Mexican fried cheese is a delicious fried white cheese that’s pan fried until golden brown. Though the answer to “Can you fry cheese?” is yes, you need to make sure your fried Mexican cheese is made with a frying cheese. Learn the best types of cheese for pan fried cheese (we’ll discuss fried queso fresco) and get easy directions for pan frying cheese.
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🧀 How to Make Mexican Fried Cheese
Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to fry cheese in a pan:
- Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You need a hot pan before frying.
- Cut your cheese into slices that are approximately ¼-⅝ inch (0.6-1.6 cm) thick. Make sure you use a frying cheese. I used 10 ounces of queso de freir, cutting the block in half and then into slices. I’ve listed other good frying cheese options in the next section.
- Fry the cheese in the hot skillet for 1-3 minutes per side, until the cheese has a golden-brown crust. Move the cheese slices around in the pan as they cook, as the ones in the middle cook fastest. Drain cheese on a paper towel to remove excess oil, let cool a couple of minutes, and serve as an appetizer with salsa or tomato sauce.
Mexican fried cheese is best enjoyed freshly made. Just make what your family will eat, wrap the uncooked cheese in plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge or freezer.
How do you fry cheese without melting it?
Frying cheese can be tricky because most types of cheese melt when exposed to high heat. However, some cheeses are better suited for frying because they have a higher melting point. To fry cheese without melting it, use a cheese that can withstand high temperatures, such as queso de freir or other Mexican cheeses for frying.
Also, it is also important to use high heat and to not overcrowd the pan. This will help the cheese to cook evenly and form a crispy crust on the outside while remaining melty on the inside.
➕ Best Cheese for Frying
In short, if you want to make some delicious Mexican fried cheese, queso de freir is the best cheese for frying. While you can use other cheeses, they may not hold their shape as well or have the right texture for frying. So, grab some queso de freir and get ready to make some tasty fried cheese from Mexico!
What kind of cheese is frying cheese? I used Goya Queso de Freir, or you can try the Tropical Queso de Freir brand. These cheeses are sold in blocks and are marked “frying cheese,” not “crumbling cheese.” They are white cheeses with a high melting point.
“Queso de frier” is Spanish for frying cheese, so you know it’s what you need here. It’s the type of cheese that’s also commonly used for Dominican fried cheese in the Dominican Republic.
Is queso fresco the same as queso de freir?
Queso fresco and queso de freir are not the same cheese, but they are similar. Queso de freir is a firmer cheese that is specifically made for frying. It has a higher melting point than queso fresco, which means it can hold its shape better when fried.
Queso fresco, on the other hand, is a soft, crumbly cheese that is not typically used for frying. (It’s more like farmer’s cheese in this way.) While you can make fried queso fresco, it may not hold its shape as well as queso de freir.
Is queso fresco a good melting cheese?
No, queso fresco is not the best melting cheese. It is a crumbling cheese that tends to crumble when heated. While you can fry queso fresco, it is not typically used for melting. If you're looking for a good melting cheese, try using queso asadero, queso de papa, or queso Oaxaca.
Is queso fresco the same as cotija?
No, queso fresco and cotija are not the same cheese. Cotija is a hard, crumbly cheese that is typically used as a topping for dishes like tacos and salads. While you can make fried cotija cheese, it may not hold its shape as well as queso de freir. Queso fresco is a softer cheese that is better suited for frying.
What cheese is similar to queso de freir?
Queso de freir is a type of cheese that is commonly used for frying in Mexican cuisine. It is a fresh cheese that has a mild flavor and a high melting point. If you cannot find queso de freir, you can use other types of cheese that are similar in texture and melting point. Try making fried queso blanco, queso panela fried, halloumi, or even this roasted paneer.
What kind of cheese is queso frito?
Queso frito is a Mexican dish that consists of fried cheese. The cheese used for queso frito varies depending on region and personal preference, but it is typically a cheese that can withstand high temperatures without melting, such as queso de freir, some types of queso blanco, or panela.
Is fried cheese keto?
Fried cheese is great for keto snacks because it is high fat and low carb. Just make sure your keto fried cheese uses a low carb breading or coating, such as almond flour or pork rinds. You can check the nutrition information for the food to ensure that it fits within your daily carb limit.
👨🍳 Mexican Frying Cheese Recipes
- Queso frito: Queso frito is a Mexican fried cheese dish where the cheese is sliced or cubed and fried. It forms a crispy crust on the outside and is melty on the inside. Queso frito can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish with rice, beans, and tortillas.
- Chile relleno: Traditional Chile Rellenos are a popular Mexican dish made by stuffing a roasted poblano pepper with cheese and then frying it until crispy. It’s often made with a crumbling cheese such as queso fresco, plus a melty cheese like Monterey Jack.
- Mexican fried cheese tacos: Cubed or sliced fried Mexican cheese can be used in tacos as a vegetarian protein alternative. Add some lettuce, avocado, onion, cilantro, and lime for a delish meal.
Watch How to Make It!
Mexican Fried Cheese Recipe (Queso Fresco Frying Cheese)
- 10 ounces frying cheese 283 grams (queso de frier is better than queso fresco for frying)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You need a hot pan before frying.
- Cut your cheese into slices that are approximately ¼-⅝ inch (0.6-1.6 cm) thick. I cut the block in half and then into slices.
- Pan fry the cheese in the hot skillet for 1-3 minutes per side, until the cheese has a golden-brown crust. Move the cheese slices around in the pan as they cook, as the ones in the middle cook fastest. Drain cheese on a paper towel to remove excess oil, let cool a couple of minutes. Serve (if desired) with salsa or tomato sauce.
💭 Expert Tips from a DietitianThis is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Fried cheese is a high calorie, low volume food that’s best enjoyed in small portions if your goal is weight loss. That said, it tends to be a hit with picky eaters, and it provides important nutrients like protein and calcium. Plus, it’s pretty much the ultimate comfort food. So delicious! Nutrition facts are for one serving.
nutrition info disclaimer
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
Hello! I'm Summer, a registered dietitian and home chef who loves to cook, eat, and create high quality content for you! Every recipe on this site has been tested by me to help ensure your success in the kitchen. All eaters are welcome here 🙂