Copycat Chipotle Queso Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Copycat Chipotle Queso

Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
This is a spot-on copycat recipe for Chipotle queso!

Updated: Mar. 11, 2024

From Chipotle’s “I know it costs extra” guacamole to fresh corn salsa, customers line up at the fast casual chain for burritos and bowls piled high with toppings. The famous Chipotle queso blanco is especially popular and keeps everyone coming back for more. It’s creamy, cheesy and perfectly spicy. The only downside? It’ll set you back a few bucks to add queso to your order.

Stretch your dollar a little further by whipping up a batch of your own copycat Chipotle queso. With just a few simple, affordable ingredients, you can take your order to go (or try your hand at this copycat Chipotle chicken) then cheese it up to your heart’s content at home.

Chipotle Queso Ingredients

Copycat Chipotle Queso Blanco Ingredients on dark blue backgroundTMB Studio

  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Poblano pepper
  • Serrano pepper
  • Garlic
  • Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • Cornstarch
  • Evaporated milk
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sharp white cheddar cheese
  • Tomato
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tortilla chips


Step 1: Cook the onions and peppers

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toss in the finely chopped onions, poblanos and serrano peppers, then cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and chipotle peppers. Cook for another minute until fragrant.

Step 2: Add a cornstarch slurry

Copycat Chipotle Queso BlancoTMB Studio

In a separate small bowl, combine the cornstarch and milk. Whisk together until smooth, and then stir the slurry into the onion mixture. Bring the queso to a boil and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Editor’s Tip: While some queso recipes rely on flour or arrowroot as a thickening agent, in testing, we found a simple cornstarch slurry to be the best and easiest way to thicken the sauce.

Step 3: Stir in the cheese

Copycat Chipotle Queso Blanco Tohcom23 272997 P2 Md 04 11 3bTMB Studio

Reduce the heat to low, then gradually stir in the shredded cheese.

Editor’s Tip: For a silky smooth queso, add the cheese in small amounts and allow it to melt completely before the next addition.

Step 4: Season the queso

To finish this dip, gently stir in the chopped tomato and the remaining seasonings. Serve warm with tortilla chips or on top of your favorite copycat Chipotle recipes.

Chipotle Queso Variations

Make this recipe your own with an array of zesty additions or substitutions. For a spicier queso, add more hot peppers of your choice. You could also switch up the cheese choices by opting for pepper jack or sharp yellow cheddar. A final flourish of fresh cilantro or oregano or would also be welcome queso additions.

How do you store leftover queso?

Leftover queso can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. To reheat, warm gently on the stovetop in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until heated through, adding additional milk as needed to thin the queso to the desired consistency.

Chipotle Queso Tips

Copycat Chipotle Queso BlancoTMB Studio

Why is my queso grainy?

Grainy queso? No bueno! Avoid this common queso conundrum by melting the cheese into your queso low and slow. High heat can cause the proteins in cheese to break and allow too much water to evaporate. This can lead to stringy, tough and grainy queso.

Additionally, we always recommend grating your own cheese for queso. Preshredded cheese often contains additives intended to prevent the cheese from clumping together in the package. These same additives can also inhibit the cheese from melting smoothly.

What goes with Chipotle queso?

While our favorite way to enjoy this copycat Chipotle queso blanco is with homemade tortilla chips, you can also dip, drizzle or pour this queso over:

Copycat Chipotle Queso

Prep Time 20 min
Yield 3 cups.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded fresh poblano pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded serrano pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Tortilla chips


  1. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and poblano and serrano peppers; cook and stir until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and chipotle pepper; cook 1 minute longer. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and milk until smooth; stir into onion mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to low; gradually stir in cheeses, adding in small amounts and allowing cheese to melt between additions. Stir in tomato and seasonings. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoons: 85 calories, 6g fat (4g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 136mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.