The BEST Queso Blanco Dip

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Queso Blanco Dip is a creamy, spicy, perfectly smooth and cheesy dip just like they serve at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Queso blanco is a melted cheese dip that’s delicious every which way you eat it.

I’ve had a lot of pretty good queso dip in my life. I mean, we’re talking ooey gooey melted cheese with Mexican flavors. What’s not to like about that?

Still, I have no qualms saying that the Queso Blanco recipe I’m sharing today is the BEST Queso Blanco Dip I’ve had. It’s not just a fine tasting easy dish to set out with a bag of chips for parties. This Queso Blanco recipe is so tasty that I found myself wanting to add it to just about everything.

Smother a burrito with this queso, pour it on a burger, drizzle it across roasted potatoes, pour it over Spanish rice, layer in into nachos or dip your chips in it. However you enjoy this Queso Blanco Dip, it’s sure to knock your socks off.

We love this restaurant style queso dip!

Queso Blanco Dip

There is just enough heat in this Queso Blanco Dip to keep you coming back for one more bite.

The heat in the cheese comes from the addition of pickled jalapenos and green chiles. It’s easy to adjust the amounts of each ingredient to suit your spice preferences and tolerance.

If you like your queso extra hot, double up on the peppers. I’ve made this dip exactly as written and I’ve made it twice as hot. We all loved it as written below and my husband and my oldest son especially enjoyed it with the extra heat.

I promise it’s not overwhelmingly spicy as written, but you could also reduce the peppers by half if you prefer a mild Queso Blanco Dip. It’ll still be creamy, flavorful and completely delicious.

My family has always enjoyed the queso we’ve had at Mexican restaurants. I’ve tried over the years to recreate our favorite restaurant-style Queso Blanco to no avail.

The best restaurant style queso dip is EASY to make!

Every version of cheesy dips I’ve made over the past couple years was never quite right. The queso recipes were all okay but nothing ever wowed me. Every cheese I tried, from the fancy ones to the not so fancy ones, failed to produce the perfectly creamy sauce that is found in Mexican restaurants.

Then, I ran across my friend Nikki’s recipe. It was given to her by a reader who worked at a Mexican restaurant and I couldn’t believe how perfect it was or how easy. I am thrilled with this recipe!

How to Make Queso

Once you learn how to make queso, you’re likely to never order it from a restaurant again. It takes no more than the right combination of ingredients, a microwave and five minutes.

The BEST Queso Blanco Dip starts with combining white American cheese, chopped green chiles and pickled jalapenos in a bowl. Milk, water, cumin and just a little juice from the pickled jalapenos are added before the whole thing goes in the microwave.

Queso Blanco ingredients

I’ve used Boar’s Head and Land o’ Lakes brands of white American cheese with good success. This cheese is usually found in the deli section of the grocery store. Be sure not to confuse it with the shelf-stable American cheese product.

When you’re making queso dip in the microwave, it’s extremely important to pause after every minute or so to stir everything together. The first couple of times you pull the bowl out to stir the queso, it will look watery. Don’t worry; the cheese dip will come together and thicken after a few minutes.

It takes my Queso Blanco recipe about five minutes in the microwave to get fully melted and combined. Yours may take more or less time depending on the strength of your microwave. When the dip is thick and creamy, you know it’s ready.

Serve this dip piping hot and don’t be surprised when it disappears quickly, especially if you have a household full of cheese lovers like us.

Restaurant style queso dip

This is wonderful on all kinds of tacos from Red Chile Chicken Tacos  to Bacon and Egg Breakfast Tacos. (In my book, Queso Blanco is acceptable at any time of day, even breakfast.)

Queso Blanco is also a tasty addition to burgers like these Filthy Burgers with barbecue pulled pork, beef and bacon.

Of course, much of the time this Queso Blanco Dip never makes it into another recipe. We just end up eating this straight out of the bowl with tortilla chips. There are never any complaints; My family loves this Queso Blanco Dip and the kids request it frequently.

