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10 Things to Do with Queso Besides Make Dip

Dip's great, but you'll be so glad you know these other amazing ways to use Mexican cheese, courtesy of chef Aarón Sánchez.

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dave Allocca/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock (5627397a) Aaron Sanchez Food Network Celebrates 20 Years at the 6th Annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, New York, America - 17 Oct 2013Dave Allocca/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock

Whether it’s crumbled, wedged or melted, cheese appears in almost every type of cuisine. And, of course, Mexican food is no exception. Take your pick from queso blanco, cotija, queso fresco and so much more.

“There’s something user-friendly about cheese,” says Aarón Sánchez, award-winning Latin chef, restaurateur, TV personality and lifetime cheese lover. Sure, you can melt a soft cheese to become an amazing dip, but there’s so much more these cheeses can do!

Chef Aarón teamed up with Cacique and Taste of Home to show you how to get creative with that package of Mexican cheese in your fridge.

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Use It Like Salt

“I love to use Mexican cheese as a seasoning,” says the chef, “just like you would salt.” It’s what makes this street corn taste so irresistible.
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Amp up Tacos

A rich, meaty dish—like these short rib tacos—only gets better when it’s complemented with a creamy cheese like queso fresco, or a bolder one like cotija.

Find Chef Aarón’s own short ribs recipe here.

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Shred It over Sopes

In this sopes recipe, swap the cheddar for a Mexican blend—and make sure to use plenty of creamy, luscious crema, too, says the chef.
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Toss It on a Griddle

Try mixing cheese in with the fritter batter here for a caramelized, melty treat.
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Make Mac 'n' Cheese

Here’s a childhood favorite all grown up. Add chorizo for even more Mexican flare.

Find out what Chef cooks for his own son. The chef says, “He loves cheese so much, I call him my little raton,” which means mouse!

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Melt It into Enchiladas

Mexican cheeses are beautiful to melt, says the chef. Add them to the enchilada filling and layer some on top, too. (Enchilado cheese would be a shoo-in for this!)
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Stir It into Chili

Cheddar’s a classic chili topper (especially if you’re from Cincinnati). Mix it up a little with a Mexican cheese instead.
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Sprinkle It on Heirloom Tomatoes

It’s hard to improve on a fresh-picked tomato, sliced and sprinkled with a little salt—until you try it with queso fresco. Not only does the cheese add saltiness, you get some creaminess, too.
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cacique cheese platter of Mexican cheeses and snacksCourtesy Cacique

Spotlight It on a Cheese Board

Pile a platter with soft cheeses like Oaxaca and firmer choices, such as Manchego. Then mix in bite-sized pieces of citrus, nuts, cherry tomatoes and big hunks of bread for a gorgeous snack tray. Follow our pro tips for an amazing cheese board, anytime.

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Toss It with a Salad

Make your favorite chopped salad recipe, then sprinkle it with a crumbly cheese like queso fresco.

Ellie Martin Cliffe
Now an executive editor at Taste of Home, Ellie has been writing about food and parenting for more than a decade. When she isn't at TOH HQ, she's likely trying gluten- and dairy-free recipes, canning whatever's in season, listening to anything with a fiddle, or playing Uno with her family.
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