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Queso Blanco (White Cheese Dip)

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This Tex-Mex queso blanco (white cheese dip) recipe is easy to make in about 20 minutes, perfectly melty and scoop-able, and irresistibly delicious.

Queso Blanco (White Cheese Dip)

Meet my all-time favorite queso recipe. ♡

Anyone who has followed this blog for awhile knows that excellent chips, salsa and queso are some of my favorite things in the world. And after having made homemade cheese dip about a million different ways over the years, this Tex-Mex queso blanco recipe continues to be the unbeatable gold standard in my book.

It’s inspired by the famous espinaca con queso at Jose Pepper’s, which I was completely obsessed with back when we lived in Kansas City. And true to its name, it’s loaded up with lots of fresh spinach, as well as diced onion, jalapeño, garlic, tomatoes, chiles and cilantro for lots of zesty flavor. It’s also made with my preferred blend of Monterrey Jack and white American cheeses, which I’m going to insist that you use if you want a genuinely melty, creamy, scoop-able cheese dip. (I’ve tested at least a dozen varieties of Mexican and American cheeses when making queso over the years, and have found this combination is key for achieving a melty vs gritty texture.) And it is absolutely, irresistibly, can’t-stop-going-in-for-another-dip delicious.

I’m also a big fan of this queso recipe because it be ready go in about 15 minutes from start to finish, making it perfect for easy entertaining. And if you happen to have any leftovers, it even reheats well the next day.

Alright, fellow cheese lovers, let’s make some restaurant-style queso together!

Queso Blanco in Saucepan

Queso Blanco Ingredients

Before we get to the full queso recipe below, here are a few important notes about the ingredients you will need to make this queso blanco:

  • Onion, jalapeño and garlic: Which we will briefly sauté this mix in oil until softened in order to bring out their best flavor (versus adding them directly to the melted cheese). Feel free to use more or less jalapeño if you prefer a mild or spicier salsa.
  • Diced tomatoes and chiles: I typically usually use one can of spicy Ro*tel in this cheese dip, but feel free to use mild Ro*tel if you prefer.
  • Evaporated milk: I’ve found this works best to help achieve a creamy texture when making homemade cheese dip. (By the way, we often have readers mistake evaporated milk for condensed milk in recipes, so please be sure that you are buying evaporated milk, which has no added sweeteners.)
  • White American and Monterrey Jack cheese: As mentioned above, a 2:1 ratio of these cheeses is my preference in homemade queso dip. White American cheese is usually found at the deli counter (they may need to cut it for you). Then I recommend purchasing a block of Monterrey Jack and dicing it yourself so that it will melt smoothly (pre-shredded cheese has a coating on it that prevents it from melting well). You are welcome to sub in other cheeses that you prefer, but the texture will likely not be as smooth and melty.
  • Fresh spinach: I always roughly chop and add fresh spinach to this dip. But alternately, you could thaw and drain some frozen chopped spinach to add instead.
  • Cilantro: I also really love adding a bit of chopped fresh cilantro to this dip. But if you have an aversion to cilantro, feel free to just leave it out.
  • Salt and pepper: Finally, don’t forget to season the dip with salt and pepper to taste!

Chips and Queso Blanco on Sheet Pan

Recipe Variations

There are lots of fun ways to customize this recipe to your liking, so please feel free to have fun with it! For example, you are welcome to…

  • Add meat: Cooked ground chorizo, beef, chicken or bacon would be delicious additions to this dip.
  • Add chipotle: Add a finely-diced chipotle in adobo (or some chipotle chili powder) if you would like to make this dip even smokier.
  • Add extra chiles: Add an extra jalapeño or serrano pepper if you would like to make this dip even spicier.
  • Use half and half: If you don’t happen to have evaporated milk on hand, I’ve found half and half to be the best substitute. (You could alternately use whole milk or heavy cream, but the latter doesn’t always yield a great texture and heavy cream feels too rich to me.)
  • Use different cheese: If you would like a spicier salsa, feel free to swap pepper jack cheese in place of Monterrey Jack. We’ve also had people use the new white Velveeta cheese in place of the white American cheese with success. Unfortunately, most other varieties of American or Mexican cheeses that I’ve tried over the years just do not yield the smooth, melty texture and good flavor that comes from white American cheese.

Nachos with Queso Blanco

More Mexican Dip Recipes

Looking for more Mexican-inspired dip recipes to serve alongside this queso blanco? Here are a few of my faves…

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Queso Blanco (White Cheese Dip)

Queso Blanco (White Cheese Dip)

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 6 cups 1x

Description

This queso blanco (white cheese dip) recipe is easy to make in about 20 minutes, perfectly melty, and irresistibly delicious!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes and chiles, drained
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) white American cheese, diced into small cubes
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, diced into small cubes
  • 2 cups (loosely-packed) chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Sauté veggies. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeño and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Combine. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add in the diced tomatoes and chiles, evaporated milk and stir to combine. Gradually add in the cheese, stirring constantly until it has completely melted. Stir in the spinach and cilantro until combined.
  3. Season. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. If the dip is too thick, add in extra evaporated milk to thin.
  4. Serve. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe edit: This recipe was edited slightly in 2022 to include more veggies and a different ratio of cheese.

