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Code cracked: Queso Dip made with real cheese that's ultra silky even when it cools. www.recipetineats.com
Queso Dip (Mexican Cheese Dip)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

Copycat of Queso Dip (Mexican Cheese Dip) sold in jars in the US and the Queso dip at Mexican restaurants. The unique thing about this recipe is that it's made with real cheese and yet it stays silky smooth even when it cools! Read more in the post above for details. Recipe VIDEO below so you can see how smooth it is at room temperature. Makes about 2.5 cups. IMPORTANT: Please read Note 1 regarding store bought shredded cheese.

Course: Appetiser
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 162 kcal
Author: Nagi
  • 2.5 cups / 225 g shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, etc) (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
  1. Place cheese and cornflour in a bowl, toss to coat.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan or small pot.
  3. Add garlic and onion, cook slowly for 3 minutes or until onion is translucent but not browned.
  4. Add tomato (including juices) and cook for 2 minutes until tomato is slightly softened.
  5. Add evaporated milk and cheese. Stir, then add chiles and Spices.
  6. Stir until cheese melts and it becomes a silky sauce.
  7. Add salt to taste - amount required depends on saltiness of cheese used - and stir through coriander.

  8. 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.
  9. Remove from heat. Serve warm or at room temperature - it will be soft and scoopable even when it cools.
  10. 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.
Recipe Notes

1. If using Store Bought Shredded Cheese, please ensure that the ingredients don't include cornstarch or any other form of powder / flour etc that stops the cheese from sticking together in the packet. This can cause the dip to be a bit grainy rather than silky smooth. So please use freshly grated cheese or double check the packet and ensure it is 100% cheese!

Use any melting cheese you want. My favourite combination for the Nachos Cheese Dip on which this recipe is based used to be half cheddar, half Monterey Jack because I thought that made the flavour similar to what you get at Mexican restaurants in the states but for some reason Monterey Jack is no longer sold at my local grocery store. Now I use cheddar and/or Colby.

AUSTRALIA: Do not use Tasty Cheese, I find that some brands don't melt well into evaporated milk and the dip can come out a touch grainy. Some work ok, but because it's hit and miss, it's easier just to say it's better to avoid tasty cheese, if you can. But my friends have never complained when I've made this with tasty cheese!

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.