Queso is a Tex-Mex cheese dip that often made by melting Velveeta and stirring in a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles. This made-from-scratch version uses cheddar and Colby Jack cheese, along with garlic, onions and other spices to take you queso dip to the next level! Though it does require some chopping (garlic, onions, tomatoes, jalapeno, green onions, cilantro) the prep time is pretty fast and the results are definitely worth the effort! Be sure to grate the cheese and not use already shredded bagged cheese. The pre-shredded cheese is coated with a substance that prevents the cheese from melting properly and will lead to a gritty queso.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword appetizer, cheese, dip, tex-mex
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
2green onionssliced, green separated from white parts (about 1/4 cup)
2medium garlic clovesminced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2small yellow onionchopped (about 1/2 cup)
1Roma tomato or medium sized tomatodivided (about 1/2 cup)
12ouncescanned evaporated milknot condensed milk
1/2teaspooncayennemore or less depending on your spice level
4ouncesgrated Cheddar Cheesemedium
4ouncesgrated Colby Jack cheese
1jalapenochopped and divided (optional)
1/4cupchopped cilantrostems and leaves roughly separated (optional)
Salt to taste
Place the butter in a medium sized saucepan or skillet. Add the white parts of the sliced green onions, garlic and yellow onion to the saucepan. Cook on medium heat, until the onions have soften softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes. Do not let the onions brown or caramelize.
Once the onions are cooked, add the chopped tomato and cook for 30 seconds until the tomato starts to break down just a tiny bit.
Add the evaporated milk, cornstarch, mustard, cayenne, cumin, and paprika. Stir and heat until the liquid starts to bubble and thicken.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in a handful of grated cheese, let it melt before adding more cheese. Once all the cheese has melted, stir in half the chopped jalapeno and the cilantro stems.
Taste the queso with a tortilla chip (or whatever you plan on serving the queso with). Adjust the queso seasoning by adding salt to it.
Remove from heat, garnish the top with remaining chopped jalapeno, cilantro leaves, the reserve part of the green onions and a sprinkling paprika or cayenne. Serve while warm. Queso will thicken as it cools but won’t solidify, so it will still dippable even at room temperature.
Pro tip: Don't salt the dip until you've tasted it with a tortilla chip or whatever you might be serving it with. Tortilla chips and other foods like celery or carrots differ wildly in salt level. Adjust the salt in the queso to whatever you serve the dip with!