Quesito Colombiano (Colombian Fresh Cheese)

by Erica Dinho on May 4, 2012

Quesito Colombiano (Colombian Fresh Cheese)

Quesito Colombiano can be compared to Mexican Queso Fresco, and is made by simply processing the curds of cow’s milk. The result is a creamy, soft and white cheese. We Colombians love our Quesito and it is widely used in Colombian cuisine. You will often find it in Colombian recipes, as a side dish for Colombian desserts, and as an arepa topping for a traditional every day breakfast.

Making Quesito at home is very easy. You can make it using cuajo or rennet tablets, or just white vinegar. Here is my simple recipe to make it using white vinegar.

Enjoy it!

How to make quesito

How to Make Arepas

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • Salt to your taste

Directions

    quesito step 1

  1. Place the milk in a large pot. Heat over medium-high heat to 120 degrees F. if you don’t have a candy thermometer, just touch the milk with your finger and the milk is ready when you can’t stand the heat of it. Be careful, don’t burn your fingers!
  2. Remove from heat and add the vinegar. Stir well with a wooden spoon and Let it sit for about 40 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Line a strainer with a layer of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth Let drain for about 30 minutes. Squeeze out all the liquid, wrapping the curd with the cheese cloth. Add the salt and mix well.
  4. Hang the cheese for about 30 minutes.
  5. Place the quesito in molds or wrap with banana leaves and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Belinda @zomppa May 4, 2012 at 8:04 AM

You definitely make it LOOK easy! Thanks for the step-by-step!

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2 Heather @girlichef May 4, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I love the idea of wrapping it in banana leaves. I know I’d love this because I love queso fresco. Yummy.

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3 Vivi May 4, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Erika,
I love it !!!
I will definitively try it soon :)

Thank you for sharing the recipe on my favorite thing to eat
VV

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4 Joanne May 5, 2012 at 8:20 AM

I actually have rennet here that I’ve never used! Perhaps it’s been waiting for this recipe…I think so!

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5 rebecca subbiah May 5, 2012 at 10:44 AM

wow looks awesome and so soft

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6 Rita May 5, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I have always wanted to taste this; what a grat presentation.
Rita

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7 Heather May 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM

This looks great! It looks super easy, yet impressive!

But I do have one question:

When you say to store the cheese in banana leaves/mold for up to two days, do you mean let it rest for two days before use…or use the cheese within two days?

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8 Erica May 5, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Heather- Use the cheese between two days.

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9 Amy (Savory Moments) May 7, 2012 at 6:40 AM

Great job on the homemade cheese. It looks really delicious. I’ve only ever made ricotta myself, but would like to try others.

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10 Olga May 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM

oh my god. i could die of happiness, I LOVE quesito

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11 Erica May 13, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Thank you everyone for the comments!

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12 John May 13, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Made it this morning for mother’s day breakfast and it was very easy and delicious. I added 1 teaspoon of salt.

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13 Caro May 15, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Thank you!!! I live in Germany and I cannot find Quesito here. I’ve been using shredded mozzarella for my arepas. Thank you!!

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14 Cesar July 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Gracias Erica por todas las recetas. A mi novia le encanta el questio, entonces yo se lo voy a preparar hoy.

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15 Vivian August 11, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Thank you so much for this recipe, have made it twice wu th arenas and it has been a success. Bought myself a hanging cheese cloth bag that made it easier. Thanks again

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16 Jozeca August 21, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Hi Erica,
I have a question – it seems that the queso costeño has a much stronger flavor and is a bit more “rubbery” than this – is it a different sort of idea? Thanks!

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17 G.Angelica August 30, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Querida Erica , es una bendicion encontrar una web tan interesante como la tuya.

Sobre la receta del queso, tengo las pastillas de cuajo , pero no se como usarlas me gustaria saber que cantidad debo usar para la receta que nos das ? Gracias por tu respuesta.

