Y’all, if you love spicy queso dip, or you think the queso you get at your favorite Mexican restaurant isn’t as spicy as you’d like it to be, I’m here to help.
We’re going to make some spicy easy queso dip, and you will be so very happy! Let’s get to it.
Nacho Cheese Dip, Please!
I am a sucker for cheese dip of any kind.
Orange plasticky stuff from a Number 10 can poured over stale tortilla chips at the movie theater? Sign me up. I will mindlessly eat it.
But give me some truly flavorful cheese dip with bits of green chile and diced, fire-roasted tomato in it, and that’s a dip I will pay attention to.
The second kind is what I want to focus on. I’m calling it spicy queso dip, but you can control the amount of heat just by dialing back the spices.
This dip is
How to Make Spicy Queso Dip
If you have never made a roux, trust me that it’s the hardest part of the whole process, and making a roux is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
- Melt fat in a pan (butter, oil, bacon grease, etc)
- Add an equal amount of flour
- Cook the two together, stirring the whole time, until it turns a pale golden color
Even if you don’t recognize that procedure as “making a roux,” you may recognize it as the first step to making a creamy mac and cheese on the stove top.
Once you understand the basics of making a roux, this queso really does come together quickly.
- Melt butter together with some of the spices.
- Add flour and cook until bubbly and golden.
- Heat half and half until hot but not boiling.
- Whisk hot half and half into the cooked roux a bit at a time.
- Bring to a boil and turn heat down to simmer 3-4 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes and green chiles (I use RoTel) and bring to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and add the cheese, a bit at a time, stirring until smooth between each addition.
- Season with additional spices and serve.
PRO TIP: At this point, you can stir in any cooked pasta you like and make a spicy stove top mac and cheese.
Watch Me Make This Cheese Sauce on Facebook Live
If you’re a fan of watching people cook in real time so you know what to expect, I made this on Facebook live. Here’s the video. It’s about 35 minutes long, but know you can make this queso in about 15 minutes or so.
NOTE: This video is not for the exact recipe in this post, but the procedure is exactly the same. Feel free to make your own variation with your favorite cheeses and spices.
Why Start with a Roux?
This queso is based on a roux, a cooked combination of equal parts fat and flour that serves two purposes in the recipe:
- it adds body,
- it prevents the cheese from getting grainy and sad from the heat during cooking. (Reheating is another story.)
Since this queso is roux based, it is not a gluten free queso.Make this a gluten free queso by using gluten free flour in your roux.
If you aren’t gluten-free, you’re going to love this queso as is, friends.
If you’re looking for a cheese dip that is not roux-based, try my spicy chili cheese dip. If you can find a can of gluten-free chili (or use homemade) you can absolutely make that gluten free as well.
How to Reheat Queso
This spicy queso turns into a block of solid cheese in the fridge.
- spoon out a portion into a microwave safe dish or to a small saucepan
- Add a splash of whole milk or half and half and heat gently.
- Use power level 3-4 in the microwave in 30 second bursts or heat over medium-low heat on the stove, stirring constantly just until hot.
- Don’t let it boil.
If it boils, it has the potential to get grainy even with the roux, so low and slow is the name of the game.
It will regain its liquid texture as it warms up.
More Delicious Dips
And if you like to go super old school, I suggest giving a classic Swiss Cheese fondue a spin.
Spicy Queso Dip Recipe
I really hope you love this easy queso dip you guys! If you make it, please share a photo with me, either in the PCO Facebook Group or on instagram by tagging @onlinepastrychef and using hashtag #pcorecipe. Thanks, and enjoy!
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 can Ro-Tel, (I used fire-roasted, but any tomato-green chile mixture will do)
- 12 oz pepper jack cheese, , shredded
- 6 oz American cheese, , shredded or torn into pieces (if you have slices)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, , or to taste (I probably used more than that)
- 2 teaspoons chipotle powder, (use more or less depending on your love of spicy)
- 1 teaspoon cumin, (use more or less depending on your love of cumin)
- In a medium saucepan, heat the butter until bubbly.
- Add the flour, onion powder and garlic powder and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Add the half and half a bit at a time, stirring well to incorporate.
- Bring to a boil and then let simmer 3-4 minutes.
- Add the can of Ro-Tel, juices and all, and bring just to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Turn off the heat and make sure the sauce is not boiling before adding the cheese a handful at a time. Stir each addition in well until melted before adding more. You may occasionally have to turn the heat back on, but to no more than medium-low and for only enough time to heat the sauce enough to melt the remaining cheese. You don't want this to boil once you've added cheese.
- Season to taste with the kosher salt, chipotle powder and cumin.
- Serve warm with tortilla chips or poured over your nachos.
If you don't want any tomato in your spicy queso dip, substitute a small can or two of diced green chiles for the Ro-Tel. If you like things really spicy, feel free to sub in (or add in addition to the chiles) chopped, pickled jalapenos.
I also used some "Montana Mex Chile Salt" in my queso. I just found it at the store yesterday, and I was intrigued. It is a totally optional ingredient--I used maybe 1 teaspoon--but it is quite good.
Nutritionals are based on 24 servings of approximately an ounce each (2 Tablespoons)
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Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 2 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving Calories 117Saturated Fat 6gCholesterol 29mgSodium 302mgCarbohydrates 1gProtein 5g
Thank you so much for spending some time with me today.
Take care, and have a lovely day.