Homemade Queso Fresco


Queso fresco is a white, slightly salty fresh cheese featured in Mexican and other Latin American cuisines. Its texture is somewhat firm and crumbly, similar to that of farmer's cheese. The cheese is ready to eat or can refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
4 hrs 40 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 20 mins
1 pound


  • 1/4 rennet tablet

  • ¼ cup unchlorinated water

  • ½ gallon pasteurized whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt


  1. Dissolve rennet in the water.

  2. Pour milk into a heavy pot. Heat slowly to 90 degrees F (32 degrees C), stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and gently stir in the rennet solution.

  3. Cover pot and let rest in a warm place, at about 90 degrees F (32 degrees C), until the curd forms a thick mass, about 40 minutes. Place your finger or spatula in the curd and gently lift to check for a clean break; it should split along a clean line and not be too soft or milky. Let rest for another 10 minutes if it isn't quite firm.

  4. Cut curds into 1/4-inch cubes using your finger, a knife, or a spatula. Heat curds and the remaining liquid, or whey, to 110 to 115 degrees F (43 to 46 degrees C), about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle curds into a colander; discard whey or keep for another use. Gently mix salt into the curds using your fingers.

  5. Line a colander or plastic container with a cheesecloth; add curds and wrap cheesecloth around the top. Place a heavy weight on top, such as a small bowl filled with pie weights or a jar of water. Press for 4 to 6 hours.

Cook's Notes:

Substitute 1/4 rennet tablet with 1/4 liquid rennet if preferred.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

117 Calories
6g Fat
9g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 117
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 1230mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 6g
Calcium 221mg 17%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 279mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.