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The richness of the cheeses and the spicy kick from the Mexican seasonings make this queso dip a crowd-pleasing favorite that you can easily make at home. It’s perfect for any get-together snack. 

dipping a chip into a bowl of queso

I always order a big bowl of queso when eating at our favorite Mexican restaurant, so I wanted to create a fool-proof recipe for homemade creamy queso dip.

With simple ingredients and my easy steps, you, too, can have a delicious creamy cheese dip that’s perfect with tortilla chips or all your favorite Mexican foods.  

It seems our family always wants to have a Mexican Dinner Bar when we get together for a special occasion. This Mexican cheese dip is top on the menu, and I have found that using a crock pot set on warm is the perfect way to keep it creamy and smooth for a few hours. Everyone always goes back for more cheese dip! 

Queso is also a stable menu item for our Game Day Food Bar, Cinco de Mayo parties, and Mexican party-themed dinners

gina cooking in the kitchen

Ingredient Tips – Let’s Go Shopping

When you are at the grocery store picking up the ingredients for this queso, keep a few things in mind. 

  • Evaporated milk: Be sure you get canned evaporated milk. It will give your queso a richer and creamier texture compared to regular milk. This helps to achieve the smooth and velvety consistency that is characteristic of restaurant-style queso dips.
  • Cheese: Pick up a block of white cheddar cheese. It has a slightly sharp flavor and a smooth and creamy texture when warmed. This type of cheese will keep your queso white and authentic, like the ones served with chips at Mexican restaurants. For the gooey pull, we will add some mozzarella to the queso. If you are in a hurry, you can use pre-shredded cheese. 
  • Heat: I like things spicy but not painful, so I use pickled jalapeno instead of fresh jalapeno. They are sweet and a bit milder. 

📝 Note: You can find the full recipe with ingredients and measurements in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

number one
  1. Combine evaporated milk and cornstarch in a saucepan.
  2. Heat until simmering, then reduce heat.
combining milk and cornstarch in a pan with whisk on stove top
number two
  1. Gradually stir in white American cheese.
  2. Repeat with mozzarella.
cheese being stirred into milk
number three
  1. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until they are all creamy and smooth.
spices being added to queso cheese dip on stove
number four
  1. Serve or transfer to a preheated crock pot that is set to warm.
queso after it is cooked on a whisk

Tips For Making Great Queso

  1. I just want to remind you that the secret to making great white cheese dip is done by using a whisk. Make sure to follow the recipe and whisk the ingredients thoroughly. Skipping this step can result in a lumpy, burnt, or grainy texture, which is not what you want. So, use your whisk and keep stirring until you get a smooth and creamy white queso dip.
  2. The second tip for success is to melt the cheese sauce slowly. Don’t try to rush the process by turning up the heat. It will scorch and stick to the bottom of the pan. 

 Mix-In Ideas

I’m giving you the basic recipe for making fresh queso dip at home. One great thing about this Mexican cheese dip is that you can customize it with your favorite mix-ins. Make sure to fully prepare the queso dip before adding any mix-ins.

warm queso in a bowl with chips ready to be dipped into the cheese sauce

How to Keep Queso Warm and Smooth

To keep queso warm and smooth for serving at a party, transfer it to a preheated crock pot set on the warm setting. This will help maintain the creamy texture and keep the queso at a consistent temperature throughout the dinner. 

Storing  and Reheating Queso Dips 

Storage: If you have leftover queso, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. 

  • Reheating Microwave: To reheat queso in a microwave, place it in a microwave-safe dish and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it reaches the desired temperature.
  • Reheating Crock Pot: To reheat in a crock pot, transfer the queso to the pot and set it to the low or warm setting, stirring occasionally until it’s thoroughly heated.

Tip: When reheating queso, if it seems too thick, add a splash of milk to thin it out.

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warm queso dip topped with jalapenos and cilantro
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Creamy Homemade Restaurant Style Queso Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 1/3 cup servings
This creamy restaurant-style homemade queso dip recipe is a blend of gooey cheeses and Mexican seasonings with a punch of heat. It's the perfect dip with tortilla chips or any of your favorite Mexican foods.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Add the evaporated milk and cornstarch to a medium-sized saucepan and whisk to combine.
    12 ounces evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Heat the evaporated milk and cornstarch over medium-high heat in a small saucepan.
  • When it begins to simmer, whisk well until it almost comes to a boil. At this point, quickly turn the burner heat down to low.
  • Immediately start stirring in the cheese in batches, beginning with the white American cheese. As you stir in the cheese, increase the heat to medium/low and whisk constantly while the cheese melts. Once each batch is melted and creamy, add more. Do not stop stirring – you must whisk the entire time while adding cheese.
    3/4 lb white American cheddar cheese shredded, 4 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
  • Next, repeat the same melting steps with the mozzarella cheese. You must whisk constantly during this step to ensure that your queso turns out creamy and smooth.
  • When all the cheeses are melted, add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk for a minute until they are blended.
    2 tablespoons pickled jalapenos chopped fine, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • You can serve your queso in serving-size bowls, or if you want it to stay melted for a longer period of time, pour it into a preheated crock pot that has been set to warm.

Notes

How to Keep Queso Warm and Smooth
To keep queso warm and smooth for serving at a party, transfer it to a preheated crock pot set on the warm setting. This will help maintain the creamy texture and keep the queso at a consistent temperature throughout the dinner. 
Storing  and Reheating Queso Dips 
Storage: If you have leftover queso, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. 
Reheating Microwave: To reheat queso in a microwave, place it in a microwave-safe dish and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it reaches the desired temperature.
Reheating Crock Pot: To reheat in a crock pot, transfer the queso to the pot and set it to the low or warm setting, stirring occasionally until it’s thoroughly heated.
When reheating queso, if it seems too thick, add a splash of milk to thin it out.
Serving: 11/3 cup
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Appetizer
Author: Gina Dickson

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