Queso Fresco (Mexican Fresh Crumble Cream Cheese)

I was watching Rick Bayless: Mexico, One Plate at a Time on PBS and saw this fast and easy queso fresco recipe — no rennet — no fancy chemistry — just fresh cheese, ready to cook with and eat in just a few hours — oh, yeah.

Mexico — Texas — Rick Bayless….  Mmmmm.  Home.

Best cheese to use in real tacos, fajitas, quesadillas — crumbled on top of beans — or crumbled into freshly made tortilla soup!


makes about 1 lb of cheese


1 gallon organic whole milk
2 c organic buttermilk
(1 c lime juice, or 1 T sour salt/citric acid in dish with 1/4 c cool water)
1 t sea salt (nothing iodized)


12-16 qt heavy pot
cheese cloth
straining spoon
pot-mountable candy thermometer

  • Pour milks into your large pot on the stove/burner
  • stir sour salt mixture (or lime juice) into the milks in a large 12-16qt pot, and stir again every couple of minutes on med heat until the milk reaches 195 degrees (use a pot-attached thermometer to insure careful gauging.)
  • turn off heat, stand for 5 minutes to set the curds.
  • dampen cheese cloth in colander, and ladle curds into cheese cloth, then squeeze whey out of cheese in cloth and turn out ball of cheese into a cold dish
  • add 1t salt and work in with spoon, then reform into cake and chill for 2 -4 hrs.  cover w/ plastic wrap and keep up to 4-5 days in fridge.

Additions: roasted garlic, minced or crushed roasted jalapenos or other peppers, chili powders, herbs, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, shallots, flaked smoked salmon, chives, scallions, crumbled bacon, fresh ground black pepper, minced Serrano/prosciutto/Smithfield Virginia ham — whatever sounds good!


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