There’s always a reason to eat queso. This cheesy, flavorful dip is simple to make and is totally irresistible.
It’s popular at summer barbeques, family gatherings, tailgating parties, or pretty much anytime.
Whether you’re already a queso lover or you’ve never tried it before, these 15 easy and tasty queso recipes are guaranteed to please.
What Is Queso?
Queso is quite literally what it translates to – cheese!
This world-famous cheese dip has its roots in Mexico, made from chiles and melted cheese. The recipe made its way to the United States in the 1930’s and 40’s. It grew popular in Texas and got an American twist, becoming a combination of processed American cheese and canned tomatoes. Although the Tex-Mex recipe is still popular today, chefs and home cooks took it up a notch, switching out processed cheese and canned goods for more traditional, fresh ingredients.
Every recipe uses a different combination of ingredients to achieve that signature smooth finish. Some options include using a roux, made from flour and water, some use a combination of real cheeses and sour cream, and others combine cheese with evaporated milk and cornstarch.
Queso is wonderful because it is totally forgiving, making it a great choice for beginners. You can add different ingredients or toppings to make it your own. Kids will have fun stirring the cheese and helping to add the ingredients.
And it’s not just for dipping tortilla chips. Try dipping fresh veggies, add it to eggs, mix it in rice, smother a burrito or brisket, pour it over potatoes or burgers, or use it to make over-the-top nachos.
Have fun trying different queso recipes to find which one you like best. Before you get started, take a look at 9 tips to make the perfect queso.
9 Tips to Make the Perfect Queso
- Cook with butter – Instead of vegetable oil or olive oil to cook your veggies, try a little butter. Yes, queso is already rich in dairy, but cooking your jalapenos or onions in butter before adding them only makes them more delicious and your queso that much better.
- Fresh tomatoes matter – If the recipe calls for tomatoes, or you want to add them as a garnish, choose fresh tomatoes over canned. Varieties like grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or Roma tomatoes are sweeter and are a great complement to the queso. Whichever tomatoes you decide to use, add them at the end to keep them from getting mushy.
- Don’t over salt it – Before you add salt or extra seasonings, be sure to taste test it with the chips you’re serving it with. Many tortilla chips are already quite salty, so tasting it first will keep you from oversalting it.
- Keep it low and stir– Be sure to cook your queso on low to medium heat. When a cheese dip gets too hot it can lose its texture and become grainy. Keep stirring as you add ingredients. This will allow the cheese to stay creamy and melt perfectly.
- Make it thicker – If you find that your queso is too runny, adding a little cornstarch or flour will help to thicken it up. To thicken it quickly, add cornstarch. To thicken it slowly over time, add flour. Flour has better flavor overall, but it needs to be cooked with your queso for quite some time so that it doesn’t come out gritty. If your dip is the opposite – too thick – add a splash of milk a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- Avoid clumping – If you’re using fresh cheese, shred your own rather than using pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is covered with an additive that helps to prevent clumping, so it won’t give you the creamy texture you desire.
- Remove from the heat – Once your queso is done cooking, you’ll want to remove it from the heat. If you don’t, you’ll risk overcooking it. Because of this, it’s always best to cook your queso right before you plan to serve it. However, if you need to keep it warm, you can move it to a slow cooker and set it on warm.
- Make your own chips – Nothing complements homemade queso more than some homemade tortilla chips. Making your own is easy and takes just a little time. The result is worth it! Here is a great homemade tortilla chip recipe.
- Store it right – You can store queso in the refrigerator, covered, for three to four days. If you want to reheat it, you can warm it up on the stovetop or in the microwave. You can also add a little milk if you’re using the stovetop to hydrate it and bring back the creaminess. Just be sure to not overheat it.
15 Queso Recipes We Love
Forget the jarred stuff, these homemade queso recipes win every time.
- The Best Queso – Cookie & Kate
- Queso | Cafe Delites
- White Queso Dip Recipe | The Cookie Rookie
- Life Changing Queso Dip | Recipe Tin Eats
- Queso Dip | The Modern Proper
- Easy Queso Dip | The Pioneer Woman
- Perfect Queso Dip Recipe | Add a Pinch
- The Best Queso Recipe | A Spicy Perspective
- Queso Blanco | Carlsbad Cravings
- Queso Dip | Bon Appetit
- Outrageous Mexican Queso Dip | Swanky Recipes
- Easy Mexican Queso Dip | Isabel Eats
- The Best Queso Blanco Dip | Barefeet in the Kitchen
- The Best Mexican White Cheese Dip | Eating on a Dime
- The Best Queso Recipe | Sugar Spun Run
Packed with flavor, queso is amazingly addicting. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
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