Making the perfect homemade Chile Con Queso is something that I have been trying to do for a while. And after countless bowls of queso, some better than others, I have finally figured out the key to making the perfect Chile Con Queso Dip.
Chile Con Queso, or Queso is one of my guilty pleasures. It has two of my favorite things – hot peppers and cheese. I could probably even eat it every day if I could, and when possible, I put it on everything. One of my favorite ways to enjoy Queso other than with tortilla chips, is with breakfast! I put a big spoonful right in the middle of my breakfast burritos, and my favorite way to eat it for breakfast – a toasted english muffin topped with a fried egg, bacon and Queso! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
There are so many ways that you can make Queso. The classic way that we all know, is Velveeta and rotel. Although this is sinfully delicious, I wanted to make a less processed variety. This meant experimenting with different cheeses, and chiles. Of course, because it is easy, I started out with the already shredded cheeses. It seemed to work ok, but there was always a grittiness to the Queso. I even experimented and added some cream cheese, as I have seen in other recipes, and that resulted in the same grittiness as before.
Through trial and error, I came to find out that the perfect way to make Queso was going back to basics. Making a simple rue (like when you make gravy), and then adding the milk and cheese for a smooth sauce. The biggest thing I realized while making all of this Queso was the cheese you choose. Sounds obvious considering it is a cheese dip, but the cheese really does make a difference. Like I mentioned above, pre shredded cheese makes the Queso kind of gritty, and that’s because the cheese is tossed in potato starch to prevent it from sticking together, but the end result when melting isn’t ideal. That’s why you’ll notice the cheese still holds a shape sometimes when melted. The trick to really good and smooth Queso is to SHRED YOUR OWN CHEESE!
Like in most of my Mexican inspired recipes, I used roasted green chiles in this recipe. You can get them fresh (when in season), canned or in the freezer section. As always, fresh is preferred, but the canned and frozen varieties work just as well for the recipe. One of the great things about making your own Chile Con Queso is the ability to choose how spicy you want it and just how many chiles you want to add.
If there is any left, this Chile Con Queso can be refrigerated and reheated for up to a week. Just make sure to only heat up what you’re going to eat, and not keep reheating it in the same bowl. If you want to make it Chile Con Queso Blanco, substitute the American cheese and the cheddar cheese for white American cheese and White cheddar cheese.
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp – 3/4 cup diced, roasted green chiles (fresh, canned or frozen), depending on how spicy you like it
1/8 cup petite diced tomatoes
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1 1/4 – 1/2 cups cream or milk
1 cup shredded American cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
2 tsp hot sauce, optional
In a medium pot, over medium-high heat, add butter and melt until shimmering. Add green chiles and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
In a small bowl, mix flour and taco seasoning together. Pour flour mixture into the pot and whisk to combine. Cook for 30 seconds.
Reduce heat to medium and add milk. Bring milk to a simmer and add cheese, 1/4 – 1/2 cup at a time, whisking until completely melted. Add remaining cheese 1/4 cup at a time, allowing to melt completely after each addition.
Lower heat to low, and stir in hot sauce, if using. Let the Queso cook on low, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula to prevent the cheese from sticking to the pan.
Serve right away with tortilla chips.
** When reheating, add 1 tbsp cream or milk.
For the printable version of this recipe, click the link below for a PDF version.