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Queso Dip

Ultra-cheesy and savory, our super easy queso dip recipe is a game-day snack table must-have.


homemade queso dip in a bowl topped with cilantro and diced onion with a chip being dipped into the queso

Don’t Even Pretend You Don’t Love Queso

Whether you think of it as guilty pleasure, your favorite Mexican restaurant go-to, or a football season staple, queso dip is beloved by most. It’s like a cheese-lovers fever dream—gooey, melty, cheesy, salty, loaded with a just-right spice blend and ready for your favorite tortilla chip. Served warm and fresh off the stove, queso dip feels just a bit more exciting—and a lot more party-worthy—than the jarred stuff that a lot of us have resorted to at one time or another. Honestly, we’re not even the worlds’ biggest sports fans, but we do love any excuse to make food like this! A little silly, a lot indulgent and ideal for sharing with our favorite people. Fellow queso cheese dip lovers, this recipe is for you!

queso dip ingredients in bowls on the counter American cheese, tomatoes, whole milk, green chiles, butter, spices, and onions

What Is Queso Dip Made Of?

Queso dip is not the time for fancy cheese. Nope. Not even close! Look, we love a great Gruyère or taleggio as much as the next guy, but queso dip is all about that squeaky, factory-cheese-y stuff. You want a very specific texture—shall we call it gooey?—and the kind of melt-ability that only comes from American cheese. Embrace it! Love it! Also, buy the best quality American cheese you can! We like to buy it in a large block from the deli counter (usually they have the Boar’s Head brand). Feel free to use yellow or white, or a combination of the two. Here’s everything you’ll need to make the best, easiest queso dip ever:

  • Butter

  • Onion

  • Roma tomato

  • Canned green chiles

  • Cumin

  • Chili powder

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder

  • Cornstarch

  • Whole milk

butter and diced onions in a sauce pan
butter onions, tomatoes, chiles, and cornstarch in a sauce pan
butter onions, tomatoes, chiles, and cornstarch cooked in a sauce pan
butter onions, tomatoes, chiles, cornstarch and whole milk in a sauce pan

4 Reasons This Is the Best Queso Recipe Ever

There are so many reasons to try making queso at home instead of buying it, and this recipe is especially easy. It’s really a no brainer! Other than the cheese, it’s made mostly of pantry ingredients, and it comes together in less than 10 minutes. Here are four more reasons to love it (and make it asap!):

  1. You can make this queso dip ahead of time!

  2. All of your friends love queso and will love you forever for making it for them. This is not opinion, it’s a fact.

  3. You can make it your own! Try the recipe as-written the first time, but then feel free to tinker! You can make it spicier by adding a splash of hot sauce, or tinker with the spice blend until it tastes just right.

  4. It’s super easy to make homemade queso! Like much much easier than you might think. You don’t need fancy ingredients or special tools—just some spices and cheese.

queso dip ingredients in a sauce pan being stirred with a wooden spoon
homemade quedo dip in a sauce pan being stirred with a wooden spoon

How To Make Queso Dip

While you could dip other things in this queso—maybe chopped veggies, for example—nothing beats good old tortilla chips. And conveniently, this dip comes together in just about the amount of time it’ll take you to open a bag of chips (and snack on a few while the dip simmers). Here’s how to make queso dip:

  1. Sauté the onion in a little butter or oil.

  2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and cornstarch.

  3. Stir in the milk and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.

  4. Whisk in the cheese. Stir the queso constantly so that the bottom doesn’t burn at all.

  5. When the cheese has melted and the queso dip is creamy and smooth, pull it from the heat and grab your favorite chips—it’s time to eat!

homemade queso dip in a bowl topped with cilantro and diced onion
homemade queso dip in a bowl topped with cilantro and diced onion surrounded by tortilla chips

Can I Make Queso Ahead of Time?

You sure can! It’ll keep in the fridge for about a week. When you’re ready to serve the queso, it’s easy to reheat it! You’ll want to simply warm it slowly over low heat on the stove top, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn at all.

homemade queso dip in a bowl topped with cilantro and diced onion

Tools You’ll Need:

More Super-Cheesy Game Day Recipes to Try

homemade queso dip in a bowl topped with cilantro and diced onion
homemade queso dip in a bowl topped with cilantro and diced onion with a chip being dipped into the queso

Queso Fanatics, Unite!