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Recipe rating

45 comments on “Queso Blanco (White Cheese Dip)”

  1. Wow! I could seriously just stay home all day and eat a whole bag of chips with this dip!

  2. This must be the classy version of the Velveeta and RoTel dip!

  3. Um, YES. I’m taking this to the deserted island that I’m sure to end up on one day.

  4. Love, love, love this. I rarely even need to order a meal at Mexican restaurants because I eat too many chips! Love it!

  5. Oh, I do love queso! And this one looks simply delicious!

  6. I am beyond excited to have a recipe for this! You rock :)

  7. Sounds delicious, I love dips. Have pinned for another day, thanks.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

  8. That looks amazing and a Rotel party sounds like so much fun!

  9. !Que rico!

  10. I love queso dips and this sounds fantastic!

  11. I just made this last night! So good and super super easy. I couldn’t find white American cheese, though, so I just used a bunch of american singles. Worked great!

  12. I think I would love this but I HATE HATE the grocery store. I think I’m going to try it with frozen chopped spinach that has been wrung out.

  13. Ali…this dip is awesome. I hope there is enough left to take to the party! I’m never making velveeta and rotel again! Great work.

  14. I made this Saturday for our Cinco De Mayo get together and it was so good!! I doubled the recipe and used 3/4 cup heavy cream and 3/4 cup whole milk and I did not seed my jalapenos so it was spicy. I do not think I will ever make velveeta with rotel again! I ate the left overs 3 times yesterday..LOL! My husband wants me to add sausage to it next time. This was great!! Thanks for the awesome recipe! :)

  15. Is this like the Espinaca at Jose Peppers? That would be seriously amazing. :0) I have been trying to duplicate their recipe for years!

  16. I’ve never been able to find white American cheese. Does anyone in the KC area know where to find it?

  17. deli at Price Chopper or HyVee

  18. I can hardly wait to try your recipe. I am visiting my son in Oklahoma and tried some of this dip at Inter Urban Restaurant last night and I am hooked on it!

  19. Espinaca! Yum!
    ~JosePepper

    Now Available in stores!

  20. I wanted to bring a doubled version of this recipe to a work party. Do you think I could do the melting of the cheese, milk and veggies on low in a crock pot?

    • Yes, I think that would work on low, especially if you keep an eye on it and stir the mixture regularly. Quesos usually require a little bit of babysitting in crock pots. :) Enjoy!

  21. I made this tonight with white American cheese and some mozzarella (because my husband thought the message said mozzarella when it said Monterrey jack;-)). Anyway, it was amazing. Even my picky kids who don’t like much green stuff ate it. I only did half a jalapeño and seeded it in hopes they would eat it. 
    We will be making this again. Thanks for the delicious recipe! 

    • You’re welcome Andrea — we’re so glad you and your family enjoyed this! :)

  22. I’m making this for the second time this weekend because it’s AMAZING! Thanks for the recipe!

  23. We’re so happy you and your kiddos love this, Cara — thanks for giving the recipe a try, and for commenting! :)

  24. Longtime reader, first time poster (does that work outside of radio?) I needed to comment about this recipe. It’s absolutely delicious. I have to say that a queso recipe with American cheese gave me pause, but I put my trust in you, and it was the highlight of a Superbowl party. I have since made it many times, and it’s great. It’s rare that I don’t want to tweak a recipe a smidge, but this one needs nothing.

    • Thank you for your sweet feedback, Bets, we’re so happy you enjoyed this! :)

  25. Oh no, we’re sorry to hear that, Roberta! :( Part of that could be attributed to the Fontina, or not adding it in gradually.

  26. is there a better alternative if you can’t find Asadero?

    • Hi Roberta! We’ve only tried this with Asadero before, so we can’t say for sure how it would work with another cheese. However, you could try using Muenster or Provolone — they might work. We hope this helps!

  27. I have been making this for about a year, and always forget to write a comment. This dip is DANGEROUS. It’s so delicious that I could accidentally eat all of it. I had some reservations stirring in so much American cheese, but it was well worth it. I have not found a better queso yet. Thanks so much!

  28. Absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

  29. Can’t wait to try this recipe with queso Blanco. I have only had it with yellow cheese. Will let you know how I like it after I have eaten the whole thing….lmao

  30. I tried this dip at the Jose Peppers restaurant & it was so-o good that I have to make it myself at home. Thank you

  31. This dip is dangerously good!! I doubled the recipe because I knew it was going to be amazing, it made SO much & I’m not sad about it!

  32. Do you have the nutritional values for your recipes… calories, fat, salt, carbs, etc?

  33. You should not cook queso on medium-high heat… it curdles. Low and slow.

  34. This was insanely good. We definitely should have made a double batch!

  35. After a lifetime of eating the Velveeta/Rotel version, this is the only queso for me! Your recipe is only slightly more complicated (cubing the cheese always seems to be the longest part), but so worth the effort. I cannot thank you enough. Great with chips, of course, but heavenly over roasted cauliflower.