This Easy Queso Recipe Comes Together in Just 30 Minutes

If you love creamy queso dip from restaurants, you'll be amazed at how simple it is to make an easy queso recipe at home.

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If you’ve ever been to a Mexican restaurant and ordered a bowl of queso for dipping—and then wondered how to make it at home—this easy queso recipe is for you.

What Is Queso?

Let’s start by covering the basics. Queso simply means “cheese” in Spanish and is typically made with a variety of cheeses including Monterey Jack, cheddar or American cheese. It can also contain green chilies, jalapenos or a mix of both and can even include diced tomatoes. To make the best queso at home, you’ll want to shred the cheese yourself from the block.

Are There Different Types of Queso?

There are certainly a lot of variations of queso dip and you can play around with them once you perfect the base. Some dips include diced chilies and tomatoes while others include cooked meat. You can include taco meat or crumbled chorizo for a spicy finish. You might also try different cheeses, such as cream cheese or Velveeta, for different consistencies. Toppings also can create variations, such as sour cream, diced tomatoes or freshly chopped cilantro.

How to Make Queso Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Tortilla chips
  • Chopped tomato and sliced jalapeno pepper, optional

Tools You’ll Need

  • A sharp knife will help you dice the onions and mince the garlic before cooking. This Zwilling J.A. Henckels Chef’s Knife is a great all-purpose knife at an affordable price.
  • A sturdy mixing spoon will help you saute the garlic and onions and also whisk in the cheese and milk to make your dip smooth and creamy.
  • Serving your chips and dip in a combination bowl is the best way to present your queso. This unbreakable chip and dip bowl set is the perfect way to serve queso to guests.

Instructions

Step 1: Saute onion and garlic

In a saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat; saute onion and garlic until tender. Then, add the chilies; cook and stir for about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Stir in milk

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and milk until smooth; stir into onion mixture. Bring to a boil. Now you want to cook and stir gently until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

Step 3: Add in cheese and melt

Reduce heat to low and gradually stir in cheeses. You should add in small amounts and allow cheese to melt between additions. You want to make sure the cheese is melted through for the perfect dipping consistency!

If desired, top with tomato and jalapeno. Serve warm with chips.

Tips for Easy Homemade Queso

  • How to make queso thicker: If you want to make your queso thicker, use more cornstarch and water. Mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch along with 2 tablespoons of the queso dip in a small bowl. Gradually add the thickener back into the queso dip and stir to incorporate.
  • How to make queso smoother: To keep your queso dip smooth and creamy, add in small amounts of milk while cooking and be sure to whisk well to avoid lumps. If it gets too thick and chunky once you’ve served the dip, you can put the bowl into the microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt it again.
  • How to make queso healthier: There are a variety of ways to make queso dip healthier including use of low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt and skim milk.

How to Store Queso

I always question the best way to store leftovers and how long will leftovers last. To store extra queso, you’ll want to allow it to cool and then place it in an airtight container. You can keep the queso in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.

You can also freeze extra queso by placing it into an airtight storage container or plastic zip-closure bas and then place in the freezer. To thaw, place the queso in the refrigerator for 1-2 days and then warm slowly in the microwave or on the stovetop.

What to Pair with Queso

The dip is perfect on its own, of course, but it can also be added on top of nachos or in these Queso Pork Enchiladas. Don’t miss all our mix-ins and meal ideas to upgrade your queso!

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April Preisler
April is a food and travel lover, wine enthusiast, ice cream obsessed and the vision behind the blog, Food n' Focus. Her favorite cuisine is Italian and loves to cook international recipes.