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Queso Blanco, The First Attempt

Queso BlancoQueso Blanco… it’s that yummy white cheese dip that you enjoy at *some* Mexican restaurants.  Ben and I love it, but it’s proven hard to find.  Even more difficult is finding a recipe for it!  I’ve been on the lookout for a few years now, so you can imagine my “hip-hip hooraying” when I saw a promising recipe posted on Confections of a Foodie Bride.

We really enjoyed this dip, but I have to say it’s not exactly what I was hoping.  Maybe I’m getting a little too picky, but there was something missing.  Just a very tiny little mismatch to what we are used to eating in the restaurants.  Ben noticed, too, and we kept tasting it to figure it out but just couldn’t put our finger on the missing component.  Was it the texture of the white American cheese?

This is really easy to put together, while a little messy to clean up.  The more we indulged, the more we liked it.  It’s definitely our go-to for now, until I find THE perfect recipe that has that “missing” element.  I must have made it very clear that I was a little disappointed in it, as Ben kept saying “I think I like this better than you!  I really like it.”  In fact, he’s sitting next to me right now eating the leftovers of it as we watch Toy Story 3.  Again, it wasn’t that I didn’t like it, I think I just had higher expectations.   You know how that goes…

Give it a try, let me know what YOU think.  Is it “spot-on” for you, or can you tell me what is missing?

Queso Blanco

Printable Recipe

Yields: About 2 cups queso

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
1 large jalapeno, seeds and stem removed; finely diced
12 oz white American cheese, shredded
4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (don’t use pre-shredded)
1/2 to 1 cup cream, half-and-half, or whole milk
1 – 2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper until softened and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in the shredded cheese and 1/4 cup of the cream.  Quickly stir until the cheese is melted. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and additional cream a little at a time until you reach desired consistency.  Serve immediately with tortilla chips, tortillas, or on tacos, burritos, etc.

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

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33 Responses

  1. This looks so tasty, and really do-able!! Sadly I will have to wait til I am back in the US to try it because American and Monterey Jack cheese are impossible to find here, but when I do I think this is going to be the first thing I try! Maybe I could make it with some apps at Thanksgiving…

  2. i work at a Mexican restaurant, if you want i can try and get the recipe for you.

    xo
    Christine

  3. I love queso blanco and am on the hunt for that “perfect” recipe too. I’ve tried several ok recipes but still have the meh feeling after the first bite. I think shredding your own cheese is the key to a creamier cheese sauce but other than that I am at a loss as to how they make it. I’ve heard some restaurant workers say that the cheese sauce comes in a giant can that they open and pour into a warmer. While this may be true the cheese sauce does have to be made somewhere and somehow –I just wish I knew. I look forward to your second attempt 🙂

  4. That first photo is gorgeous! I’ve never had queso blanco but now I want some.
    ~ingrid

  5. Looks delish! Have you tried it with queso fresco or manchego in the mix? Those are pretty standard Mexican cheeses for this sort of thing. You can also try adding in a bit of cream cheese. 🙂

  6. Maybe cumin? I always think of cumin when I make anything Mexican.

  7. It is much easier than that. The base is a milk added processed cheese similar to velveta, and cream or half and half. I use 1Q half and half for every 5 lbs of cheese. That’s just going to give you a plain queso bianco. Add what you like to taste.

  8. Try adding cumin and diced green chilis. I have a recipe super similar to yours and adding those two ingredients may make the difference?

  9. yes, we do sell blanco and it is so so good. I work sunday and so does my favorite manager … i will see what i can do you get you the recipe
    I do know that we use american cheese for ours and i know that sounds gross but it melts so well and is so yummy. I’ll be back to you either sunday pm or monday am!

    xo
    christine

  10. My friend’s queso is the best and I always use her recipe. She uses Kroger ( Fry’s ) brand of cheese similar to Velveeta except it’s white and with jalapenos. And a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles. And then whatever you like to add, browned ground beef is a good addition. We just stick it all in a crock pot and let it do it’s thing. I have a friend who’s like ” eeeewww no way, not eating that fake cheese ” But what your aiming for is only achieved with the flavor that comes from processed cheese product, that and I believe real cheese may have too high of a fat content. If you’re after that addictive, can’t stop till I’ve licked the bowl out goodness, I think you need to go with a more processed list of ingredients. give it a whirl, cus I know I can eat this stuff till the cows come home 🙂

  11. Try pickled jalapenos (and plenty of them) rather than fresh. It’s what we used at my old job.

  12. I love queso blanco, looks good to me!

  13. Have never had Queso Blanco, sounds really good. Is it served warm, or more like a salsa.

  14. You need an authentic mexican cheese.

    http://www.specialcheese.com/queso.htm

  15. You need to use authentic mexican cheese:

    http://www.specialcheese.com/queso.htm

  16. I think it’s the TYPE of cheese you’re using. PLEASE at least try using Asadero cheese instead of White American. (I MAY have a personal but deep hatred for American cheese in all its forms- ESPECIALLY those creepy orange plastic squares but still…)

    • Ha! Lauren, I would agree except that the original poster of this recipe has tried the “better” and more authentic Mexican cheeses with no success. Actually, I’ve recently researched and found that the white queso dip I love in Mexican restaurants is made with an “extra-melt” white process American cheese that is only available through restaurant distributors. booo!!!

