Tips For The Best Cheese Dip
- The cheese dip will be a little runny at first, but will nicely thicken as it cools. With that said, this dip is best enjoyed right after making.
- You can always scale down the ingredients for a smaller party or make a double batch for a bigger game day get-together.
- Buy the best quality cheddar cheese you can for the best flavor.
What Makes This The Best Queso Recipe
Ive tested and developed four different versions of queso and the one that I liked the best uses canned evaporated milk in the mix. The intense milky flavor isnt heavy and rich like dips that use cream or half and half, nor does it have a starchy consistency, which sometimes happens when you use a thickener like roux .
I use a blend of Cheddar and Colby Jack cheese and skip the American or Velveeta. If you like a more classic version of queso, you can substitute shredded American cheese for the Colby Jack.
Most queso thickens a bit as it cools down, but this recipe is also designed to not solidify when cool, meaning you can still dip into it at room temperature! Making it perfect for parties or game night.
Finally my version has fresh chopped garlic and onions for flavor, as well as dried spices like cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. Theres also a touch of mustard which grounds the queso and gives it a little earthy depth. Both the mustard and the little bit of cornstarch work as emulsifiers to help keep the queso from getting grainy or gritty.
Tips For Cheese Sauce Success
Here are a few tips to help make sure your nacho cheese sauce is a success:
- Make sure to cook the flour in the butter for one minute. This helps cook out the floury flavor.
- Use medium cheddar for smoother results. Sharp cheddar tends to break or become grainy easier than medium cheddar.
- Remove the pot from the heat before stirring in the cheese. Overheating the sauce once the cheese has been added can cause the sauce to seize up and become thick and/or grainy. If needed, use only low heat to help the cheese fully melt.
- Use block cheese and hand shred it when possible. Pre-shredded cheeses sometimes contain a lot of anti-caking powders, which can cause a powdery flavor in your cheese sauce.
Scroll down for the step by step photos!
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How To Make Queso In An Instant Pot
“I made some adjustments to the peppers because of my personal spice tolerance. It’s a really good recipe.”Allrecipes member Sarah
How To Make The Best Homemade Queso Dip
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If youre looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and cook the white onion and garlic until tender and fragrant.
Step 2 Add the cheese, evaporated milk, tomato, chiles, milk, flour, and salt and pepper to saucepan, then cook and stir until the cheese is melted and creamy.
Step 3 Serve queso dip with chips and enjoy!
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Special Equipment For This Recipe
- Saucepan I generally make this dip in my trusty saucepan.
- Skillet But for serving, something like this is great for keeping the dip warm.
- Mini Slow Cooker If I need to keep this dip warm for longer periods of time, this little crockpot is great.
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AND DONT FORGET, IF YOUVE MADE THIS RECIPE, LEAVE A COMMENT AND PLEASE GIVE IT A STAR RATING LETTING ME KNOW HOW YOU ENJOYED IT!
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How To Use Queso Fresco Cheese
Queso fresco is often used as a topping or a filling. It can be added to salad, particularly Mexican salad, and it is often used as a topping on tacos or Spanish rice. It can be added to burritos, enchiladas, and wraps.
A lot of times, ques fresco is used to balance out the hot and spicy flavor of a Latino dish, so if your dish is too spicy, try adding extra queso fresco to it.
You dont need to melt it, and this kind of queso is often served cold rather than hot and melted like queso blanco. This fresh cheese is mildly salty and kind of milky, and you may find it a good alternative to mozzarella or other kinds of cheeses you are more used to eating.
Try it on any dish you would normally use cheese with to give the dish a different flavor and look. You might be pleasantly surprised at how it changes things up and yet still helps the dish retain a cheesy flavor.
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How To Make Queso Dip
What Is The Best Cheese For Queso
When it comes to crave-worthy queso, the key is to use cheeses that have a sharpness to them. Extra-sharp cheddar accomplishes that wonderfully. To balance the sharp cheddar, I added full-fat cream cheese to provide additional tang and smooth out the dips texture.
