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This Jalapeño Queso is silky smooth, better than anything you could order from a restaurant. Serve with salsa, a simple guacamole, and plenty of salty tortilla chips for the perfect homemade Mexican appetizer. It truly is the BEST!

The Best Jalapeno Queso | halfbakedharvest.com #Mexican #cheese #cincodemayo

I have debated for at least an hour now about whether or not I should be sharing this recipe today. It’s not that this queso is not delicious, because trust me, it is DELICIOUS. It’s just that I have been talking all things Mexican food for the entire week, and for a second I felt like it was a bit too much. I went back and forth on this issue for waaay to long, but then I decided that Cinco de Mayo is just over a week away, and that we actually need to be talking all things Mexican, and all week long.

It’s the right thing to do.

So long story short, I’m declaring it Mexican week here on HBH. Because, I just love Mexican food. Have I gotten you excited yet? Today we’ve got this jalapeño queso, and tomorrow I’ll be sharing something on the sweeter side. Olé!

The Best Jalapeno Queso | halfbakedharvest.com #Mexican #cheese #cincodemayo

Also, I’d love to go to Mexico right now. It’s still snowing here and I am dreaming of one hundred degree temperatures, blue waters, and tropical fruit. Take me there, please!?

Double also, should I share my Cinco de Mayo menu with you guys? Would that be helpful? Maybe a post with tips and tricks for creating the perfect Cinco de Mayo fiesta next week? Let me know what you think!

The Best Jalapeno Queso | halfbakedharvest.com #Mexican #cheese #cincodemayo

OK. And moving right along…

When my family and I traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this past summer, we were served queso, guacamole, and chips every single night before dinner. The queso was the very first thing to disappear every night, because it was truly the best thing we’d all ever tasted. The Mexican women who were cooking for us gave me a few of their tips and tricks before I left, and I knew I would have to at least attempt to remake their queso when I got home.

Just like Italians, it seems that a lot of Mexican men and women don’t write their recipes down, so I had to do a lot of testing with this recipe. It sure took me a while to get the recipe just right, but I can confidently say it tastes just as delicious as Gloria’s, and the texture is spot on too.

A couple of facts first. Homemade queso is life changing. Yes, life changing. And it’s also surprisingly easy to prepare. If you’ve only ordered queso when eating out, it’s now time to change that.

Here is what you need: some onion, garlic, spices, lots of jalapeño, a little chipotle, and plenty fo cheese. A lot pantry staples (for me at least) and basically all the Mexican food basics. Oh, and some lime too.

The secret to my queso…what makes it silky smooth, addictingly good, and well, the BEST? A little cream cheese.

I know, that may seem weird and totally not traditional, but just trust me on this one. The cream cheese acts as a binder of sorts, it holds all the other cheeses together and makes for an extra creamy and smooth queso, that’s not greasy. Greasy queso is no bueno in my book.

The Best Jalapeno Queso | halfbakedharvest.com #Mexican #cheese #cincodemayo

For easy entertaining, I like to make my queso in a cast iron skillet so that I can serve it right out of the skillet. It makes life so much easier and keeps the queso warm too. That said, you can also transfer the queso to a bowl like I did in these photos, but if I’m being honest, I much prefer serving this out of a skillet. I was just having a hard time photographing a pile of cheese in a skillet.

It’s a little tricky, if you didn’t know…

I like to top my queso with salsa and guacamole. Normally, I’ll use either a spicy red salsa or a fruity salsa like mango or pineapple. Either option is amazing, but I’m loving mangos with avocado right now, so I went with a mango salsa. I also used my super simple guacamole, which consist of avocado, lime, jalapeño, and flaky sea salt. It’s so good and perfect atop this extra cheesy queso, along with a side of homemade tortilla chips.

YUM.

If there’s one dish you make this weekend, next week, or for Cinco de Mayo on May 5th, it NEEDS to be this queso, and I think the reasons why are pretty obvious. Hello to melty cheese, guacamole, and a side of chips. Add Mexican beer or a margarita, and life is good.

The Best Jalapeno Queso | halfbakedharvest.com #Mexican #cheese #cincodemayo

If you make this queso and love it, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love, love, love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every one of you. Oh, and of course, if you do make this queso, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram so I can see!

Enjoy!

The Best Jalapeño Queso

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories Per Serving: 310 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 12 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely minced
  • mango salsa, red salsa, avocado, and chips for serving

Instructions

  • 1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeños, garlic, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onion is fragrant, about 5-10 minutes. Add the cream cheese and milk. Cook over medium heat until the sauce is smooth and the cream cheese has melted. 
    2. In a bowl, toss together the shredded cheese with the flour. Little by little, add the cheese to the warm milk, whisking until the sauce is smooth. Stir in the chipotle peppers. 
    3. Serve the queso warm topped with salsa and avocado. Use chips for scooping. EAT.