  17. I LOVE Queso!!! I’ve made lots of recipes, but had the most success with two different cheeses: One, I found at our local grocer, in the specialty cheese dept. – it was called Queso Melt. But I only like the block of Queso Melt, which they actually stopped carrying in favor of a pre-mixed queso in a tub by the same company. But the tub queso tastes different than the block (boooo!!!) The other product I liked I found in Wal-Mart, in the dairy section, something called, “El Viajero: Restaurante Style Mexican Dipping Cheese”. I don’t like it quite as much as the Queso Melt, but it works okay with half and half. I like both of these better than the White American, which always had a sort of fake butter taste to me or something. Well, I hope you find something that works! Good luck!

  18. How funny is it that “authentic” Mexican queso is made with processed American cheese! I have had this recipe starred to try since I saw it on Confections of a Foodie Bride, it looks so gooey and melty! 🙂

  19. We use Land O’Lakes white extra melt in the restaurant I work in. half and half, extra melt, melt them together and burr-mix them til smooth, then toss in diced onion, cumin, pickled jalapeno, and a very small shot of cayenne…whip it together and portion it out.

    • Shane – I recently found out about Land O’Lakes white extra melt, but can not find where to purchase it. I fear it’s only available from restaurant distributors in a large quantity? Thanks for the tips!

      -Nikki

  20. Yum this looks creamy and really delicious!

  21. I spent some time trying to duplicate this after having it many times at a local place. My experiment was very similar to what you have listed except for using cream cheese, instead of the american an pickled jalapenos along with a little of the juice from the jalapeno jar. As I recall there are no tomatoes in the one here either.

    thx

  22. I, too, LOVE queso blanco and this post inspired me to investigate the recipe and ingredients. I located white melt at GSW restaurant supply store, but it only came in a 5 lb block (which was a bit much for a single girl to ever use). Then I discover a Payless/Kroger store brand brick of queso blanco cheese in the aisle where Velvetta, et al, are found. I know it is not as satisfying as making it from scratch, but I melted the queso blanco with half and half and added a very few chopped up Rotel tomatoes and chilies. It was super tasty. Still probably not as good as the restaurant kind, but it was a quick and easy recipe. So if you live in a part of the country with Kroger stores, you might give it a try (http://eatingmoney.com/krgr/index.php?main_page=popup_image&pID=595&zenid=1ba25d968ee899232537459cd7a623db). The queso is also delicious cubed and melted in breakfast burritos. Good luck and thanks for your blog!

    • Thanks, Erica! Unfortunately, I do not have Kroger near me, but maybe some of my readers will see your comment and give it a try! 🙂 I’ve actually heard that the white extra-melt cheese is the way to go but only available in large bulk in restaurant supply stores. I have the same hang up as you that I would never use that large amount up quickly enough. The search continues! Thanks for your suggestions!

      -Nikki

  23. I thought it was missing some “kick”, so I added the HOT Rotel and replaced the Roma tomatoes….that did the trick for me!

  24. We go to a tiny Mexican restaurant in town that has a mexican grocery next door. They don’t speak English, but I tried to ask what kind of cheese is in the queso blanco. They got the owner, who went out the door and came back with cheese from that grocery. I wrote them down – one was Queso Para Freir (El Viajero brand) and the other was Queso Blanco Muenster (looked like a generic brand.) He said, ” use big blender, milk, and jalapenos.” Not sure if that helps, but their queso blanco is amazing.

  25. Oh my gracious! Y’all are speaking my language. I love me some queso blanco! YUM! I’ve been searching for a recipe for several years and haven’t found a good one yet! Did you ever find one that is as goos as the restaurant kind?

  26. Found this. It’s supposed to be the version from the local restaurant that everyone loves.

    About This Recipe
    “We were served this at a dinner party. The host obtained the recipe from a restaurant I believe is called “Miguel’s Cocina”. This luscious sauce is perfect as a dip for fresh veggies, tortilla chips or better yet, potato chips! It’s also an irresistible topping for baked potatoes. Because it’s simply a flavored, upscale white sauce, the sky’s the limit here! For chicken base, I use the “paste” type soup base, and also add a pinch of salt to the roux. Adjust the jalapenos and juice to taste.”
    Ingredients
    2 cups whipping cream 1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon chicken base 1 tablespoon jalapeno juice ( from bottled jalapenos) 2 tablespoons clarified butter 1 tablespoon flour 1 tablespoon bottled jalapenos, minced 1 ounce shredded monterey jack cheese 1 ounce shredded cheddar cheese Directions
    Heat whipping cream in a heavy saucepan over high heat.
    When the cream is ready to boil, stir in sour cream.
    After sour cream dissolves, reduce heat to medium.
    Stir in chicken base and jalapeno juice and simmer.
    While cream is heating:.
    Make a roux by warming butter in a saucepan over medium heat, adding flour, and mixing with a wire whisk until mixture is smooth and pale gold in color.
    Just before cream mixture is ready to boil again, add roux, whisking briskly and constantly until roux is incorporated.
    Remove from heat;.

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