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Queso

This Queso Dip Recipe is an ultra-creamy, ridiculously cheesy, and perfectly seasoned dip begging for some good salted tortilla chips! This recipe couldn't be much easier to make -- it whips together on the stovetop in minutes.
Course Appetizer, Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword Queso, queso dip, queso dip recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 240kcal
Cost $7.53

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups (12 oz./ 3/4ths pound) white American cheese (you'll have to get it at deli counter -- See Note 1)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup green onions whites and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika
  • Fine sea salt and pepper
  • 1 can (4 oz.) fire-roasted diced green chiles Note 2
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk Note 3
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro, optional
  • Tortilla chips, for dipping

Instructions

  • CHEESE PREP: Grate cheese or coarsely chop if already sliced. If you don't have an exact weight, measure to 2-1/2 cups. Toss cheese pieces with cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
  • GREEN ONIONS: Heat stovetop to medium heat. Melt butter in a medium-sized pot. Once melted, add in the thinly sliced green onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  • SPICES AND CHILES: Thoroughly drain the can of green chiles. Add all the green chiles, spices, and salt & pepper (add to your taste preference; I add 1/2 teaspoon of each) to the pot. Stirring, cook for 1-2 minutes or until very fragrant.
  • MILK: Give the can of evaporated milk a good shake and pour into the pot. Stir and bring to a simmer still over medium heat. Do not increase the heat and don't boil! Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium low.
  • CHEESE: Add in the cheese and cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until cheese is melted. This takes a bit of time. You may be tempted to increase the heat, but don't -- this is how you get a grainy dip. Once the cheese is fully melted (sauce will still seem a bit thin, but it thickens as it sits!), taste with a tortilla chip so you can gauge saltiness. Adjust any seasonings/salt to personal preference. Stir in cilantro if using. Remove from heat and serve warm with chips.
  • KEEP IT WARM: Dip will thicken and harden as it cools (just like any melted cheese-filled recipe). It's great right off the stovetop, but will get thicker and thicker the longer it stands. Here's how to keep it nice and creamy for a longer serving period: Transfer to a small crockpot (ideally 2-4 quarts) and set it to "warm". Serve it right out of the slow cooker, stirring it every now and again. Alternatively, when it gets too thick, re-warm over low heat in a pot on the stovetop or microwave (covered) in bursts of 10 seconds until warmed through. If needed, add an extra splash of evaporated milk (while stirring constantly) as you re-heat the dip.
  • STORAGE: Queso will store nicely in the fridge for 3-5 days. Keep it in an airtight container and use the re-heating methods described above. Queso doesn't freeze/thaw well.

Video

Notes

Note 1: White American Cheese (Land O' Lakes recommended): You'll find this variety of cheese at the deli counter (or ordered online for grocery pick-up). If you get thin slices, give them a quick coarse chop OR you can ask whoever is getting you the cheese at the deli counter to do the largest possible slice -- that way you'll get a few blocks you can easily grate on a cheese grater. This cheese is the "secret" to this recipe, so get it if you can! A runner-up would be just regular Cheddar (sharp or extra-sharp for a cheesier flavor).
Note 2: Fire-roasted diced green chiles: These green chiles are charred over a flame before being diced and canned -- you get more flavor without any extra work! Of course, you can get diced green chiles that aren't fire roasted. Choose mild if you're not a fan of heat. If you'd like more heat get a hotter can and/or add in a diced jalapeño. 
Note 3: Evaporated milk: In some countries, it is called unsweetened condensed milk and is shelf-stable. Since 60% of the water has been removed from the fresh milk,  there is less chance of dip separation. We've tried all kinds of dairy products and nothing delivers a better Queso than evaporated milk! By the way, sweetened condensed milk isn't a good substitute -- it contains added sugar and wouldn’t work; it would make it too sweet!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 834mg | Potassium: 235mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 704IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 582mg | Iron: 1mg