This deliciously creamy Queso is easy to make from scratch and a crowd favorite every time! Serve with salty tortilla chips for the best appetizer ever!
Chips, salsa, and guacamole are my absolute favorite, but my boys are all about the queso. Ok, I like it too, who doesn’t love a cheesy dip? But they REALLY love it.
This Queso Dip recipe is their all-time favorite. It’s creamy, slightly spicy, and really good with salty tortilla chips.
And guess what? It’s easy to make at home. That’s right, you don’t have to go to a restaurant to get queso. You can make it from scratch and I promise it is the real deal.
We love serving warm queso on game days or as a snack for parties or movie nights at home. Everyone loves it and dives right in! It’s delicious as a dip or drizzled over your favorite Mexican food dishes.
Table of Contents
The Best Cheese for Queso
This recipe calls for both cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. I do not recommend using pre-shredded cheese because it contains a powdery coating and doesn’t melt well.
You’ll have the best results if you buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. I promise the extra arm work is worth it.
I also add in cream cheese, it’s the secret ingredient for keeping the queso super creamy. It melts right in and creates the smoothest queso and it will help the queso stay creamy after it cools down too.
Spice It Up!
The queso has a jalapeno pepper, but I don’t think it is super hot, it just has a nice pleasant kick. For more heat, you can add a little bit of cayenne pepper in addition to the jalapenos.
And if you want the BEST flavor ever, which I think you do, add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The flavor is SO good! You can find the peppers at almost any grocery store, look in the Mexican aisle. You will need two chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, remove the seeds and finely chop them up. You can freeze the remaining peppers and sauce.
But if you prefer a traditional queso, you can certainly leave out the chipotle peppers. It is good both ways:)
How to Make Queso
Ok, let’s get this party started! Who’s ready? I am always ready!
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for just a minute.
- Add the cream cheese and 1 cup of the milk and stir until melted. I recommend using whole milk because we want super creamy queso. Low fat or skim milk won’t get us there. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat to LOW and add the shredded cheese, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, until all of the cheese is added and melted. Make sure the heat isn’t too high, you want it to melt slowly. Once all of the cheese is melted, add the remaining ¼ cup of milk.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the green chiles, diced tomato, and cilantro. If you are using the chipotle in adobo pepper, stir that in as well. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
I love adding a few toppings to garnish the queso. You could even put toppings out and let everyone at the table customize their own little bowl of queso! Here are a few of our favorite toppings:
- Pico de Gallo
- Diced avocado or a scoop of guacamole
- Jalapeno slices
- Diced tomatoes
Serve the queso warm with tortilla chips. Dunk the chips into that warm cheesy sauce and you will be in heaven!
You can also use the queso as a dip for taquitos, quesadillas, burritos, or drizzle it over tacos or nachos. This cheesy sauce is great with any Mexican meal.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover queso in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the microwave stirring every 15 to 20 seconds, until the queso is heated through. If it is too thick, you can add a splash of milk and stir.
More Appetizer Recipes
- Pico de Gallo
- Skillet Queso Dip
- Chicken Taquitos
- Restaurant Style Salsa
- Mango Salsa
- Pineapple Salsa
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil, can use butter
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 oz Monterey Jack, shredded
- 4 oz mild green chiles
- 1 Roma tomato, finely diced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, from can, seeds removed and finely chopped, optional
- For garnish: pico de gallo, diced avocado, and cilantro
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Add the cream cheese and 1 cup of the milk and stir until melted, this will take about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat to low and add the shredded cheese, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, until all of the cheese is added and melted. Make sure the heat isn’t too high, you want it to melt slowly. Once all of the cheese is melted, add the remaining ¼ cup of milk.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the green chiles, tomato, and cilantro. If you are using the chipotle in adobo pepper, stir that in as well. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Pour the queso into a serving bowl and garnish with a little pico de gallo, diced avocado, and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.
Have you tried this recipe?
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This almost kinda sorta makes me wish I was going to a superbowl party this year! but instead I’m going to a four year old’s birthday party…I have a feeling this will be a hit there as well!
Yum…I love that it’s not the typical velveeta (which weirds me out anyway) and RoTel. We’re having friends over for the Super Bowl and you have to have cheese dip! Thanks for the recipe.
Looks awesome Maria. I am adding this to the Superbowl must makes!
Husband will be at a Super Bowl party so might send this dip with him (or make it and eat it all myself!) Cape Cod girl, so GO PATS!!
Looks delicious, I’ll be making it! Thanks.
