for its availability, as you should be able to find it in many grocery stores, regardless of what country you live in.
To make up for what it lacks in the flavor department, consider using some additional spices and herbs to kick up the flavor a bit.
7. Panela cheese
8. Fresh Cheese
It’s considered a staple Mexican cheese and as such is relatively affordable, you should be able to find it pretty easily!
9. Muenster cheese
But when heated it softens quite a bit, so when used in lasagna and similar dishes, it can work well.
11. Cheese Curds
Cheese curds are essentially small pieces of curdled milk that many will know and love for their predominant use in the Quebecois poutine dish.
Plus, they’re pretty cheap and easy to come by, so you can always grab some in a pinch.
One of the best substitutes for Oaxaca of all time.
During the manufacturing process, mozzarella cheese is placed in hot salty water, which on a molecular level rearranges the proteins into long strands that are then repeatedly compressed and expanded.
This gives it that stringy characteristic that Oaxaca has, but arguably makes it even better.
Plus, it has a mild, understated flavor that works great in almost any culinary setting.
13. Homemade Oaxaca cheese
If you’re willing to put in a little extra work, it’s quite possible to make Oaxaca cheese at home yourself.
It’s not a quick and easy fix, but if you learn to do it right, you’ll never be without a suitable replacement.
How to choose the best substitute for Oaxaca cheese
It’s incredibly easy to find a substitute that addresses one of these aspects, making it appropriate for certain culinary scenarios. But it is quite difficult to find substitutes that combine both qualities.
So here’s a quick rundown of which substitute offers the best qualities.
For this we recommend mozzarella, there’s a good reason why it’s so commonly used on things like pizzas and that’s because it’s the quintessential “stringy” cheese.
String cheese is by far the most accessible, often used by children for school lunches, you should be able to find it anywhere.