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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.

queso recipe without velveeta in a skillet

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.

cream cheese, butter, onion, jalapeno pepper, pepper jack cheese, cream and cheddar


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.

saute onion, jalapeno pepper and spices in skillet

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 heavy cream and spices in skillet

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.

whisk pepper jack cheese and cheddar cheese in queso in skillet

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.

easy homemade queso dip with chips

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.

easy homemade queso dip recipe


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.

Use roasted hatch chiles or green chiles or a can of Rotel for extra flavor. You can make white queso dip or queso in the Instant Pot!

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.

easy homemade queso dip stretchy cheese

Helpful Tips

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.

5 from 10 votes

Easy Homemade Queso Recipe

By: Dee
Easy Homemade Queso recipe without Velveeta is made with real cheese in a skillet on the stove top. It's the best queso dip and an easy appetizer for game day along with tortilla chips for dipping!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 20


  • 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
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  • 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


You can use mild cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar cheese. Shred your own cheese for best texture as pre-shredded cheese tends to separate.
Transfer queso to a small crock pot or slow cooker or dip warmer on warm setting to keep warm.


Calories: 151kcal, Protein: 4g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 49mg, Sodium: 239mg, Potassium: 36mg, Vitamin A: 570IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 121mg, Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Like this? Leave a comment below!

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.

For more easy recipes, football food and easy appetizers, be sure to sign up for the newsletter and follow on social media.

Recipe first published in 2017 and updated in 2023.

easy homemade queso dip in cast iron skillet

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Recipe Rating


  1. Louis says:

    Made this for guests last night! everyone loved it! This will be my go to appetizer from now on!5 stars

  2. Patty says:

    Very good. Had good flavor. The only thing I would note is that it took a while for the cream cheese to melt since it was so big. I would chop it up next time before adding it.5 stars

  3. Lyle C. says:

    Wife made this for football game yesterday. Was very good!5 stars