What do I do with the monterrey jack cheese?
Great for game day!
I can see why this dip is a winner!
I just wanted to tell you both how much I have come to appreciate your blog. I guess I came across it about a year ago, but I have been reading it more and more and looking through the archives because I am looking for vegetarian inspiration. You have some really wonderful, affordable recipes that I think even I could make — no fancy techniques or tools required — and I so appreciate that. Thank you!
Thanks for your kind comment! Thanks for following our blog!
I am planning on checking through your archives for SuperBowl recipes. This dip looks yummy.
I am from Boston so I am with Josh…GO PAT’S
I’m linking to this recipe on my blog. Please let me know if that’s not okay. Thanks!
I make a dip almost exactly like this but with spinach in it. LOVE it!
I am not a fan of cheese, but I have a friend who is obsessed with white cheese dip. I can’t wait to share this with her!
This is pretty much the definition of creamy, queso-y goodness. I think I’ll just swan dive in it, no chips needed.
The texture of this dip looks perfect for dipping. The ingredients sound so good with the american cheese.
soeasy! looks lovely too
Made this over the weekend… DELISH is an understatement. I think its the new fave dip in my family. Thanks for sharing!!
Glad you enjoyed the Queso Dip!
I made this last night and it did not come together. The whole thing was separated. the cheese would not melt into the milk (I used the same cheese as you did and followed the instructions to a t). I had to end up adding flour to some of the separated milk in a separate bowl then stirred it back in and it finally came together. the only bad part was it was too thick now and tasted a little like raw flour. Do you know what i could have done wrong? Any suggestions because the flavor was great!? Thanks!
I am not sure why you had trouble. The cheese should melt right together. We’ve never had an issue. Sorry!
I had the same problem!!!! The only thing I didn’t not do was serve it right away. I made it an hour ahead. It looked grainy but I thought it would get more creamy as it sat. I threw it away and quickly made a batch with velveta.
is there a way to make it thicker? looks too runny for my taste.
You can thicken it with flour, but we like the consistency the way it is.
Football or not this dip is perfect for your next party!
Here we are a year later, and this is still lookin’ good. 🙂 Thanks for a great recipe!
I made this last night as a test before Superbowl. It’s amazing. Going to increase the recipe and finish off in a crock pot this Sunday.
This dip is great. I’ve avoided american cheese in all my other attempts in the past, but you just can’t get the consistancy with out it. I made up a batch and thinned it out with a little extra milk and added macaroni to it, YUM!!! I must also add that I am in love with your blog, so many tasty tasy ideas.
Thanks for the recipe. Love you blog. I hate to be negative but wanted to say that canola oil is super bad for you. This recipe would be great with olive or avocado or perhaps coconut oil (all healthy oils) instead. Just spreading the word 🙂
Made this last night and was right on point.
I roasted the jalapeno when I was roasting the poblano pepper. I also did monterrey jack instead of pepper jack because I didn’t want too spicy.
I had no issue with the cheese and milk coming together. In fact I needed to add a bit of extra milk because it was too thick I could barely stir it… but once I did, it was perfect.
Yummmmmmmmmmm We are sitting here eating the leftovers for breakfast LOL
Glad you liked it and there is nothing wrong with queso dip for breakfast:)
It’s not often I will give =any= recipe five stars, but this one deserves it in the appetizer category. My 12-year-old cousin, who is quite the queso aficionado, gave it high marks, which is what tipped the number of stars from four to five.
We both agreed that for us, we could stand a little more heat, so the only adjustment for our tastes will be to add a tad more jalapeño next time we make it.
I made this from the recipi, and milk got curdled. What should I do ?
Milk based sauces break / curdle when there isn’t enough fat and the sauce is heated to too high of a temperature. I switched the oil to butter and used whole milk. Also, by not bringing it to a boil may help as well.
It is very easy to make.
What do I do with the monterrey jack cheese?
See step 3.
I’ve made this recipe for a few years and wanted to make it again for a Halloween party. I went on to look at the ingredients to make a shopping list and noticed it was updated in April of this year and the recipe is unrecognizable. Do you have the original version on this recipe?
Tasty! Added a little cayenne because we like it a little spicier. Did add the chipotle peppers in adobo which add a nice background flavor.
Glad you enjoyed the queso!
Yum. Made this for Super Bowl. Might make again for Valentine’s Day tomorrow…. 2/13/2022 My husband said I’d make this again.
Do you think this would be ok to make in a crockpot? Mine has a sauté feature and then could keep it on low to stay warm for a party’
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