White Queso Dip is a creamy smooth cheese dip, like the ones served in Mexican restaurants. Fabulous as an appetizer for game day. You can use it as a simple dip or as a cheese sauce for a Tex-Mex meal. Prepare this in just 15 minutes and it will stay creamy for the entire game!
You’re just 15 minutes away from the best white queso recipe around, grab your tortilla chips🌶
When you need a go-to cheese dip to make for game day or for Taco Tuesdays make some homemade queso. Made with real cheese it will keep its creamy texture for hours. No processed cheese needed.
This creamy cheese dip is the best queso I’ve found, even better than the queso dip you’ll typically find at most Mexican restaurants.
Most cheese dips will get thick and goopy as they cool which makes it difficult to dip, not this creamy queso dip. The trick for getting a creamy melty texture is using American cheese, while it will thicken as it cools, it is still creamy enough to dip your chips in.
That doesn’t mean you need to use a processed cheese; go with a good quality American cheese and you’ll love how it makes the sauce creamy and smooth.
You can use either white or orange American cheese. If you can’t find it in the cheese section, have them cut a block for you at the deli.
Is queso dip the same as queso blanco or queso fresco?
White queso dip is not the same as queso blanco or fresco. Those are actually two types of cheese that are common in Mexican recipes but not in queso dip. These two cheeses are similar to feta, dry and crumbly. They will not melt, so don’t use them in this dip other than to sprinkle on top.
Instead you want to use cheeses that will melt and stay melted, like American cheese and Monterey Jack cheese.
Why you’ll love a white queso dip
- This homemade queso is ready to serve in just 15 minutes!
- It won’t separate as it cools.
- You can keep it warm in a slow cooker.
- Perfect to serve on game day or movie night
- This hot dip can also be a topping to enchiladas or drizzled over tacos.
If you’re going to serve this at a party, get some helpful tips along with 25 delicious game day appetizer recipes to choose from.
What you’ll need for the creamiest white queso
- Cheese – A combination adds depth to the sauce. You have to use American but you can mix in other varieties like Monterey Jack or pepper jack. Grate them yourself so they melt really well.
- Hatch chilies – great for flavor and not as spicy as some peppers, just enough to get your attention.
- Half-and-half – use this to create your bechamel sauce, you can also substitute evaporated milk.
- Onion and garlic -they add flavor to this creamy dip.
- Cornstarch – this will thicken the dip and keep it nice and smooth.
- Pantry staples –butter and cayenne pepper
Simple steps for making queso dip
Step 1: build in some flavor
Start by sautéing onions and garlic with butter.
Add a little cornstarch and then slowly add the half-and-half until it’s only slightly thickened, it should not be thick. (heat the half-and-half first to speed things up)
Step 2: make it cheesy
Add the cheese to the white sauce and once melted add the hatch chilies and salt and pepper and cayenne.
Pro tip: If you have any left over, you can refrigerate and just heat it up in the microwave. You can also freeze it for later.
Tips for making creamy white queso dip
- Make sure at least some of the cheese is American cheese, this is what keeps it creamy. For the best American cheese, buy it from the deli at the grocery. For more information on American Cheese check out this article.
- Don’t use pre-shredded cheese, it will not melt as well.
- Use half-and-half or at least whole milk, or you can use evaporated milk.
- To keep queso dip warm for the entire game or party, place it in a slow cooker on the “warm” setting.
- If it gets too thick, just add some milk.
How to store queso
You can store homemade queso dip in the refrigerator for 5-7 days in an airtight container. Try use a mason jar. You can also freeze it. Before re-heating, let it come to room temperature and then heat in the microwave,
You may need to add a little milk as it gets thicker as it cools.
Common questions about queso
Queso translates to “cheese” in Spanish and is a common dip or sauce in many dishes served at Mexican restaurants in the US.
Hatch chilies are peppers that are grown in the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. They are a mild chili with a unique flavor.
Pre shredded cheeses have preservatives added to help keep them from clumping together. However, this means it don’t melt as well as cheese you grate.
No, this is not an authentic dish to Mexico. Queso fresco is one of the main cheeses you will find used in dishes from Mexico. However, it does not melt and is not used in a white queso dip but as a topping to food.
Cheese dips at Mexican restaurants in the US typically have cheddar, Monterey Jack and Queso Blanco sprinkled on top, which is a white cheese with a texture similar to feta that does not melt.
More APPETIZER ideas for Game day
Need more dip ideas
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White Queso Dip Recipe
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 4 cups White American cheese 16 ounces, grated
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese 4 ounces, grated
- 4 ounces diced hatch chilies drained
- ½ teaspoons cayenne
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook onions until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add cornstarch and whisk for 1 minutes. Gradually add half-and-half whisking constantly until incorporated. Let it just come to a boil and then turn down the heat.
- Gradually add grated cheese and stir until melted. Add diced hatch chilies. Add cayenne if desired and salt and pepper to taste.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Make sure to use some American cheese
- Don’t use pre-shredded cheese, it will not melt as well.
- If you want it spicy, add a chopped jalapeño with the onions.
- You can Freeze left-overs, just let it come to room temperature and heat in the microwave.
- If it gets to thick, add some milk.
- Try heating the half-and-half before adding to the onion mixture, adding a warm liquid will thicken the sauce quicker than adding a cold liquid.