5 Best Cheeses for Fajitas That Are Worth Trying!
Fajita is one of my favorite Tex-Mex dishes. I love it because it is so easy to make, which leaves me more time to upgrade it and experiment with the ingredients, especially trying out different types of cheese. So, what are the best cheeses for fajitas?
Queso fresco, Cotija, Monterey Jack, cheddar, and Pepper Jack are some of the best cheeses you can use for fajitas. Each of them adds a specific taste to this dish.
I make fajitas every now and then, and I like to change something in the recipe each time to experience new flavors. These experiments have sometimes been successful, and other times they have resulted in a disaster, so not all cheeses work for fajitas. In this article, I will share with you the cheeses that are best for fajitas. Here they are!
Among all types of cheese, Queso fresco is the most popular in Mexican cuisine, but it’s also beloved in US and Europe. I love it for fajitas because of its crumbly nature. It is also generously salty, which works perfectly for me, and it pairs easily with various toppings.
I love to pair it with fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, avocado slices, and a squeeze of lime, but you can mix and match any way you like it, as the cheese is very versatile.
Another great thing about queso fresco is that it complements both chicken and beef fajitas, so you can use it for both. I prefer it with chicken fajitas, as those are the ones I make more often, but if you like the beef variety, you will definitely enjoy them with this cheese.
Cotija is another delicious cheese I like to use in fajitas. I love this cheese because it pairs well with a variety of fajita toppings, which is very important for me as I love variety. You will definitely enjoy it, too, and I recommend you use diced red onions, chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, and sliced avocado as toppings with Cotija.
Personally, I can’t decide whether Cotija cheese works better with beef or chicken fajitas, but it is known to work with chicken better. The crumbly cheese seems to match great with the tender chicken meat creating an unforgettable flavor.
Since beef is stronger-flavored than chicken and it has a coarser texture, you may find the Cotija cheese a little too intense in beef fajitas. Still, if you like the taste, feel free to have Cotija with beef fajitas.
Monterey Jack cheese pairs great with a variety of fajita toppings, which is why it found its place on this list. I love it for its mild butter flavor that injects a touch of refinement into my fajita without dominating the overall taste. My favorite toppings for Monterey Jack are sautéed onions and peppers, fresh avocado slices, and a dollop of sour cream.
This cheese creates a nice balance with the strong-flavored fajita ingredients, so if you like expressive flavors but are easily overwhelmed by them, Monterey Jack should be your choice.
Because of its mild flavor, Monterey Jack works for both chicken and beef fajitas, but I prefer it with chicken. If you pair it with beef fajitas, expect the beef to overcome the cheese, so you may not feel the taste as much. If you lack flavor, you can always make it spicier with a few jalapeno pieces or some Tabasco sauce.
Cheddar is the traditionally used cheese for fajitas. Cheddar cheese
is tangy, savory, and sharp, making it the perfect topping for flavorful and rich fajitas. If you order fajita in a restaurant, you will probably get it with cheddar, so it is only appropriate to mention it on this idea list.
Still, you may find it a little too intense because it doesn’t only inject the fajita with taste but also brings out the natural flavors included in the dish. So, if you have your fajita with cheddar cheese, prepare for a flavor bomb exploding on your palate.
Cheddar cheese goes with a variety of fajita toppings, but I suggest you combine it with ingredients that would add some balance to the dish. I use diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, avocado, and diced onions. These ingredients will do an excellent job of balancing out the tasting notes and creating a flavorful but not overwhelming dish.
Although cheddar pairs with both chicken and beef fajitas, I recommend you have it with the chicken variety. The tenderness and mildness of the chicken pair excellent with the intensity of the cheddar cheese. Still, you can pair it with beef fajitas if you like it better that way.
Pepper Jack is a flavorful cheese that I just love with fajitas. With its slightly spicy flavor, it goes perfectly with bold and robust flavors, and that is something fajitas don’t lack. To make things even more delicious, it melts, creating a creamy layer over the fajita ingredients making each bite feel smooth like velvet.
It goes with both beef and chicken fajitas, and my favorite toppings for Pepper Jack include sliced jalapeños, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime sautéed onions and peppers, and sliced avocado.
Even though it is great for both chicken and beef fajitas, I would recommend Pepper Jack for the chicken variety because of its flavorful and spicy nature.