Chile con queso is a spicy, glorious, fondue cheese dip that is great for parties and backyard bbq’s. In the Southwest we call it ‘queso” and it is a party staple. No baby shower, wedding, potluck or funeral is complete without queso. Queso is more than just Velveeta and a can of Rotel. By incorporating sauteed onions, crunchy jalapenos, sweet tomatoes, and fresh cilantro, queso becomes divine. It has also become one of our signature dishes. Not a bbq goes by that we are not “voluntold” to bring queso.
Though it is a simple recipe, it is a recipe that can be majorly screwed up. We have experienced some scary queso throughout the years, from Velveeta served with pickled jalapenos on the side, Velveeta and Pace Picante sauce (no self respecting Texan uses Pace Picante sauce), cooked so hot it’s curdled and lumpy, and the all time worse – burned queso. We sincerely hope you never experience any of these queso impostors. Real queso is made with fresh ingredients, patience, and zeal for cheesy goodness.
We think Velveeta is a space age cheese polymer or something to that effect, but it was actually created in 1918 and advertised for it’s nutritional merits. Velveeta is “velvety” smooth hence it’s name and well known for it’s ability to melt. This melted velvety texture lends itself to creating fantastic chile con queso. Who ever thought of putting a two pound brick of “cheese” into a crock pot to make this amazing appetizer was a genius.
We don’t recommend eating Velveeta everyday, so if you are looking for a non-velveeta queso the Homesick Texan has an excellent recipe http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2008/04/more-natural-chile-con-queso.html She mixes freshly grated chesses and creates a béchamel type sauce that is fantastic. It is a delicious indulgent treat for yourself and a few friends.
Our chile con queso recipe can be made on the stove or in a crock pot. The crock pot works well for transporting and keeping the queso warm for parties and get-togethers. If you need a simple and delicious appetizer, making chile con queso is a real crowd pleaser. This recipe makes around 12 servings, can be frozen, and easily reheated for a perfect anytime snack.
Chile con Queso
1 32 oz block of Velveeta, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 jalapeno peppers diced, take the seeds and ribs out if you don’t want it too spicy
3 long green fire roasted New Mexico chiles diced (optional)
3 tomatoes diced
1 clove of garlic minced
½ red onion diced (sweet yellow onions are great too)
3 T unsalted butter
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 cup chopped cilantro
6 green onions (including the green tops) diced
With the crock pot on high (that’s 4 hour cook time on my crock pot) melt the butter and sauté red onions and jalapenos. When the onions and jalapenos are soft add in tomatoes, green chili, green onions, cilantro, Velveeta, and evaporated milk. Depending on when you need the queso ready, turn down the heat (I place my crock pot on warm). Becareful not to rush this process, there is nothing worse than curdled or burned queso. Stir gently as the cheese slowly melts. If the queso is too thick add more milk, if the queso is too thin add more cheese. Serve with tostadas. Enjoy!