Down in Texas, we love a few things very much, BBQ, peppers, spice, and chile con queso dip. The best part, it does not take long to make, around 15 minutes.
A lot of people think of homemade queso dip as Velveeta mixed with Rotel. Which isn't all too bad, besides all the stuff added to Velveeta.
Instead, real chile con queso dip uses 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.
🧀 What Is Queso?
The word queso translates to "cheese"
Why This Recipe Works
We use easy-to-find ingredients from your local grocery store. Each ingredient bringing something to the table. The result is a queso dip with real flavor where you can taste each ingredient.
Queso is not just another cheese dip recipe, yet it's a Tex-Mex staple of southwest, and south of the border cuisine.
The Cheeses 🧀
- Mexican Blend Bag of Cheese - which includes: sharp Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, Colby cheese
- Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese - brings great flavor and color
- Cream Cheese - a must ingredient to achieve the perfect texture
The Peppers / Chilies 🌶️
- Green Hatch Chilies
- Pimento peppers
Key Ingredient Adobo (Recipe: Chipotles in Adobo Sauce)
Spices & Herbs 🌿
- Chili Powder - my favorite chili powders come from San Antonio (shop here) & New Mexico (shop here)
- Cumin - best results, toast whole cumin seed in a dry pan until you can smell the aroma, then use a spice grinder
- Granulated Garlic
I love using the Instant Pot or Crock-Pot when making chile con queso dip. One-pot to make, one-pot to serve, one-pot to clean up.
Directions below for stovetop or Instant Pot
Begin By Making The Roux
The flavored roux will be the base of our chile con queso recipe.
First, turn the Instant Pot on to saute mode on high(More), or place a large pot on the stovetop, on medium-high heat.
While the Instant Pot or the stovetop is heating up, add the onion. Use a handheld cheese grater, 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 into the instant pot/or stovetop pot and allow to melt. While the butter is melting add in 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and begin stirring.
Using a cheese grater, shave fresh jalapeno into the instant pot. Make sure all ingredients are mixed well. Add a little bit more than half of the jalapeno.
Before adding the all-purpose flour, add one 8 oz package of cream cheese and completely melt. Have your milk pre-measured out before beginning this step.
Add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Make sure you keep stirring and cook out the raw flour.
- Cooking out the raw flour. You'll notice everything starts to tighten up. Have your whole milk ready standing by.
Add in 2 cups of all-purpose flour, adding it a little at a time until incorporated.
Mix/stir, work out any possible lumps at this point. You can start adding in the 2 cups or more of whole milk. This is the first addition of milk. Once cheese goes in and melts you can control the thickness of your queso by adding more milk.
If you like your Queso dip a certain thickness/viscosity add more or less 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 dip will tighten up.
Spices & Herbs
A great chile con queso is the balancing act of great cheeses, spices, and herbs. Queso dip 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 Tips
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.
Finished Chile Con Queso with Adobo & Pico Garnish
📖 Recipes To Try
- Garden Fresh Uncle Bobby's Banana Pepper Salsa
- Texas Charred Peppers Salsa
- King Ranch Chicken Casserole
- Homemade Pimento Cheese
Queso with Velveeta Recipe
This simple recipe is loved by almost everyone. There is something about Velveeta cheese. Sure, the color is perfect. But then combine with Rotel you have a solid queso dip. 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
Quality/Amount: 1 quart (¼ of a gallon)
Covered in the refrigerator you can enjoy queso for up to 7 days.
Hot queso over time will begin to thicken, tighten up. This is caused by the heat. To fix all you need to do is add more milk and stir. The queso must be warm when you do this or it will not combine.
Yes, the difference will be in flavor and consistency. To help you can add in a cornstarch slurry to help the thickness.
-using low-fat products you can add in a small amount of bacon grease to up the flavor profile.
-you will still be added less fat than with normal milk products with the addition of the bacon grease.
Chile Con Queso Recipe
Base / Roux
- 4 tablespoon Butter
- ½ large Texas Sweet Onion / use any onion you can find at your grocery store
- 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 / add as much as you enjoy
- 1 cup Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese Grated
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese / room temperature is best
- 16 ounces 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 / you be the judge, 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 (High)/(More) 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 in the minced jalapeno. You can use the hand grater. Add around ½ of the jalapeno pepper.
- Next, add in the 8 oz of room temperature cream cheese and completely melt
- Then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour into the Instant Pot or stovetop pot. Cook off the flour while stirring.
- Have the whole milk measured out and be ready to start pouring once the roux begins to tighten up.I suggest measuring out 2 cups and measure out a second with an additional 2 cups.Add in the first 2 cups of milk slowly and keep stirring the entire time. Room temperature milk combines better, 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.
- Next, add the 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 tablespoon of salt. #stirTastes, 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.
- Finishing: Add the green chiles, pimentos & adobo sauce last(You can 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.
- Dried Guajillo Pepper- Pan roast the peppers first. Then microwave for 4 minutes until soft. Either chop or add to a food processor to combine well. Then mix into your queso.
- Serrano Peppers
- Roasted Poblano Peppers
- For presentation, chile con queso will have something placed in the middle of the serving bowl. 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 controlling 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.