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Best Cheese For Fajitas

12 Best Cheese Options For Fajitas Ranked (2023 Edition)

Last Updated on July 22, 2023 by Shari Mason

When it comes to fajitas, there’s a lively discussion among food enthusiasts about the role of cheese, which often sparks debate.

While some establishments may omit the cheese in their fajita preparations, we firmly believe that incorporating shredded cheese is important for elevating the flavor profile and enhancing the overall appeal of this beloved dish.

Based on our taste tests, we found the best cheese for fajitas. Read on.

Top 12 Cheese Types To Use For Fajitas

1. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar Cheese

Average Price: approx. $6 per pound

Why We Love It: Based on a survey conducted by YouGov of over 8,000 adults in the United States, cheddar cheese is America’s favorite cheese [1].

“From mild to bold, the perfect cheese amplifies fajitas’ fiesta.”

-Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

The shredded cheddar cheese has a sharp, tangy flavor that melts easily, making it a classic choice to add to various fajita toppings.

Cheddar incorporates a gooey, creamy texture to fajitas, adding depth and richness to the dish.

Read: How To Tell If Shredded Cheese Is Bad?

2. Cotija Cheese

Cotija Cheese on a Wooden Board

Average Price: approx. $10-12 per pound

Why We Love It: Cotija cheese is one of the best cheeses on the list. It is commonly used in Mexican cuisine, similar to how Italians use parmesan cheese for their dishes.

It is a dry, crumbly, salty cheese with the right tanginess to balance the lime juice and other citrus notes in fajitas.

3. Queso Blanco

Slices of Queso Blanco

Average Price: approx. $5-10 per pound 

Why We Love It: Queso Blanco, or “white cheese” in Spanish, is a milky, tangy, crumbly, and fresh cheese often used in Latin American and Mexican dishes. 

This cheese does not melt even with the heat, making it an excellent choice for a topping for fajita, grilled vegetables, and meat.

4. Queso Fresco

Homemade Queso Fresco on a Plate

Average Price: approx. $5-10 per pound

Why We Love It: Queso Fresco is another well-known Mexican cheese that does not melt well but has a crumbly texture. Queso Fresco is soft, like feta cheese, adding a slightly salty flavor to fajitas. 

“The confusion lies with the fact that fajitas and tacos both have meat inside tortillas with toppings such as salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream.”

– Amy Sowder, Food and Wellness Writer

Queso Fresco is a versatile choice that adds texture to any dish, making it creamier and more delicious.

5. Oaxaca Cheese

Man Holding Oaxaca Cheese

Average Price: approx. $5-10 per pound 

Why We Love It: Oaxaca cheese has a mild buttery flavor that melts quickly, making it an ideal choice for stuffed poblano peppers, enchiladas, and quesadillas.

Oaxaca, also one of the best cheeses, can be shredded and used for soups, beans, and tacos.

It incorporates a creaminess when used in fajitas, and its mild flavors blend well with other ingredients without overpowering them.

6. Colby-Jack

Person Holding Colby-Jack Cheese

Average Price: approx. $5-10 per pound

Why We Love It: Colby-Jack is a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack cheese, resulting in an eye-catching marbled white and orange semi-soft cheese. 

This cheese is mild and lightly sweet with a sharp and tangy flavor that goes well with meat, sandwiches, nachos, casseroles, and fajitas.

7. Monterey Jack Cheese

Average Price: approx. $5-10 per pound

Why We Love It: Monterey Jack cheeses are creamy cheese that melts well, making it a common addition to various Spanish and Mexican cuisines. 

It is a mild and semi-hard cheese with buttery hints that adds a subtle taste to fajitas without overpowering other ingredients like green onions.

8. Pepper Jack Cheese

Close Up Shot of Homemade Pepper Jack Cheese

Average Price: approx. $5-10 per pound 

Why We Love It: If you’re looking for a spicy variant of Monterey Jack to include in your fajitas, Pepper Jack cheese is a great choice.

Pepper Jack is infused with jalapeño peppers, resulting in a zesty kick that adds a bit of heat to fajitas.

9. Asadero Cheese

Average Price: approx. $5-10 per pound

Why We Love It: Asadero is a semi-soft Mexican-style cheese from the province of Chihuahua in Northern Mexico.

It easily melts and has a slightly sweet flavor, making it perfect for dishes like quesadillas, nachos, and stuffed peppers. 

10. Manchego Cheese

Hand Holding Manchego Cheese

Average Price: approx. $20-40 per pound

Why We Love It: Manchego cheese is more expensive than other fajitas cheese types. We only recommend using it if it is already available in your kitchen. 

This cheese is usually made with sheep’s milk and has a firm texture. It lends a delicious buttery, nutty flavor when shredded over fajitas.

11. Feta Cheese

Sliced Feta Cheese

Average Price: approx. $5-10 per pound

Why We Love It: Feta cheese tastes excellent when added to roasted vegetables or grilled onions because of its salty and tangy flavor.

Although it does not melt well, it’s easy to crumble this cheese and use it on salads, flatbreads, and pizzas.

Including this crumbly cheese creates a unique twist and adds texture to fajitas the traditional way.

12. Blue Cheese

Close Photo of a Blue Cheese

Average Price: approx. $10-40 per pound

Why We Love It: Blue cheese has a salty, sharp flavor and a high sodium content, but it has a low-fat content and is a good source of calcium and protein.

Blue cheese can be used to enhance the flavors of soups, dressings, and creamy sauces or add it to fajitas to balance the richness of the ingredients.

Suggested Cheese Pairings for Various Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas

Monterey Jack has a mild flavor and is a popular choice for chicken fajitas because it does not overpower the chicken’s flavor. 

Chicken fajitas will have more flavor if you marinate them for about 24 hours, bringing out all the great flavors of chili powder, garlic, cumin, and cilantro [2].

Beef Fajitas

Beef has a stronger flavor than chicken, and you may get overwhelmed by the different cheeses available.

For beef fajitas, pepper jack, cheddar cheese, cotija, and queso fresco are good cheese options.

Shrimp Fajitas

The salty flavor of queso fresco would be suitable for shrimp fajitas, but if you’re looking for a tangy twist on the dish, try on some feta cheese.

FAQs

What kind of cheese do Mexican restaurants use on fajitas?

Mexican restaurants use different types of cheese for fajitas, but cotija, Monterey Jack, queso fresco, and cheddar are popular cheeses.

Is cheese necessary in fajitas?

No, cheese is not necessary, as some restaurants do not serve fajitas with cheese.

Some online recipes only call for fajita ingredients like seasoned meat, guacamole, grilled onions, sour cream, and sliced chilies, but not cheese. 

On A Final Note

Fajitas is a classic Tex-Mex dish you can make by adding different types of cheese. This one ingredient can make all the difference in the dish’s overall taste.

Different types of cheese would result in spicy, bold, or subtle taste changes in fajitas. 

Remember to use the right amount of different cheeses in your Tex-Mex recipe to avoid overpowering the dish’s other flavors.

References:

  1. https://today.yougov.com/topics/consumer/articles-reports/2021/03/05/americas-favorite-cheese 
  2. https://greatist.com/eat/whats-the-difference-between-tacos-and-fajitas#8
Shari Mason

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