This queso recipe is admittedly a little dangerous. Once you know how truly easy it is to make queso dip at home, you’ll be wanting to make it all the time. When you make it, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Queso Dip

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  12 min
  • Cook Time:  12 min
  • Calories: 248


  • 2 Tbsp Butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped about 1/3 cup
  • 1 Roma tomato, seeded, finely chopped about 1/2 cup
  • 1 (4 oz) can green chiles
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cups whole milk
  • 1 lb American cheese, shredded (white, yellow or 8 oz of both. Get a high quality brand from the deli counter, in block form, not sliced)
  • Cilantro, minced, optional
  • Tortilla chips (for serving)


  1. In a medium pot, heat the butter or olive oil over medium heat. Cook 3/4 of the onion until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low.
  2. Add the tomatoes, chiles, salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and cornstarch. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the milk and turn the heat back up to medium. Bring to a simmer and cook stirring until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the cheese, and cook, stirring until completely melted. Take off heat immediately.
  5. Serve topped with remaining raw onions and cilantro if desired alongside chips for dipping.


  • Stir often to keep the cheese from scorching on the bottom.
  • The queso will thicken as it cools. If you want the queso a little smoother you can hit it with an immersion blender while it’s hot.
  • Will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge.
  • White, yellow or 8 oz of both American cheese will work. Get a high quality brand from the deli counter, in block form, NOT slices. We use Boar’s Head brand.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories248
  • Protein11 g
  • Carbohydrates9 g
  • Total Fat18 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol56 mg
  • sodium1029 mg
  • Total Sugars7 g

Queso Dip

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Rachel

    If you make it ahead of time and store in the fridge, how do you then serve from the fridge? Just let sit out and come to room temp, or warm up & how?

    Slowly reheat on low on the stove top stirring often. If you reheat in the microwave stop it and stir every 30 seconds.

  • Holly Koskinen

    Hey there TMP. I made this in a half batch (since I'm solo) and while the flavor is delicious, it didn't seem to thicken up much. Granted I used almond milk and perhaps there's the difference. Did everything else the same. Thoughts? Always appreciate your recipes. It allows me to try new things which is really enjoyable. :) Thanks!

    Milk can make a big difference that was probably the issue.

  • Denta

    Can you freeze this?

    We wouldn't recommend that. We haven't' tried but we don't think it would melt well after being frozen. Hope you enjoy Denta!

  • Jane

    Wanting to make this for a party and place it in a small crockpot for dipping - would keeping it on warm be okay or will it scorch the bottom?

    Yes! Just keep it on low and it will work great!

  • Kelly

    I'm super excited to make this for the super bowl! I ordered the Boars Head American cheese from my deli on an online order and they sliced it. Will this still be ok to use? Were you just making sure the pre-packaged slices weren't used? Hoping it all still comes together...


    Hi Kelly, that will work fine just make sure to shred the slices or roughly chop. Hope you love it!

  • TallyhoMark

    I made this using white American cheese, small block of Velveeta cheese, and sharp cheddar cheese. Yummy!

    Thanks, so happy you enjoyed it!

  • Gardner


    Thank you Gardner!

  • Matt

    Made this for a small get together/my girlfriend's birthday. I am by no means a cook but she said this is the best queso she has ever had and only wants this when eating mexican. I used 8oz of soft Queso Fresco and 8oz Pepperjack in place of the American cheese and just threw everything in a crockpot. The spices give it all such a good flavor. 10/10

    Thank you Matt, we are so glad you and your girlfriend loved it! Happy belated birthday to her!

  • Tresa

    My friend brought this to a party at my house and it was incredible! Everyone was raving about it, can't wait to make it myself!

    Thanks Tresa glad everyone enjoyed it!

  • Jenn

    We could not stop eating this, it's so creamy and flavorful and delicious! So excited to be able to make queso at home!

    That's great Jenn!