That said, this cheddar version of homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce caught my eye this week and it is calling my name for our next family movie night. (I could never have too many cheese dips!) Best of all, it’s made with just a handful of ingredients just like this easy recipe.

For another terrific hot snacking option, try the Hot Bean Dip too!

Kitchen Tip: I use this bowl and this spatula to make this recipe.

Queso Blanco Dip Recipe

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-size glass bowl.
  2. Microwave for five minutes, pausing to stir every minute. The dip will look watery at first but it will thicken as it cooks.
  3. Serve hot over anything you want to make more delicious! Enjoy!

Cheesy hot queso is perfect for snacking any day of the year!

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Cheesy hot queso is perfect for snacking any day of the year!

The BEST Queso Blanco Dip

4.34 from 72 votes
It only takes a few minutes to make Queso Blanco Dip {a.k.a. Spicy White Cheese Dip} at home. This hot dip tastes so fantastic, you might never order it from a restaurant again. Recipe gently adapted from and with thanks to Seeded At The Table.
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Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 6 mins
Servings: 8 servings, about 1/4 cup each

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 pound White American Cheese roughly chopped into 1" pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green chiles frozen or canned will work fine
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno slices diced fine
  • 1 tablespoon juice from the pickled jalapenos
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • dash of cumin

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium size glass bowl. Microwave for five minutes, pausing to stir after every minute. The dip will be very watery at first, but it will thicken as it finishes cooking.
  • Serve hot, poured over just about anything that you want to make more delicious. Enjoy!

Notes

The recipe is made with simple white American cheese (not to be confused with another cheese product that is shelf stable). I found both Boars Head and Land o' Lakes American cheese in the deli section at my grocery store.

Nutrition

Calories: 113kcal · Carbohydrates: 2g · Protein: 5g · Fat: 9g · Saturated Fat: 5g · Cholesterol: 29mg · Sodium: 491mg · Potassium: 55mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 1g · Vitamin A: 305IU · Vitamin C: 3mg · Calcium: 308mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{originally posted 10-4-13 – recipe notes and photos updated 4-17-20)

It's easier than you think to make restaurant style queso at home!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Katy says

    Oh no… it’s dangerous how easy & delicious this recipe is. I was practically licking the bowl. I’m in trouble now! 😂 Thank you for this fabulous recipe!5 stars

  2. Mark burns says

    Maybe you need to brush up on your cooking skills !! It’s sad that people knock stuff that is successful until it reaches their own skill set.5 stars

  3. Shayla says

    Definitely tastes like queso, but it tastes more like the shelf-stable queso rather than restaurant queso. Still super good, but not exactly what I’m looking for. Thank you for the recipe.4 stars

  4. Corey says

    Tried it with the evaporated milk. After an hour of trying to get it right I threw it away. Tasted more like a spicy mac and cheese sauce than good queso. We go to an authentic Mexican restaurant that has amazing queso so we wanted to try and make it. I’m guessing they use a special Mexican cheese that people are trying to replicate with these recipes but its just not even close to the real thing. We’ll stick with going out for good queso1 star

  5. Pam Bergerson says

    Eight minutes, stirring every minute and cheese and liquid never melded. Cheese became a chewy blob and liquid was well, runny. Followed recipe exactly and It’s not that hard, so no idea why it wouldn’t blend. Good flavor but disappointing.1 star

    • Mary Younkin says

      I can’t imagine what went wrong, Pam. It’s usually a bit of a mess right up until it stirs together. But in 8 minutes, it always comes together. I wonder if the microwave was simply not at a high enough power?

  6. Justin says

    My cheese separated after 4 minutes and could not be fixed even after continuing to microwave. The author must have a low-level microwave, since I think my cheese got overheated1 star

  7. Mike Roise says

    I couldn’t find white american cheese in MN, so I gambled with my favorite processed cheese food. And also apparently wasn’t paying attention and used 1 lb, rather than 1/2 lb…and also, also used a mini-crockpot rather than the microwave.

