Code cracked: Queso Dip made with real cheese that's ultra silky even when it cools.
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4.81 from 61 votes

Queso Dip (Mexican Cheese Dip)

Recipe VIDEO above. Copycat of Queso Dip (Mexican Cheese Dip) sold in jars in the US and at Mexican restaurants. Made with real cheese and stays silky smooth even when it cools! AND it reheats perfectly. Makes about 2.5 cups. IMPORTANT: Please read Note 1 regarding store bought shredded cheese.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetiser
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Mexican Cheese Dip, Queso Dip
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 162kcal
Author: Nagi


  • 2.5 cups / 225 g Cheddar cheese, freshly shredded (Important - read Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch
  • 1/2 tbsp / 8 g butter
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 small white onion, very finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 375 g / 13 oz evaporated milk (1 can, not low fat)
  • 1 small tomato, finely diced (3/4 cup) (Note 2)
  • 1/4 tsp each onion powder, garlic powder, cumin
  • 4 oz / 113g can chopped green chile, fire roasted (Subs Note 3)
  • 1/4 cup coriander / cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 tbsp milk, any
  • Salt


  • Place cheese and cornflour in a bowl, toss to coat.
  • Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan or small pot.
  • Add garlic and onion, cook slowly for 3 minutes or until onion is translucent but not browned.
  • Add tomato (including juices) and cook for 2 minutes until tomato is slightly softened.
  • Add evaporated milk and cheese. Stir, then add chiles and Spices.
  • Stir until cheese melts and it becomes a silky sauce.
  • Add salt to taste - amount required depends on saltiness of cheese used - and stir through coriander.
  • Stir in milk or water to adjust consistency (I use 2 tbsp) - the dip thickens when it cools, and milk can be added later to adjust to taste.
  • Remove from heat. Serve warm or at room temperature - it will be soft and scoopable even when it cools.
  • Store in the refrigerator. When refrigerated, it becomes the consistency of the cheese spread sold in jars that are not in the refrigerator section. Reheat in microwave and adjust consistency as desired with a tiny bit of milk. If you add too much, just put on stove again until it thickens.


1. Pre shredded cheese contains additives to avoid clumping. As a result, sometimes they do not melt as well as you'd hope into liquid form, like this dip (melting on toast, on casseroles etc is ok). The end result can be a bit grainy which is not very nice. So it's safest to use freshly grated cheese.
I recommend using cheddar for this recipe. Ordinary, sharp, extra sharp are all fine. I've had some problems with slight "powderiness" with some brands of Tasty cheese (popular type of cheese in Australia) so I just stick with Cheddar now. 
You can substitute half the cheese with Pepper jack for a slight kick.
2. You can also use diced canned tomato. Drain in a colander and measure about 3/4 cup. The dip comes out slightly pinker.
3. Canned green chile is not readily available in Australia (grr!!!). I bring back dozens of cans from the States every time I go! It is not spicy, it actually tastes like capsicum/bell peppers. The main thing is that they are fire roasted so they add a touch of smokiness to the dip. So the best sub for this recipe is to use roasted capsicum sold in jars (green or red), finely chop it and measure out 1/2 cup. Otherwise, just leave it out - the cheese dip is still super tasty.
Some readers have kindly provided links for places to source American products, including green chillies (WHOOT!) here in Australia. Here is an online store, USA Foods, and here is a resource that lists places to get Mexican ingredients in Australia.
4. Homemade Tortillas - I made my own using corn tortillas because I like white corn chips but they are no longer sold at supermarkets here in Australia and also I find store bought corn chips too salty. All I did was stack the tortillas then cut into 6 wedges. Fry in 1.5cm / 3/5" of oil in a large skillet heated over medium high heat until crispy (single layer). Drain on paper towels, sprinkle lightly with salt while hot.
5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 8 servings.


Serving: 85g | Calories: 162kcal