This dip is made with real ingredients and not processed cheese like Velveeta, that you will find in other recipes. In less than thirty minutes you will have a dip ready to serve that rivals what you can order at your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant.

It costs approximately $8.02 to make this recipe. The dip makes twelve servings and costs about $0.66 per serving.

Chile Con Queso being spooned over tortilla chips.

Show stopping Chili Con Queso Recipe

Whether you’re looking for a quick compliment to a meal or looking to impress with the best dip at your game day party, you can’t go wrong with this Chile con Queso recipe.

This recipe gives a fresh take on a classic recipe. It takes some prep-work to prepare the ingredients, but it is well worth the little bit of effort. Your friends and family will be surprised to learn it is homemade and not picked up from a local restaurant.

What you’ll love about this Chili Con Queso Dip

  • Easy to prepare: The recipe is simple and uses basic ingredients. Even the most beginner cook can make this dip!
  • Customizable: Add more or less chipotle chile to meet your family’s individual tastes.
  • Party food: This is a great appetizer to bring to a party. It is always a favorite and one that feeds a crowd. 

What is Chili Con Queso?

Chili Con Queso is a dip, typically served as an appetizer and can be ordered at many Tex-Mex restaurants. It is made with melted cheese and chili peppers and you dip tortilla chips into it.

A chip dipping into the Chile Con Queso.

Ingredients for Chili Con Queso + Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $0.66

Recipe Cost: $8.02


  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil – $0.04
  • ½ cup yellow onion – $0.22
  • 1 Tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce – $0.11
  • 2 large garlic cloves – $0.08
  • 10-ounce can Rotel Diced tomatoes & green chilies – $1.33
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half – $1.61
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch – $0.03
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese – $2.49
  • 4 ounces Colby cheese – $2.00
  • ¼ teaspoon salt – $0.01
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro – $0.10

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in December 2023.

AN overhead picture of all of the ingredients needed to make this homemade Chile Con Queso.

How To Make Chile Con Queso

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card ave video below.

  1. First, heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Then add the onion and cook until golden brown.
  2. Next, stir in the chipotle and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Next, stir in the tomatoes and cook until warmed.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl and add the half-and-half and cornstarch to the empty saucepan. Whisk together and bring it to a simmer.
  4. After it is simmering, mix in the cheese. After the cheese has melted, stir in the tomato mixture and salt. 
  5. Finally, let it sit for 10 minutes to thicken, and then stir in cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips. 

A picture collage of how to make Chile Con Queso.

Simple Queso Recipe Variations

  • Four-Cheese Queso: Use a mix of four kinds of cheese, such as cheddar, pepper jack, queso fresco, and cotija, to create a richer and more diverse flavor profile.
  • Fresh Tomatoes: Instead of Rotel tomatoes, use freshly diced tomatoes for a lighter and fresher taste.
  • Bacon and Sausage: For a heartier version, add cooked and crumbled bacon or cooked chorizo sausage to the queso.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roast red bell peppers or poblano peppers before adding them to the queso for a smokier flavor.
  • Green Chile Queso: Use chopped green chilies instead of chipotle chilies for milder and more traditional green chile queso.
  • Vegan Queso: Replace dairy products with plant-based alternatives, such as almond or coconut milk, and use vegan cheese shreds for a delicious vegan queso option.
  • Oil Swap: Instead of vegetable oil, use canola oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil.
  • Chili Powder: If you don’t have chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, use chipotle chili powder for a smoky flavor.

How to serve Chili Con Queso

You can keep the queso out for up to two hours before it will need to be refrigerated. When I serve Chile Con Queso at parties, I either pop it into a small crockpot and keep it on warm or put it in a serving bowl and set it on a warming tray.

Storing Chili Con Queso Dip

    STORE: Leftover queso will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to five days. To rewarm the queso dip, place it in the microwave and heat at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir and then repeat until heated through.

    FREEZE: Dairy doesn’t freeze and reheat well; it becomes grainy. Because of this, I do not recommend freezing this dip.

    Con Queso Dip FAQs

    Does chile con queso have meat?

    While some recipes use a type of meat such as sausage or beef, I prefer the queso’s taste without the meat in the recipe. 

    Are queso and cheese dip the same thing?

    Queso is melted cheese, so yes, queso and cheese dip are the same. It is a dip made with real ingredients and no processed cheese, such as Velveeta. 

    Chile Con Queso over a basket full of tortilla chips.

    Easy Dips for Parties:

    For inspiration on different dips to serve at a party, check out my list below. 

    A chip dipping into the Chile Con Queso.
    3.91 from 11 votes

    Con Queso Dip

    Author From Cook’s Country
    Recipe Cost $ $8.02
    Serving Cost $ $0.66
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 25 minutes
    12 people
    This is the only Chile con Queso recipe you’ll need! It’s made from scratch and without processed cheese like Velveeta!


    • saucepan
    • mixing bowl
    • measuring cups and spoons


    • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
    • ½ cup yellow onion chopped fine
    • 1 Tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
    • 2 large garlic cloves minced
    • 10 ounce can Ro-tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies drained
    • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
    • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
    • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded (2 cups), room temperature
    • 4 ounces Colby cheese shredded (1 cup), room temperature
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh minced cilantro



    • Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering.
    • Add onion and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
    • Stir in chipotle and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    • Stir in drained tomatoes and cook until warmed, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.


    • Add half-and-half and cornstarch to the now-empty pot, and whisk together until combined.
    • Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and whisk in shredded cheese until melted.
    • Stir in tomato mixture and salt. Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken slightly.


    • Stir in cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips.



    • The nutrition information below is just for the queso dip. It doesn’t include tortilla chips. 
    • Please, please, PLEASE only use freshly grated cheese for this Chile con Queso recipe. The pre-shredded variety has anti-clumping additives that add a grainy texture to this queso dip.
      This chile con queso doubles nicely. Just make sure you use a large saucepan when making a double batch.


    Serving: 0.33cup | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 436IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 247mg | Iron: 1mg

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    Recipe Rating


    1. The recipe was delicious, but my cheese was slightly gritty. What did I do wrong?

      1. Was your cheese pre-shredded?

    2. This sounds perfect for our office potluck next month! Can’t wait to make it!

    3. This looks amazing! Can it be made in a crockpot?

      1. I’m sure it could, I just haven’t tested it for the crockpot yet.

    4. Jacqueline Meldrum says:

      I’ve never tried this before but it sounds delicious. *adds to list*

    5. Yum! This looks so delicious and tasty! I can’t wait to give this a try! My family is going to love this!

    6. This looks great – so full of flavour!

    7. I haven’t made this dip in a while and I love your updated version. It’s on the list for the weekend!

    8. I love making Chile con Queso! It’s a great dip for Taco Tuesday, which is when I love to make it! So I can’t wait to try your recipe tonight! I know my family will love it!