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Queso Panela en Salsa

How to Make Queso Panela en Salsa

Queso Panela en Salsa is a simple yet flavorful Mexican dish featuring Panela cheese cooked in a savory sauce.

Texture-wise, Panela cheese is a fresh, soft, and mild Mexican cheese with a slightly crumbly texture similar to a firm tofu or halloumi. When cooked, it maintains its shape but becomes softer and more porous, allowing it to absorb the flavors of the sauce.

The sauce for Queso Panela en Salsa often includes ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilies (such as jalapeños or serranos), and various herbs and spices. These ingredients are typically blended or cooked together to create a flavorful sauce with a balance of tangy, savory, and sometimes spicy notes.

The Panela cheese is sliced or cubed and then gently cooked or simmered in the sauce until it absorbs some of the flavors and softens slightly without completely losing its shape.

Queso Panela en Salsa is often served as an appetizer or part of a meal, accompanied by tortillas or bread for dipping into the sauce or used to scoop up the cheese and sauce together. It provides a delightful contrast between the soft and slightly melted cheese and the robust, savory sauce, offering a simple yet satisfying dish in Mexican cuisine.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Cheese connoisseurs, salsa lovers, those seeking a quick and flavorful dish.
  • Estimated duration: Ready to serve in approximately 25 minutes, making it a convenient option for a delightful meal.
  • Nutrition facts: A balance of dairy goodness and the vibrant flavors of salsa, offering a wholesome treat.

About this Recipe

Queso Panela en Salsa, translating to “Panela cheese in salsa,” is a versatile and easy-to-make dish that highlights the creamy texture of Panela cheese. Paired with a vibrant salsa, it creates a harmony of flavors that can be enjoyed on its own or as a delightful addition to any meal.

Equipment Required

  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Cutting board
  • Knife


  • 1 block (about 250g) Queso Panela
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (adjust for heat preference)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Prepare the cheese: Cut the Queso Panela into bite-sized cubes.
  2. Sear the cheese: Heat vegetable oil in the pan. Sear the Panela cubes until golden brown on all sides. Set aside.
  3. Create the salsa: In the same pan, sauté chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeño until softened.
  4. Add tomato puree: Pour in the tomato puree and stir. Season with cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  5. Simmer: Let the salsa simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  6. Combine: Gently add the seared Panela cubes to the salsa. Coat them well and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Serve: Transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.

Side Dishes

  • Warm tortillas
  • Mexican rice
  • Avocado slices

Storage Options

Queso Panela en Salsa is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stove, maintaining the creamy texture.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Cheese: If Panela is unavailable, substitute with queso fresco or a mild feta.
  • Salsa: Experiment with different varieties or add diced tomatoes for a chunkier texture.

Alternatives to this Meal

For a heartier dish, incorporate cooked chicken or beans into the salsa, creating a robust Queso Panela en Salsa con Pollo or Queso Panela en Salsa con Frijoles.


Queso Panela en Salsa invites you to savor the creamy delight of Panela cheese bathed in a flavorful salsa. Whether enjoyed as a main course or a side dish, this recipe promises a comforting and delicious experience. ¡Buen provecho!