Best Cheese for Quesadillas

Using Mexican cheese will make your quesadillas taste the best. It will melt best and on time, so your quesadillas won’t be too burned or too slimy if the cheese melts too fast or slow.

There are many different types of Mexican cheese, but Oaxaca cheese and Chihuahua cheese are best. Alternatively, Monterrey cheese will do the job just fine.

Oaxaca comes in little balls with strains, sort of like a thick yarn ball so you need to separate it and put on your quesadilla.

If you’re buying Chihuahua make sure you buy block cheese instead of pre-shredded. It will melt better and stay fresh longer. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to shred it for quesadillas, you can just cut a thicker slice if you don’t have a grater.


  1. Heat the tortillas for a few seconds in a skillet until they’re easily foldable – otherwise, they’ll break.
  2. Sprinkle cheese onto one-half of the tortilla. Then fold the tortillas into a half-moon shape and press the top with a spatula.
  3. Leave quesadillas on a skillet for 1-2 minutes on medium heat, until the tortilla is lightly golden browned. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  4. Eat immediately or cut them in half and serve with pico de gallo, guacamole, or salsa verde.

Tips for Making the Best Cheese Quesadillas

  • Always use corn tortillas for better taste. Flour tortillas are blander.
  • Or if you want it in Southern and Central Mexico style, use tortillas made with masa flour.
  • Cook tortillas with oil. Butter makes them soggy.
  • Leave a few patches in between the cheese so that it doesn’t get soggy! Unless you love them soggy. It’s 50-50!

The Best Cheese to Make Quesadillas

Mexican cheese are always the first choice for making quesadillas. However, if you don’t have them available in your local deli, you can use a few substitute Mexican cheeses. This list gives you a range of choices from Mexican cheese and other international cheese to add to your quesadilla.

1.  Chihuahua Cheese

Originating in the State of Chihuahua, this creamy cheese is only a little bit sour. Pliable like mozzarella, it’s not as strong as cheddar, but versatile enough to go well with cheddar.

2. Oaxaca Cheese

Semi-soft in texture, it reminds you of mozzarella, but is shaped like a ball of thick string. Mellow, earthy, and flavorful, this Oaxaca cheese from the region of Oaxaca is perfect for pairing with quesadillas.

3. Mozzarella Cheese  

Sweet and stretchy, the slightly sweet Italian cheese called mozzarella is creamy and soft enough for melting. Producing the perfect amount of meltiness on pizzas, lasagnas, sandwiches, and more, it’s also a heaven-sent addition to quesadillas.

4. Cheddar Cheese

Originating in Somerset, England, the cheddar is an English cheese, that can be mild or sharp. The mild version has a nutty flavor that pairs well with mac and cheese and of course quesadillas. The sharp version of cheddar is tangier, grainier, and literally the perfect combination for quesadillas and carnitas.

5. Monterey Jack Cheese

Named after its place of origin, Monterey in California, this creamy cheese has the lightest tang to it. With a beautiful melt, Monterey Jack is the perfect addition to quesadillas, on its own or in combination with cheddar cheese.

6. Pepper Jack Cheese

If you want more spice in your quesadillas, you don’t have to only rely on sauce and chili peppers. You can add a spicy cheese like Pepper Jack. Made by adding hot chili peppers to the Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack will add a bit of fire to your quesadillas.

7. Queso Fresco

Queso Fresco is a Mexican cheese that resembles cottage cheese or feta cheese. Crumbly and soft, it’s made from cow milk or a mix of cow and goat milk. If you’re not a fan of stringy cheese, you’ll find Queso Fresco is the perfect mild addition to quesadillas.

8. Queso Anejo

Traditionally made with goat’s milk, the queso anejo is a semi-hard cheese that has been aged till it’s compact and dense. It’s rolled in paprika before being added to the mold and has quite a bit of bite. Apart, from quesadillas, you’ll find it grated over tacos or added to enchiladas and burritos.

9. Gouda Cheese

This Dutch cheese is semi-hard, creamy, and slightly nutty in flavor. Gouda can be added to quesadillas when you don’t want the tastes and flavors of the other ingredients to be overpowered by the cheese.

Smoked gouda is also a great option when making meaty quesadillas.

10. Colby Jack Cheese

Colby Jack Cheese is a delicious cheese made by combining Colby with Monterey Jack. The resulting soft crumbly and creamy cheese is as mild as Gouda but perfect for melting.

11. Manchego Cheese

As the name shows, Manchego cheese is made with milk from the Manchega sheep that are local to La Mancha, Spain. The cheese can be aged for two months to almost two years. Firm and buttery with a slight sharpness, your quesadilla will taste amazing!

12. Cotija Cheese

The Cotija is an artisanal cheese made by hand in the Michoacan region. Depending on how long it has aged, you can get cheese that is similar in texture to a crumbly feta, or cheese that is tougher like Parmesan.

Made by adding salt to the milk before fermenting, cotija will add oodles of flavor to your quesadilla.

13. Asadero Cheese

A cheese that originated during the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s, the Asadero is a flat white cheese that’s made from cow or goat milk. Asadero means ‘for roasting’ or ‘for grilling’.

Mild in flavor, it melts really well and is perfect for adding to tortillas or quesadilas.

14. Asiago Cheese

This Italian cheese originated in the town of Asiago, and is a DOP protected cheese. Depending on how long it’s been aged, it can vary in texture from smooth to crumbly.

The fresh Asiago cheese is buttery and creamy with a mild taste, while the aged cheese ranges from a sweet nutty flavor at under 6 months to bitter when aged for 10 to 15 months. Some are aged even longer.

In any form, it’s the perfect topping for a quesadilla.

15. Queso Panela

Queso panela is also known as queso canasta which translates to ‘basket cheese’, because this white Mexican cheese is made in baskets.

If you ever thought you wanted your queso fresco firmer, queso panela is the answer.

Common all over Mexico, it can be used as a topping or as a filling for many Mexican dishes, from tacos and burritos to quesadillas and chilaquiles.

So that’s our list of Mexican and international cheese to make quesadillas. Which of these is your favorite? Comment and let me know!

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