Whether you’re getting ready for game day, an Oscar watch party, or even just a casual night with friends, queso is a hard-to-beat party pleaser. Now, this isn’t just any queso, it’s queso fundido. Served piping hot, this Tex-Mex favorite is loaded with Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar, sautéed onions and garlic, and gets a slight kick from extra jalapeños. A healthy amount of chorizo makes it queso fundido (rather than plain queso), and this version has enough to ensure you’ll get a taste in every bite.
Cream Cheese Is Key
Move over, Velveeta! A bit of cream cheese goes a long way when it comes to getting the ooey, gooey factor of queso just right. Cream cheese is added alongside whole milk to guarantee a smooth, creamy queso that doesn’t overpower the flavor of other cheese. If you want a looser queso, add ½ cup more milk.
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This should go without saying, but get creative in the kitchen! Have vegetarians coming over? Leave out the chorizo! Want to add tomatoes? No one is stopping you! Spice lover? Add more jalapeño. One of queso’s many virtues is that it’s a blank slate for experimentation. Sometimes I like serving this with pickled red onions and chopped avocado on top. Other times, I prefer scallions and bacon. You can’t really go wrong with most toppings.
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Related Reading: How to Choose the Right Nonstick Cookware
Why You Should Grate Your Own Cheese
When it comes to queso, meltability (yes, it’s a word!) is key. There’s no question that pre-grated cheese saves on time, but with those few minutes saved comes a trade off. Pre-grated cheese is loaded with additives and preservatives to prevent the cheese from clumping. That means it won’t melt together as cohesively as if you were to grate your own. Those pesky preservatives also mean the cheese won’t be as flavorful. As an added bonus, you’ll actually save money if you buy a block of cheese rather than the shredded stuff!
Queso Fundido Recipe
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound chorizo, casings removed, crumbled
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, half thinly sliced, half minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup cream cheese
- 2½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Cilantro, to serve
- Tortilla chips, to serve
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the chorizo and cook until cooked through and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chorizo with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
- In the same pan, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened lightly browned.
- Add the garlic, jalapeño, salt, pepper, and cumin, and cook for 1 minute, until aromatic.
- Pour in the milk and cream cheese and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until smooth and slightly thickened.
- Add the cheddar and Monterey Jack to the pan and stir for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted.
- Reserve ¼ cup of chorizo for topping, and add the remaining chorizo back to the queso and stir to combine.
- To serve, top queso with the remaining chorizo, sliced jalapeños, and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.
Header image courtesy of Alexis deBoschnek.