Write a comment
Home-made Peruvian Quesillo

Peruvian Quesillo

A basic fresh cheese from the Andean highlands

Peruvian Quesillo is a basic fresh cheese made in the Andean highlands. It has a mild, milky flavor and is often used in hearty Andean stews and soups, adding more flavor, texture, and a highly nutritious element to the dishes.


How is Peruvian Quesillo made

As already hundreds of years ago, the majority of Peru’s milk today is still produced by micro and small herds on small-scale farms. To make the fresh milk durable for a longer time, it is often processed directly on the farm or in home-based dairies into delicious butter, mouthwatering manjar blanco and, of course, simple cheeses, such as Quesillo.

Making Quesillo is a quite easy and quick process. Vinegar or lime juice is added to fresh whole cow’s (goat’s or sheep's) milk. As soon as curds form, the mixture is strained through a cheesecloth, left to drain, lightly pressed, and then either placed into round containers or formed mostly into a round shape. The Quesillo is not matured, just left in the fridge for a few hours to set and then consumed immediately or within a week.

In the northern Peruvian region of Cajamarca, however, Quesillo is processed further and used to make the famous Queso Mantecoso, a delicious buttery cheese.

Peruvian Queso Mantecoso

Peruvian Cheese
Queso Mantecoso, meaning buttery cheese, is a semi-fresh cheese originating and till today mainly produced by small dairies in the Cajamarca region...


How does Peruvian Quesillo taste

The result of this simple cheesemaking process is a delicious, extremely versatile fresh cheese with a mild, and milky flavor, which has a subtle acidity. The texture of Peruvian Quesillo is soft and moist, but nevertheless firm. Depending on the region and the milk used, there are slight differences in flavor and texture. However, Quesillo always has an unobtrusive flavor complementing a wide range of dishes.


Peruvian dishes with Quesillo

Peruvian Quesillo is rarely eaten on its own, but mostly used in a number of hearty Andean stews and soups, such as Aji de Quinoa (a hearty potato and quinoa stew in a spicy Quesillo sauce) or Papa Cashqui (a filling and nutritious Andean potato soup), giving the dishes not only more flavor and texture but also additional nutrients.

But as Quesillo has such a mild flavor, it’s not only used in savory dishes, but as well in desserts. Highly popular is, for example, Quesillo con miel, so, Quesillo cut in slices and covered with a syrup made of Chancaca (an unrefined whole cane sugar), originating in the northern region of Cajamarca.


LimaEasy’s recipe for Peruvian Quesillo

While in Peru, especially in the Andean highlands, Quesillo is sold in markets, small shops or by women on the streets, if you are abroad it’s difficult to find. The good news, however, making Quesillo at home is really easy and quick. So here our basic Peruvian Quesillo recipe.


  • 2l (8.5 cups) fresh whole milk
  • 0.5 to 1 tsp salt
  • 4.5 Tbsp white vinegar


  1. Put the milk in a heavy saucepan and, stirring occasionally, heat over medium-high heat until steaming and first small bubbles forming (to about 85°C, 190°F).
  2. Turn the heat to low, gently stir, and slowly add the vinegar by the spoonful. Remove from heat and continue to stir slowly and gently for about 5 minutes while the whey separates and the curds form.
  3. Pour the curdled liquid into a cheesecloth-lined strainer and let drain and cool for about 30 minutes.
  4. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and with the curds at the bottom twist until excess liquid is dripping out. Additionally, squeeze the curds in the cheesecloth gently to remove more liquid. 
  5. When all the excess liquid is removed, place the cheese into a bowl, add salt to taste and combine well.
  6. Form the cheese into a round shape or firmly press into in a small container. Let the Quesillo rest in the fridge for at least an hour before using it.
  7. Enjoy your home-made Peruvian Quesillo!
Say something here...
characters left
or post as a guest
All comments MUST be in English and will be moderated before publishing.
They will appear below within 24 hours.
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

Peru Newsflash

Peru Event Calendar

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Latest Content...

Latest Video

Maria Reiche - Memories

Maria Reiche - Memories

Submitted by: Tintin
05 December 2021

Long Reads...

  • Peruvian Archaeology

    The Mystery of the Nazca Lines in Peru

    In the 1920s, when people first flew across southern Peru, they made an astonishing discovery. Stretching below them,…
  • Peruvian Personalities & Founders

    Francisco Pizarro González (1474-1541)

    Francisco Pizarro, a peasant from Spain, was one of the least well-equipped conquerors in history. However, in the name…
  • Peruvian Archaeology

    The colorful Fabrics and Textiles of Peru

    Europe’s first knowledge of Peruvian textiles was acquired following the Spanish invasion of Peru in 1532, when the…
  • Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales

    The Jeweled Frog and the Condor

    By a quiet pond, at the side of a cloud-topped mountain in Peru, lived a small green frog and his large green family.…
  • Peru Info

    Peruvian Economy

    The Peruvian economy is an emerging, social market economy highly dependent on foreign trade and classified as an upper…