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.

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

4.69 from 44 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.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 6 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
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 @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

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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. Anonymous says

    This sounds great! We love Queso dip, and it is about $5.00 for a small dish in the Mexican restaurant we go to. Wonderful to make it at home. Yum!

  2. Velva says

    My son loves queso and I buy it all the time from the grocery store….I am now thinking, "why?" I can make it at home. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Joy Sigler says

    We have tried for years to replicate this dip. Hope I can find white American cheese in our Publix. I have used Montery Jack and that white Mexican cheese and it's just not the same. Thank you ! I always trust your recipes.

  4. Derinda says

    This is delish !!! I made a double batch and it was all gone before it got cold lol. Went and got more stuff to make Sunday again.

  5. Anonymous says

    I tried this tonite and my family loved it. There was not any cheese dip or chips left over. I didn't add the cumin as I didn't have any- but was still very good. I was very pleased that the cheese dip didn't get hard and stayed soft and creamy.

  6. Anonymous says

    I have been looking so long for a recipe for this dip. Thank you so much. It is simply amazing! I couldn't find white American in the deli at any of the local stores but did find White American slices at Walmart. Could hardly wait until I got home to make it. I found that whisking it instead of stirring helps it get creamy faster. My family loves it and can't wait for me to make it again. Which I don't mind doing!

  7. Anonymous says

    when the recipe calls for both green chilies and canned pickled jalapenos am I using both or are those substitutes for each other?

  8. Anonymous says

    will you pleeease help me. I put the cheese, water, milk and other ingredients in as instructed, heated for 5 minutes while stirring every minute, and it was very water and the actual cheese was clumpy. It seemed like the cheese and liquid didnt combine. please help

    • Mary says

      It should be very watery and clumpy right up until it finishes melting and fully combines. It's possible that your dip needed another minute or so of cooking time. I was skeptical until I tried it myself, but I've made this countless times now and it works every time.

    • Mary says

      I've never made this with velveeta, but you can certainly try that. Did you check with the deli to ask about white American cheese? I never have been able to find it just on the shelf. Good luck!

  9. Mike in KY says

    I made this a while back when my neighbors were over for dinner as an appetizer for fajitas and they LOVED it. I had to go and print the recipe for them before they left.

    I also made your Spanish Rice recipe that evening. It made a ton so for the leftovers, I put what was left of the cans of green chiles and pickled jalapenos from making this cheese recipe in the rice along with a pound of cooked sausage. Oh my gosh. That was a meal by itself for several days at work.

  10. Molly says

    So, I just made your queso blanco dip for tonight, and I'm sad to say that I don't think it's going to last. My gosh that is one dangerous bowl of goodness. Forget the chips, give me a spoon!!! Better than the local restaurant.

  11. Anonymous says

    This is it! So glad to have found it – easy to make in the microwave and thickens right up. 1/8 t cayenne makes it jump a little more. Thank you.5 stars

  12. Betty says

    Very good. This will be my “go-to” recipe. I added the 1/4 of water in the first batch but it came out a little watery. So the second time I made it, I skipped the water and it was the perfect consistency5 stars

  13. Michael Richardson says

    So if I am in Mexico, the Mexicans are making “Queso Blanco Dip” with White American Cheese. That is hard to believe.4 stars

    • Mary says

      Just to clarify, this is “queso blanco dip” just like my favorite Mexican restaurants here in the states make it. I certainly didn’t say that it was “authentic just-like-I-ate in Mexico cheese dip.” To the best of my memory, queso isn’t offered nearly as often in Mexico as it is here in our Mexican restaurants.

    • Lisa D says

      You probably won’t find cheese dip in Mexico…or any Central or South American country. According to Nick Rogers, who has researched the history of cheese dip, the dish was invented by Blackie Donnely, the original owner of Mexico Chiquito restaurants. The Mexico Chiquito chain, which now has multiple locations in central Arkansas, was opened by Donnely and his wife in North Little Rock in 1935.

    • Lindsay says

      Mexican cheese can only be found in Mexican grocery stores or online in the States. Authentic Mexican cheese sauces start from a flour and butter base and can take hours to prepare. This is a microwave alternative using comparable cheese most people can find at the grocery store. Also worth mentioning that there is a Central and South America where one could find American cheese. so it’s not that outlandish that they would use American cheese in Mexico.5 stars

  14. Robert says

    Here’s a tip: When there is no prepackaged American cheese but it’s sold at the deli, it is typically in a long rectangular shape. Ask them to open the slicer to the widest it will go (it should be around an inch). This will cut a solid chunk off, and it’s 1/2 pound.4 stars

  15. Natalie says

    There are so many Queso Blanco recipes out there; this is my go-to. It’s foolproof, and even freezes and reheats well with a tablespoon more milk (my husband is lactose-free, there’s only so much queso I can eat by myself)! I’m from Houston but have lived in Denver for over a decade and miss real Tex-Mex Queso sometimes – this satisfies that craving without resorting to Velveeta! Thank you!5 stars

