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This creamy, cheesy, and flavor-packed White Queso Mexican Cheese Dip recipe is practically addictive! Trust me, after throwing it together in just a few minutes, you’ll be dipping your tortilla chip into the silky, cheesy goodness again and again and AGAIN!

a bowl of white queso dip on a platter with tortilla chips on a table with a bowl of salsa in the background.

If you’re like me, one of your favorite things about dining out at a Mexican restaurant is munching on warm tortilla chips with a side of silky and creamy white cheese dip — YUM! But what if you could make this irresistible dish in your own kitchen?

Learning how to make Mexican queso from scratch is a game-changer! You will no longer need to go out to enjoy this tasty cheese dip. Instead, you can cook it up with a few ingredients in under 30 minutes at home!

One of the best things about this beloved cheese dip is its versatile use — drizzle it over a grain bowl, add it to a refreshing Mexican salad, top your tacos, use it as a nacho cheese sauce, or spice up an ordinary quesadilla!

If you like cheese, you’ll fall in love with this white queso dip! Meaning it is sure to be approved by your kids, adult dinner guests, and even those hard-to-please teens.

Is your Mexican flavor craving still not satisfied? Look no further than these buttery Mexican Cornbread Muffins, sweet and summery Mexican Corn Salad, or these Easy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas.

ingredients for white queso dip on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for White Mexican Queso

  • White American cheese | The creamy cheese base for your Mexican dip is delicious white American cheese. You can purchase a block at the deli counter in your local grocery store or grab some slices. In a crunch, substitute it with Velveeta Blanco.
  • Unsalted butter | Use 100% real unsalted butter rather than margarine. You surely don’t want to skip this essential queso ingredient because it adds a rich creaminess.
  • Milk | Make it creamy and silky-smooth with whole milk. Or use heavy cream or half and half if preferred.
  • Green chilis | Canned green chilis work perfectly and make your job a bit easier. However, if desired, you may use freshly chopped green chiles for an even more authentic flavor.
  • Cumin | Cumin is one of the critical ingredients that blends all the flavors so nicely. For the best results, choose a high-quality jar of cumin.
  • Garlic and onion powder | Complete the savory taste of this queso recipe with a bit of garlic and onion powder.
  • Cayenne pepper | If you’d like, add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a hint of heat. Or, use chili powder, paprika, or your favorite hot sauce instead.

How to make The Best White Queso

In under 30 minutes, you’ll have a freshly made and oh-so-delicious queso cheese dip! Serve it with tacos, quesadillas, or tortilla chips — Buen Provecho!

process steps for making white queso dip; melting cheese and adding spices.

STEP 1 | Add the cheese and other ingredients to a saucepan

In just four simple steps, you’ll master this easy queso blanco recipe.

First, cut the cheese into 1-inch cubes. If you grabbed white American slices from the store, you could still chop the cheese into cubes. This is the best way to melt it down without the risk of burning the cheese. 

Then, place the cubes in a medium saucepan with the unsalted butter, milk, and one can of green chilis.

STEP 2 | Melt the cheese

Next, set the burner temperature to low heat and cook the ingredients. Continuously stir the cheese, chili, butter, and milk mixture to avoid burning and help it to cook evenly.

After about 7-8 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted, move to the next step in this easy recipe.

tips

  • Add more milk for a thinner cheese dip, if you prefer.
  • Add other cheeses for a mix of flavors, like mozzarella or pepper jack. However, most of the cheese for this recipe should be white American cheese to attain that signature Mexican restaurant queso taste.

STEP 3 | Sprinkle in the seasonings

Now, carefully add the tasty seasoning to the cheese sauce — cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir to incorporate them thoroughly.

STEP 4 | Add cayenne pepper and serve!

You’re just about finished with your homemade cheese dip! All you need to do is slowly pour it into a serving bowl and sprinkle the surface with a dash of spicy red cayenne pepper.

Then, serve warm with tortilla chips or another food perfect for dipping into this irresistible queso dip!

tips

  • To thicken the queso, cook it on low heat for a few more minutes until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Don’t rush the process by turning up the heat. Continuously stir the ingredients and keep the heat low to prevent burning and get the best results.
  • Before removing the queso from the heat, toss in a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce and stir for a spicier queso! And for an extra bold, spicy flavor, try adding a jar of pickled jalapenos to the mix.
a bowl of white queso dip sprinkled with red cayenne pepper on top on a table with chips.

