Cotija bears the name of the little village in Mexico where it originated.  Tropical Cotija is a sharp, aged, dry, salty, and crumbly cheese. This flavorful cheese is perfect for grating. It’s commonly used to add a lively flavor and texture to dishes like refried beans, salads, chili, tostadas, enchiladas, tacos, and corn-on-the-cob. It comes in a hard, triangle-shaped 10 oz wedge, a 12 lb wheel, and grated.

Does Cotija Cheese melt?

No, Cotija Cheese doesn’t melt when heated, but it slightly softens. However, it’s commonly used dry and crumbled.

Where is Cotija Cheese from?

Cotija cheese is named after the mountain village where it originated, Cotija de la Paz, in the state of Michoacán in Mexico. Cotija is a staple cheese in the Michoacán and Jalisco region, but is commonly consumed all across the country. Its flavor and versatility have also made it quite popular in the United States in recent years.

Difference between Cotija Cheese, Queso Fresco, Feta, and Parmesan

Cotija Cheese, Queso Fresco, Feta, and Parmesan Cheese may look similar, but we’ll explain the difference between them here.

The main difference between Cotija Cheese and Queso Fresco is that Cotija is aged, dry and salty, while Queso Fresco, as its name says, is fresh, white, moist, and less salty than Cotija. On the other hand, Feta Cheese is more humid and saltier than Queso Fresco but without the aging of Cotija.

Although Cotija Cheese is closer to Parmesan Cheese, Cotija is generally less aged, crumbles easily, and does not melt, although some have called Cotija the “Mexican parmesan.”

It isn’t easy to replace Cotija Cheese because its flavor and texture are very particular, and it naturally complements Mexican food. Once you try it, you’ll want to put it on everything!

How is Cotija Cheese used?

Cotija Cheese is used grated or crumbled to add a unique, more intense, and salty flavor to dishes such as tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, refried beans, uchepos (traditional corn tamales from the state of Michoacán), and corn-on-the-cob. It’s also used to season some stews. And it can even be used over pasta with more Latin ingredients. Use it in traditional recipes and try it in new ones!

Nutritional Facts

Cotija Wedge

Made with
Real Cow's Milk
Serving Size 1 Tbsp. (5g)
Amount per serving
Calories 20
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.5g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 90mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2%
Iron 0%
The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.