Restaurant-Style Queso

If you’re going to drink a whole lot of margaritas, you definitely need a hearty, tasty snack or appetizer to go with them. My personal favorite is chips & dip. Crunchy, salty chips to cut through the tangy sweetness of the margaritas, and thick, creamy cheese sauce (or guacamole) to help those chips slide down real easy.  Since I made peach margaritas for early-Cinco de Mayo last week, it seemed appropriate to make queso for actual Cinco de Mayo.

When  we go out for Mexican food, I actually tend to gravitate more towards guacamole than queso. But lately guacamole has become kind of a regular don’t-want-to-cook-real-food-for-dinner occurrence in our house, so I’m a little avocado’d out. Creamy, zesty cheese sauce is super delicious, though, and seemed infinitely more appealing for Cinco de Mayo. Dan was particularly excited about this recipe —  the man goes through so many jars of the Tostitos brand queso, we have to buy it in bulk from BJs. Yes, his lifestyle is super healthy. And yes, this homemade version is much tastier than the jarred stuff. Less salty, more flavorful, and dangerously easy to eat. Served with a pile of blue corn chips, this was the perfect (gluten free) pre-dinner snack.

Restaurant-Style Queso
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yields: Varies
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or any other cooking oil you have)
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced
  • ⅔ cup American cheese (I used Velveeta), grated
  • ⅔ cup Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
  • ⅓ cup Pepper Jack cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 roma tomato, seeds removed and diced
  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook onion and pepper with olive oil until soft.
  2. Add cream and shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is mostly melted.
  3. Add tomato and stir until sauce is smooth. (Feel free to add more cream or cheese to reach your desired consistency.)
  4. Serve with chips (and a margarita), and enjoy!

(Slightly adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride’s recipe…again!)


  1. says

    Oh this looks sooo good!!! I have to confess that I just bought a jar of salsa con queso from supermarket. That doesn’t sound like too good of an idea when I see how much sodium and unnatural things are in there. Your recipe looks very easy and simple. I will make this recipe and promise myself not to buy those jars again.

  2. says

    Love this queso! When visiting San Diego a month ago we were eating at a Mexican restaurant and they brought us Queso with the chips and salsa at the beginning of the meal. I’ve been craving it ever since. This looks perfect!

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