The ultimate Queso Recipe with melted cheeses, spicy peppers, and Mexican seasonings! This popular restaurant cheese dip is a party favorite.
If there’s one appetizer everyone agrees on it is chips and melted cheese! From queso to nachos, we all love snacking on the cheesy, crunchy combination. With this easy recipe, you can make your favorite dip at home.
Queso Recipe Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this crave-worthy queso recipe. I’ve included substitutes for some of the ingredients just in case you don’t have something on hand. Scroll down for the complete recipe with ingredient measurements.
- Diced Green Chilies: The canned diced green chiles add just the right amount of spice without being too spicy for kids. We prefer pureeing them with the jalapenos to keep the pieces smaller.
- Diced Jalapenos: We blended a tablespoon of canned diced jalapenos with the green chiles to give the queso a bit of heat. If you prefer mild queso you can skip the jalapenos and if you want it spicy you can add more.
- Half and Half: The liquid in this recipe is half and half, known as half cream in some countries. You could also use heavy cream but half and half works too and is lighter.
- Pepper Jack Cheese: This cheese is made with Monterey Jack blended with chopped peppers. It adds flavor and spice to the queso! Buy the cheese in block form and shred it yourself for the best meltability.
- Velveeta: We also used Velveeta cheese. It melts so well and gives you a smooth cheese dip. Substitutes for Velveeta include American cheese and shredded cheddar but your queso may not be as smooth.
- Butter: The butter helps thin the cheese dip, adds a little salt, and some flavor.
- Minced Cilantro: Adding minced cilantro to your queso brings the flavor and brightness up a notch but it can be left out if you don’t have any on hand.
- Onion Powder and Garlic Powder: We chose onion powder and garlic powder to give the queso flavor. You swap out the powdered spices with the minced version if you prefer.
- Spices: This queso recipe uses chili powder, ground cumin, and black pepper for heat, flavor, and color!
How To Make Queso
Start by pureeing the diced green chiles and diced jalapenos in a food processor. Then combine all of the ingredients in a large pot over medium-low heat. Slowly stir the mixture until the cheese melts and a smooth queso dip appears. Scrape the bottom of the pot with your stirring spoon to prevent the cheese from sticking to the bottom. Turn the heat to low if necessary. Scroll down for the printable recipe card and complete instructions.
What else can I add to this cheese dip?
We like to garnish the queso with a little cotija cheese, a dash of chili powder, or a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. As far as additional stir-ins, try some of the following:
- diced tomatoes
- diced sweet peppers
- cooked chorizo pork sausage
- chicken tinga
- cooked taco meat
Ways To Use This Queso Recipe
The most popular way to use queso Mexican cheese dip is as a dip for tortilla chips. Restaurants serve it alongside pico de gallo and salsa. But there are so many additional ways to use queso such as a topping on tacos or rice bowls. Whip up a batch of nachos at home and drizzle warm queso over the top of them. You can also use it as a cheese sauce on top of pasta or veggies.
We like using this queso recipe as fondue! Serve it with protein dippables such as meatballs, chipotle chicken, and grilled steak. Add fresh vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Green apples, grapes, and pineapple are also delicious when dipped in cheese. Finally, be sure to add tortilla chips (see how to make fried tortilla chips here) and toasted bread cubes.
Queso Recipe FAQs
Queso means cheese in Spanish.
Queso dip is made of melted cheese, cream, and spices.
In Spanish, queso means cheese. In America, queso is typically thought of as a melted cheese dip with Mexican flavors.
Yes, you can make this queso recipe ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator (or freezer), and reheat it over low heat, stirring constantly, until heated through.
Serving, Storage, and Reheating
Serving: The queso will thicken as it cools, so it should be served warm. You’ll want to serve it right after making it. Or if you are preparing it to serve at a party you can keep it warm in a fondue pot or in a crockpot on the lowest setting.
Storage: Allow the queso to cool completely. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freezer for up to four months. Thaw frozen cheese dip in the refrigerator.
Reheating: Reheat the queso on the stovetop over low heat, stirring often, until heat through. It can also be reheated on low in the microwave, stirring occasionally. Add more half and half, a little at a time, if needed.
Want more dip recipes? Try these next:
Mango Salsa is a tasty combination of diced mango and fresh vegetables. Serve with chips as an appetizer or snack. Or as a garnish on top of chicken or fish.
This flavorful Corn Dip recipe is the perfect dish to bring to your next party or backyard barbecue. Serve cold or hot with corn chips or tortilla chips.
Cowboy Caviar is a healthy appetizer that is perfect for parties! Serve as salsa with tortilla chips or as a flavorful side salad with chicken and fish.
This Easy Queso Blanco Recipe is a quick way to make white cheese dip using Velveeta and peppers. Serve with chips as a side dish or an appetizer!
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- 2 tablespoon canned diced green chiles
- 1 tablespoon canned diced jalapenos
- 8 oz block pepper jack cheese shredded
- 1 lb Velveeta cubed
- ¼ cup minced cilantro
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Puree the diced green chiles with the diced jalapenos (add more or less depending on how spicy you want the dip).
- Put the half and half, shredded pepper jack cheese, cheese cubes, pureed peppers, minced cilantro, butter, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper into a saucepan.
- Melt over medium-low heat stirring often until smooth.
- Serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat over low heat in a saucepan stirring often.
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