Down in Texas, we love a few things very much, BBQ, peppers, spice, and chile con queso. The best part is it does not take long to make, around 15 minutes.
There are wide different varieties of queso, and it can be spicy or mild depending on the ingredients used.
A lot of people think of homemade queso as Velveeta with peppers. Real chile con queso dips use all-natural ingredients resulting in a depth of flavor like no other. Our recipe can be made using the Instant Pot or on the stovetop.
⬇️ Table of Contents
🧀 What Is Chile con Queso?
Chile con queso dip is a cheesy recipe with chili peppers. It's commonly eaten as a dip or sauce and can be utilized in place of cheese in tacos or burritos. Chile con queso is a recipe made with cheddar cheese or a quality blend of South American cheese.
The chiles can be fresh, canned, dried, mild, or spicy chili peppers.
Why This Recipe Works
We use easy-to-find ingredients from your local grocery store. Each ingredient brings something to the table. The result is an authentic chile con queso with real flavor where you can taste each ingredient.
Queso is not just another cheese appetizer; yet it's a Tex-Mex staple of southwest and south-of-the-border cuisine.
Mexican Blend of Cheeses
- Sharp Cheddar cheese
- Monterey Jack cheese
- Colby cheese
- Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese - brings great flavor and color
- Cream Cheese - is a must ingredient to achieve the perfect texture
Peppers and Chiles 🌶️
- Green Hatch Chiles
- Pimento peppers
- Adobo Sauce
Spices and Herbs 🌿
- Chili Powder - the best chili powders come from San Antonio and New Mexico
- Cumin - For best results, toast whole cumin seed in a dry pan until you can smell the aroma, then use a spice grinder
- Granulated Garlic
Use a medium to a large pot to cook over the stove on a medium-low, or use the Instant Pot or Crock-Pot. The chile con queso turns out the same in all three ways. We enjoy the Instant Pot for the reason it is one pot to serve, one pot to clean up.
Start the queso by making a simple roux of flour and butter cooked together into it becomes a paste. Then cook a little to hydrate the roux, about 2 minutes. The flavored roux will be the base of the chile con queso recipe.
First, turn the Instant Pot on to saute mode on high, or use a large pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
While the Instant Pot or stovetop pot is heating up, add the onions. Use a handheld cheese grater, and grate half of one large onion into the instant pot. Use whichever onion you enjoy best; we used Texas Sweet Vidalia onion.
Add 4 tablespoons of cubed butter to the instant pot or stovetop pot and allow it to melt. While the butter is melting, add 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and begin stirring and saute everything together.
Using a cheese grater, shave fresh jalapeno into the pot. Make sure all the ingredients are mixed well. Add a little bit more than half of the jalapeno.
Have 4 cups of whole milk pre-measured before beginning this step. ⬇️
Add one 8 oz package of cream cheese and completely melt.
Add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Make sure you keep stirring and cook out the raw flour.
While cooking the raw flour, you'll begin to notice the queso base starts to thicken up. This is the main reason to have the whole milk measured and ready to go standing by.
Add in 2 cups of whole milk, adding it a little at a time until incorporated.
Mix and stir out any possible lumps at this point. You can start adding an additional 2 cups of whole milk at this point while stirring. Once cheese goes in and melts you can control the thickness of your chile con queso by adding more milk.
If you like your Chile con Queso to a certain thickness, add more or less whole milk. You'll need at least 4 cups. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will become. If you add too much milk, allow it to cook at a low temperature and the queso will thicken.
🌶️ Spices and Herbs for Chile con Queso
A great chile con queso recipe is the balancing act of great cheeses, spices, and herbs. Queso does not have to be complicated. A few good ingredients, using good technique.
Before you begin making the roux, have all your ingredients measured out and ready to go. Making queso does not take long, around 15 minutes.
- High-Quality Chili Powder - 1 ½ teaspoon
- Granulated Onion Powder - Add 1 to 2 teaspoons
- Dried Oregano - Add 1 teaspoon
- Canned Green Chiles - Mild - Rotel works well as a replacement ingredient
- Add Pimentos - 4 tablespoons
- One full bag of shredded cheese - 4 Cups
- Add shredded "Extra" Sharp Cheddar Cheese - 1 cup
- Add 4 teaspoons for more of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
👪 Serving the Queso
Use the Instant Pot "Keep Warm" setting to keep your Texas Queso warm for your guests. If the chile con queso begins to tighten up too much, you can add more milk to smoothen it out.
