Oven Baked Queso Dip Recipe

Whether you are looking for a perfect taco Tuesday companion, a Friday night snack or a great party treat, this dip is amazing. It's quick and easy, it can be made ahead of time and baked when needed. Who doesn't love a warm, tangy Tex-Mex dip with fried tortillas or crunchy corn chips and a cold drink? Our 6 year old Parker, had some Tree Water from Sap Sucker, which he absolutely loves.

We recently served this dip when we had our friends Laura and Graham from Corktown Soap over to our place. How great is that sentence. We had friends over! It was an absolute hit! I am pretty sure it was the star of the meal, that and wine :) 

It was the perfect end to a perfect Saturday. We strolled around the Hamilton Farmers Market picking up what we needed, we grabbed cheese from Romanos, had a tasty lunch from our friends at Mystic Ramen chips, and grabbed salsa and drinks from Strathcona Market.

 

Neal Brothers Salsa
We also visited The Witch's Fix here in Hamilton. This place was a must visit for Parker. Our 6 year old is into all things witchy and comes by it naturally. His grandmother is a Wiccan High Priestess and has passed on a very extensive crystal collection. We ended up with some really cool stuff to add to our collection.
Witch's Fix Mystery Package
 
Making queso dip from scratch is easier than you'd expect.
My Chef Tip: Making the roux is what gives this dip it's body and keeps the cheese feeling creamy not greasy. As well, before you start, be sure to measure and prep all your ingredients, since this recipe comes together pretty fast.
 
 
 Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 whole jalapenos or green chilis (charred and finely chopped)
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pepper and salt if needed
  • A jar of your favorite salsa (1 cup required)

    How to Make Homemade Queso Dip:

    1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Grate cheese and set aside.
    3. Place your jalapenos under the broiler turning every 3 min until charred.
    4. Add your flour and butter to your pot on medium heat and stir continuously with a whisk until it begins to brown. Once it is a light brown, add your milk, little by little, whisking as you go until its all incorporated.
    5. Add spices and bay leaves.
    6. Reduce to low simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
    7. Mix in your cheese (reserve 1 cup for the top) and allow to melt gently.
    8.  Add in one cup of your favorite salsa. I used Neal Brothers Triple Garlic.
    9. Pour your mixture into an oven safe baking dish top with remaining cheese and chopped charred jalapeno. Parent tip: If your children don't like spice, place 1 cup of the dip in a ramekin dish and
    10. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes until bubbling and cheese is melted. ALT METHOD: You can also use a slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to high and add the dip. Let the cheese fully melt, stirring regularly. Once all the cheese is melted you can switch the slow cooker to low setting.
    11. Serve with tortilla chips, taco's, over cauliflower or other roasted vegetables.

    What Cheese is Used in Queso?

    This recipe calls for cheddar and Monterey jack and cheddar. If you don't have cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese on hand you can substitute with pepper jack cheese, and add in a small amount of mozzarella to enhance the flavor.

    Additional Substitution Ideas:

    No need to go to the grocery store if you don't have to. If you don't have salsa on hand you can dice 1 cup of tomatoes and add some onion and garlic to taste. You could also add in corn and black beans to make the dip chunkier. The choice is yours!

    You might also like:

    Cashew Jalapeno Ranch Dip

    The Best Cashew Jalapeno Ranch Dip

    Quinoa and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

    Quinoa and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

     

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