Look for the seal.

Seared Queso Panela Cal-Mex Style Tacos



Cilantro Pesto: (24 servings) – 2 bunches cilantro – 5 cloves garlic – 1/4 cup olive oil – 1/4 cup Real California Cotija cheese – 1/4 teaspoon salt Broccoli Slaw: (30 servings) – 1/4 cup mayonnaise – 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice – 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper – 1 teaspoon maple syrup – 1/4 teaspoon salt – 1/4 teaspoon pepper – 1 1/4 pounds broccoli stalks, shredded – 2 ounces shredded carrots – 2 ounces shredded red cabbage Final Build (per serving): – 1 each street taco tortilla (4 1/2 inches) – 2 slices Real California Queso Panela cheese, ½-inch thick – As needed cayenne – 1 ounce Broccoli Slaw – 1 Tablespoon diced tomato – 4 half rings pickled red onion – Drizzle Cilantro Pesto – 1/2 lime :Cheese, Hispanic Dairy, Panela, Cotija
Find real california milk products near you
Find & Buy


Cilantro Pesto

1. Pulse cilantro in a food processor until chopped.

2. Add garlic and pulse until finely chopped.

3. Turn the food processer on high and slowly pour in the olive oil, with a stream no thicker than a pencil.

4. Once the pesto is formed, add the cotija cheese and salt and pulse until evenly incorporated.

5. Can be held refrigerated for 3 days.

Broccoli Slaw

1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, vinegar, cayenne, syrup, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until evenly incorporated. 

2. Add the shredded broccoli, carrots, and cabbage.

3. Use a rubber spatula to fold together until coleslaw is formed.

4. May be held refrigerated for 3 days.

Final Build

1. Place the queso panela onto an oiled griddle, cast iron skillet, or nonstick pan.

2. Sprinkle the cheese with cayenne pepper.

3. Cook for approximately 2 minutes.

4. Use a metal spatula to carefully flip the cheese over (a fish spatula may help here). Cook for 2 more minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.

5. Place the seared cheese slices on the tortilla.

6. Add the Broccoli Slaw.

7. Garnish with the tomato and pickled red onion.

8. Drizzle Cilantro Pesto on the taco.

9. Serve with a lime half.

Servings:  24 tacos

Chef Notes

This seared panela street taco provides vegetarians a craveable meat-free option. The pickled red onion provides just the right amount of acid and the cilantro pesto is a twist in a familiar item. Many customers may be unfamiliar with queso panela, but a taco filled with seared cheese would probably be an easy sell.

Recipe courtesy Chef Rick Petralia, Director, Culinary Innovation for Fazoli’s