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DIY: Marinated Cheese

The term “marinade” tends to conjure up images of meat soaking in sauce awaiting a hot grill. But why should meat get all the special treatment? Give your cheese a little tender loving care by marinating it! Marination is a glow-up for your curds, introducing layers of tastiness you didn’t know were possible. It’s also a great way to breathe new life into cheese that may not be getting enough attention in the fridge. A cheese marinade should always start with a flavorful oil, like olive or avocado, followed by herbs, spices, and aromatics. Fresh cheeses like feta and chèvre are best suited to absorb extra flavors because of their loose, crumbly texture. Firmer cheeses like cheddar and Gouda should be broken down into bite-sized pieces for maximum absorption.

Marinated Queso Fresco

Chala Tyson-Tshitundu
Queso fresco is the perfect “clean slate” cheese for marination. Be sure to choose an oil with a flavor profile you like—an oil that tastes good on its own will taste even better with cheese.


  • 10 ounces queso fresco try Cacique
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns whole
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed


  • ►Cube cheese into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  • ►In a shallow bowl, combine oil, lime juice, cilantro, paprika, chile powder, peppercorns, and garlic.
  • ►Add cheese, making sure all pieces are submerged in marinade.
  • ►Let sit for at least 2 hours at room temperature before serving.
  • Note: Cheese in marinade can be refrigerated for up to three days; glass Mason or Weck jars are best for flavor maintenance.

Chala June

Chala June is a Brooklyn-based writer, food enthusiast, and former cheesemonger.

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