Out of Cotija Cheese? No Problem! Here are 10 Perfect Substitutes

Yellow Dots

This delicious Mexican cheese is made from cow’s milk and is extremely popular in Mexican, Latin American, and Tex-Mex cuisines. It’s often used in a filling or as a topping for quesadillas, tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.

Choosing The Best Substitutes

For all of the other options, you will have to either choose a substitute for flavor or texture. It’s up to what you are making and what you would rather have similar.

Red Fox Cheddar

Red fox cheddar (the yellow one in the store) is extremely easy to find, very affordable, shockingly versatile, and can be bought in different sizes as well.

Ricotta Salata

Its consistency is similar to that of cottage cheese, but the flavors are completely different. Ricotta Salata is less sharp and usually much saltier.

Semi-Soft Goat Cheese

Also known as goat cheese crumbles, this is a cheese that is firmer than chevin (which has a cream cheese consistency) but softer than aged goat’s cheese products.


Pecorino Romano is only made in Lazio in Tuscany or Sardinia in Italy. Furthermore, it’s only ever made from sheep’s milk! The cheese is aged for at least 16 months which gives it a hard, crumbly texture and sharp, salty, nutty flavor.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is very different from Cotija. It’s a fresh cheese with a high moisture content. This alternative is also quite salty and very milky. But again, it’s the texture that really makes this cheese a good option.

Grana Padano

This is an aged cheese that is quite salty. Naturally, it also has a very crumbly texture, but like Parmesan, it’s dry. Grana Padano also has some nutty undertones, similar to that of Anejo.