The Best Jalapeno Queso | halfbakedharvest.com #Mexican #cheese #cincodemayo

 

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Comments

  1. 1 star
    I made this today with blocks of cheese I grated, I cooked it over low the entire time, and it is so clumpy and separated it is almost inedible. I tried it, and the flavor is nice but the texture is like a gooey paste with milk on top. I love the rest of the recipes I’ve had from this blog but unfortunately this was a total miss for me and my husband. I had planned on serving it for friends, but unfortunately I do not think I will anymore. I don’t want to waste food and toss it but I don’t see how this could reheat at all!

  2. 3 stars
    The flavor of this was great. The consistency was a bit grainy and lumpy. Perhaps I cooked it too high? Overall a bit too thick for my taste but will definitely use the flavor combo of the adobo peppers and jalapeño again.

    1. Hey Kelly,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, so sorry it was not enjoyed. Was there anything you adjusted? Please let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

    1. Hey there,
      I actually made those chips, I cut corn tortillas and fried them in oil, and added some flaky sea salt. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. I recently moved to Europe from the US and sadly Monterey Jack cheese is nowhere to be found. Do you have any recommendations for a substitute?

    1. Hey Megan,
      You could use a combo of cheeses, really anything you like will work here! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Maggie,
      So sorry I have not tested this recipe with any dairy free substitutes, you could certainly give it a try! Let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

    1. Hey Taylor,
      Sure, that would work well. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  4. 4 stars
    Made this last night to accompany taco night. We didn’t have whole milk so subbed skim milk. It came out a little thicker than I would have liked. The flavor was great though, the chipotle peppers add a nice kick.

    1. Hi!! No you should leave the adobo on the chilies, do not rinse. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  5. I was craving queso dip so I made this recipe with some alterations based on my tastes and what I had on hand. I didn’t have jalapeños, so I used a can of chopped green chilies (medium heat), I didn’t have Monterey Jack, so I subbed mozzarella, and I didn’t have a can of chipotles on hand, but I did have powdered.

    Before serving I tasted the dip and it was a little bland and not at all spicy for my tastes, so I added more chipotle powder, onion and garlic powder, a little more salt, a bit of smoked paprika, a few generous dashes of hot sauce, and a pinch of cayenne. After the additions it was perfect!

    Overall this is a good base recipe that’s easy to modify and I’ll definitely be coming back to it!

  6. Tried this today. Great flavor but came out super thick …and I added extra milk too. May be it should be that way. Very nice combination of cheeses and peppers , tastes great!

    1. I am so glad this turned out so well for you Dina! Thank you! Please let me know if you have any questions! xTieghan

  7. I just made this and the cheese just kind of stuck together and stayed gummy – not saucy.. where’d I go wrong??? Otherwise was great!!

    1. Hey Brenna, I am sorry you had trouble. Was there anything you did differently at all? What brand/variety of cheese did you use? How high was the heat while you cooked this? Is it possible the cheese burned at all? Any info will be helpful to help me problem solve and figure out what might be happening for you. It’s hard to know without knowing any details. Hope I can help you! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    The best queso I’ve ever made.
    My kids rated 5 stars above the favorite at a local Mexican Restaurant.
    Awesome!

  9. Tieghan,

    Making this today – what were your cheeses of preference that you used? any extra pro tips here? Thanks!

    1. Hi Catherine! I like to use a sharp cheddar and a creamy Monterey jack cheese, but you can use a variety of “melting” cheeses you really love. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe and happy 4th of July! Thank you! xTieghan

  10. Cant wait to make this! Was just curious if you make your own tortilla chips. Is it as simple as frying tortillas?

    1. Hi there! Yes, You just fry corn tortillas in oil and then sprinkle with a flaky sea salt. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  11. If I wanted to make in advance would it make sense to prepare the recipe up until the part where you add cheese and then continue from there when ready to serve??

    1. Hi there! Yes, that is what I would recommend! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  12. This looks fabulous. Weird question, but, here goes! Is this something that can be made ahead and rewarmed? Asking for a family reunion coming up. Thank you!!!

    1. HI! Queso is a hard thing to rewarm as it can get stringy. It’s still good, but the texture is a bit off. So up to yoU! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. HI! Yes, mozzarella will work but will just great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  13. Made this last night and would not add any flour at all. It was pasty tasting because of the flour other than that it was good.

  14. 5 stars
    Made this last night and absolutely LOVED it!!! I did make a few changes. Probably will make again tomorrow for football Sunday. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. 4 stars
    Hi, I loved this queso, just made it for the first time when friends came for dinner. The flavor was delicious. But about 10 minutes after I made it, it hardened up. It was thick to start with. Do you think it’s because I used pre-shredded cheese? Also if it’s turning out thick is there a way to add something and thin it out? Maybe more milk…. Wondering what you recommend. Thanks for the great recipes on your site.