If sharp cheddar isnt your thing, you can use other cheeses. In fact, most restaurants actually use Velveeta or American cheese to make their queso. If you decide to use either of these, use the same amount as you would for the cheddar. Because both of these cheeses are made for melting, you can dice them instead of shredding.
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Homemade Queso With Real Cheese
You can easily make homemade queso with real cheese in a cast-iron skillet for a delicious appetizer any time of the day.
Cheese is one of my weaknesses. I love cheese. Therefore, I also really enjoy queso. But I dont like eating processed cheese and a lot of recipes call for processed cheese. I prefer to make my homemade queso with REAL cheese.
My recipe uses a mixture of cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. I made this in the cast-iron skillet which was great for having it ready quickly. Otherwise, the slow cooker is a great option if you want to let it slowly cook throughout the day. Just make sure you stir now and then while the cheese is melting.
The Secret To Smooth Queso
The bane of every queso-makers existence is curdling. The use of cream cheese in my queso guards against this common issue. The stabilizers in the cream cheese work to prevent the cheese from curdling when heated. This works to our advantage in the queso dip because, unlike hard cheeses like cheddar which can separate when heated, the cream cheese will melt and make the dip homogeneous.
More tips for super smooth queso:
- In addition to the cream cheese, I use evaporated milk as the base for the cheesy dip.
- Reducing the amount of water in the sauce also prevents that dreaded curdling.
- Pay close attention to the temperature of the sauce after the cheese has been added. This is crucial in achieving a smooth queso. Maintaining a low temperature and a wee bit of patience will set you up for success. No bubbles should break the surface of the dip once youve added the cheese.
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Recipe For Quick Cheese Dip
Ingredients for the cheese dip.
For this cheese dip you will only need 4 ingredients: butter, flour, milk and cheese. Add some salt and cayenne pepper if you like.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring all the time with a spatula. Whisk in half of the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Then gradually add the rest of the milk and cook until you get a creamy sauce about 1-3 minutes.
Turn heat to low and stir in the cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted. You may add up to two tablespoons more milk if the consistency is rather thick. Season with salt and cayenne pepper, to taste.
Pretzel Bite sitting in a pool of cheese dip. I want that too!
Enjoy immediately with Pretzel Bites, Tortilla Chips or anything else.
If you are looking for a genius Pretzel Bite recipe, you can find it here.
For reheating: You can either reheat the dip in a small bowl in the microwave or you heat it in a small saucepan . But I assure you, there wont be any leftovers -)
We made two different kinds of cheese dips: The easy cheese dip and the cheese dip with bacon and beer.
We still cant settle on which dip is better: The Quick Cheese dip or the Cheese Dip with Bacon and Beer in the blue dish. To come to a compromise, we simply made both -)
Why This Is The Best Queso Recipe
White Queso Dip is the stuff dreams are made of. A great salsa or queso recipe can be life changing!
Ive been on the hunt for the perfect white cheese dip recipe for years and years, and this one has finally completed me. If you havent made homemade queso blanco before, then today is the day.
I feel like Ive been searching for the perfect restaurant style queso recipe to serve on Taco Night, Super Bowl, and Cinco de Mayo my entire life. One thats smooth, creamy, cheesy, and just perfect for dipping, nachos, and pouring over my favorite Tex-Mex dishes.
Making restaurant style Mexican cheese dip is SUPER EASY and amazingly addictingso youve been warned.
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How To Thicken The Dip
I add cornstarch to the cheese which will help thicken up the dip as the ingredients are incorporated and melt on the stove. It takes about 10 minutes to get the sauce to thicken and it will thicken even more as the cheese dip cools.
If you like it even thicker, create a slurry using 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/2 tablespoon of water. Combine the two until it creates a white paste and add it to the dip and stir. After several minutes it will thicken more.
