Queso Recipe - How to make Homemade White Queso (2024)

Queso Recipe - How to make Homemade White Queso (1)

By: Becky Hardin

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This queso recipe is my very favorite white cheese dip. I’ve always been a huge fan of queso blanco and after developing my own recipe, I’ve made this more times than I can count. I’m so proud that over 3000 home cooks have rated my queso dip as a 5 star recipe.

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This super popular homemade White Queso Dip has been a favorite at my house for years and years. This is my favorite sharable dip to make for Cinco de Mayo, Taco Tuesday, Super Bowl Sunday, or any time we need football snacks. If we are celebrating, we are making this queso dip recipe.

No velveeta here, just real quality cheese and ingredients melted together and ready to dip. Learn how to make queso from scratch, just like what you get at your favorite Mexican restaurant.

Table of Contents

What’s in this Homemade Queso Blanco recipe?

This authentic queso recipe will rivals any from our favorite Mexican restaurants! This has been my go-to white cheese dip for years, and readers seem to agree–it’s delicious, and it’s super easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.

  • White American Cheese: This is the best cheese for white queso dip. Buy slices, or a block, and chop into small cubes so that it melts evenly.
  • Mozzarella: I like to mix in some shredded mozzarella to add more depth of flavor. Shred your own cheese for the best results.
  • Evaporated Milk: This creates a creamy and smooth texture that is ideal for any good queso blanco. Milk, heavy cream, or half and half can be used instead, but evaporated milk has given me the best results.
  • Cornstarch: Helps to thicken the queso sauce mixture to a perfectly dippable consistency. If you prefer a thinner consistency, skip the cornstarch at the start–but keep it on hand in case you need to thicken it later.
  • Jalapenos: These add some heat and spice. You can also use green chiles.
  • Spices: A mix of salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder or cumin, and nutmeg perfect the flavor.

Pro Tip: Cumin and nutmeg add a nice warmth to this queso recipe, but feel free to skip them. Some readers prefer this recipe without them! Our family loves the twist these spices bring, but they are optional. We sometimes also add garlic or onion powder.

Variations and Substitutions

This white queso recipe is pretty simple as is, but it’s fun to play around with different variations.

I love to mix in some chorizo, taco meat or ground beef, or even some rotisserie or shredded chicken (these ingredients should all be fully cooked first). I’ve also added black beans, corn, diced tomatoes (or Rotel), onions, and more for a chunkier cheese dip. Lastly, I sometimes change up the type of cheese and mix in some pepper jack or Monterey jack with the white American cheese.

Whatever way I make this cheese dip, my family gobbles it up.

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How to Store and Reheat Queso Dip

When I leftover cheese dip, I pour it into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

To reheat, I add a splash of milk and heat in the microwave in 15-30 second increments, stirring between each increment to make sure it’s fully heated through.

I do not recommend freezing queso because it will be too grainy when thawed and reheated.

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How to Keep it Warm

It’s normal for queso to harden as it cools, so stir regularly and keep it warm while serving. I like to serve it out of a Crockpot at parties for this reason.

After making queso blanco on the stovetop, pour it into a slow cooker, and set it to WARM. This will keep it hot, smooth, and creamy through the whole party.

Otherwise, just warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir generously once it starts to get cold. If need be, add some milk to thin as you heat.

Serving Suggestions

This white queso is made for dipping tortilla chips, homemade or store-bought.

And don’t stop at dipping, because this queso works as a sauce for all your favorite Mexican dishes. I love to pour it over chicken enchiladas, baked tacos, chicken quesadillas, chicken nachos, these smothered chicken fajitas. The possibilities are endless. My fridge is never without a batch of this white queso ready to go at any moment.

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5-Star Reviews

“Made this today as written. Husband kept going back for more and more spoonfuls while we waited for the rest of the dinner to be done. Then he kept telling me different variation ideas. He loved it and was apparently very inspired by the taste. Will definitely make again soon.” – Kimber

“I don’t know why I’ve never thought to make quest dip at home, but boy am I glad I eventually got around to it. This recipe is PERFECTION!” – Mara

“This was my First time making, and it was a sure hit to the family. It has been ranked to the top 5 favorites. Thank you so much for sharing” – Liz

Watch & Learn

Queso Dip Recipe How to Video

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Recipe

Queso Dip Recipe

4.49 from 3090 votes

Author: Becky Hardin

Prep: 5 minutes minutes

Cook: 10 minutes minutes

Total: 15 minutes minutes

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Serves8

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This White Queso Recipe is a delicious and easy white cheese dip recipe. We tried to make this dip just like the kind we all crave from the local Mexican restaurant. It's made in minutes and sure to please.

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Ingredients

  • 12 ounces evaporated milk (1 can)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 lb white american cheese buy it sliced at the deli counter at your grocery store. Then chop into small squares, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese freshly shredded
  • 2 tablespoons canned jalapenos chopped, or chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder you could also use cumin if you prefer that taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg optional. SEE NOTE ***
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • chopped cilantro tomatoes, and jalapenos for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat evaporated milk over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Stir in the cornstarch and whisk to combine.

    12 ounces evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon cornstarch

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  • Once simmering (bring it to just before boil–when it starts bubbling up the sides, it's ready), immediately reduce heat to low.

