How to Make Queso

No need to go out for this cheesy dip when you can make it at home in just a few easy steps.


Do you love queso dip? That ooey gooey cheesy goodness, that is a staple at our table whenever we head out for Tex Mex, is so simple to make at home. Queso dip is easy to customize so you can change things up according to your spice preference. Your chips at home will never be lonely again.

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1 SLICE YOUR JALAPEÑOS


The heat in jalapeño peppers can vary greatly. If you love the flavor but not the spice, you can use a sharp knife to gently scrape the seeds, pith, and ribs from the flesh of the pepper before chopping. Seeds are commonly mistaken as the hot pepper culprit, but a chile pepper’s spicy heat actually comes from the pith and ribs. If you like it hot, leave the insides of your pepper in tact.
 

 

TIP
Winter peppers are not usually as spicy as peppers grown in the heat of the summer. Hot heat and stress on the pepper plants can make a hot pepper even hotter.
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2 DICE YOUR JALAPEÑOS


Put your knife skills to work and give your jalapeños a pretty, even dice. When you go to dip your chips you don’t want big chunks of pepper in some bites and none in others. Cutting the jalapeños into small, evenly-sized bits will give your queso a professional uniform texture and appearance.

3 SAUTÉ


Place your diced jalapeños in a medium saucepan, along with minced garlic and a little oil. Sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the peppers are soft. Take care not to burn the garlic.

4 MAKE A SLURRY


Making a slurry with cornstarch and cold milk is how you will thicken your queso. A traditional slurry is a 1:1 liquid to cornstarch ratio, but for our queso purposes I used 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of milk. That makes it easier to completely dissolve the cornstarch in the milk before adding it to the pan. You’ll cook this mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it’s nice and thick.

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5 CHEESE CHEESE CHEESE


The secret to perfectly melted queso dip might surprise you" It’s AMERICAN CHEESE. You can use white or yellow American cheese, but we aren’t talking about individually wrapped sandwich slices here. For the most delicious queso head to the deli and have them slice up a pound sandwich-style. Then cut the slices into cubes and add them to the slurry, stirring occasionally until the cheese melts.

6 ADD HALF & HALF


Start slow when you add liquid to your melted cheese. I like to add about 1/4 cup at a time. Stir each addition in until it’s nice and smooth. How much you add will depend on your preference for consistency. If you like a super thick dip you’ll only need about 1/3 of a cup. If you like it thinner, so you can coat your chips, you’ll need about 1 cup. Using half and half yields creamy, cheesy results.
 

 

TIP
Garnish your queso with diced tomatoes, more peppers, and cilantro for some pretty pops of color. Serve with your favorite chips.

About Heather T.

Heather, who runs SugarDishMe.com, has been making messes in the kitchen since she was a little kid when her mom handed her a cook book and told her, “If you can read, you can cook.” Today she serves up fresh, healthy eats, easy weeknight meals and decadent sweet treats.