The best cheese for quesadillas begins with Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, and cheddar.
Chihuahua, pepper Jack, and gouda are some other winning options. The key is to pick a cheese that melts well and results in a perfect quesadilla!
Get ready to embark on a tantalizing taste adventure as we dive into the world of ooey-gooey, melty magic. Whether you’re a cheese connoisseur or a casual queso lover, you’ll find some great options on this list!
Best Cheese for Quesadillas
These 10 cheese varieties aren’t the only ones that work well in quesadillas. However, they’re the very best!
They melt wonderfully and taste fantastic. Now, without further ado (and in no particular order), here are the best cheeses for quesadillas.
1. Chihuahua Cheese
If you haven’t heard of Chihuahua cheese, don’t panic. It has nothing to do with the angry but adorable tiny dog of the same name. (Except that they both come from the same Mexican state.)
The cheese is mild with a unique flavor that’s buttery, nutty, and even a little sweet. It’s delightfully creamy and melts exceptionally well.
Some people call it the perfect blend between mozzarella and Monterey Jack.
2. Oaxaca Cheese
Also known as quesillo, Oaxaca is a semi-soft cheese that melts beautifully. Unlike some melting cheeses, it doesn’t get greasy or oily.
In its solid form, it’s stretchy and stringy (think string cheese with better elasticity). It has a relatively mild but still delicious flavor similar to mozzarella.
3. Monterey Jack Cheese
Monterey Jack is one of my all-around favorite cheese varieties. It has a rich, buttery, typically cheesy flavor and a delightfully creamy texture.
It takes its name from the city where it was “born,” Monterey, California. It’s easy to grate, and it melts well, too. It works well in many recipes but is especially lovely in quesadillas.
The creamy, buttery taste pairs well with peppers, onions, and other typical ingredients.
4. Mild Cheddar Cheese
Mild cheddar works best in quesadillas, though sharp cheddar makes a good option, too.
Mild doesn’t overshadow the other ingredients’ flavors. Instead, it complements them with its slightly nutty, buttery taste.
Like all cheeses on this list, it melts well and doesn’t get overly greasy.
5. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Opt for sharp cheddar if you want a cheesier flavor in your quesadillas. It has a much stronger flavor because it’s aged longer than mild cheddar.
It doesn’t melt as well or as quickly as mild cheddar. It’s somewhat grainy and crumbly. Still, with enough heat, it’ll melt just fine.
Sharp cheddar is an excellent choice if you’re making cheese quesadillas. But given its bold flavor, don’t add too many other ingredients or it will overpower them.
6. Mozzarella Cheese
Ah, good old Italian mozzarella! It’s everyone’s favorite pizza cheese. Of course, the same things that make it perfect for pizza also make it ideal for quesadillas.
It’s mild and stretchy and melts insanely well. It has a creamy texture and just enough flavor to complement the other ingredients.
7. Gouda Cheese
Gouda is an excellent choice for quesadillas. It’s a wonderfully mild, borderline bland cheese that pairs well with any ingredients.
It’s somewhat sweet and nutty, melts well, and isn’t overly greasy or salty. There are all sorts of delicious gouda combos you can try!
8. Pepper Jack Cheese
Pepper Jack cheese is another of my all-around favorite cheeses. It’s simply Monterey Jack with lots of chili peppers mixed in for spice. If you enjoy extra heat in your quesadillas, it might be your best option.
It has all the same great qualities as Monterey Jack. It melts well, has a mild flavor, and is creamy and soft. But the chili peppers add a little something extra.
9. Asadero Cheese
If you’ve never had Asadero, it’s very much like Gouda. It has a similar taste and texture and is not too heavy or greasy. The biggest difference is that Asadero melts faster and better. It isn’t aged as long, reducing the total melting time.
Plus, its mild flavor tastes phenomenal along with the other quesadilla ingredients. It’s not quite flavorful enough to stand alone in a cheese quesadilla, though.
10. Asiago Cheese
If cheese quesadillas are what you’re going for, Asiago cheese is the better bet. It has a strong, salty flavor that’ll remind you of Romano or Parmesan cheese.
You can use it with other quesadillas, too. The flavor is strong but won’t overpower ingredients like onions, peppers, and meats. It will complement them nicely.
It also melts well and has a wonderfully creamy texture that does well in quesadillas.
Choosing the Right Cheese for Quesadillas
The first step to finding the right cheese for your quesadilla is simple. You need to determine what kind of quesadilla you want to make.
For example, cheese quesadillas need a cheese that’s flavorful enough to stand on its own. You won’t be adding meat or veggies, so the cheese is the star of the show. If it’s too mild, your quesadilla will be bland.
Additionally, certain cheeses pair better with different ingredients. Quesadillas with sausage or ground beef taste great with mozzarella. Monterey Jack works better for chicken quesadillas.
Here are a few other things to consider when selecting your cheese.
Do You Want to Add Extra Heat?
If so, Pepper Jack cheese is the obvious choice. It tastes phenomenal and comes with chili peppers embedded in the cheese. You can’t go wrong if you take that route.
On the other hand, if you don’t like heat at all, choose something simple like mozzarella or Gouda.
What Cheese Texture Do You Want?
If you like your quesadillas gooey and melty, choose cheeses with low melting points and lots of moisture. They melt better and get stretchier than other varieties. Asiago, cheddar, and Oaxaca work best for that.
If you prefer firmer quesadillas, opt for cheddar or Gouda.
How Filling Do You Want the Cheese to Be?
Some cheeses are simply heartier than others. Chihuahua and mozzarella are both very filling cheeses. They add heaviness as well as flavor to quesadillas.
Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, and Swiss cheeses are all lighter. They won’t leave you feeling weighed down after eating them.
Do You Want Strong Cheese or Mild?
Just as some cheeses are heartier than others, some are also more flavorful. Sharp cheddar, for example, will be much more noticeable than something like Asadero.
Consider whether you want to highlight the cheese or the other ingredients. If the cheese is an afterthought, go with something milder.
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