Easy Homemade Queso recipe without Velveeta is made with real cheese in a skillet on the stove top. It's the best queso dip recipe ever and an easy appetizer for game day.
Easy Queso Dip Recipe without Velveeta
Not only is this recipe for homemade queso super easy, but it's also made with real cheese and other real ingredients -- just like you get in your favorite Mexican restaurant. As a bonus, this is a naturally low carb keto queso recipe as it is made without flour.
This delicious cheese dip is pretty much a blend of pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, cream cheese and heavy cream. I only added a few other natural ingredients.
So, no Velveeta or processed cheese here, folks. But, no judging, either. And even if you do like Velveeta cheese, I think you'll love this queso dip made with real cheese even better -- we do! I have been making this dip for years now, and it's a hit every time.
This cheesy easy homemade queso dip is absolutely perfect for game day. After all, you can't enjoy a football game without some amazing game day food, right?! And this homemade cheese dip definitely deserves a place at your appetizer table.
You only need a few simple ingredients for creamy queso dip. You can find them in your grocery store or online.
- Cream cheese -- full fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- Cheese -- shredded pepper jack cheese and cheddar cheese. I don't recommend pre-shredded cheese as it may cause the dip to separate.
- Butter -- recommended instead of oil so the dip doesn't separate.
- Onion -- white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- Garlic -- finely chopped
- Jalapeño pepper -- finely chopped and seeded
- Heavy cream -- to make the dip creamy
- Seasonings -- sea salt, smoked paprika, ground cumin -- adds a delicious smoky flavor
How to Make Queso without Velveeta
First, prep all of your ingredients and have them ready to go. This dip comes together quickly.
Then, melt butter, and sauté the onion, jalapeño pepper and garlic in butter over medium heat until soft. If you find you need more butter, you can add that as needed.
Then, stir in the smoked paprika, sea salt and cumin and cook until blended and fragarant.
Next, whisk in the heavy cream. Let the cream cook until it starts to bubble.
Then, turn the heat off or remove from the stove while you add the cream cheese. You don't want the cream cheese to curdle.
Whisk the cream cheese until well blended. Then, stir in about 1 cup of shredded cheese at a time, whisking well after each cup.
You can return the cheese sauce to the stove on low heat if you need to heat it up a bit. When the cheese is completely smooth and melted, you are ready to serve.
How to Serve Mexican Cheese Dip
If you're really impatient, you can dig right in directly out of the skillet. Or, you can pour the sauce into a small crock pot or slow cooker, and keep it warm. So this is definitely a great recipe for tailgating!
When serving this homemade cheese dip, you can also add extra tomatoes, more chopped jalapeño peppers, a serrano pepper, red onion, green onions, cilantro or really just about anything.
Serve with tortilla chips, corn chips or your favorite dippers.
How Do You Keep Queso Warm for a Party?
The best way to keep queso warm and smooth for dipping is to place it in a small crock pot or slow cooker on warm. Or, you can use a dip warmer. Be sure to stir every now and then.
How To Store and Reheat
Homemade queso will keep for 3-4 days when kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
Reheat leftover queso on the stove over low heat. Add a splash of whole milk or cream to thin it out if needed. You can also microwave cheese dip on low power or defrost for a few seconds, but it does tend to separate.
This easy queso recipe is very easy to customize.
Add protein -- cooked seasoned ground beef or taco meat makes a hearty dip. Or stir in cooked chorizo, diced chicken or shredded or sausage.
Try a blend of monterey jack cheese and colby cheese.
Or, you can just leave it alone and enjoy the cheesy goodness just like it is! There really are no rules here.
This dip is smooth and just thick enough for dipping. If you want a thicker cheese sauce, I'd add a little more cheese.
Turn the heat off as soon as the cream starts to bubble around the edges of the pan so the dip doesn't curdle.
You can turn the heat on low if needed to help the cheese melt faster.
Add the shredded cheese gradually for easier melting.
I recommend placing the queso in a small round crockpot to keep it smooth and warm. Keep it on the warm setting.
Grate your own cheese for the smoothest dip. Pre-shredded cheese is usually coated with starch and does not melt easily.
Easy Homemade Queso Recipe
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup white onion, chopped
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- In a large cast iron skillet or heavy pan, melt the butter over medium heat
- Saute the onions, jalapeno peppers and garlic until slightly soft
- Stir in the the salt, cumin and paprika
- Whisk in the heavy cream, and heat until it starts to bubble
- Remove from heat, and stir in the cream cheese until melted
- Gradually add the shredded cheese, and whisk until cheese is melted
- Return skillet to heat, and cook on medium until warm
- Serve immediately, or pour into slow cooker and keep warm until ready to serve
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Of course, we all know that queso dip isn't just for game day. I like to serve it at parties, Cinco de Mayo, taco night, holidays and whenever the munchies strike. But when we watch football, I usually serve easy appetizers for dinner, and that's when we eat queso the most.
I hope you enjoy this easy homemade queso dip as much we do! My family thinks it's the best queso recipe, and I hope you do too!
If you do try this silky smooth dip, please leave a star rating and comment.
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Recipe first published in 2017 and updated in 2023.