The 7 Best Cheeses to Add to Tacos

Published Categorized as Cooking Tips
Tacos with cheesekoss13 /Depositphotos

If you’re not putting cheese on your tacos, you’re missing out. Check out our round-up of the best types of cheese to top your tacos with right now.

We all love a good taco! It’s one of those Mexican foods with universal appeal that can be enjoyed with an endless number of traditional, fusion, or frankly unusual toppings and condiments.

Whether we’re talking beef, pork, chicken, fish, or beans, you will be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t find a good taco to be a formidable food every now and then.

It can, though, become complicated figuring out which cheese to put on the top. Cheese can make or break a taco—so it’s vital you get it right to keep your eaters happy. Nobody wants a frustrated (and hungry) crowd at home, after all.

The best cheeses for tacos are medium cheddar and Mexican cotija. These three cheeses pack plenty of punch, go well with most popular taco fillings, and are not too mild nor too overpowering. Other good choices are Swiss cheese or Greek feta.

Let’s find out what some of the best cheeses for tacos are. You’ll have heard of at least some of these cheeses, but there may be some you’re brand new to.

Table of Contents

International Cheeses

Tacos are a highly versatile food that can be paired with just about anything if you’re adventurous enough. If you feel like pushing the proverbial envelope of taco creation, here are some great cheeses from all over the world to consider putting in your tacos.

All of these cheeses offer different tastes, flavors, and overall qualities. We will start with the most readily available ones before moving into some more traditional, but far out choices.

Let’s begin.

Cheddar Cheese

You can hardly go wrong with sticking to the basics. Cheddar cheese, especially medium cheddar, has a certain tang and creaminess to it that compliments taco fillings beautifully. Besides, it is a cheese you will find in virtually every grocery store.

Feel free to use melted or unmelted cheddar in your tacos. A generous heap of it goes a long way, but make sure not to use too much of it as it can turn your delicious tacos into a gooey, overly heavy mess.

Feta Cheese

Feta may not necessarily be your first choice, but it goes incredibly well with certain fillings. It has a much lighter and tangier taste than most other cheeses on our list, and it is very crumbly in nature.

Feta cheese goes well with fillings such as chorizo, beef, and other heavy meats. Pineapple is another great addition with feta, though it may be a little too outside the box for some diners.

Feta is definitely best in its unmelted form as that’s where the salty, creamy, tangy taste comes through. It may not be for everyone, that we know, but feta-based tacos are sure to win over the hearts of the adventurous.

Swiss Cheese

Another classic cheese—and one that is particularly suited for pairing with more delicate meat, such as chicken or turkey—is Swiss cheese. The mild, sweet, and nutty taste of Swiss cheese will be a hit in your tacos and will inspire everyone your household, hungry or not, to keep wanting more.

It’s worth noting that Swiss cheese lacks the creaminess of other offerings. So choosing it to adorn your tacos may not please everybody. However, it’s still a good choice if you’re unable to find any substitutes.

Fresh Mozzarella

It may seem like a cardinal sin putting an Italian cheese into a Mexican taco. Trust us, it works.

All it takes is some good old-fashioned courage and some intelligence about your choice of filling. Mozzarella is a famously watery, stringy cheese, so make sure your taco filling compliments this quality.

A lump of nice, rich meat, like a smoky chorizo sausage or spicy sautéed beef steak, will go well with a pinch of mozzarella and some fresh veg. However, it’s vital that you only use the cheese sparingly to prevent your eaters from getting covered in the whey that drains from it.

Mexican Cheeses

So far, we’ve covered some of the best international cheeses to use in your tacos. What about the traditional, Mexican ones?

Adding Mexican cheese to your tacos is a great way to make them authentic and impress your friends with your attention to detail. But which Mexican cheese is best to use?

Cotija Cheese

Cotija cheese hails from the Mexican town of, you guessed it, Cotija, Michoacán, and is a creamy, salty cheese comparable to crumbly parmesan. 

Cotija is often used as a finishing touch in spicy Mexican soups, burritos, and tacos. It’d be perfect for beef, chicken, or even veg tacos due to its versatile flavor. Bear in mind that this cheese does not melt, so you don’t have to spend time putting it under the grill. Just crumble some on top of your tacos and you’ll be good to go.

Oaxaca Cheese

Originating in South Mexico, Oaxaca cheese is named after its origin state. Whilst its taste is comparable to something like Monterey Jack, the unique consistency of this cheese is akin to a stringy cheese like Mozzarella. 

Oaxaca cheese is so good that it’s often eaten pure as a snack. Add a conservative heap to your tacos to enhance flavor and overall taste.  

Anejo Enchilado

This aged Mexican cheese is rich, crumbly, and oh so delicious. Wheels of anejo cheese are often red around the outside as it is rolled in paprika during preparation. This adds a wonderfully smoky, spicy flavor to the cheese and definitely takes it to the next level when it comes to taste. 

You’ll often find this cheese resting on the top of popular Mexican delicacies such as tacos, quesadillas, and burritos for good reason—it’s simply delicious. 

Best Mexican Cheese For Tacos

The best cheeses for tacos are, without a doubt, cotija and anejo. These cheeses work so well, either melted or unmelted, with almost every conceivable taco-filling out there.

These cheeses are both affordable, but not always easy to find. You may have to check out the Mexican food aisle in your local store to find them or, better yet, go to a Mexican grocery store and seek them out.

The other cheeses listed here are good but aren’t quite as delicious as the top two choices. For optimal result as your taco-eating shindig, stick to tradition and crumble some salty cotija or crumbly anejo over the top of your fillings. You will not be disappointed.