Skip to Content

Yummy Alternatives: 5 BEST Substitutes for Panela Cheese

Are you looking for a way to give your dishes more flavor? There is something special about Panela Cheese that adds depth to the dishes you cook and bake.

How can you use this cheese in your recipes and what could be the best substitutes for it if you don’t have any Panela Cheese on hand?

Here, we’ll answer these questions in detail so that you can get the most out of cooking with this delectable cheese.

We’ll start off by exploring how to use Panela Cheese in recipes, plus provide five ingenious substitutes that will help make almost any dish a success.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Panela Cheese

Here’s a detailed comparison of the 5 best substitutes for Panela cheese, along with their key characteristics and proper ratios:

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Feta CheeseSalty and tangy flavor, crumbly textureUse the same amount as Panela cheese
Queso FrescoMild and fresh flavor, crumbly textureUse the same amount as Panela cheese
Cottage CheeseMild and creamy flavor, slightly grainy textureUse the same amount as Panela cheese
Ricotta CheeseCreamy and slightly grainy texture, mild flavorUse the same amount as Panela cheese
Cream CheeseSmooth and creamy texture, mild and slightly tangy flavorUse the same amount as Panela cheese

Now let’s delve into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Feta Cheese

feta cheese

Feta cheese is one of the most popular substitutes for panela.

Feta is a brined curd cheese that has a salty flavor and crumbly texture.

Its origin is Greek but it is now found all over the world — in fact, it’s one of the most popular cheeses in the world.

Feta is an excellent substitute for panela due to its strong, salty flavor.

It can be used as a topping on salads or pizza, or grated into pastas and other dishes.

It’s also crumbled into cakes and pies or melted over vegetables or meats.

2 – Queso Fresco

queso fresco 1

Queso fresco is a Mexican-style soft, crumbly cheese that can be used as a substitute for panela cheese.

It has a mild, salty, slightly sweet flavor and is very creamy on the tongue.

Queso fresco also has a much longer shelf life than panela cheese and can be bought in most grocery stores.

Like panela cheese, queso fresco is often used as an ingredient in traditional Mexican and Latin American dishes such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tostadas and enchiladas.

3 – Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese 4

Cottage cheese usually has a much higher moisture content than most other cheeses and it is available in almost every grocery store.

The texture of cottage cheese can vary from slightly lumpy to quite creamy, depending on the brand you buy.

Cottage cheese doesn’t have an intense flavor and its lightness can make it an appropriate substitute for panela cheese in some dishes.

If you are using it as a topping on dishes like pizza or lasagna, you may want to mix it up with richer cheeses like ricotta or parmesan for flavor depth.

When using cottage cheese as a substitute for panela cheese, be sure to choose one that is low fat or non-fat for best results.

4 – Ricotta Cheese

ricotta cheese 3

Ricotta cheese is a great substitute for panela cheese, although it should be noted that ricotta has a much smoother and creamier texture than panela.

Ricotta has a mild flavor, so it won’t overpower other ingredients in the dish, but will provide a slight sweetness to balance out flavor.

Ricotta also has a high moisture content which can help add creaminess, so keep this in mind when making substitutions.

When choosing ricotta for substituting panela, opt for whole milk ricotta or even double strength ricotta for dishes calling for high fat panela.

You can even make your own ricotta at home with just milk, vinegar and salt.

5 – Cream Cheese

cream cheese 2

Cream cheese is a soft, white cheese that’s made with a combination of cream, skimmed milk and some cultures.

It has a milder taste than Panela which makes it an ideal substitute; you can use it in dishes like quesadillas and tacos without overwhelming the flavor of the other ingredients.

When using cream cheese in place of Panela, make sure to use the full-fat variety as it’s creamier than lighter versions.

If you’re dairy-free, try Vegan Cream Cheese for your favorite recipes.

substitutes for panela cheese

The 5 Best Substitutes for Panela Cheese

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • 1 – Feta Cheese
  • 2 – Queso Fresco
  • 3 – Cottage Cheese
  • 4 – Ricotta Cheese
  • 5 – Cream Cheese


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

About The Author

Sharing is caring!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating