This is the best restaurant style queso recipe ever!
We use recipe for all our Tex-Mex meals and serve it at every gathering. This is a copycat Mexican restaurant queso dip that is served with the chips and salsa at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Everyone that tries it can’t get enough and they have been begging me for this recipe for YEARS.
Now I bring to you: My signature Restaurant Style Queso Recipe.
You may have tried many queso dips (often misspelled as “caso dip”) recipes online, but dare I say that you’ve never tried this one? Hint: it’s NOT rotel and Velveeta. If you live in Oklahoma then you’ve probably had some similar.
This makes a great copycat Chilenos queso or copycat Ted’s Cafe Escondido queso.
It’s the “complimentary cheese sauce” that they serve with the chips and salsa that I am referencing.
I think we are pretty spoiled in Oklahoma since most of the Mexican restaurants around here serve the queso with the set up! Does your Mexican restaurant serve it free? I’ve been known to order just what they call the “set up” because this cheese with the chips is like a meal on it’s own.
My family just calls this “free cheese” and other than Oklahoma, I haven’t seen it in any other states that I’ve visited. I started working on this recipe around 14 years ago because the restaurants in Texas at that time did not serve this type of queso. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never met a cheese sauce I didn’t like, but none compared to my favorite.
My opinion is that this restaurant style queso recipe is even better than the one’s they serve at the restaurants!
Want to go straight to the recipe and skip the helpful tips? Just scroll down to the end of the page.
The secret is in the green chiles and cumin. These two ingredients add so much flavor and depth to this Mexican dipping sauce and make it unique to all the others I’ve tried. It’s great with chips, enchiladas, tacos, burritos and much much more. We love it with flour or corn tortillas that are brushed with warm butter and dipped into this Mexican queso sauce. Cue in the Mariachi band and I feel like I’m at my favorite Mexican restaurant.
This queso is also perfect for crowd because you can make a double batch and keep it on warm in the crockpot. If it thickens up too much just add in more chicken broth and stir. This recipe it’s so well loved that my family serves it at every family gathering. It’s also so easy to prepare that we often make it last minute with no problem.
Serving suggestions for the best queso dip ever:
- Serve with a main dish like chili or beans. This queso is the most versatile queso recipe that you’ll ever make. Of course it’s great with chips, but it’s also great in chili, beans, casseroles and pretty much anything Mexican or Tex-Mex Style.
- Add in other ingredients one at a time. If you want to change up this recipe a bit that’s no problem. Since the dip uses condensed cream of chicken soup as the base, it’s easy to add in ingredients without changing the texture too much.
Here are some suggestions to try:
- 1/4 tsp. of garlic. This gives a whole new flavor to the Mexican cheese dip and a tasty one at that!
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped jalepenos. This will give it a big spicy kick.
- 1 tsp. chipotle powder. This will make the cheese have a smoky and spicy flavor.
- 1/4 cup mild green or red pepper. Cook the cheese sauce with sweet bell peppers if you want more pepper taste, but don’t want it too spicy.
- Add in a hard cheese like 1/2 cup cheddar. Want your sauce even cheesier? Add in some cheddar or Monterey Jack cheeses. They will melt in easily, but watch out for the strings of cheese. It’s going to be pretty cheesy and it may overtake your shirt! Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but it might be a bit messier.
This recipe has been a long time favorite and I am so glad I get to share it with you now. If you LOVE this Restaurant Style Queso Recipe as much as my family and friends do please give it 5 stars below in the comments.
Queso Recipe · Restaurant Style
- 12-16 slices American Cheese slices (can use white or yellow) (or to taste. 12 for thinner cheese and 16 for extra creamy)
- 1 cup chicken broth optional: may want extra broth to thin out
- 1 can cream of chicken soup Campbell's is our favorite
- 1 4.5 oz. can chopped green chiles (not jalepenos)
- 1 Roma or small size tomato chopped
- 1/4 cup onions chopped
- 1 to 2 Tsp. cumin (more or less to taste- the fresher the cumin the more potent it is so add one tsp. at a time)
- Stovetop instructions: Place a large pot on the stove and turn the heat on medium. Add in the chicken soup first and then add the 1 cup of chicken broth. Stir this mixture around until semi-combined (you don't need to get it smooth just yet and mixture may be clumpy).
- Add in the cheese, cumin, onions, and green chiles. Cheese will take a while to melt down, but keep stirring the mixture every few minutes so that it doesn't start burning on the bottom of the pot.
- Once the cheese has melted, around 10 minutes, the mixture should be pretty smooth. Turn the heat down to simmer and add in the tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- At this point the queso can be moved into the serving vessel or into a crockpot set to warm.
- I like using a crockpot for a party so that I can have the cheese warm and ready through the whole party.
- If the queso starts to get a little too thick or if you just want a thinner sauce... use chicken broth to thin it down. Use around 1/4 cup at a time until you get the consistency that you want.