Craving that smooth, creamy, slightly spicy perfection-in-a-dip that is authentic Tex-Mex Queso Blanco? Great news. I’ve got a budget-friendly, easy, at-home solution for you!
There is absolutely no substitute for that cheesy queso you get in Mexican restaurants—the jarred ones from the grocery store don’t even come close. But this recipe is so on par with the real thing, you’ll be hard-pressed not to eat the whole dang bag of chips.
Tex-Mex Queso Blanco Tips and Tricks
Low and Slow
I can NOT emphasize the importance of this enough. Keep your stove at a low temperature, stir frequently, and be patient. The smallest burner on my stove has a “melt” setting, which is lower than low, and that’s what I use.
If your stove doesn’t have this setting, don’t fear! Just keep it on low and watch it closely. The second your cheese and milk get too hot, your at risk of it splitting, which is really hard to come back from.
If for some reason you accidentally turn your stove up too high, and your Tex-Mex Queso Blanco does split—don’t worry, I got your back.
What If My Queso Splits or Curdles?
If you notice a chunky texture, immediately remove it from your heat source. Try whisking it quickly to see if you can bring it back to that velvety crème-de-la-crème texture we are all after. Add a little bit more milk and continue to whisk. Turn your stove down to the lowest setting, and continue to whisk over low heat.
If this doesn’t do it, it’s time to bring out the big guns—acid. A dash of lemon or lime juice can bring your queso back together in a pinch. Whisk in a couple of drops to start. Continue to add slowly, over low heat, while whisking, until your cheesy dip comes back together.
Taste Test It
Mostly because you deserve it, but also because you may want more cumin or cayenne, and depending on the heat of your stove, you may need more or less milk to achieve the right consistency.
Start with 1/4 cup milk, but keep extra on hand. If you find it is too thick, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get that perfect drip. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away. The same goes for your spices.
Cube Your Cheese and Butter
Don’t stress if it’s taking a while to integrate. When you first add all your ingredients into the pot, they’ll take some time to melt and combine. Cubing your cheese and butter will help to speed up the process.
Green tip: Try buying organic dairy for this recipe. Organic farms rely on biodiversity to generate rich soil, avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which means no toxic runoff.
Where To Find the Main Ingredient
You can usually buy white American cheese in the deli section by the ounce, but you can also use the singles slices. If you’re using singles, you will need eight of those individually wrapped guys to make approximately 6 ounces.
Why You Should Make This Tex-Mex Queso Blanco
- The texture. Creamy and smooth, but not too thin.
- The spice. The contrast of the hot cayenne and earthy cumin with the milky cheese is top-notch.
- It’s fun. What’s better than sharing dip with friends?
- There’s no better way to kick off Taco Night. If you have the will-power, save some for your tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. Drenching those delicacies in homemade queso can only elevate them!
- It’s quick and easy! Under 30 minutes, and only needs an occasional stir. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
The Inspiration Behind This Tex-Mex Queso Blanco
College was a very formative time for me. First time out of the nest, in a huge state school in the South where football and partying were priorities 1 and 2. I had to adapt to a new culture, live through a tough break up, and create new little traditions with my friends to fill the void of missing my family and my hometown.
And new, albeit, strange traditions we made. My senior year, there was a little Tex-Mex restaurant around the corner from my house, and every Saturday, without fail, my friends and I would roll out of bed, tiredly slip on a pair of sandals, and walk there for breakfast.
Yes, you read that right. Tacos for breakfast. And of course we started with chips and queso every time. Sometimes a cheeky frozen margarita because, well, hair of the dog.
That creamy, cheesy, salty, spicy queso on a chip was THE. BEST. HANGOVER. CURE. And while since graduating I haven’t eaten it for breakfast, it remains one of my favorite dips.
Enjoy with friends, or by yourself on the couch. And maybe, on a Saturday, enjoy this Tex-Mex Queso Blanco for breakfast. 😉