Super-Creamy Queso Dip

updated Feb 3, 2020
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Easy Queso Dip

A quick and easy recipe for cheesy queso dip that comes together in less than 30 minutes.

Serves6 to 8

Prep20 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 13 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

One of my absolute favorite things to serve a crowd is queso dip (aka chile con queso). It’s creamy, slightly spicy, and the perfect accompaniment to a generous pile of tortilla chips. It’s one of my all-time favorite restaurant appetizers, so I wanted to recreate the dip at home so I can enjoy it from the comfort of my own kitchen.

This recipe ditches the Velveeta sometimes used to make chile con queso (which, don’t get me wrong, is delicious) and uses sharp cheddar cheese to give it a punchier flavor. It’s made with diced green chilies for a subtle hint of heat and gets topped with diced tomatoes and cilantro for freshness. It also makes a delicious sauce for nachos: pour it over a pile of chips, top with your favorite garnishes, and let your guests help themselves.

However you serve it, this queso dip is a serious crowd-pleaser.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

The Trick to Making Perfectly Smooth Queso Dip

One cheap, clever ingredient make this dip perfectly smooth, rich, and lump-free. It’s evaporated milknot to be confused with sweetened condensed milk — which can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores. It has 60 percent of its water content removed, making the dip super creamy and less likely to separate.

Another secret to creamier queso? Using cheddar cheese from a block, not the pre-shredded variety. Pre-shredded cheese is typically coated in an anti-caking agent that can make dips grainy. By shredding it yourself you ensure that the cheese fully melts and is as smooth as possible.

Lastly, cornstarch gets tossed with the shredded cheese to help thicken up the dip and stabilize it. The result is a velvety dip that remains perfectly smooth at any temperature.

Easy Queso Dip

A quick and easy recipe for cheesy queso dip that comes together in less than 30 minutes.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 13 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 2 cloves


  • 1

    small yellow onion

  • 2

    medium tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons

    coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1

    small jalapeño pepper

  • 8 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese (NOT shredded)

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 (7-ounce) can

    diced green chilies

  • 1 (12-ounce) can

    evaporated milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. Mince 2 garlic cloves. Dice 1 small yellow onion. Coarsely chop 2 medium tomatoes. Coarsely chop until you have 2 tablespoons cilantro. Thinly slice 1 small jalapeño. Grate 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese and toss with 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a medium bowl.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until aromatic and soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of the tomatoes and 1 can diced green chilies and their juices, and cook until the tomatoes are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 can evaporated milk and bring to a simmer.

  3. Add the cheddar cheese and cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is thick and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Transfer the dip into a wide serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and sliced jalapeño. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days. Reheat over low heat on stovetop or in the microwave on high-power in 30-second increments until pourable.

Credit: Kitchn