This queso recipe is made from scratch and is the best queso I’ve tasted in Texas – and I’ve tasted A LOT! (just ask my pants)

Queso recipe
I love many things about Texas and queso is one of them!!

Homemade Queso Recipe

Queso is a mainstay of the Texan diet. Back in Canada, I don’t think I ever bought “cheese dip” or ordered nachos and cheese at the movie theatre or anywhere. Totally different story in Houston! Here, I could swim in queso! I love it and order it every time I eat at a Tex Mex restaurant. You can buy pre-made queso in jars or cans and each time I try one, I get my hopes up… only for them to be dashed at first dip! I even tried making my own queso using the popular recipe on the back of the Velveeta box – just melted Velveeta and Rotel; it tasted like plastic and we threw most of it out.

Luckily, my husband started experimenting in the kitchen and came up with a queso recipe that we all LOVE including my picky eater!

Queso Recipe
She will even get out of the pool for queso!

This recipe uses real cheese and evaporated milk, fresh onion, garlic and cilantro, and one cup of canned diced tomatoes with chilies. It comes together fast but will disappear even faster!

What kind of cheese is used to make queso?

My hubby uses packaged grated cheese in this queso recipe. He has used all kinds of cheddar but favours the Mexican cheese blend. If you’re ambitious, you could grate your own and it would work the same, as long as it is real cheese versus processed cheese.

Queso recipe
Mexican Style Cheese Blend ready to be queso’d!

How to Make Queso Dip

The trick to good queso is getting a good consistency – not too runny but not too thick. In this queso recipe, that’s achieved in two ways: by coating the grated cheese with cornstarch and using evaporated milk.

Apply 1 tbsp cornstarch to 2 1/2 cups grated cheese! The evaporated milk comes later!
Queso Recipe
Chop up about half a small onion – we use white onion because it’s sweeter.
Queso Recipe
Add about 1/4 cup chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic to 1 tbsp melted butter in a saucepan…
Queso Recipe
Cook till golden!
Queso Recipe
Stir in one can of evaporated milk and1/2 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder.
Queso Recipe
Add grated cheese coated in cornstarch and stir until melted and smooth.
Queso Recipe
Add in 3/4 cup of canned diced tomatoes with chilies, drained.
Queso Recipe
I love cilantro! I think though that there are people who can’t handle it for some kind of science reason so if you’re one of those, leave the cilantro out.
Queso Recipe
Stir in 1/3 cup of finely chopped cilantro – how finely you chop determines how long you’ll have to wait for your kid to inspect her dip before you can get in there.
Queso Recipe
Stir it all up!

Now, you’re almost done! One last step to make your queso experience extra special: warm up your tortilla chips!

Queso Recip
Once you’ve warmed up your chips, you’ll never be able to have them any other way!

Okayyyyy, two last steps if you have an awesome husband like I do!

Queso recipe
Make yourself a mojito to go with your queso!

The Perfect Texas Snack

Queso Recipe
All done! Now you have your warm chips, your hot queso and your cool mojito!
Queso Recipe
Happiness awaits!
Queso Recipe from scratch
One last gander at delicious queso made from scratch!

I admit that before I moved to Texas, I didn’t really know the difference between queso and chile con queso.  Guess what? It’s the same thing. Queso is just the shortened version of the term that means cheese dip with chilies. It’s a nickname! Some people add meat to their queso, some people use fresh diced tomatoes and chilies. Some people use white Mexican cheese. I suppose I might try some of those variations one day IF I ever get tired of this queso recipe as is. However, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon!

My recommendation: go get yourself some grated cheese and a can of diced tomatoes with chiles and whip up this queso recipe tomorrow. It’s delicious, fast. easy, and you can call it Can-Tex-Mex because it is a Mexican dish made by a Canadian in Texas! Hope you enjoy!

xoxo Nicole

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Queso Recipe

Queso recipe
5 from 1 vote


This queso recipe is made from scratch using grated cheese, evaporated milk and canned tomatoes with chilies. It comes together fast and will disappear even faster!

Course Appetizer
Keyword queso
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people - haha I could it eat it all myself
Author The Spirited Thrifter


  • 1 tbsp butter, melted in saucepan
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic

Cook in saucepan until onions and garlic are golden.

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Stir evaporated milk, garlic powder and onion powder into saucepan.

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Toss grated cheese with cornstarch to coat then add to saucepan, stirring till melted and smooth.

  • 3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with chilies, drained

Stir into saucepan.

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Stir into saucepan.

  • nacho chips

Place nacho chips on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and heat in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes till warm.

Serve queso hot with warm chips, preferably alongside a mojito or margarita or both, no judgment.

Try to share with your children but if you don't feel like it, just point out all the green bits.

IF by some weird happenstance you have some queso leftover, it can be reheated in the microwave. Stir it up before dipping.


  1. 5 stars
    Wow. This recipe is a definite add to my cooking repertoire. Can’t wait to try. Yummo!!