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Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco [Vegan]

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This recipe for macadamia nut cheese is a must-try.This cheese is perfect for a fruit and jam cheese plate, topped with a chipotle pineapple salsa and served with some chips, it's perfect. The texture is light and easily spreadable and it has a touch of sweetness but is savory in all the right ways.

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco [Vegan]


For the Queso Fresco:

  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 1 garlic, clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 piece cheesecloth

For the Chipotle-Pineapple Salsa:

  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup pineapple, chopped
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped


For the Queso Fresco:

  1. Soak the macadamias in water at room temperature overnight. The following day, drain the nuts and place in a food processor with the garlic, lime juice, oil, water, and salt.
  2. Process 1-2 minutes, or until the nuts turn into a paste that resembles ricotta cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. Wet a large piece of cheesecloth, approximately 12×12-inches in size. Place the paste in the center and a form it into a ball by gathering the edges of the cheesecloth around the cheese.
  4. Twist the top edges of the cheesecloth to tighten, give shape, and get rid of excess water in the cheese. Place the cheese bundle on a plate and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. The next day, unwrap your cheese and serve.

To Make the Salsa:

  1. Boil water in a small saucepan. Drop the tomato in and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the tomato begins to soften.
  2. While the tomato is simmering, set a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Place the onion and garlic in the pan and let the high heat char them for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, peel the garlic, and place them both in the blender.
  3. Remove the tomato from the water and add to the blender. Add the chipotle, cilantro, and pineapple to the blender and process until you reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.


If you cannot easily find raw macadamia nuts, you can substitute with blanched almonds.





Dora is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She is a mom, recipe developer, and cooking instructor in Orange County, CA. She has also worked as both a personal chef and a chef for restaurants. Her passion is vegan recipe development and food photography. You can find her at Dora's Table



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13 comments on “Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco [Vegan]”

Click to add comment
20 Days ago

Right now, you can buy an 8 oz package of raw macadamia nuts on Amazon for $12.99, Prime. That\'s about two cups. Cost of the nuts for this recipe would be $6.50. Even cheaper if you buy a 1 or 2 lb package. I won\'t presume that that\'s affordable or that it meets the value point for everyone, but if it makes a good vegan queso fresco to fill chile rellenos with, then it is worth it to me.

Amy Cones
2 Years Ago

Sarah Chapman Jesse Comber

Summer Coley-Ward
2 Years Ago

I imagine macadamia nut cheese is very expensive. At least in Canada, a small bag of often already stale macadamia nuts costs a small fortune! I love eating them for their flavour, texture and the glow they seem to give my skin.

Pat Payne
28 Feb 2016

I'm not sure macadamia nuts are affordable even in Hawaii!

26 Oct 2016

Try a bulk food store or nuts.com.

RoRo Ward
2 Years Ago

They are walnuts on the pic not macadamia nuts

Sylvia Radcliff
2 Years Ago

I've made several:) with and without probiotics. They're yummy:)

Julia Carrasquillo
2 Years Ago

Jonathan Carrasquillo

Pat Payne
2 Years Ago

MACADAMIAS!!!!!! Could you have picked a more pricy nut? Got any nut milk how tos for us folks in the cheap seats?

Summer Coley-Ward
28 Feb 2016

No kidding! imagine how many Macadamias it would take to make the cheese.

Pat Payne
2 Years Ago

MACADAMIAS!!!!!! Could you have picked a more pricy nut? Got any nut milk how tos for us folks in the cheap seats?

Armando Tello III
2 Years Ago


Sam Cairns
2 Years Ago

I haven't, have you Hannah? It all sounds a but rude to me!

Hannah Ingram-Shields
27 Feb 2016

Hehehe, I've tried making cashew cheese and it was OK but my blender isn't up to scratch so it wasn't the best. When done properly it's so tasty

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