If you haven’t heard of Queso Fresco I’m not sure we can be friends. Just kidding, of course, we can – but seriously, you need to try it.
Queso Fresco is a scrumptious sweet and subtle fresh cheese that is somewhat milky with just a hint of tanginess. Typically, it’ll come packaged as a wheel that is submerged in some form of liquid. It can then be crumbled or shredded to make the perfect addition to any meal.
But what is one thing we all tend to love to do with cheese? Melt it! So, it is unsurprising, really, that so many people want to know if this type of cheese can be melted. And well, the answer is a little complicated.
Yes, Queso Fresco can be melted, however, it won’t achieve that creamy gooey melty quality that you might see from say mozzarella cheese. If you want to learn more about melting Queso Fresco…keep reading!
What Is Queso Fresco Cheese Used For?
Queso Fresco is a fairly versatile type of cheese that can be used in many different dishes. And it makes for quite the scrumptious addition too.
This fresh cow’s milk cheese (which can sometimes be made with goat milk too) is usually curdled in some kind of acidic liquid such as vinegar or lemon juice. When consumed it has a very distinct texture that can be compared to the likes of feta cheese.
But when should it typically be used? Let’s take a look at some tasty ideas:
- Crumbled over tacos or enchiladas.
- Smeared over elote (street corn)
- Added to pizza
- As part of a Queso dip
- Used as part of a mixture of shredded cheese
- Served with fruit salad to create a contrastingly salty taste
- Sprinkled over soup
Can You Melt Queso Fresco?
Now we come to the all-important question. Can you melt Queso Fresco? Well, yes you can. But you shouldn’t expect it to turn out with quite the same result that you can expect from many other forms of cheese.
Queso Fresco isn’t particularly creamy and so you don’t usually get that stringy gooey cheese that you would from say a Monterrey jack or an American cheese. But depending on the use of the cheese, it is possible to get a nice melted cheese from Queso Fresco.
It is important to note that should you heat up a pan and pop the queso inside it, you won’t get the result you are hoping for. This is because it is a fresh cheese.
If you opt for this method you’ll end up with a clumpy stringy mess that won’t be particularly appetizing or appealing. But don’t worry, with a little know-how, you can get it looking and tasting much better but we’ll get to that soon.
You can also opt to add queso fresco to other cheeses along with milk and a few other ingredients should you wish. This makes one of the tastiest cheese dips or sauces that will be sure to have you coming back for more.
How Do You Melt Queso Fresco?
As I’ve already mentioned, melting this fresh cheese is possible but it won’t melt quite the way you may expect. It’s important to have the correct expectations before we begin.
So, as long as you are prepared for it to look a little different, you can get ready to melt this mild and tasty cheese.
Melting Queso Fresco On The Stove
This option is best for larger amounts of cheese. It also allows you to keep your eyes on the mixture to ensure that it doesn’t burn and turns out perfect. Let’s take a look at how to go about it.
- Shred/Grate Your Cheese – Not only will shredding the cheese prior to heating allow it to melt better, but it will also ensure that the milky cheese heats evenly.
- Add Evaporated Milk – Pour some evaporated milk into your skillet or saucepan and then heat the milk on medium-low heat.
- Let It Bubble – Allow the milk to heat up until it starts to bubble and steam. Once it reaches this point you can then add your cheese to the milk.
- Mix, Mix, Mix – Then you’ll want to ensure that you continuously and constantly stir the mixture while the queso begins to melt.
- Serve – Once the cheese has completely melted you can serve the mixture immediately.
Melting Queso Fresco In The Microwave
This option will produce a nice melted queso as long as you oversee it throughout the entire heating process. You should not leave queso in the microwave unattended as it is likely to burn.
- Shred/Grate Your Cheese – This ensures an even heat distribution and also helps the cheese to melt more effectively.
- Microwave-Safe Container – Place the cheese in a microwave-safe container or dish. Be sure to leave enough space for the cheese to bubble without it overflowing.
- One-Minute On Heat – Heat the cheese for 60 seconds and then stir.
- 30-Second Intervals – Continue heating the cheese in 30-second intervals stirring each time until the cheese has fully melted.
- Add Milk (Optional) – If required, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to thin out the melted cheese mixture.
- Serve – Once at the desired consistency, serve immediately.
Queso Fresco Melting Tips & Tricks
So, as I’ve explained throughout this article, this type of cheese doesn’t melt as you may expect compared to many other varieties of cheese. Because of this, some people can often struggle to get it to melt to a desirable standard.
Here are a few helpful tips and tricks when it comes to melting your queso fresco!
- Shred Or Grate – Trying to melt a block or wheel or queso fresco is nearly impossible. If you’re struggling to melt your cheese, try shredding it or grating it first as it makes melting it much more manageable.
- Add A Little Liquid – Adding milk or preferably evaporated milk will help to thin out the cheese as it heats. This makes the mixture much more appealing and palatable.
- Be Patient – Queso fresco will take longer to melt than many other cheeses you may have melted before. You’ll need to cook it for a little longer and be patient as you wait for it to melt.
Queso Fresco is a super delicious cheese that makes a great addition to many meals, however, it does struggle somewhat when it comes to melting it.
However, as long as you follow the tips and tricks along with the instructions outlined in this article, you really shouldn’t have any issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Oaxaca is an amazingly tasty Mexican cheese that is more prone to melting in a typical way. It’s a semi-hard cheese that is comparable to Monterrey Jack cheese. Oaxaca is a very popular choice for many queso dips as well as sauces and enchiladas.
Not really, no. First of all, one of mozzarella cheese’s most popular characteristics is its ability to melt and create that gooey stringy goodness – something that queso fresco cannot achieve.
Mozzarella is also much milder in its flavor profile and does not have that tangy aftertaste.
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