This queso dip recipe is the perfect gooey cheese dip and so easy to make with lots of melted cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes and spices. Don't forget the chips!
We're making Queso Dip in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen tonight, my friends! Would you like some? Pull up a chair and grab some tortilla chips!
Queso dip is the perfect party food, isn't it? It's always the star of the gathering, all that wonderfully melty cheese loaded with spices, all gooey and dripping from every chip. Everyone loves this stuff.
You can easily grab a jar from the grocery store, but it really is so much better when you make it at home. This way, you can really control what goes into it. You can not only make it as spicy as you want - and I know you want to, my spicy food loving friends! - but you can also choose your own kind of cheese!
I love that.
You can use melty Mexican cheeses, like asadero or chihuahua for more of a white queso dip like your favorite Mexican restaurant, or pepper jack for an extra spicy version. I have made this with ghost pepper cheese and love it. Very spicy!
I prefer using a good real cheese for my queso dip, but this works with processed cheeses as well. Use your favorites!
Let's talk about how we make queso dip, shall we?
Queso Dip Ingredients
- Melty Cheese. I am using white cheddar cheese today, but any melty cheese will work for you, and there are many, many choices. See the recipes notes for some options.
- Olive Oil or Butter. For cooking.
- Vegetables. Jalapeno peppers, onion, garlic, tomato and roasted peppers.
- Spices. Cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and black pepper.
- Cornstarch. For thickening.
- Milk. I am using evaporated milk, as it contains less moisture and is easier for me to keep around, in the pantry, though this recipe works with regular milk. Use heavy cream for a richer version.
- Hot Sauce. For some extra zing!
- For Serving. Extra diced tomatoes, sliced peppers, red chili flakes, fresh chopped cilantro, crispy tortilla chips
How to Make Queso Dip - the Recipe Method
Cook the Jalapenos, Onion and Garlic. Heat the oil in a large pan or medium pot to medium heat. Add the jalapenos and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook another 1 minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Tomatoes and Spices. Add the tomatoes, roasted peppers, cayenne, paprika, cumin and salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes to break down the tomatoes.
Add the Milk and Hot Sauce. Stir together the cornstarch and evaporated milk until well incorporated, then pour into the pan. Add hot sauce to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Incorporate Cheeses. Add the shredded cheese a handful at a time, and stir until cheese is melted through and well incorporated.
Garnish and Serve. Remove from heat and top with extra diced tomatoes, sliced peppers, red chili flakes, fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips!
Boom! Done! Your queso dip is ready to serve! Looks delicious, doesn't it? So nice and cheesy! Don't forget the tortilla chips, my friends! I could seriously eat this all day long. Hungry!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Cheese. You can use other melty cheeses to make queso dip. Other choices include pepper jack, Monterrey jack, yellow cheddar, yellow or white American cheese, Velveeta and others. Try Mexican cheeses like cotija, asadero, chihuahua or oaxaca for more of a Mexican cheese dip. Or use a combination. Add cream cheese for an even creamier version.
- Block Cheese is Best. It is best to shred your own cheese for the perfect queso dip. Pre-shredded cheeses do not always melt as consistently due to added anti-clumping preservatives.
- Roasted Peppers. You can use canned green chile for this recipe, or roast your own favorite peppers. I am using roasted Hatch peppers today from my freezer, but you can roast some before cooking. Learn how to roast peppers here. Hatch peppers are great, as are mild Anaheims, poblano peppers, or go with jalapeno peppers for a bit more of a kick. This will work with any hot pepper, too.
- Serving Queso Dip. For party situations, transfer your queso dip to a slow cooker or crock pot and keep warm. It will stay nice and melty that way.
- Cheese Sauce. You can incorporate extra milk for thin out your cheese dip to serve it as more of a cheese sauce, perfect for serving up a plate of nachos or drizzling onto tacos, burritos and more.
Queso Dip is my ultimate weakness. If there is ever an open jar of the store bought stuff in the fridge, I’m completely doomed! I’ll just grab some chips and dip them right in, snacking here and there, feeling guilty for it. Sometimes I’ll heat it up and then I really can’t stop.
When Mike said he was going to make a homemade version, I was super excited, but also very scared. Because I ultimately knew I’d eat every last bite and not want to share. And it is SOOOOOOOO much better than store bought. Luckily I have Mike to help control and portion it to me. Cuz he wants to make sure he gets some for himself, obviously!!
And….. there’s still some leftover in the fridge right now. Maybe I can sneak some without him noticing. 😉
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this awesome queso dip recipe. Let me know if you make it and what cheeses you've chosen to use. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Pimento Cheese Dip
- Homemade Nacho Cheese
- Chili Cheese Dip
- Hatch Chili Cheese Dip
- Mexican Corn Dip
- Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Cream Cheese Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Layered Taco Dip
- Guasacaca - Venezuelan Guacamole Salsa
- Frito Pie
- See all of my Spicy Dip Recipes
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Queso Dip Recipe
- 8 ounces white cheddar cheese or other melty cheese - this recipe will work with any melty cheese. See the recipe notes section.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 jalapeno peppers diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium tomato chopped (or use cherry tomatoes)
- 5 ounces diced roasted peppers use canned, or roast your own favorite peppers - I am using roasted Hatch peppers
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 12 ounces evaporated milk canned - or use can use milk or cream
- Hot sauce to taste
- For Serving: Extra diced tomatoes, sliced peppers, red chili flakes, fresh chopped cilantro, crispy tortilla chips
- Heat the oil in a large pan or medium pot to medium heat. Add the jalapenos and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook another 1 minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, roasted peppers, cayenne, paprika, cumin and salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes to break down the tomatoes.
- Stir together the cornstarch and evaporated milk until well incorporated, then pour into the pan. Add hot sauce to taste.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Stir in the shredded cheese a handful at a time, continually stirring, until it is melted through and well incorporated.
- Remove from heat and top with extra diced tomatoes, sliced peppers, red chili flakes, fresh chopped cilantro.
- Serve with tortilla chips!