This homemade Queso Blanco is rich and creamy, with delicious flavor and a little bit of heat. Made with just a few ingredients, this hot cheese dip is quick, easy, and just as crave-worthy as your favorite Mexican restaurant’s queso!
Easy White Queso Dip
Every time we go to a certain local Mexican restaurant, we just have to order their famous (everyone in these parts knows about it!) “family secret recipe” cheese sauce. It’s the inspiration behind this easy homemade Queso Blanco recipe!
While my family definitely gets excited every time I make homemade salsa, let’s face it, it’s the warm cheese dip that they absolutely adore. So who am I to deny them this deliciousness?!
It turns out that homemade queso blanco is incredibly easy to make. All you need is some American cheese, pickled jalapenos, heavy cream, and a couple jars from the spice drawer. Melt the cheese, stir in the rest, and then grab some chips. You’re all set to dive into your very own restaurant-quality queso!
What Is Queso Blanco?
Queso blanco translates to “white cheese” – but we’re not talking about just any white cheese here with this recipe.
We’re talking about that irresistible, crave-worthy white cheese dip served up at Mexican restaurants. You know the one.
This queso is served warm, in all its rich, creamy, cheesy glory. With simple spices and just a touch of heat (you can always add more heat if you like), this Mexican dip is absolute perfection with crisp, salty tortilla chips and restaurant-style salsa.
This homemade queso blanco has a very short ingredients list. See the recipe card below for the measurements.
- White American cheese – See notes below.
- Heavy cream – Heavy cream thins the melted cheese and adds a rich creaminess to the dip.
- Pickled jalapenos – I use homemade pickled jalapenos, but ones from the store work just fine. Mince them finely.
- Pickled jalapeno juice – Just use the juice from the jar of pickled jalapenos. This thins the dip just a bit more, plus it adds a little more heat and incorporates delicious flavor throughout the dip.
- Spices – Cumin and garlic powder add a bit more depth to the flavor. They’re the perfect spices for this dip!
What’s The Best Cheese To Use?
To make your white queso dip, look for white American cheese.
The best choice is block or sliced American cheese straight from a cheese deli…if you can find it.
I often use Land O’Lakes sliced white American cheese (affiliate link) or Velveeta “Queso Blanco” (affiliate link). Look for them in the deli department or refrigerated cheeses area. Velveeta is a shelf-stable product, so you might find it in a non-refrigerated dips & spreads section at the store.
There’s not a huge difference between the Land O’Lakes slices and Velveeta. But I do prefer the texture and flavor of the Land O’Lakes American cheese, while the rest of my family prefers the Velveeta.
Here’s a fun little read: What is American cheese? – a professional chef’s opinion that American cheese deserves some respect. While our family certainly does not eat much of this cheese, I do have to agree that it has its place!
How to Make Queso Blanco
Making this cheese dip is beyond easy – definitely faster than driving to your favorite Mexican restaurant!
- Melt the cheese. Heat the cheese and heavy cream over medium-low, stirring often until smooth.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir until fully combined and heated through.
Can I Make This In The Crockpot?
Yes, you can easily make crockpot queso blanco. Just follow the same basic instructions as noted above.
Add the cheese and cream to a small crockpot and heat on low for 1-2 hours. Once this is all melty, stir in the remaining ingredients.
The crockpot method is perfect for parties and taco bars. Just keep the crockpot on the “warm” setting so the dip doesn’t get cold!
Tips & Variations
Here are a few tips for making this white cheese dip, as well as some variation ideas.
- Stir frequently. As the cheese warms, be sure to stir frequently to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. You might need to adjust the temperature up or down, to get that perfect slow melt.
- Use the right cheese. For this particular recipe, you’ll want to stick to one of the white American cheese products that I talked about, or another brand’s similar product. This dip is not meant to be “stretchy-cheesy” by using shredded cheeses. It’s more of a “saucy-cheesy”, like the dip our family loves at Acapulco.
- Adjust the heat level. You can easily adjust the heat by adding in more chilies – any kind of peppers that you personally like. Or add a splash of hot sauce or a few good shakes of hot chili powder. If you’re not a fan of heat, hold back on the pickled jalapenos and juice.
- Add a little something extra. You could add some chorizo or ground beef to this cheese dip. Cook the meat separately, breaking it down into very small pieces, then stir it into the melty cheese dip. Black beans, corn kernels, and finely diced onion and tomatoes can also be added for more bulk and a different flavor.
What to Serve With Queso Blanco Dip
Tortilla chips, obviously! Thin, crunchy restaurant-style tortilla chips with this queso blanco will have you feeling like you’re in a restaurant. Bonus points if you have some restaurant-style salsa and cheesy beef taco dip to go with it!
But don’t limit yourself to enjoying this white cheese dip only with chips. Also offer it as a dip with southwest egg rolls or grilled crab quesadillas.
You can also spoon it over Tex-Mex scallop rice bowls, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, carnitas, taco-stuffed sweet potatoes, Dorito taco salad, cheddar chicken tacos with apples, or macho nachos. It’s even tasty when spooned over rice.
And with any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal, the obvious drink choice is a margarita or cold beer. A refreshing ranch water cocktail, my “skinny margarita”, would also be great.
For NA options, we especially like a strawberry lemonade or blueberry basil lemonade!
How to Store & Reheat
Queso blanco keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days, in an airtight container.
Reheat it gently on the stovetop, stirring frequently. You may want to add a splash of milk or heavy cream to help loosen it back up and regain the smooth, creamy texture.
More Easy Dip Recipes:
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This homemade Queso Blanco is rich and creamy, with delicious flavor and a little bit of heat. Made with just a few ingredients, this hot cheese dip is quick, easy, and just as crave-worthy as your favorite Mexican restaurant's queso!
- 8 ounces white American cheese, cubed or sliced (see Note below)
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon very finely minced pickled jalapeno peppers (or use canned pickled jalapenos)
- 3 tablespoons pickled jalapeno juice (from the jar of pickled jalapenos)
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt cheese and heavy cream. Stir often, until completely smooth. Or place in a mini CrockPot on low for 1-2 hours.
- Add minced pickled jalapenos, pickled jalapeno juice, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir often, until mixture is fully combined and heated through. Serve hot with your favorite tortilla chips.
White American cheese: The best choice would be block or sliced American cheese straight from a cheese deli, if you can find it. I often use pre-packaged Land O'Lakes sliced white American cheese, found with other sliced cheese in the deli or refrigerated cheese area. You can also use Velveeta "Queso Blanco" - find it by the regular Velveeta or by other dips and spreads at the store. While there's not a huge difference between the two, I prefer the Land O'Lakes American cheese and the rest of my family prefers the Velveeta. 😋
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 444mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.