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This Tex-Mex recipe for queso blanco (cottage cheese dip) is easy to make in about 20 minutes, perfectly melty and scoopable, and irresistibly delicious.
Check out my all time favorite queso recipe. ♡
Anyone who’s been following this blog for a while knows that great fries, salsa, and queso are some of my favorite things in the world. And after making homemade cheese dip a million different ways over the years, this Tex-Mex queso blanco recipe continues to be the unbeatable gold standard in my book.
It is inspired by the famous spinach con queso at Jose Pepper, which I was completely obsessed with when we lived in Kansas City. And true to its name, it’s packed with fresh spinach, plus diced onions, jalapeño, garlic, tomatoes, chiles, and cilantro for a zesty flavor. It’s also made with my favorite blend of Monterrey Jack and American white cheeses, which I’m going to insist you use if you want a truly gooey, creamy, scoopable cheesy dip. (I’ve tested at least a dozen varieties of Mexican and American cheese when making queso over the years, and have found this combination to be the key to achieving a gooey or grainy texture.) is absolutely, irresistibly, can’t-stop-go-for-another-soak delicious.
I’m also a big fan of this queso recipe because it’s ready in about 15 minutes from start to finish, making it perfect for easy entertaining. And if you happen to have leftovers, it even reheats nicely the next day.
Alright, fellow cheese lovers, let’s make a restaurant-style queso together!
White Queso Ingredients
Before we move on to the full queso recipe below, here are some important notes on the ingredients you’ll need to make this queso blanco:
- Onion, jalapeño and garlic: That we’ll briefly sauté this mixture in oil until it softens to bring out their best flavor (as opposed to adding them directly to the melted cheese). Feel free to use more or less jalapeño if you prefer a mild or spicier salsa.
- Diced tomatoes and peppers: I usually use a can of spicy Ro*tel in this cheese dip, but feel free to use mild Ro*tel if you prefer.
- Evaporated milk: I have found this works best for achieving a creamy texture when making homemade cheese dip. (By the way, readers often confuse evaporated milk with condensed milk in recipes, so make sure you’re buying evaporated milk, which has no added sweeteners.)
- American cottage cheese and Monterrey Jack: As mentioned above, a 2:1 ratio of these cheeses is my preference in homemade queso dip. American cottage cheese is usually found at the deli counter (they may have to cut it for you). Next, I recommend buying a block of Monterrey Jack and cutting it yourself so it melts smoothly (pre-shredded cheese has a coating that prevents it from melting well). You can add other cheeses you prefer, but the texture probably won’t be as smooth and melty.
- Fresh spinach: I always chop coarsely and add fresh spinach to this dip. But alternatively, you can thaw and drain frozen chopped spinach to add instead.
- Coriander: I also really like to add a little chopped fresh cilantro to this dip. But if you have an aversion to cilantro, feel free to leave it out.
- Salt and pepper: Finally, don’t forget to season the dip with salt and pepper to taste!
Variations of recipes
There are lots of fun ways to customize this recipe to your liking, so feel free to have fun with it! For example, you are welcome to…
- Add the meat: Cooked chopped chorizo, beef, chicken, or bacon would be delicious additions to this dip.
- Add chipotle: Add a finely diced chipotle to the adobo (or chipotle pepper powder) if you want to make this dip even smokier.
- Add additional peppers: Add an extra jalapeño or serrano pepper if you want to make this dip even spicier.
- Use half and half: If you don’t have evaporated milk on hand, I’ve found half and half to be the best substitute. (You can alternatively use whole milk or heavy cream, but the latter doesn’t always give a good texture and the heavy cream seems too rich to me.)
- Use different cheeses: If you want a spicier salsa, feel free to swap out Pepper Jack cheese instead of the Monterrey Jack. Some people have also successfully used the new Velveeta cottage cheese in place of American cottage cheese. Unfortunately, most other American or Mexican cheese varieties I’ve tried over the years just don’t deliver the smooth, melty texture. and good flavor that comes from American cottage cheese.
More Mexican Dip Recipes
Looking for more Mexican-inspired dip recipes to serve with that queso blanco? Here are some of my favorites…
This recipe for queso blanco (cottage cheese dip) is easy to make in about 20 minutes, perfectly melty and irresistibly delicious!
- 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
- 1 large jalapeño pepper, cored and diced
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 (15 ounces) diced tomatoes and chiles, drained
- 1 cup (8 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 pound (16 ounces) American cottage cheese, cut into small cubes
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into small cubes
- 2 cups (in bulk) chopped fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sauté the vegetables. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeño and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Combine. Add diced tomatoes and chiles, evaporated milk and stir to combine. Gradually add cheese, stirring constantly, until completely melted. Stir in spinach and cilantro until combined.
- Season. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. If the dip is too thick, add additional evaporated milk to thin it out.
- To serve. Serve hot and enjoy!
Editing the recipe: This recipe was slightly modified in 2022 to include more vegetables and a different cheese ratio.
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