Queso Blanco is such a versatile dip that comes together in minutes with complex flavors and a silky texture. This recipe is made with delicious ingredients and fresh cheese rather than the processed cheese commonly used.
The following post is sponsored by Cache Valley Creamery. All the opinions and comments about Cache Valley Cheese are my own.
Queso Blanco is a star player in any Mexican-themed appetizer event or even in a main course. This version is sure to become your go-to, especially when you see how simple and quick it is to make. Though Queso is commonly made using Velveeta processed cheese, I’m so happy to bring you this fresh version using my favorite brand of cheese from Cache Valley Creamery. Cache Valley has been in business since 1938, is 100% owned by American dairy farmers, and is made with pure, wholesome ingredients.
Ingredients in Queso Blanco-
- Evaporated Milk: Using evaporated milk prevents the queso from separating, especially when reheating as it has a higher heat tolerance than regular milk or cream.
- Cornstarch: Using just a bit of cornstarch helps to thicken the queso blanco just enough without becoming gummy or lumpy.
- Full fat sour cream and cream cheese: The sour cream adds a nice tang to the queso blanco and cream cheese is great in achieving and maintaining a smooth texture. Full fat sour cream and cream cheese are recommended to get the best flavor and creaminess.
- Freshly grated cheese: Only use block cheese that you grate yourself, as pre grated cheese has a coating to prevent coating and clumping in the package. This coating prevents the cheese from melting to an ultra-smooth texture. This is probably the most important tip to success for the queso blanco recipe.
- Diced tomatoes with green chiles, lime juice and canned jalapeños: The combination of diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel brand, for instance), and a small amount of canned diced jalapeños adds nice texture, a little bit of heat that you can increase easily just be adding more. Lime juice adds a tang that brings all the other flavors forward.
- Spices: The combination of chili powder with cumin is classic for Mexican fare, and, smoked paprika, cayenne, onion and garlic powder, along with salt and pepper, makes for a great combination of bold flavors in every bite.
How do you make Queso Blanco:
Queso Blanco couldn’t be easier to get right. It’s only a matter of heating each ingredient at a level that helps make the dip velvety-smooth without separating.
Evaporated milk and cornstarch are mixed until smooth and heated until just simmering, then the cream cheese and sour cream are added. Stir until fully incorporated and smooth. This only takes a couple minutes.
Next add your freshly grated cheeses, a little at a time, being sure to fully melt the cheese before adding more. If the sauce seems stringy, the cheese just needs to melt more.
Next the diced tomatoes with chiles, jalapeños and other ingredients get stirred in. Continue until the dip is consistent and smooth. That’s it! Ready to serve. I serve the dip immediately and you can also serve it in a small slow cooker on warm to maintain a warm dip. Served with chips is classic, and adding some strips of bell peppers, carrot and celery is also a great variation.
How to serve Queso Blanco-
Queso Blanco is so versatile and can be amped up with other ingredients, too. Ground beef, spicy sausage or chorizo, bacon, or even rotisserie chicken make for a super hearty dip. If you want lots of heat, add fresh diced jalapeños, hot sauce or more cayenne.
Here are just a few suggestions for making this easy dip go far:
- Add to your favorite nacho recipe
- Drizzle into burritos or tacos
- Add to a favorite burger
- Delicious over roasted potatoes, fries, broccoli, and cauliflower
- Topping for chili
Whether you make the Queso Blanco for classic dipping or to add to your favorite recipes, I’m sure this will become a favorite. I tested different ingredients and even methods in search of the perfect queso, and the combination of different cheeses, the sour cream and cream cheese, and the variety of spice all created what I think is the last queso recipe you’ll ever need. And since this is a cheese recipe, Cache Valley Creamery’s cheese will improve the flavor and texture even more in the final dish.
Queso Blanco Recipe
- 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
- 1½ tsp cornstarch
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream full fat
- 2 ounces Cache Valley Creamery sharp cheddar cheese grated, about 1 cup loosely packed
- 2 ounces Cache Valley Creamery Mozzarella cheese grated, about 1 cup loosely packed
- 2 ounces Cache Valley Creamery Monterey Jack cheese grated, about 1 cup loosely packed
- 1 ounce Cache Calley Creamery Swiss cheese grated, about ½ cup loosley packed
- ½ cup diced tomatoes with green chiles like Rotel brand
- 2 tbsp canned diced jalapeno peppers more if you want it hot, plus 1 tbsp of juice
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice a quick squeeze from half a lime is enough
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp salt more or less, to taste
- ½ tsp EACH ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp EACH smoked paprika, cayenne pepper
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk evaporated milk with the cornstarch until smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until simmering around the edges. Reduce heat to low and add cream cheese and sour cream, stirring until fully incorporated into the milk and smooth.
- Stir in the cheese a little at a time and cook until fully melted and smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring constantly. Continue to cook until the consistency is full and smooth. Taste for seasoning or desired spice and add more as desired.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips and sliced vegetables. Also great poured on nachos, fries, or in burritos and tacos. You may add some fresh toppings to make the dip pretty and for added interest. Fresh jalapeno slices, fresh tomato slices, green onions, extra grated cheese, are all good options.
- Leftovers may be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days and reheat nicely. See notes for reheating methods.
- Cheese- I highly recommend buying block cheese and grating it yourself. Pre grated cheese has a coating to prevent it from sticking that makes it less smooth when melted. I used four types of cheese in the dip and all for reasons to add nice variety of flavor. If you don't want to use that many, I recommend at least using sharp cheddar and mozzarella.
- Add ins- You can get creative with the add ins and add more or less of the diced tomatoes, green chiles, and jalapenos but the cheese should be the star so though the amounts I used aren't huge, they add just enough flavor and texture without taking over.
- Reheating the dip- The Queso Blanco reheats beautifully as long as you don't boil it. You may reheat in the microwave, covered. I recommend no higher than power 6 at 30 second intervals, depending on how much of the dip is being heated. Stir between intervals and heat until desired. On the stove top is my preferred way to reheat the Queso. Just heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.