  16. Kim says

    I need to try this recipe. It is similar to the one I make.
    1 pkg white American cheese singles
    3/4 C. Jelopeno juice from sliced pickled jalapeños
    1 C. Half and Half
    A couple chopped slices of pickled jalapeños
    Put in glass bowl and microwave in 1 minute periods and stirring after each minute of a total of 5 minutes.
    I melt it and then put it in a bowl in fridge and take out a serving at a time.5 stars

  17. Melody says

    Perfect! & Ready way faster than any recipe I’ve tried stove top. Used all the green chillies in my oven baked chicken chimichangas (look it up on taste of home!! This is wonderful over top of them!). I ended up using cilantro instead of the chilles (it was already cut up) and worked fine. Jalapenos ended up giving it just the right amount of heat my 3 year old could still eat it. We ate the rest with chips. As advertised great with whatever you want to put it on it!5 stars

  18. Greta says

    This is absolutely the BEST Queso Blanco recipe!!! So delicious on Mexican rice and it was gobbled up as an appetizer! I will definitely make this again and again! Better than the restaurant!!! Thanks so much!!!5 stars

  19. Kristin says

    As an authority on queso, this recipe is all wrong. First of all, velveeta/processed cheese melts the best. Any other cheese gets clumpy. Never, ever use cheddar or Monterrey cheeses either. Some recipes call for flour. This makes it taste chalky.
    Secondly, pico de gallo is required. Most supermarkets these days have it already prepared. Thirdly, you need garlic powder and onion powder to accompany the cumin. Milk and water do not mix well with processed cheese. It separates. You need to use evaporated milk. I use 3/4 of a can or the whole can, depending on how much cheese I use. The queso should be creamy and dipable. It should never have a thick consistency.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hey Kristin, it would appear that you didn’t read the recipe – or look at the creamy, dippable cheese in the photos. (And isn’t it fun to think we’re our own authorities on cheesy deliciousness?) American cheese IS a processed cheese and it melts wonderfully, especially when combined with milk and water in this recipe. I wish you all the best in your queso-making adventures.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Victoria, if you watch the video for how to make this very easy recipe, you’ll see that the milk and cheese do not combine smoothly until the very end. It does, however, work perfectly every time. We’ve made this queso recipe for five years now, as have many readers. Did you pause the microwave to stir every minute for the full five minutes? (Lastly, please note that I will not publish profanity on this website, so I have edited your comment to be more polite. I welcome criticism and comments of all kinds, but please speak politely.) All the best, Mary

    • Sarah says

      The only people giving this a bad review did not follow directions step by step, including weighing the cheese. Even if you buy a half lb of presliced American cheese, it probably isn’t exactly a half lb. Get the cheese from the deli. Follow directions verbatim. And your queso will be delicious.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      I agree, Sarah. It’s beyond simple, but it is “fussy” in that you must follow the directions and stir frequently. Getting the cheese from the deli is the only way I make this!

  20. Irritated Reader says

    You are bad cook lady!!1! It did not turn out well at all. I substituted Apple butter for the milk, and Bell peppers for the jalapenos. Also it boiled over on the stove, what a mess! And dinner was ruined, in case you were wondering. If this easy to use website wasn’t completely free, I would ask for a refund!5 stars

  21. Laurie says

    DELICIOUS!!! I served this at bunco night. The ladies were licking the bowl. I have made it since and it has turned out perfect every time.5 stars

  22. Derrick says

    To the people that are saying this recipe sucks, it’s the cook not the recipe! I’ve made this exact recipe dozens of times now and it’s been great every time as long as I followed the directions. I use it for my fajita nachos that are a huge hit every time. Now I will say this when I first started using the recipe I did find that if I used anything other than the white American cheese from the deli then it wouldnt melt correctly and was kinda grainy. Even though it was the same brand of cheese in the deli, the pre sliced stuff will not work as good. Upon ready the ingredients on both I found out that the pre sliced stuff has some things in it the deli doesn’t. I’m guessing it has something to do with whatever preservative are used. Again as long as you do exactly what is instructed here it’ll turn out great. Don’t use the oven! Don’t substitute ingredients! If you do and it turns out wrong it’s no one else’s fault but your own! One last thing. I usually make double what is here and just doubling all the ingredients works perfectly. Just don’t forget the cook time will increase as well. I find cooking it for 1 minute 30 seconds at a time is pretty good. bon Appétit!5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Derrick! I am so happy to hear that you love the queso as much as we do! You’re right in that if you follow the directions as written, it works out perfectly every single time.

  23. Brandy Mize says

    This is amazing. I was skeptical as I kept heating it up, but it is GOOOOOOD. My 15-year old son said it’s like a restaurant. I’ll definitely do this again. I didn’t add Chiles bc I was working off of two diff recipes but I added chopped jalapeños. I’m actually looking forward to trying Chiles. Great recipe. Thanks!!!!!5 stars

  24. Sharon Goodman says

    It sounds delicious I can’t wait to try this I know it will be great thank you for all your recipe they are great!!!!!5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Any grocery store should have them, Chris. Typically on the top shelf in a jar or small can. (I don’t know if they actually say “pickled” jalapenos. Any jalapeno in liquid works.)

