Cheesy, creamy goodness is always a hit, and this restaurant copycat queso dip is all of those things and more.
With a blend of cheeses, veggies, and just a touch of heat (that you can adjust to your liking) this simple dip is bound to become a staple at any party or gathering.
Plus, this dip can be whipped up within 15 minutes, so you and your guests will be grabbing chips (or veggies or bread or meatballs) and dipping in no time!
Should you grate your own cheese?
Using pre-grated cheese is extremely convenient, but it contains some preservatives (such as potato starch) that help keep the grated cheese separated in the bag. And while this is great for grabbing a quick pinch of shredded cheese, it will also cause the melted cheese to appear lumpy or harden faster than it normally should.
So if you’re a cheese lover like me and what the creamiest experience possible for your dip, I highly recommend freshly grating a block of cheese. I know it’s more work, but the end result will more than make up for it.
What can you serve with queso dip?
Anything that can be covered with cheese, of course! Here are a few of my go-to favorites:
- Tortilla chips, especially the scoops
- Ritz crackers
- Pretzels, from small and crunchy or large and soft
- Saltine crackers
- Wheat thins
- Hot or chilled pieces of cooked beef, pork, or chicken
- Warm meatballs
- Toasted pieces of bread
How long can you leave out queso dip?
Whenever you serve a “help yourself” dish like a party dip, you should always keep track of how long it sits at room temperature.
For most foods, the general rule of thumb is that a perishable item should not be in the “danger zone” for more than two hours. And by “danger zone”, this is usually at or just above room temperature.
Since this dip will be served warm, that should give you another 30-60 minutes before needing to keep track of the dip. So, in total, this dip can be left out for an absolute maximum of three hours, depending on the temperature of the room. However, be sure to still check the dip every now and then and make your best judgment.
Once you pass the recommended time, you can heat it up in the oven again.
For best results, I’d recommend using a warming tray so that this homemade queso dip stays toasty and above the “danger zone” temperature.
Can you make this dip in advance?
Yes, you can. Once made, this dip can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to eat. However, the dip’s consistency will become almost a solid once chilled and will need to be reheated to become a creamy liquid again.
If the dip is too thick once reheated, try adding a few splashes of milk. Or, if you find the dip is too watery, just heat the dip (MEDIUM to LOW heat if possible) until some of the moisture cooks out.
How long is queso dip good for?
Once made and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container, queso dip should remain good for up to four days.
Can you freeze queso dip?
Yes, you totally can!
Let the dip chill in the refrigerator in a sealed freezer-ready container, then transfer to the freezer. Frozen queso dip will remain good for up to six months.
Notes & tips for easy queso dip:
- As mentioned above, I highly recommend you use freshly grated cheese. A simple food grater will do the trick.
More tasty dip recipes
How to make the best homemade queso dip
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and cook the white onion and garlic until tender and fragrant.
Step 2 – Add the cheese, evaporated milk, tomato, chiles, milk, flour, and salt and pepper (to taste) to saucepan, then cook and stir until the cheese is melted and creamy.
Step 3 – Serve queso dip with chips (or other dipping foods) and enjoy!
Ultra creamy and cheesy, this easy queso dip tastes just like what they serve at restaurants. Perfect snack food for parties or quiet nights on the couch.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic to saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and onion is translucent, about 2-4 minutes.
Add cheese, evaporated milk, tomato, chiles, milk, flour, and salt and pepper (to taste) to saucepan. Stir and cook sauce until cheese is completely melted and creamy. Taste test the dip and season with more salt or pepper, if needed. If sauce seems too thick, another 1-2 tablespoons of milk until desired consistency is reached.
Serve sauce immediately with tomatoes as garnish (optional) and tortilla chips for dipping.
Note: I highly recommend using freshly grated the cheddar cheese. Pre-grated cheese contains preservatives (such as potato starch) that keep the cheese separated but will also cause melted cheese to be lumpy or harden faster than it normally should. For the creamiest cheese possible, grating your own is the way to go.