This sublimely creamy queso dip is so easy to make. It features the smooth melt of Velveeta and cream cheese plus amped-up flavor from Hatch green chiles and fresh jalapeños, RO*TEL tomatoes, onion, and spices for the ultimate game-day snack or magnetized party dip.
Tex-Mex in origin, my favorite queso dip and chips is found at the uber-popular Torchy’s Tacos in Austin, TX. Every time I visit, I do my best to dissect the recipe to re-make at home. So when my daughter and her friends went through a stage of eating queso each hang-out afternoon, I started experimenting with a homemade green chile queso recipe that would best the plastic-tasting jarred varieties. The reviews were unanimous: This is the best queso they ever tried.
I typically try to avoid using processed foods in my recipes, but because getting an ultra-creamy melt that doesn’t turn stringy or clump is what I’m looking for, Velveeta or American cheese loaf is best here. Cream cheese adds another velvety layer for cumin and chili powder to melt into. I use canned Hatch green chiles plus sautéed fresh-chopped jalapeño and onion for a pleasantly balanced heat. A dash of hot sauce and squeeze of lime finish off the dip. Whether drizzed over your favorite nachos or tacos, or as a dip for salty tortilla chips, queso dip is a cheese lover’s must.
What is Queso Made Of
Queso is made of a blend of cheeses, but recipes can vary greatly. Here’s what’s in my queso recipe:
- Canola oil
- Chili powder
- RO*TEL diced tomatoes with green chiles
- Chopped Hatch green chiles (or canned green chiles)
- American cheese (or Velveeta)
- Cream cheese
- Mild hot sauce (try Mexican-style Tapatio or Valentina brands)
How to Make Queso
Making queso is super easy, with just 3 steps, making this recipe ready in 30 minutes or less. There’s no need to make a roux since it’s perfectly thick and creamy thanks to the types of cheese I use.
Here’s how to make it:
Build your flavor base. Sauté the jalapeño and onion for 3-4 minutes over medium heat until the onion begins to soften, then stir in the garlic, ground cumin, and ground chili powder and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Cooking the spices deepens their flavor.
Blend it up. Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the RO*TEL tomatoes and Hatch green chiles and pulse 4-5 times so there are still some chunks in the mix. Or, if you like your dip smooth, give it a good blend.
Melt, melt, baby. Add the mixture back to the dutch oven, along with the American or Velveeta cheese, cream cheese, and water. Cook while stirring until melted. Add the hot sauce to taste with a few squeezes of lime juice.
Tip: Add 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch to thicken the queso if needed. Alternatively, add a few tablespoons more water if it’s too thick.
Which Cheeses Are Best for Queso
When making queso you want a perfectly melty, creamy texture, so use cheeses that are soft and have a high melting point. I prefer a mix of American cheese or Velveeta cheese for their sublime creaminess plus cream cheese for its creamy tang.
If using non-processed cheese, bring the other ingredients to a low boil then take off the heat before folding in one of the shredded cheeses below so the cheese doesn’t get stringy.
- Shredded cheddar cheese (choose a mild or medium for best melting)
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Shredded pepper jack cheese
How to Give Queso More Flavor
I like adding some tanginess and pep to queso (it is a party food, after all!). Try adding chopped jalapeños, hot sauce, cotija cheese, guacamole, or fresh chopped avocado to your dip. You could also top it with fresh cilantro, diced tomato, or chopped onion for a garnish and an extra kick of flavor.
What to Serve With Queso Dip
Salty tortilla chips are the obvious choice of what to serve with queso. Here are a few more ideas to add to your Mexican buffet:
- 5-Ingredient Chipotle Chicken Taquitos
- Creamy Avocado Salsa Verde
- Pico de Gallo
- Chunky Citrus Guacamole
- Corn Salsa
More Creamy Dips You’ll Love
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