Sunday, December 28, 2014

Spicy Queso Blanco Applebee's Copycat

Now you can enjoy your favorite Spicy Queso Blanco Dip at home.  Our Applebee's copycat recipe couldn't taste better.  This creamy cheesy dip with a little kick is loaded with 2 cheeses, fresh herbs and just enough heat to make your tongue tingle.  

Applebee's and I go way back.  The small town I grew up in had an Applebee's in the town mall and it was THE place to go.  Lunch meeting, after work happy hour, and shopping dinner breaks were all enjoyed at Applebee's.  These days you can't think about Applebee's without the Spicy Queso Dip popping in your mind.

Spicy Queso Dip is insane!  A southwestern inspired creamy white cheese dip to please the palate and leave your taste buds begging for more.  The recipe serves 4, but really I could eat the whole thing myself.  Do you see that dollop of pico in the center?  Oh that is mine.  It just adds even more texture to this fabulous dip.

Chad and I absolutely devoured the queso blanco.  We are planning to serve this at our next game day party along with our favorite pico de gallo and guacamole recipes (scroll down to see those).  Game day or any day we love tortilla chips and dip.

It is so funny that growing up in Florida buying chips and dips for a party literally consisted of potato chips and onion dips and such.  When I first moved out to Arizona it was culture shock.  But, these days it has a whole different meaning.  Every party our here has salsa, guacamole and some cheese dip.  This Spicy Queso Blanco Dip will be on our permanent party menu for sure!

Dinner's Ready!

With love from our kitchen table to yours!  XO


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Check out more of our favorite appetizer recipes below.  Click the link or the image to open in a new window and scroll to the bottom of the new page to see the recipe.

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A hot dog baked right inside a soft beer pretzel makes these the tastiest and easiest homemade pretzel dogs you will ever eat!  Ready in just 35 minutes you can enjoy these any night.  They are a great make ahead recipe and they freeze well too.  Just thaw and pop them in a 350°F oven until warm, about 5-8 minutes.

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Bite Size Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Puffs in 30 Minutes are just like your favorite pizza in bite size!  Can't get much more fun than that. Perfect for a game day or any day.  They freeze perfectly.  Spritz them with water and either microwave them until heated or defrost and pop them in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.

Applebees Copycat Spicy Queso Blanco
makes approximately 2 cups

1 tablespoon refined coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
1 small onion, divided
2 - 4  jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined, and minced (divided)
½ cup heavy cream
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into chunks
4 ounces white American cheese, cut into chunks
1 ½ tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, divided
1 Roma tomato, deseeded and diced

Cut onion in half and mince one half.  Set aside. 

Warm oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add 2/3 of minced jalapeno and grate ½ onion into pan.  Stir to coat and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender.  Add cream and bring to a bubble.  Add cheese a little at a time, stir until cheese is melted.  Stir in 1 tablespoon cilantro.

To create a simple pico de gallo:  Combine chopped onion, tomato, ½ tablespoon cilantro, and remaining jalapeno in a bowl.

Pour queso blanco into a medium size serving bowl (2 ½ cup or larger).  Top with pico de gallo.  Serve and enjoy!

COOK’S NOTE:  Adjust jalapenos according to the heat you would like.  For mild heat, add less.  For a spicier dip add more.


Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2013 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.

Updated: 7/26/14 Several readers have had trouble combining the cheese into the cream. After retesting with several brands there was only one brand that worked with the white cheddar (obviously the brand I was using in the initial testing).   Therefore the recipe has been updated with the next best choice, white American cheese.  Thank you for all your feedback!

Originally posted 11/7/13


  1. Donna, I'm definitely trying this recipe, I have never had luck making any cheese dips creamy and "dipable" without using Velveeta, Queso Fresca or Queso Blanco.
    Thanks for sharing just in time for the big Saints game this weekend!!

  2. Donna Just started receiving your recipes The are great and I really enjoy them. I also grew up on chips and onion dip but love the Mexican craze like everyone else
    I have a recipe that brings the lowly onion dip to new heights. It never fails to get requests for the recipe so I have started to bring copies whenever I make it. It has real onions and a little kick to it. It is the Barefoot Contessa Pan-fried Onion Dip and I make it just like the recipe - noneed to change a thing Try it for your next party. Bevie

    1. Bev, can we get your onion dip recipe?

    2. I found it on Food Network:

  3. Did anyone make this? How close is it to applebees?

  4. Doesn't the melted cheese get stringy?

    1. It does thicken up as it sits. I would serve it warm. Enjoy!

  5. Donna I just found your site! Can't wait to try this one out! On the Border has a really good Queso Blanco Dip too. I'd love to have that recipe! Happy eating!

  6. Donna I just found your site and I can't wait to try all these new recipes. On the Border has an awesome Queso Blanco too. I'd love to have that recipe if you have it??? Happy eating!!!

  7. okay i tried making this the monteray jack, and white chedder turned into one gooey clump???

    1. I am sorry to hear you had problems with this recipe. What brand of cheese did you use? If it was pre-shredded that could be the trouble. Please email me and I am more than happy to go over the recipe with you to see what happened. Also, did you use heavy cream?

    2. gkaske34 the problem could be White Cheddar cheese. It would be stringy.....Try White American Cheese. It is not stringy at all. I believe that would solve your problem. I white American cheese. Yummy Dip.

    3. I am so happy to hear that you loved it!

  8. okay i tried the recipe double batch and monteray jack, and white chedder turned into one gooey clump????

    1. I am guessing from your comment that your trouble comes from doubling the recipe. I would try it in a single batch.

  9. I tried making this in a single serving and it didn't turn out. I was not able to get the heavy cream to blend with the cheese. Do you know what went wrong?

    1. Thank you for emailing to resolve the issue you had making the recipe.

  10. Making this for our Christmas Eve appetizer party! And of course I'll have to try it out before hand :) Happy lunch to be!

  11. This was delicious and came out perfect. I followed the recipe to a T. Thanks for sharing .

  12. I've never had problems blending decent white cheddar -- and believe the sharpness would have helped flavor (as compared to white American). Otherwise was O.K with a small bit of salt added. Not as good as Applebee's -- though plenty good for playoff football! Will try again with decent white cheddar -- extra sharp to boot.

  13. I work at applebees and I can tell you this is an almost spot on recipe except the onion. we just use tomato and jalapenos. also, salad oil instead of coconut but there's not enough of a difference in the outcome. but the white American is what we use. also in our Pico, we use salad oil and vinegar.


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