The next option is using a crockpot set to low temperature.
Or keeping the pot on the stovetop, set to the lowest temperature setting. The cheese will stay hot for a long time.
The buffet-style works well. Place the pot on a heat-safe coster.
Queso Recipe with Velveeta
This simple queso recipe using Velveeta is loved by most and is very easy to make. There is just something about Velveeta cheese. The color is classic when combined with Rotel you have solid queso. Queso with Velveeta recipe is an easy go-to for any party.
- Velveeta cheese (16-ounce package/1pound)
- Rotel - dried tomatoes and green chilies (10-ounce can), comes in mild, hot, chunky, fire-roasted, chipotle flavors.
- Water (8 ounces) start with less and mix and adjust the consistency to your liking.
The amount: 1 quart (¼ of a gallon)
💭 Queso Faqs
What are some of the most popular ingredients for queso?
How Long Does Queso Last?
How Can Queso Be Fixed That Is Too Thick
Can I Use Low Fat Milk
Using low-fat products, you can add in a small amount of bacon grease to up the flavor profile.
The end result will still be less fat than with normal milk products with the addition of the bacon grease.
What is the best way to eat queso?
Posts To Check Out
- Types of Cheese A to Z
- 45 Types of Peppers | A to Z | Defined | Photos
- Garden Fresh Uncle Bobby's Banana Pepper Salsa
- Texas Guacamole
- Hottest Peppers In The World
- Homemade Pimento Cheese
Chile Con Queso
Base / Roux
- 4 tablespoon Butter
- ½ large Texas Sweet Onion Use your favorite onion
- 2 tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 3 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- 4 cups Whole Milk Have more milk on standby. You may need to fix the thickness
- ½ Jalapeno Ad as much as you enjoy
- 1 cup Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese Grated
- 8 oz Cream Cheese Room temperature is best
- 16 oz Mexican Blend of Cheese / 1 bag
Spices & Herbs & Peppers
- 5 tablespoon Canned Green Chiles
- 4 tablespoon Canned Pimentos
- 1 tablespoon Smokey Chili Powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 2 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
- 1 T Kocher Salt Add more if desired
Main Special Ingredient
- 4 teaspoon Adobo Sauce Canned chipotles - use the adobo sauce and add the smoked chipotles for extra heat/spiciness
Making The Base / Roux
- Set the Instant Pot to "Saute" on the high-temperature setting.Using a hand grater, grate half of one large onion right over the top of the Instant Pot. Add in 4 tablespoons of butter.While the butter is still melting, add in the 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and cook off the raw.Next, add the minced jalapeno. You can use the hand grater. Add around ½ of the jalapeno pepper.Then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour into the Instant Pot or stovetop pot. Cook off the flour while stirring.
Making the Queso
- Next, add in the 8 oz of room temperature cream cheese and completely melt.Have the milk measured out and be ready to start pouring once it begins to thicken up.I suggest measuring out the first 2 cups along with the second edition of 2 cups for a total of 4 cups.Add in the first 2 cups of milk slowly and keep stirring the entire time. Room temperature milk combines better and a smoother texture.Next, comes the cheeses. Add the bag of mixed Mexican cheese first then follow with the sharp cheddar. Add as much of the extra sharp cheddar as you like. You can thin out the queso with more milk if too thick.
- The Chiles and HerbsNext, add 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of cumin, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and 1 tablespoon of salt.Tastes, season and adjust. Does it need more salt?If you're not sure, you can take a small amount into a side bowl and add salt, and taste test.
- FinishingAdd the green chiles, pimentos & adobo sauce last.Add more of each ingredient to your liking. Adding more adobo sauce will make the queso a darker color and will have a more overall smokey flavor. Very nice addition.When shopping for the green chiles, they come in different heat levels. I used mild.For an extra kick of spice, add in ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- For presentation chile con queso usually has a garnish placed on top in the middle of the serving dish Options:- Pico de Gallo Salsa (tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, a pinch of cumin, and salt.- Plate with a small amount of the adobo sauce in the middle- Add some cooked ground beef seasoned with taco seasonings right in the middle of the bowl, then top with pico de Gallo salsa
- Commercial cheese at the store only has to be 51% real cheese to be sold as "Cheese".
- What is a roux?
- The milk is your insurance to control the thickness. Have extra milk ready to pour if needed. Around 4 cups will do the job.
- As the Texas Queso sits around, it will thicken. The fix is to make the queso a little bit thinner in the first place to give it room to tighten up.