I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who is always looking for the ever elusive queso dip that we all love from our local Mexican restaurants. As far as the easy options go in order to make it at home, there are two typical options: the jarred stuff and the block stuff to mix with salsa or Rotel. But you know what? This homemade version isn’t any more difficult than making queso dip with block cheese and in my opinion (and not just my opinion), it’s 100x better than either the block cheese version or the quick and dirty jarred stuff. A quick sauté of some diced onions and fresh pepper, melt in some shredded cheese then add some cream, tomato, and cilantro and you’ve got homemade restaurant style queso dip!
The key to this recipe is the addition of deli-sliced American cheese (don’t judge!). I also threw in some pepper Jack and provolone partly because they both melt really well but mostly because I didn’t have enough American in the house when I made this on a whim last weekend – my modifications to the original recipe are below. Once heated through (and thoroughly stirred while it’s being heated), this recipe yields a nice, creamy queso dip. As you can see, it’s also the perfect topping for some chili nachos (game time, anyone??) and we also topped a couple of steamed hot dogs with the queso for dinner one night this week as well. And wouldn’t this queso be an awesome way to make homemade cheese fries as well? You bet! Overall, this is a definite winner and you certainly won’t find any other queso dip in my house from here on out.
Restaurant Style Queso Dip
source: adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
- 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 1/4 cup white onion, diced
- 1 medium fresh hot cherry pepper (what I used), seeds and stem removed; diced
- 6 oz white or yellow American cheese, shredded or broken into small pieces
- 4 oz Monterrey or pepper Jack cheese, shredded (don’t use pre-shredded)
- 4 oz provolone cheese, shredded (don’t use pre-shredded)
- 1/4 – 2/3 cup cream, half-and-half, or whole milk
- 1 Roma or plum tomato, seeds removed and diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp chives, chopped
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and pepper until softened and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add the shredded cheese and 1/4 cup of the cream. Stir until mostly melted.
- Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and additional cream a little at a time until you reach desired consistency.
- Serve hot with tortilla chips or as a topping for chili, nachos, hot dogs, French fries, etc.