How To Store Queso
I always question the best way to store leftovers and how long will leftovers last. To store extra queso, youll want to allow it to cool and then place it in an airtight container. You can keep the queso in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
You can also freeze extra queso by placing it into an airtight storage container or plastic zip-closure bas and then place in the freezer. To thaw, place the queso in the refrigerator for 1-2 days and then warm slowly in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Whats The Best Cheese For Homemade Queso
You can make queso with almost any cheese youd like, but that comes with a little bit of caution. Without stabilizers, cheese sauces and dips have a tendency to break or separate when reheated. They can also become grainy, meaning that the milk solids and fat of the cheese has separated.
Dont let this scare you, though. There are fixes and quite frankly, Ive personally enjoyed many batches of grainy or slightly separated cheese sauces and not been one bit concerned. I mean, come on, it is cheese sauce and that means its delicious, grainy or not.
So you can use just about any cheese to make queso cheddar, Monterey Jack, Gruyère, fontina or another melty cheese.
That said, for the meltiest, creamiest queso, use some American cheese. Why? American cheese has emulsifiers added that makes sure that as it melts , it stays creamy and melty. You can use the slices or go to the deli counter and ask for a slab off of the big block of American cheese. American cheese is the secret to smooth, grainy free queso.
You can use 100% American cheese or mix the American cheese with another cheese like Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or a sharp cheddar. I like a 50-50 blend of American and cheddar. If you wanted to make queso blanco, make sure that you use white American cheese and white cheddar.
Tips For Homemade Queso Dip
- In this queso recipe, there are so many bold ingredients to add flavor, so we dont need to rely on the flour to build flavor. Cornstarch is the answer for a very smooth creamy consistency.
- Its also important to mention that block cheese, shredded at home, produces a much better texture than pre-shredded cheese covered in additives to ward off clumping.
- Once youve scalded the half & half keep the heat down and be patient as you slowly stir in the fresh shredded cheese.
Youll be amazed by how rich, creamy, and zesty this smoky homemade queso sauce is.
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Can You Make This Dip In Advance
Yes, you can. Once made, this dip can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to eat. However, the dips consistency will become almost a solid once chilled and will need to be reheated to become a creamy liquid again.
If the dip is too thick once reheated, try adding a few splashes of milk. Or, if you find the dip is too watery, just heat the dip until some of the moisture cooks out.
Making Your Own Queso Dip
Making your own batch of queso at home is actually quite simple. This one is made with cheese, diced green chiles and pickled jalapeños. For a dairy-free version, try our crave-worthy vegan queso .
Here are the basic steps :
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Tips For Making Queso Even Better
Queso is a great base for creating all sorts of dips. Here are some ideas:
- You can switch up the yellow cheddar with a pepper jack or white cheddar to create white queso.
- Bulk up your queso by adding a pound of cooked, crumbled chorizo or taco meat.
- Steamed sweet corn, bacon, or even brisket are also great stir-ins.
For this recipe, Im just topping my queso with a vibrant pico de gallo.
How To Make Nacho Cheese Sauce
Step 1: add the heavy cream to a pan and warm it to medium heat, but do not boil.
Step 2: Once your heavy cream is warm, add the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cornstarch, and freshly grated colby jack cheese.
Stir or whisk the cheese sauce often for three to five minutes, until thick.
The longer you stir over low to medium heat, the thicker it becomes.
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Tips And Tricks For Making Queso
- Buy block cheese instead of the pre-shredded kind. The pre-shredded cheese at the grocery store is often covered with additives that are meant to reduce clumping, which doesnt always produce the best texture when melted.
- For the creamiest results, use 2% or whole milk.
- I prefer adding the canned diced tomatoes and green chiles at the end because it keeps the tomatoes from getting too mushy.
- If the queso dip is too thick, stir in a splash of milk until it reaches your desired consistency.