  • Immediately stir in the cheese in batches, starting with the white american cheese. As you stir in the cheese, increase heat to medium/low and whisk CONSTANTLY while the cheese melts. Once each batch is melted and creamy, add more. Don't stop stirring–you have to whisk the entire time while adding cheese.

    3/4 lb white american cheese

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  • Once done with the white American cheese, add in the shredded Mozzarella. Again, whisk CONSTANTLY while the cheese melts, insuring you have a creamy blend. If you prefer the cheese a bit thicker, add a bit more Mozzarella.

    4 ounces mozzarella cheese

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  • Once all the cheese is melted, stir in the jalapenos, chili powder, nutmeg, red pepper, and salt and pepper. *** (see note)

    2 tablespoons canned jalapenos, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

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  • (Optional) If you want the queso to be a bit browned (as pictured), pour the queso into a skillet and place in the oven. Broil for 3-4 minutes, or until cheese begins to bubble and brown.

  • Top with cilantro, tomatoes, and more jalapenos if desired.

    chopped cilantro

  • Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

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Last step! Don’t forget to show me a pic of what you made! Upload an image or tag me @thecookierookie on Instagram!

Becky’s tips

***Some readers don’t like the extra spice from the cumin and nutmeg, so feel free to skip or change the spices as you see fit. If you’re not sure, try adding a smidgen of these spices at a time, and make sure you like it before adding the full amount. If you prefer just the cheesy taste, leave them out completely. Thank you to the readers that have given me such good feedback to help make this the best queso recipe!

Tips:

  • Don’t let the milk overheat. Once the milk reaches a light simmer, immediately reduce to low. Never bring the heat over medium/low past that point. Cheese dip that gets too hot and overcooks can become grainy, and we don’t want that!
  • Always be stirring! As you add in batches of cheese to melt, be sure to whisk constantly to make sure it stays creamy and melts perfectly.

Storage: Queso can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. I do not recommend freezing this.

To Reheat: add a splash of milk and heat in the microwave in 15-30 second increments, stirring between each increment to make sure it’s fully heated through.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  1. Set slow cooker to HIGH and add in the evaporated milk/cornstarch and all of the cheese.
  2. Cover and let the cheese fully melt, stirring regularly.
  3. Once melted, switch cooker to LOW and stir in any add-in ingredients and spices.
  4. Keep it in the slow cooker while serving (great option for parties) on warm, and be sure to stir it occasionally.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 263kcal (13%) Carbohydrates: 7g (2%) Protein: 13g (26%) Fat: 20g (31%) Saturated Fat: 11g (69%) Cholesterol: 66mg (22%) Sodium: 925mg (40%) Potassium: 205mg (6%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 750IU (15%) Vitamin C: 0.8mg (1%) Calcium: 627mg (63%) Iron: 0.5mg (3%)

Did You Make This?I want to see! Be sure to upload an image below & tag @thecookierookie on social media!

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More Queso and Cheese Dip Recipes We Love

  • Rotel Velveeta Queso
  • Instant Pot Queso
  • Queso Fundido
  • Crockpot Queso
  • Try all of favorite cheese dip recipes!

What is queso? Is it just melted cheese?

The literal translation of queso is cheese, but when we talk about it (in America), we’re talking specifically about the melty, liquidy, amazing goodness that is queso dip. I always think of the traditional kind you get at Mexican restaurants, which is why I wanted make this authentic white queso recipe.

What kind of cheese should I use for queso?

To get that classic Mexican restaurant-style queso dip, use white American cheese (it melts really smoothly). You might also come across other varieties of “queso blanco” or “queso fresco” at your local grocery store. If you can’t find any of that, try white cheddar, Muenster, or Swiss.
I also mixed in a small amount of Mozzarella to enhance the texture and flavor, but you could use pepper jack, Monterey jack, or another type of cheese instead.

Why is my queso grainy?

If your cheese ends up grainy, the problem is usually overcooking. The milk should be heated just to a mild-simmer (not boiling), then immediately reduced to low heat before adding the cheese. It’s also best to use freshly chopped and shredded cheese, because pre-shredded cheese has ingredients that can make it grainy when melted.

Can I use cream, milk, or half and half in place of the evaporated milk?

I’ve tested this white queso recipe with every option (whole milk, heavy cream, half and half), but evaporated milk has given the best results over the years, both for me and for readers. It has less moisture, so it creates a smooth and creamy consistency, and doesn’t separate while cooking. However, some people have luck with the other ingredients–you might need to adjust the amount of liquid or cornstarch.

How do you thicken queso dip?

Cornstarch is used to thicken cheese dip. This recipe starts by combining it with the evaporated milk, in order to get the consistency we want. If you prefer a thinner consistency, skip it in the first step–you can always add it in later (mixed with milk) if it’s too thin.

Can I make white queso in a slow cooker?

1.) Set slow cooker to HIGH and add in the evaporated milk/cornstarch, and all of the cheese. 2.) Cover and let the cheese fully melt, stirring regularly. 3.) Once melted, switch cooker to LOW and stir in any add-in ingredients and spices. 4.) Let it thicken up with the lid off, if needed. 5.) Keep it in the slow cooker while serving (great option for parties) on warm, and be sure to stir it occasionally.
I recommend following this Crockpot queso for something formulated and tested for the slow cooker.

Queso Recipe - How to make Homemade White Queso (2024)
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