Extra Creamy Tex-Mex Queso Dip
Do you ever go to Chipotle and spend the extra $$ for a little container of queso, to finish it way too fast? Or, do you ever buy that pre-packaged nacho cheese or queso from the store and just wonder what life would be like if it was freshly made for you instead of packaged in a jar and served at room temp? I have nothing against packaged queso, nacho cheese or Chipotle’s queso. I just find myself in need of an easy, creamy, delicious queso dip that doesn’t take a long time to make and is still packed with flavor. Whenever I’m in the mood for a cheesy, creamy queso with chips, it’s usually on my lazy Sunday where I don’t even really want to cook (I cook everyday for work, so let’s be honest, my days off aren’t usually in the kitchen!) So, this is that effortlessly delicious queso recipe!
Before you make this, let’s talk about this queso! This recipe is a Tex-Mex inspired queso cheese dip, with a lot of creaminess and basic cheese combos (cheddar and Monterey Jack.) This is not an authentic Mexican queso fundido and a lot of the creamy queso dips that we enjoy in the USA aren’t authentic to Mexico at all. Queso fundido is usually made of Oaxaca, manchego and chihuahua cheeses (of course other Mexican cheeses can be used and I’m referring to dishes I’ve had the pleasure of trying!) that are typically served flaming hot and sizzling in a skillet (yum ) There’s no cream or milk involved in a queso fundido. On another note, queso blanco (also known as queso fresco) is a moist, soft white cheese. It’s often confused with a white queso dip! While we are on this cheese usage topic, Mexican cuisine also incorporates delicious mild, white cheeses such as cotija (one of my faves.) To put it simply, this dip isn’t a Mexican dish. It plays with Mexican flavors and is actually an Americanized starter. There’s nothing wrong with eating Americanized food! It’s just important we appreciate the cultures in which our fave foods come from!
This queso is for you if you like the following flavors or textures :
- Cheesy!!!! (any kind, because you can add any cheese to this from mild to sharp)
- Creamy (you can adjust thickness by adding more or less milk, but you have to love creaminess to vibe with this queso)
- Sautéed bell pepper flavor and crunch
- Onion vibes
For extra *cheese drama,* I topped the dip with extra cheese and broiled it for a golden brown finish. This adds a nice contrast in texture, a great canvas for toppings and of course is great for the gram, BUT you really don’t need to do this. If you don’t have a broiler, please don’t let that discourage you from making this recipe, which is mainly done on the stove top. Here are pictures of the broiled and not broiled versions so you know what you’re in for either way!
Broiled with toppings
Not broiled and no toppings
While the classic and obvious way to serve this queso is in a skillet with some tortilla chips (as pictured) you can also use it for other fun dishes:
Other ways to serve this queso dip:
- Drizzle it on top of a steak, pork or chicken
- Mix in some black beans and serve with rice
- Put it on a taco
- Spread it in a burrito tortilla before wrapping it up
- Dip bell pepper slices into it
- Crostinis or bread (it can be served kind of like a southwestern fondue)
- Toss some cooked macaroni in here for mac n’ queso
- Pour it onto scrambled eggs or hash browns for an epic brunch
- Put it on a burger (omg)
- Use it as a dip for your French fries or tater tots
- Make a grilled cheese (duh)
Also, if this recipe confuses you at all or if you have any questions, I am making this on Amazon LIVE along with my delicious herby tomato steak tacos on Tuesday August 4th! It’s a live show, so you can ask any and all questions, or just make this dip with me and ask questions in real time! I’ll be sure to link the episode as soon as it’s up for anyone making this after August 4th.
|Extra Creamy Queso Dip|
|1 1/4cup bell peppers|
|1cup white or yellow onion|
|1tsp garlic powder|
|4oz. cream cheese|
|2cups Mexican shredded cheese blend|
|1 1/2cup whole milk|
|Toppings (the ones I used for the photo, but you can top with whatever makes you happy)|
|1/4cup shredded cheese|
|Chopped cilantro or whole leaves and stems|
|Diced bell pepper or tomato|
|Diced red onion|
Over medium heat, season a large sauce pan with oil.
Add the onion and peppers and season with 1 tsp garlic powder and a pinch of salt. If adding any spicy peppers, add them with the bell peppers and onions. Sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the milk, cream cheese and cheese and mix together until creamy. Whisk to make sure there are no chunks from the cream cheese. If the mixture is too thick for your taste, add more milk or you can even diffuse with water. Only add a little bit at a time and mix if you are doing this.
Once the queso is creamy and your desired consistency, pour the mixture into an oven safe skillet. Sprinkle a handful of cheese on top and spread it out evenly. Broil on the second highest rack until the cheese is melty and golden brown (every broiler is different, but my electric broiler took 3 minutes. If you have a gas broiler, this will take probably 1 minute.)
Top with scallions, cilantro, chopped tomatoes and chopped red onion. Or top with whatever you want :)
If you have enough self control and somehow have leftovers, seal them in an air-tight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. ENJOY!
I used whole milk in this recipe, but if you only have half & half, feel free to use half the amount called for and then add water to thin it out and "milkify" it. I've done this and it worked!
IF YOU DON'T HAVE CREAM CHEESE: Add 1/2 cup extra cheese and mix. Add more milk to taste.
IF YOU LIKE HEAT:feel free to add poblanos, jalapeños or chili peppers that have been cored, seeded and minced. Add these with the bell peppers in the beginning.