    1. Hey Laura! Because of all the cheese, as soon as this begins to cool, it will be begin to hard up a bit. You can add milk to thin it out and I do recommend buy blocks of cheese and then shredding it yourself. My best tip for serving queso is to one, leave it over LOW heat on the stove or serve it in a slow cooker and keep on the LOW or WARM setting. Please let me know if you have other questions. Glad you love this recipe! thanks so much! xTieghan

  16. mmmmm…! this looks so delicious! I’m planning a mexican themed dinner and I think this needs to be included! Do you think i could make it ahead and then re-heat to serve?

    1. HI! this is best serve right after making, but I do think you could reheat it on the stove top if you wanted to make in advance. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    I love this recipe, so easy and tasty! I used pre-shredded cheese (forgive me, new mom 🙂 ) and it ended up being very thick, with the two tablespoons of flour. Turns out, the cheese already had some corn starch added so it doesn’t stick in the bag… So just a tip for others, consider reducing the flour if using pre-shredded cheese.

    Thank you for taking my Cinco de Mayo so easy!

  18. 4 stars
    I made it this weekend and absolutely loved it! My husband already asked me to cook it again 🙂

  19. The flavor was fantastic! I don’t usually love chili’s in adobo, but they totally made the dish. BUT, mine separated. Not sure what happened. Everything looked great until my last two additions of cheese.

    1. Sometimes the cheese separates if it’s been over cooked. Did the cheese ever come to a boil? Glad you where still able to enjoy this! Please let me know if you have other questions. Thanks! 🙂

  20. It’s tasty! But it’s definitely not queso. More like a cheese dip. The texture is like Mac and cheese. Maybe because of the flour? Anyways, still searching for an authentic Tex-Mex queso recipe that isn’t “Bob Armstrong dip”… thank you for helping me on the way!

    1. Hi Jeffrey! I am so sorry this recipe did not turn out as you expected! I hope you enjoy some others on my blog ?

    1. I think transferring this to the crockpot just before adding the cheese will be great, just stir often. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  21. I can never have enough queso in my life. You can talk about Mexican dishes every day of the year-I won’t fight you on it!

    1. HI! I add the chipotle peppers after the cheese. I just stir them into the cheese. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  22. 5 stars
    I would love to see more of your recipes if you can please share them thank you have a good and blessed day…..

  23. 5 stars
    This is so cool! I watched this in the morning and I started feeling hungry, this stuff is new to me so thanks a lot for sharing this I think I will get to try this one day.As a kind request keep sharing more stuff like this please.
    https://bit.ly/2Fkde3r

  24. Hey, this looks amazing! What kind of chips do you have in the picture? They look so good! All the best! xx

  25. This looks SO good! I’ve been pinning so many of your recipes since I found your blog and I don’t know when I’m going to find the time to cook so much delicious food!

  26. This looks delicious! I’m having a Cinco de Mayo party so I may have to add this to the menu. I’d love to see your menu as well! What kind of chips are in this photo, or did you make them? Thanks!

    1. Hi Amber! I made the chips actually! I usually make the tortilla chips I use in recipes. I hope you love this one!

  27. Just got back from a conference in Mexico and I have to agree, the queso and guac can’t be beat! So good! Another of my new favorite Mexican obsessions from the trip is Chilaquiles for breakfast. Fantastic! Had them every day I was there. Are you working on a recipe for that??? I wouldn’t know where to start!!

  28. homemade tortilla chips are my absolute favorite. I like them with a little turmeric, salt and lime. I need to have some friends over to make this queso!

    1. I recommend serving this just after making, but leftovers will keep for 2-3 days. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  29. I really want to make this but my Cinco de Mayo party has 2 Celiacs joining us. Please help me with a flour substitution?!

    1. HI! You can use gluten free corn starch in place of the flour in equal amounts. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

    1. I leave it on the heat, but over LOW heat. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  30. EVERY week could be Mexican food week as far as I’m concerned! Last queso I tried to whip up started with a block of processed cheese product and went downhill from there. 🙁 I’ll definitely give this a try … and please do share your Cinco de Mayo menu!

  31. Yes please share your Cinco de Mayo menu and any other tips! I am busy that Saturday so I am hosting a neighborhood Cuatro de Mayo happy hour and could use allll the ideas! Thanks!

  32. Can’t wait to try this out! Would love to see your cinco de mayo menu, we are hosting a get together and would love some inspiration!

  33. Oh my, this looks incredible! Never had queso before but it looks like something I’d polish off in a heartbeat.