Did you think making creamy and cheesy white queso would be so simple? When you dip your crispy tortilla chip into the queso at a local Mexican restaurant, you may think, “with how delicious this is, it must be tricky to throw together!”

Well, as you’ve learned, this is not the case! Make white queso with restaurant-quality flavor in little time with easy-to-find ingredients.

individual servings of white queso dip and chips on a table.

Frequently asked questions

What type of pan do you need to make Mexican queso?

I like using an ordinary medium-sized saucepan to make homemade white queso. However, if you are nervous about burning the creamy cheese and seasonings, use a double boiler.

Otherwise, keep a close eye on the ingredients as they cook, and remember to stir the cheesy dip frequently.

Can you make white queso in the crock pot?

Sure! First, melt the butter and cheese, toss the remaining ingredients, and cook the queso in the slow cooker on low heat for around 20 minutes or more. This is also a great way to keep your queso nice and warm while serving a crowd.

What meat can you add to queso?

One of the most common additions to Mexican queso is browned ground beef. But sausage, pulled pork, and shredded chicken also work well.

How do you store queso for later?

You won’t want to throw out your leftover Mexican cheese dip — it’s just too delicious to waste! Instead, pour the completely cooled queso into an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to four days. Then, reheat it on the stovetop, in the crock pot, or even in the microwave, and serve it again!

dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of white queso dip.

Serving suggestions

Pair this heavenly white American cheese queso with toasted tortilla chips as a side for a flavorful dish, like a Fish Taco Bowl with Mango Salsa or these one-of-a-kind BBQ Chicken Tostadas.

Or, drizzle the cheesy queso on top of your Chicken Burrito Bowl made with fresh ingredients, like crisp onions, filling brown rice, and sliced cherry tomatoes.

And, of course, Mexican queso beautifully blends with the smoky flavors of my Chicken Street Tacos.

close up image of white queso dip dripping off a tortilla chip.

Behind the recipe: White Queso Mexican Cheese Dip

We may refer to it as “Mexican” queso; however, this popular recipe originated in Spain. From there, it spread like wildfire to Mexico and North and South America.

Today, there are thousands of variations of traditional queso — from pale yellow Tex-Mex recipes made with cheddar or yellow American cheese to silky white queso filled with diced peppers and tomatoes.

In Texas, queso could be considered one of the main food groups with how often it is consumed and how obsessed with queso many Texans are. Many Texans born and raised in the southern state say a gathering of family or friends isn’t complete without a batch of freshly made steaming white queso — and homemade BBQ, of course!

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white queso dip and chips on a platter on a table.

White Queso Mexican Cheese Dip

This creamy, cheesy, and flavor-packed White Queso Mexican Cheese Dip recipe is practically addictive and comes together in literally minutes!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 171 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 pound white American cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chilis
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspooon onion powder
  • dash red cayenne pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cut the cheese into 1-inch cubes and place in a medium saucepan with the butter, milk and green chilis.
  • Cook and stir over low heat, stirring often, about 7-8 minutes until the cheese is completely melted.
  • Season the cheese sauce with the cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Pour into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a dash of red cayenne pepper. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Notes

  • Add more milk for a thinner cheese dip, if you prefer.
  • To thicken the queso, cook it on low heat for a few more minutes until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Add other cheeses for a mix of flavors, like mozzarella or pepper jack. However, most of the cheese for this recipe should be white American cheese to attain that signature Mexican restaurant queso taste.
  • Don’t rush the process by turning up the heat. Continuously stir the ingredients and keep the heat low to prevent burning and get the best results.
  • Before removing the queso from the heat, toss in a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce and stir for a spicier queso! And for an extra bold, spicy flavor, try adding a jar of pickled jalapenos to the mix.

Nutrition

Calories: 171kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 8gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 641mgPotassium: 88mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 451IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 423mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword cheese, cinco de mayo, green chilies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I absolutely love entertaining and always have munchies for my guests as they arrive. It’s a good thing that I made plenty because my guests were almost drinking it. I could see why because I had my share before they arrived lol.

  2. 5 stars
    My entire family LOVES this queso! We’ll definitely have this on rotation for all kinds of basketball-related gatherings in the coming weeks!

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