Chipotle Queso

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Chipotle Queso is full of cheesy, creamy, peppery goodness – it’s the best cheesy dip ever!! And this Chipotle queso recipe gets the cheeses and seasonings just right.

chipotle queso on a tortilla chip

This queso is crazy creamy and smooth, and obviously, it’s terrifically cheesy! It’s just like what you’d get at the restaurant, if not better.. 

The rich, addicting flavor comes from a hint of garlic and onions, and we spice things up with a whole batch of chiles that range in heat from mild to red hot!

Just a warning: this ooey gooey cheesy appetizer takes just about an hour to prepare, but it’ll be gone in minutes. 

ingredients for chipotle queso

Chipotle Queso

Chipotle™ has really mastered the art of dips!

Between their guac, salsa, and queso recipe, is there anything on their menu you don’t want to dig into with a whole bag of tortilla chips? 

This recipe for Chipotle Mexican Grill™ queso is the perfect starter! It’s so easy to make in big batches, with plenty of dippers that you can serve alongside.

Make it totally homemade with these Air Fryer Tortilla Chips!

A similar recipe with a bit more heat is this Spicy Queso Blanco recipe from Applebee’s.

And if you don’t want to deal with all of that stirring, simplify things for yourself with this Baked Queso Dip!

sauteed garlic, onions, tomatoes and jalapenos

Ingredients and Substitutions

This heavenly snack has a mix of everything you need in a Mexican white cheese dip: creamy cheeses, a couple of hot chiles, tomatoes, and just enough body to make it the perfect dippable appetizer.

  • Poblano Chiles – These are big peppers without too much spice to them. You can usually find these guys in the produce section of any grocery store.
  • Serrano Chile Pepper – Now these peppers are pretty hot!

    You want to make sure to seed them and don’t put your hands anywhere near your eyes after handling them.

    In fact, wear some gloves and wash your hands really well with soap and water afterward.
  • Chiles in Adobo Sauce – This is one ingredient you’ll want to look for in a Mexican market or in the Mexican section of the grocery store.
  • White Cheddar and Monterey Jack – These put the blanco in the queso! Bold enough for plenty of flavor, but still mild enough to satisfy your taste buds.
  • Mexican Crema – If you really want to, you can substitute sour cream for the crema. But I wouldn’t recommend it!

    Crema is like a Mexican sour cream, but runnier and with a bit of lime and salt. You won’t get that iconic taste without it!
  • Evaporated Milk – If you’ve ever wondered what makes this dip super smooth, this is it!

    One possible substitute is half and half, but that’ll make preparing and reheating the dip trickier since it can curdle when it gets too hot. 
adding shredded cheese to cast iron pan

Tips for Perfect Chipotle Queso Blanco

Here are a few tips for making a homemade version of your favorite restaurant queso:

  1. Rinse the chiles.

If the red adobo sauce leaks into your dip, you’ll end up with a dip that’s more rosa than blanco! To prevent this, give the peppers a rinse under cool running water.

  1. Keep the heat on low.

Be sure to add the cheeses over low heat and to constantly stir the mixture. Wait until all of the cheeses melt and incorporate before adding the peppers.

adding sauteed veggies to queso sauce

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

In an airtight container, leftovers should stay fresh in the fridge for about 4 days.

If you’re going to reheat over and over again, be sure to only heat up what you plan on eating in one sitting.

To reheat leftover dip:

You can reheat leftovers in 30-second bursts in the microwave, stirring in between each, until it warms through.

Or, you can reheat it in a saucepan on the stove top. Use low heat, and stir it constantly.

close up of chipotle queso with toppings

Chipotle Queso FAQ

What is Chipotle queso dip made of?

A whole lot of things: a combination of chile peppers, onion and garlic, three different kinds of cheese, and tomatoes are some of the obvious ones.

But we also use a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up and make it creamy, and evaporated milk to smooth things out.

Does the Chipotle queso recipe have eggs?

Nope! The thing that makes this dip nice and thick is cornstarch, and the silky smoothness comes from evaporated milk.

Generally, Chipotle doesn’t use eggs in any of its recipes.

But it’s always safest to check with the restaurant and ingredients in the items you’re ordering to avoid any potential allergens.

What kind of cheese does Chipotle use for queso?

There are two different cheeses that we use: white cheddar and Monterey Jack.

White cheddar is sharp and smooth, and obviously lighter than your average cheddar cheese. Monterey jack, on the other hand, is pretty mild and buttery. 

Both melt down beautifully, making them a wonderful choice for Chipotle queso!

chipotle queso in cast iron pan with ingredients scattered around

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

chip dipped in chipotle queso

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Other Easy Dip Recipes


chip dipped in creamy chipotle queso

Chipotle Queso

Donna Elick
Chipotle Queso is cheesy, creamy, peppery goodness! This copycat version for the Chipotle queso recipe is better than the restaurant’s dip!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Method Oven, Stovetop
Servings 10

Ingredients
 

  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup diced chipotle in adobo, rinsed (See Note 1)
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk, or 1 ½ cups Half and Half (See Note 2)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema, or sour cream (See Note 3)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven broiler.
  • Rub poblano chiles with 1 teaspoon olive oil and place on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Place pan under broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the pepper skins are charred and peeling.
  • Remove pan from the oven and use tongs to turn chiles over. Return pan to oven and continue broiling until the skins on second side are charred and peeling.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in the oil until onion is soft. Stir constantly to prevent the garlic from burning.
  • Remove chiles from the oven and rub off the skins. Be careful – they will be hot! Use a knife to slice peppers open; remove the stem and seeds. Cut the peppers into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  • Add diced tomato and Serrano chile to the pan with onion and saute 1-2 minutes longer. Add the diced chipotle pepper and prepared Poblano chiles to the pan. Pour the chile mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Add the evaporated milk to the skillet and begin heating over medium heat. Whisk while heating until milk begins to simmer. Stir cornstarch into water until dissolved, then whisk mixture into the simmering milk.
  • Turn heat to low. Add one handful of each cheese to the milk mixture, whisking constantly until melted and smooth. Continue adding and whisking until all of the cheese has been added.
  • Whisk crema into the queso sauce, then stir the chile pepper mixture in and heat through. Serve immediately.

Donna’s Notes

Poblanos are large, mild peppers and can typically be found fresh in the grocery store produce section. Serrano chiles pack a lot of heat; they are small and are also readily available in the supermarket. Chipotles in adobo are sold in jars/cans in the ethnic food aisle. Rinsing the diced chipotles under tap water will reduce the reddish tint in the queso blanco.
Evaporated milk makes the queso silky smooth. It also makes reheating the queso easier. You can substitute Half and Half for evaporated milk, but it may be more finicky and curdle if the sauce is overheated.
You can substitute sour cream for the crema. Crema Mexicana is a Mexican style sour cream and is more runny than traditional sour cream. It is readily available in the supermarket – typically in the cheese section, near other Mexican cheeses. This is the “cultured cream” as referenced on Chipotle’s menu.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 235cal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 281mg | Sugar: 8g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 351mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
close up of chipotle queso on chip

Originally published July 2022.

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