appetizers and snacks family favorites

Spicy Queso Blanco (White Cheese) Dip


I believe most people across the U.S. are familiar with some version the popular (dare I say ‘famous’?) Tex-Mex cheese dip called chili con queso (translated: “peppers with cheese”).  I’m also pretty confident that most Texans learned to make this dish with a (much-adored) tomato and green chili mixture that comes in a can (brand name sorta rhymes with ‘mo-tel’). Like most folks in my home state, I also love this store-bought mixture of tomatoes and green chilies and I use it often to lend it’s special flavor-magic to some of our most favorite family dishes.

But, nowadays when I make our favorite version of chili con queso I rarely use those canned tomatoes and chilies anymore.  As an experiment some time back, I made queso with fresh tomatoes, fresh jalapeños, fresh onions, cilantro and a couple of teaspoons of smoky spices and I’ve never looked back.  

A warm bowlful of this delicious queso blanco dip will make a wonderful addition to the table of finger foods at your next barbecue or family party. Of course, we love to eat this cheesy dip as an appetizer or snack by the dip-full with crispy tortillas chips and fresh veggies, but it’s a perfect topping for plates of nachos, crispy tacos, tostadas and burgers too! Those types of easy suppers make the world go around for my family, especially on fun-filled summer nights.

Summer officially starts next week for my crew and that last day of school can’t get here fast enough for this mama! We are definitely ready for more rest and bunches of summer fun… and you can bet we’ll be serving this dip often over the next few months.

I sure hope you enjoy this spicy queso blanco dip as much as we do! Happy snacking, y’all!

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Spicy Queso Blanco (White Cheese) Dip    printable recipe

  • 16 oz (1 lb) white American cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (get this from your grocery store deli)
  • 1/2 lb Monterrey Jack cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium fresh jalapeño peppers, mostly seeded and finely chopped (leaving a few seeds will add a little heat to the dip, remove all the seeds from the peppers for mild dip)
  • 1/3 cup sweet, yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon teaspoon Ancho chile powder
  • extra chopped tomato, onion and cilantro for garnish, if desired
1. Place cubes of cheese and milk in a medium-size sauce pan. Melt cheese over medium heat, stirring very often until smooth. 
2. Stir in spices, chopped vegetables and cilantro until dip is well-combined. Turn off the heat and transfer warm dip to serving bowl or small slow cooker. 
3. Garnish dip with reserved chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro, if desired. Serve with corn chips and fresh veggies. Enjoy!


  1. I have never had this dip…but anything with cheese must be very yummy!

  2. It's definitely yummy stuff, Angie! Thank you! 🙂

  3. This is perfect party food! I love chili con queso, and your recipe looks amazing! And I love that it is garlic-free! 😊

  4. very nice and gopod helpful post i like your post.

  5. You are right, growing up in Texas I've made plenty of this dip and with Ro-tel. Next time I make it, I'm going to do it your way. 🙂

  6. This is great. I’m surprised you didn’t use a Mexican cheese – just living in Texas!

  7. Mmmm, Ro-tel. Good stuff. Although when I make this dip these days, I often just use jarred salsa — easier. But not as good as your version! Need to try this — thanks.

  8. this is the kind of dip that i park myself in front of at parties. 🙂

  9. Thank you, David!!

  10. Thank you, Karen! I hope y'all enjoy it! 🙂

  11. Thank you, Mimi! We tend to stick with these familiar cheeses, but I bet Asadero cheese would work nicely. I'll have to change it up!

  12. Thank you so much, John! 🙂

  13. I definitely hover for a while myself, Grace! Thank you! 🙂

  14. On yum! This dip looks excellent!! It's always a favorite of mine and I love your scratch version.

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