You only need a few simple ingredients and 15 minutes to make this foolproof homemade queso dip recipe. Below, I give you tips and queso topping suggestions.
🥰 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy Appetizer- Pair this easy cheese dip with tortilla chips for a game-day appetizer, or make it as a side for taco night.
- Simple Ingredients- You need six simple ingredients, cheese, cornstarch, evaporated milk, and spices, to make the queso. Top with hot sauce, cilantro, and tomatoes to take your queso to the next level.
- Fool Proof- I tested this recipe many times to ensure you could make it perfect every time. The trick is using evaporated milk and low heat.
🧀 Ingredients Needed For This Easy Queso
- Evaporated Milk- I explain below why evaporated milk is better than regular milk for making and reheating queso.
- Corn Starch- Helps to thicken the queso and keep it from splitting.
- Mild Cheddar Cheese- The cheese must be freshly grated to ensure the queso comes out smooth.
- Spices- This queso is seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder, which gives it that Mexican restaurant taste.
- Toppings- I topped this queso with hot sauce, cilantro, and tomatoes. I have a whole section below on other toppings.
Full ingredient list with quantities in the recipe card below
Why Use Evaporated Milk vs Regular Milk
I first tested this recipe using regular milk. However, the queso was impossible to heat back up without the dip splitting.
Because of that, I decided to use evaporated milk for this queso recipe. Evaporated milk is higher in protein, essential in keeping the cheese smooth and stable in the melting/reheating process.
Evaporated milk and corn starch will ensure that your queso does not curdle and can be reheated in the microwave without splitting.
🔪 How to Make Homemade Queso Dip
Step 1: Heat evaporated milk over medium-low heat. Once warm, whisk in cornstarch. Never let the milk come to a boil.
Step 2: Stir in shredded cheese in batches. Once the first batch is fully melted, mix in the second.
Step 3: Once all the cheese has melted, mix in the onion, garlic, and chili powder.
Step 4: Add the queso to a bowl and top with your choice of toppings.
How to Store and Reheat Queso
If you have any leftover queso, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat it, microwave it in 20-second intervals, stirring in between each interval. If the queso is too thick, add a splash of milk or water.
Don't use pre-shredded cheese in your queso. You'll need to shred the cheese yourself. Often, prepackaged shredded cheese is coated with anti-caking agents like potato starch and powdered cellulose, preventing it from melting smoothly.
Queso Toppings (Impress Your Guests)
Add 3 toppings from this list below to take your queso to the next level. I like to go with a combination of cilantro, tomatoes, and hot sauce.
- Sliced Fresh Jalapenos or Pickled Jalapenos
- Diced Tomatoes
- Hot Sauce Drizzled on Top
- Crumbled Cojita Cheese
- Diced Red Onions or White Onions
- Sliced Green Onions
- Can of Diced Green Chiles
- ½ Can of Rotel
❓ Recipe Questions
Why did my cheese split?
She splits when it gets too hot. The proteins in the cheese firm up, and the moisture is squeezed out. However, if your queso isn't split too badly, there is a way to fix it.
How do I fix split queso?
There is a chance you can re-emulsify your cheese dip if it's not too far gone. Turn the heat to low and whisk vigorously. After a few minutes, you should see the queso come back together.
How do I keep the queso warm (microwave and slow cooker)?
If you make this at home, you can keep the queso on the stove on low heat until it's ready to serve.
If the queso gets cold or too thick after it's been served, you can microvae it in 20-second intervals until it's warm again.
If you are making this for a potluck or game day, place your finished queso into a crockpot set on warm.
Or you can make the queso beforehand, let it cool in the fridge, and then warm it up in the microwave (checking every 20 seconds).
Why do I need cornstarch?
Corn starch will help thicken the queso a bit, but more importantly, it makes the queso smoother and more stable.
No Fail Homemade Queso Dip
- 6 oz evaporated milk
- ½ tablespoon corn starch
- 8 oz freshly grated mild cheddar cheese* about 2 cups
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion Powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic Powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
- toppings (list above) I used tomato, hot sauce, and cilantro. More options above.
- Heat evaporated milk in medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Once warm (you will see bubbles form on the side of the pan and light steam) whisk in cornstarch. Never let the milk boil. If the milk gets too hot your cheese will curdle.
- Stir in shredded cheese in three batches. Once the first batch is fully melted, mix in the second.
- Once all the cheese has melted into the milk, mix in the onion, garlic and chili powder. Add a pinch of salt if needed.
- Add the queso to a bowl and top with your choice of toppings.