    So while I didn’t craft it as written, the results were spectacular – thanks for the inspiration. And for those who aren’t fond of nuking your cheese, a crockpot on low for a couple hours works just as good.5 stars

  8. Betsy Widdop says

    This is as close to Pancho’s white cheese dip as I have found. After moving away from Memphis a year ago, and not being able to find anything similar in the stores or restaurants here in Eugene, I’m delighted that I can now quit looking. Thank you.5 stars

  9. Nicole Frausto says

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for the super fast and easy recipe.
    Made this for the first time on Sunday and here it is Thursday and I am already making it again.
    On Sunday I followed the recipe exactly. I used the boars head sliced white american cheese. this really is perfect, because you can just cut the slices into smaller squares. The queso was delicious, but really liquidy. my husband was working the microwave and he let it boil over on the last iteration of stiring. Today, however I followed the same process except I left out the water and I measured out the cumin to 1/4tsp.. and after only 3 iterations of microwaving and stiring, it was perfectly melted. I was wondering if the whe 5 minutes was imperative or just a starting point.. also I used a covered corningware dish so it didnt splatter. maybe that allowed it to melt a little bit faster. All in all, this is so fast and easy and delicious.. Thanks Mary
    Nicole Frausto5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      It sounds like the covered dish helped speed things up, Nicole. There isn’t a set rule for it at all. You’ll simply warm it until you can stir it together smoothly. I’m glad you are enjoying the queso!

  10. Jen says

    Super yummy. Don’t have a microwave so made it on the stovetop on medium low heat, stirring lots, and it turned out perfectly. Used Boars Head white American cheese from the deli. Will save this recipe and make again. Thank you.5 stars

  11. Jessica Jesso says

    This is horrible! I tried 2 different ways to make this recipe work and both times it seperated, curdled or became unsable. Whoever made this needs to learn how to cook.

    -1 star you should be paying my $60 for the loss of my pot and ingredients I wasted on your recipe.1 star

    • Mary Younkin says

      Well, since most people typically just make this in a glass bowl in the microwave… I’m not real clear on what went wrong for you. It can absolutely be made on the stove though, medium-low heat, stirring constantly. My kids make this pretty much every weekend without my help. Sorry for your frustrations though, I can certainly appreciate the irritation of wasted ingredients. Without being in your kitchen with you, it’s hard to guess exactly what went wrong, but if the mixture appeared curdled or hadn’t come together smoothly, it sounds like it may have needed a few more moments of slow heat or stirring.

  12. Brooke Salazar says

    This makes the perfect Queso. I’ve made a very very similar recipe but what makes this one BETTER is the addition of the pickled jalapeño and it’s juice and the water!! At first you probably think EWW water. But that is what makes it not super thick and like just a big bowl of melted American cheese. In the past I’ve only used milk to thin- but it never lasts long. Last night I had 6 batches of this in a crock pot for a Cub Scout even for almost 4 hours and never got thick and gunky.5 stars

  13. Trevor says

    The first time I made it, it didnt quite thicken how i wished it would. It was delicious, though! And since I had purchased a full lb of cheese I tried it again with better results!

    I’d like to try it on the stove at some point!

    • Mary Younkin says

      As written, this recipe makes about (8) 1/4 cup servings. I’d probably multiply it by 10-12 and make it in a slow cooker or over very low heat on the stove.

  14. Melissa says

    Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! It is exactly what I have been looking for for years. Ever since my local Don Pablo’s restaurant closed, I’ve been searching for a similar queso blanco. I found many places over the years that are close but with the recent economic climate along with a local favorite place getting really stingy on the chips, I’ve been forced to re-create my favorite meals at home. This is one of my all-time favorite things to veg out on and I’m so happy to have found a recipe that is delicious AND simple. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have made this twice so far and have omitted the cumin both times. Absolute perfection!5 stars