G. Angelica.

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18 Cindy September 3, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Hi – I just made this cheese, it’s currently hanging. I felt like there was a lot of extra milky whey left…it only made one big ball of quest. Is that correct? If so, any ideas for what to do with all of the left over whey?

Thanks

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19 Ana September 9, 2012 at 6:13 AM

Hi! you could try ” almojabanas” uhmmmm..that’s really nice

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20 Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 7:45 AM

Hola. Que buena receta!

Tengo una pregunta, entre el paso 4 y 5, debo sacar el quesito del cheesecloth antes de envolverlo en las hojas?

Gracias

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21 Erica October 1, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Si.

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22 Ty December 13, 2012 at 10:11 AM

I made this cheese yesterday and it came out great. We ate it with arepas. I put one teaspoon of salt in the cheese which seemed like too much, it was fine to have on an arepa but I would suggest 1/4tsp to 1/2tsp for next time.

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23 Mary Mackay January 2, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Thanks for the recipe! What could I do with all the extra milk/vinegar, though? it seems pretty wasteful. :(

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24 Adriana March 10, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Nunca lo he echo con vinagre! what a great idea, I’ll try it this week I think. I’ve made it with rennet before but never with vinegar.
Gracias

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25 ANDREA May 4, 2013 at 4:57 PM

awsome!! im gonna do it right now!!!

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26 andrea July 29, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Hola Erika,

Cuanto cuajo se necesita?, yo vivo en estados unidos y tengo las rennet tablets. Cuantas se necesitan para un galon de leche?

Gracias por tus recetas. A mis hijos les encanta comer comida colombiana!!!

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27 Erica Dinho July 29, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Yo uso 1/2 tableta de cuajo para un galon de leche.

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28 Ana Frye August 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Wow! this sounds completely amazing! I currently live in new mexico and for one reason or another, i’ve not been able to find queso colombiano, its been really frustrating to be honest with you, but with this recipe, i might not have to worry about that anymore! I’m going to definitely try it out real soon! Thank you!!!

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29 Alan Bowman August 31, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Amy and others, don’t forget to use the whey, (the liquid that drips from the curds) to make ricotta. Ricotta cheese (the name means twice cooked) is traditionally made from the whey that is a by-product from making Mascarpone or Mozzarella but there is no reason you can’t use the whey from making any other soft white cheese.

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30 Martha Brewer January 7, 2014 at 3:37 AM

Erika,

I have a question. Do you know where can I order Quesito colombiano???

Thank you so much for your time.

Love all your recipes. Great job!!! I am so proud of you, and dedication!

Thanks again

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31 Erica Dinho January 7, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Hi Martha,
I don’t know!

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32 Monika January 18, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Hola Erica. Acabo de intentar la receta. Lo tengo colgando. Una pregunta, toda la leche que queda … Se puede volver a hacer mas queso o simplemente se pierde? Siempre es mucha :) gracias!

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33 Erica Dinho January 18, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Hola Monika,
Yo no la vuelvo a usar.

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34 goldy February 23, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Hola Erica, voy a hacer el queso pero quisiera saber si le tengo que hacer algo a la hoja de platano? o la puedo usar exactamente como la arranco de el arbol? thank you

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35 Erica Dinho February 25, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Wash them with hot water a couple of times.

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36 Ana March 28, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Hola Erica, tengo una pregunta, que sinifica “place the quesito in molds?”

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37 Erica Dinho March 29, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Colocar el quesito en moldes.

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38 DowntownFoodie April 9, 2014 at 8:19 PM

This looks yummy and super easy! Do you have any other cheese recipes?

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39 Jackie July 19, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Hi Erica, just wondering what type of moles should I use if I can’t find the leaves? thanks in advance!

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40 Kate @ Babaganosh.org August 21, 2014 at 10:54 PM

I’ve made this cheese several times now, and it is so good and simple and so much cheaper than buying either queso fresco or farmer’s cheese at the grocery store!

Can you make this with low fat milk? Also, is there any way to use all that whey that comes off from this? I love using everything and not wasting any potentially nutritious ingredients.

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