Literally translating to “cheese” in Spanish, you are getting so much more than cheese when you order this creamy, gooey, sometimes spicy bowl of happiness. Queso, a Tex-Mex specialty has exploded across the United States over the past several years. Short for “Chile con Queso”, which translates to “chile with cheese” in English, this dip is a staple at restaurants and in homes.
It should come as no surprise that there are different kinds of queso. Queso is mainly broken into two groups: orange or white. It is dependent on the types of cheese you use to make it. Traditionalists stick to the classic recipe of a brick of melted Velveeta and a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies.
Whether your queso is orange or white, it most likely contains green chilies, jalapenos, or both. Sometimes queso even has a sprinkle of cumin or chili powder to add additional flavors. At Nacho Hippo, we even like to add taco beef to our queso for some added depth. Queso is extremely versatile and can mix and match with many different items.
Even though queso is meant to be dipped, the food police aren’t going to show up if you pour it over other items. It’s a good thing too! Nacho Hippo would have been shut down a long time ago!
We mentioned that queso is versatile. At Nacho Hippo you will find queso as part of 13 of our menu items. You can find it on the Trippy Dips section of our menu as Queso Dip with fresh tortilla chips. You can even add chili or taco beef. You will find queso on our Sloppy Burritos. A LOT of queso actually. If you want to learn more about our burritos, check out this blog. You can also find queso on all of our Signature Nachos! We recommend our BBQ’d Oinker Nachos! They feature slow-roasted pork drizzled with chipotle BBQ Sauce, blended cheese, queso, corn, black beans, and Pico de Gallo; we know you will love them!
But what if you can’t make it to Nacho Hippo? What if you need to make your own queso? Here are some easy recipes for you to try.
Your First option:
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk two cups of half-and-half and stir frequently until thick. This should take about five minutes. Next, stir in 5.2 oz of a creamy cracked pepper cheese like Boursin and keep stirring until melted. Add ½ cup sharp shredded cheddar and ½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese and stir until melted. Then add hot sauce and check for seasoning. Keep on very low heat until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and pickled jalapeños.
Option two (for those that prefer white queso):
In a medium pot over LOW heat, combine the 1 lb pepper jack cheese, 8 oz of cream cheese, ½ cup full-fat sour cream, and one 10 oz can of Rotel tomatoes and green chilies after it has been drained. Let the mixture heat until the cheeses melt and a smooth cream forms, stirring often. This should take 15-20 minutes. Add the spices if desired (we recommend 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder). Add milk if needed (you will probably need to add about ¾ cup). Once melted, serve immediately, or transfer to a slow cooker with a “warm” setting to keep the dip warm and melted. Enjoy!
While you are at it, here are a couple of other ideas for you to make at home. In January of 2020, we published a blog on how to make your own nachos. Read that here.
In November of 2020, we published a blog on how to make your own salsa. You can check that out here.
At Nacho Hippo, we love queso! We love the flavors it adds and the silky textures it provides to our already delicious menu. We hope you will join us soon. We can’t wait to share some with you!
Are you interested in seeing what other restaurants are part of the Divine Dining Group? See what they have to offer here.