Now you can enjoy your favorite Queso Blanco dip at home! One of our favorite Applebee’s copycat recipes, this white cheese dip couldn’t taste better. Spicy queso is loaded with 2 cheeses, fresh herbs, and just enough heat to make your tongue tingle.
Applebee’s Spicy Queso is a Southwestern-inspired creamy white cheese dip to please the palate and leave your taste buds begging for more.
Now, you can enjoy it from the comfort of your home with our easy copycat recipe!
Don’t forget a dollop of fresh pico de gallo in the center — it just adds even more texture to this fabulous hot cheese dip.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Cheese – We use a combo of white American and Monterey Jack. Both are mild cheeses that melt down nice and smooth, but the combo creates a better flavor.
- Heavy Cream – This makes everything super creamy, and it won’t scald if the mixture gets too hot. Swap with half and half for a lighter version.
- Onion – White onion is the best choice, but yellow onion can be used in a pinch.
- Peppers – Jalapenos are the traditional choice, but canned diced green chiles are a great alternative. Just be sure to drain them really well first.
Tips for the Best White Cheese Dip
- Adjust the heat. Use fewer jalapenos for a mild heat, or add more if you prefer your spicy queso even spicier!
- Include other ingredients. Toss in some cooked chorizo or ground beef for a heartier dip.
You can also include tomatoes in the dip itself and leave off the pico on top.
- Bring everything to room temp first. It’s not required, but it will cut down on the melting time and guarantee the smoothest results!
Obviously, you need some dippers, and nothing goes better with queso blanco than tortilla chips!
Hot cheese dip is just as delicious with raw veggies or on all of your Mexican food favorites — tacos, burritos, nachos, and more. It’s even tasty on burgers!
Spicy Queso FAQ
Any homemade version of this hot cheese dip will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Be sure to store it in an airtight container and avoid reheating it multiple times. Instead, warm just what you plan to eat in the microwave or on the stove.
Jarred versions may last longer — up to 2 weeks — because they contain preservatives.
Ingredients may vary by restaurant and homemade recipe, but queso blanco dip always starts with white American cheese, some sort of milk or cream, and jalapenos.
Our recipe also includes Monterey Jack cheese because it melts down so nicely and has a bolder flavor than American.
Grated onion adds flavor and a little texture, and cilantro brings the Mexican flair. Finally, a dollop of fresh pico in the center brightens the whole dish!
Make Ahead Instructions
If you’re planning for a party, you can add everything to your crock pot and cook on Low for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Once everything is melted, keep it on warm until the guests arrive. Or, serve queso blanco right out of the slow cooker.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Appetizer Recipes
Spicy Queso Blanco Applebee’s Copycat
- 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil, or other neutral oil
- 1 small onion, divided
- 2 – 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined, and minced (divided)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into chunks
- 4 ounces white American cheese, cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, divided
- 1 Roma tomato, de-seeded 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 1/2 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, 1/2 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!
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.
Originally published November 2013, updated and republished July 2023
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