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6 Tasty Swaps for Panela Cheese in Your Recipes

Panela cheese is one of those ingredients that can totally change the way we think about food. Its milky and slightly sweet flavor makes it a fantastic addition to any dish.

We all sometimes reach for the same ingredients out of habit. Let’s mix things up and try something new. This cheese, popular in Mexican cuisine, deserves a spot in your fridge.

Once, we swapped it into our usual taco night, and the results were, to put it simply, amazing.

Ready to discover some tasty substitutions for Panela cheese? We’ve got six great options to keep your meals exciting.

6 Easy Substitutes for Panela Cheese

While Panela cheese is delicious, it’s not always easy to find at your local grocery store. Here are six tasty alternatives that you can use in a pinch:

SubstituteTasteTextureRatioSuitable Dishes
Feta CheeseTangy, SaltyCrumbly1:1Salads, Pasta, Baked Dishes
Queso FrescoMild, FreshCrumbly1:1Tacos, Enchiladas, Salads
Ricotta SalataSalty, CreamyFirm, Grated1:1Pasta, Salads, Pizza
Halloumi CheeseSalty, SavoryFirm, Squeaky1:1Grilled, Fried, Sandwiches
Cotija CheeseSalty, SharpCrumbly1:1Tacos, Salads, Beans
Farmers CheeseMild, CreamySoft, Spreadable1:1Sandwiches, Dips, Baked Dishes

1 – Feta Cheese

Feta cheese offers a crumbly texture and tangy taste. It’s a versatile substitute for Panela cheese. From salads to tacos, it adds zest to any dish. We recommend a 1:1 substitute ratio.

We swapped Panela with Feta in our tacos, and it was awesome. Feta’s saltiness mingled perfectly with the other ingredients. Remember, Feta can be quite salty, so you might want to reduce other added salts.

Curious for more substitutes? Check out our detailed guide on feta cheese substitutes.

2 – Queso Fresco

Ever wondered what makes Queso Fresco such a great pick? It’s fresh, mild, and crumbly texture makes it an ideal Panela cheese substitute.

Queso Fresco has a bright, slightly salty taste. We use a 1:1 substitute ratio, just like Feta.

We’ve tried it in our tacos, and the results were spot on. Its light flavor blends perfectly with spices and other ingredients.

For more options, check out our guide on best Queso Fresco substitutes.

Try it on salads, tacos, and enchiladas. You’ll wonder why you haven’t used it before!

3 – Ricotta Salata

For a saltier substitute, try Ricotta Salata. It’s made from the same milk as traditional ricotta cheese but with less moisture and more salt. The result is a firm, salty cheese that adds flavor to any dish.

We recommend using it in crumbled form as a topping for salads or tacos. Its saltiness pairs well with other ingredients and adds some texture too.

Love Ricotta? Then you’ll love our guide on Ricotta Salata substitutes too!

4 – Halloumi Cheese

When it comes to substitutes, Halloumi is a winner. It’s firm, salty, and has a fun squeak when you bite into it. Use a 1:1 ratio to replace Panela cheese.

We’ve grilled Halloumi and tossed it in salads, and it worked great. Its high melting point means it won’t turn into a gooey mess. Perfect for grilling or frying.

Halloumi adds both texture and flavor to your dishes. Looking for more options? Check out our article on Halloumi cheese substitutes.

5 – Cotija Cheese

For a crumbly cheese that packs a punch of flavor, try Cotija. Like Panela cheese, it’s made from cow’s milk and has a similar texture. Its salty taste blends well with other ingredients in dishes like tacos or enchiladas.

We love adding Cotija to salads too! Use it as a topping for some added crunch and saltiness.

Want more options? Check out our guide on Cotija substitutes.

6 – Farmers Cheese

Final on our list is Farmers Cheese. It’s a soft, mild cheese that works well as a Panela substitute in dishes like quesadillas and tacos. Made from cow’s milk, it has a creamy texture and subtle taste.

Add it to your next taco night for a delicious twist on traditional tacos.

Can’t get enough of Farmers Cheese? Check out our Farmers Cheese substitutes guide for more options.