  25. Iris says

    Help i made this dip as listed it just separated into a mass of melted cheese and whey i followed the recipe exactly

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Iris, did you stop the microwave to stir the dip every 60 seconds as the directions describe? If you don’t stir every minute, the dip won’t turn out smooth or creamy.

    • Laree Blagg says

      I followed this exactly like instructions said. I did use Montery Jack Cheese. Just a big blob of cheese and milky liquid.

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m guessing it didn’t cook long enough, Laree. It stay separate as you’ve described right up until the end when stirring it pulls everything together.

  26. Tara says

    So good! I made this for the first time a couple of weeks ago and have made it at least two more times since then. I think I need to buy stock in white American cheese now 🙂 My husband and kids love it…, it tastes just like the queso from our favorite local Mexican restaurant. Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  27. Patti says

    We love queso blanco dip at our house and right not we can’t find it at the grocery store so I tried this dip last night. It turned out great! I followed the recipe as written and it all came together nicely. It did boil over during the 4th minute, maybe my microwave is higher wattage?? Anyway, I just needed to stir it and it was fine. Next time I will try 30 seconds after that 3rd minute. I will also add extra jalapeno but that’s personal taste. Thanks for sharing your the recipe!5 stars

  28. Sherri says

    Made this today. I omitted the water but added some pico instead. It’s a bit runnier than I’d like but it has a great taste to it. Added fuzzy dust in place of the cumin. If you’ve ever ate at Fuzzy’s Tacos you know what fuzzy dust is. There’s actually a recipe for it on pinterest if you’re interested. They sprinkle it on chips. Yummy ! I just wished I had a bit more cheese but my fault for adding too much liquid with the pico. I’ll be making this again and again!! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  29. Gerri Bigler says

    I’ve tried several recipes and have always been disappointed. This was wonderful!! It was a bit too watery, and didn’t thicken, so I tossed in some shredded monterey jack I had in the fridge. Perfect!! Thank you!5 stars

  30. Kristy says

    I just had to comment and say this is by far THE WORST queso recipe I’ve ever made. I’m crying over the stove trying to make this… Manageable. Literally. Horrible.

    • Mary Younkin says

      First of all, sorry to hear you’re crying over the queso, Kristy. That said, it’s intended to be a microwave recipe. Yes, you can make it on the stove, but it needs to be super low heat until everything comes together and it’s smooth. Unfortunately, you didn’t give me any description of the problem whatsoever, so I can’t really troubleshoot it with you.

  31. Jodi says

    Is there a way to cook this without a microwave? We don’t have one but would like to try this recipe. Thanks!

  32. Jean McC says

    Thanks for posting this!! Where did you get the tin ware in your photo? It’s a perfect serving dish.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Jean, I’m so glad you like the queso. I love that little cast iron crock so much that I actually bought it from a local restaurant – right off our table.

    • Mary Younkin says

      That’s not how it should have turned out, if made according to directions, Jonathon. Did you by chance substitute any ingredients?

  33. Alicia says

    Made this for Dinner and it was delish!!!!! I didn’t even follow the recipe exact. I use what I had on hand… I used less amount of cheese don’t really know the amount I just guessed at it. I used Almond Milk instead of regular milk (on a low carb diet). With that being said, I just guessed at the amount of water and milk since I didn’t use the amount of cheese that this recipe called for. I only let mine go in Microwave for 3 minutes…… I put it over some shrimp and peppers fajitas….and this sauce combined with the homemade marinade I made for the peppers and shrimp combined was nothing short of perfection ….truly delish….I think when people get to cooking and miss the mark when trying different recipes from awesome blogs such as this, they put to much thought into it…You can always go back and add more of the necessary ingredients to get the right Taste and Texture……….Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  34. Jen says

    It’s been very challenging to find our favorite queso lately, so we decided give this a shot. While it’s not our usual queso, this is so very yummy and will become a staple in the house when I feel the urge for queso. It was very thin after cooking the 5 minutes in the microwave so we added some additional cheese which overpowered the queso but all in all it was acceptable and delicious. Will definitely make again!5 stars

  35. Kristin says

    Been searching for the perfect queso recipe, and this is it! Did mine on the stove instead of the microwave and it turned out great! There were no leftovers!5 stars

  36. Stephanie Harrity says

    Could you make this and keep it in a small crock pot on warm for dipping throughout the night at a party?

  37. Angela says

    This dip is so delicious! Thank you for sharing it! My sister made it at her house one day and I had to have the recipe! I’m making it right now as I type this. I love queso but this one is seriously one of the best I’ve ever had!5 stars

  38. Linda B says

    I made this with only a small change my kids and I don’t like chunks of pepers ( chunkage ) in dips so I left out the pepers and added extra of the pickled jalapenos juice and it was the total bomb will be making again… Thank You for the recipe..

  39. Jennifer Hall says

    I really want to make this for my staff tomorrow at our Teacher In Service day. Can I make it in the crockpot? If I keep going back to stir it?