Queso Fundido with Chorizo

published Jan 19, 2023
Queso Fundido Recipe

Ooey, gooey goodness like this queso fundido is fit for any occasion.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 30 minutes

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Credit: Laura Manzano

A great example of the merits of multitasking, queso fundido is typically prepared while meats and other things are being grilled over an open fire. The dish originated in Northern Mexico and would be served as a snack while diners would wait for everything else to be ready. As we know it today, queso fundido is so much more than just something to eat in the meantime; it’s arguably the best part of any dinner or party. After all, it’s a vessel full of molten cheese! Few things are as exciting.

What’s the Difference Between Queso and Queso Fundido? 

While similar in name, queso dip is a uniquely American invention that is much different than the Mexican queso fundido.

  • Queso is a dip made of cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, sometimes cornstarch, and chopped chiles. It’s cooked into a homogenous, liquidy mixture that is sometimes a little bit spicy, and easy to dip tortilla chips into. 
  • Queso fundido, on the other hand, is traditionally made with little more than Oaxaca or Chihuahua cheese, which are stretchy, stringy cheeses that, even when melted, are tricky to scoop up with chips. Traditionally, queso fundido is served with warm tortillas, and the fundido is scooped into the tortilla to make a small taco of sorts. 
Credit: Laura Manzano

What Is the Best Cheese for Making Queso Fundido? 

Oaxaca or Chihuahua cheeses are both traditionally used for queso fundido. They have a mild flavor and are very stretchy, making for an impressive cheese pull. If you can’t find either, feel free to substitute with low-moisture (not fresh) mozzarella. This recipe also incorporates queso quesadilla, which isn’t as stretchy, but it’s very creamy and has a great flavor. If you can’t find queso quesadilla, a fine substitute is Monterey Jack. The combination of the two cheeses checks all the boxes: stretchy, gooey, creamy, and flavorful! 

What Are Good Things to Add to Queso Fundido?

Queso fundido prepared in its most basic form (just cheese) is delicious of course, but this recipe adds serrano peppers, poblano peppers, onions, and chorizo for extra flavor. Feel free to add more to your queso fundido to make it a party!

  • Mushrooms 
  • Yellow or orange bell peppers 
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Pickled jalapeños 
  • Spicy sausage 
  • Ground beef or lamb

Queso Fundido Recipe

Ooey, gooey goodness like this queso fundido is fit for any occasion.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium poblano pepper

  • 1/2

    medium white onion

  • 1

    small serrano pepper (optional)

  • 12 ounces

    Oaxaca or low-moisture mozzarella cheese

  • 6 ounces

    queso quesadilla or Monterey Jack cheese

  • 6 ounces

    raw Mexican chorizo

  • Kosher salt

  • Warm corn tortillas, for serving

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF.

  2. Meanwhile, trim and remove the seeds from 1 medium poblano pepper, then thinly slice. Thinly slice 1/2 medium white onion. Trim and remove the seeds from 1 small serrano pepper if using, then finely chop. Shred 12 ounces oaxaca cheese with your hands until it’s all broken up into pieces no thicker than your pinky finger, or grate 12 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese on the large holes of a box grater. Crumble or grate 6 ounces queso quesadilla or Monterey Jack cheese on the large holes of a box grater.

  3. Place 6 ounces Mexican chorizo in a medium cast iron or oven safe nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat, breaking up the chorizo into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and very crispy, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

  4. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the poblano, onion, as much serrano as you’d like, and a pinch of kosher salt to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring every few minutes, until softened and charred in spots (increase the heat to high if needed), 6 to 10 minutes.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat. Return chorizo to the pan and stir to combine. Add both cheeses and stir until evenly combined. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheeses are fully melted but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately with warmed corn tortillas.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days and rewarmed in a 350ºF oven until the cheese is melted again. If the fundido contains Oaxaca cheese, it won’t remelt as well.