Being on a vegan diet doesn't mean giving up your favourite cheese. So, if you would like a good slice of Mexican Cotija cheese right now, we have a wonderful plant-based alternative we're sure you'll love!
The classic queso cotija is a salty semi-hard cheese from cow's milk, and it's named after the Mexican city of Cotija in Michoacán. Its consistency can range from dry grating cheese, similar to parmesan or ricotta salata, to a softer and fresher cheese, close to feta or queso fresco.
If you want to bring the flavour of this delicious Mexican cheese to your table, we designed our vegan recipe to be as close as possible to the original one. You won't need any fancy cheese-making equipment, just a few simple ingredients you can find at the supermarket.
What makes cotija taste good is the combination of salty, fatty, savoury, and acidic notes. So, we relied on nuts as a fat base for our cheese and then added salt and vinegar. Nutritional yeast balances the flavours with its "cheesy" taste and adds precious vitamin B12 too.
Cashew nuts were our go-to nuts for this vegan cheese. They have a mild taste, and because they're higher in saturated fats and starches, they make the cheese naturally creamy. Finally, we used agar agar powder to help thicken the cotija.