Azores Style Fresh Cheese - Queijo Fresco
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Azores style fresh cheese recipe is delicious. It's a soft cheese with a touch of salt. Often served as an appetizer or for breakfast in the Azores.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Portuguese
Serves: 10-15 Servings
  • 2 litres (2.113 quarts) of homogenized milk (3.25% fat)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp liquid rennet
  1. Pour milk into a large pot and add salt.
  2. Turn the burner on low.
  3. Stir milk gently until it reaches a temperature just slightly warmer than room temperature. Test with a clean finger. It does not have to be an exact temperature.
  4. Turn the burner off and add liquid rennet.
  5. Cover and let stand for 90 minutes.
  6. Uncover. The milk should be coagulated (dense)
  7. With a sharp knife, cut slivers across the curd (thickened milk) and then across in the opposite direction. Note: The lines should look like Tic Tac Toe, but with more lines, approximately 2 inches apart. Do not stir or try to split the curds apart.
  8. Let rest for 15 minutes. This will release more whey (liquid)
  9. Place cheese cloth inside the clean cheese making mould. The cloth should cover the bottom, sides and fall over the mould edge a few inches.
  10. Place the mould inside a a wide plate with a bit of a rim.
  11. Place the plate in the sink.
  12. With a slotted spoon, carefully start spooning the curds into the mould. Make sure the cheese cloth edges don't fall into the mould.
  13. Move all the curds from the pot to the mould leaving behind as much whey (liquid) as possible.
  14. Cover the top of the curds with the cheese cloth that was overlapping the mould edge.
  15. Whey (liquid) will start coming out through the holes of the mould.
  16. Eventually, the curds will have dropped and less whey will be flowing from the holes.
  17. While holding the mould against the plate, tip the plate to spill out any remaining whey.
  18. Leave the plate in the sink for another two hours and occasionally spill out the whey from the bottom of the plate.
  19. Clean the bottom of the plate and place the plate in the fridge. Ideally the cheese should remain in the fridge at least 10 hours (or over night).
  20. Remove the plate from the fridge.
  21. Uncover the cheese.
  22. Place a plate over the mould, centred over the cheese.
  23. Over the sink, flip over the plates so that the top plate is now the bottom plate.
  24. The cheese should slip down onto the new plate.
  25. Carefully remove the previous plate, mould and cheese cloth. Do this slowly to avoid breaking apart the cheese.
  26. These cheese is ready to be eaten. I like to give the cheese a few more hours in the fridge to let it set a little more.
  27. Whey (liquid) will still be coming out of the cheese, so make sure to spill the liquid out every half day.
  28. Enjoy with any kind of crusty bread, cornbread or sweet bread.
We only list 10 minutes cooking time, but be aware that this cheese takes a few hours to prepare since it needs to coagulate and then release all the whey (liquid) before it's ready to be eaten.
Always ensure that your equipment is very clean before starting the cheese making process.
Recipe by Photos & Food at