Restaurant Style Queso

Restaurant Style Queso

Let's be honest here, who isn't tempted to order queso every time you visit a restaurant? I know I am.  It is a shame that it always seems to cost a bit more than you would want to spend...

In a fair and just world, all queso would be free. Sadly, that isn't reality.

After years of trying to make real, restaurant-quality queso with Velveeta, I realized that that also was not reality. Restaurant queso has a wonderful but unique and elusive flavor that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I wanted my queso to have the exact same flavor, texture, and even the same velvety thinness of my favorite locally owned Mexican restaurant. So, I asked them what cheese they used, and they said white American.

When I think white American, I think of Velveeta. However, after much hopeless wandering around the store, my husband and I discovered that white American is NOT Velveeta, and you can find it at the deli counter of your local grocery store. Ask them to slice it thinly for easy melting!

Much more testing, editing, and tasting later, I finally had it. Seriously. Actually authentic, restaurant-style queso cheese dip!

If you have had similar struggles to mine, I hope this recipe is the end of your journey for perfect queso.

The long sought after cheesy pot of liquid gold at the end of your rainbow.

Happy melting!

Yield: 5+ cups queso dip


  • 1 lb. American white cheddar (ask deli to slice thinly for easy melting)
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup of whole milk + more to taste
  • 2 tablespoon small diced jalapeños
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Add cheese, milk, salt, and garlic powder to a non-stick pot or a small crock pot set to high. With either method, you will need to be sure to check on it and stir it often to keep the milk from curdling before the cheese melts. It won't affect the flavor of the queso, but it will effect the texture.

If using a small pot, stir the mixture more and more frequently the hotter the mixture gets. Should take 15-20 minutes to become smooth.

If using a crock pot, cover and stir occasionally if it starts to bubble. Will take 45 minutes to 1 hour most likely to become smooth.

Pulse salsa and jalapeños is a blender if desired before adding to the cheese dip to make the texture smoother.

After incorporating salsa and jalapeños, test dip with a corn chip to judge if you would like it to be thinner.

Taste for seasoning.

Serve with a side of chips in a really fun salsa bowl.

Here is a pin-able photo for Pinterest (below)!