Queso Panela also called queso canasta or queso de la canasta (basket cheese), is a Mexican cottage cheese made from pasteurised cows and skimmed milk. This white, fresh and smooth cheese is similar to Indian paneer and is gluten-free.
Panela has a soft and creamy texture and a delicious fresh milk flavour. When heated, it will soften but not melt or lose its shape. Also, the cheese absorbs flavours easily and is sold covered with garlic or pepper paste also. It will turn a golden brown when seared and crumble easily on appetizers such as quesadillas.
Panela tastes excellent on its own as a fried cheese but is served most often as part of appetizer dishes such as nopal salads or quesadillas.