The Best Queso Recipe (Cheese Sauce)

The BEST Queso (Cheese Sauce) Recipe

This simple queso recipe is The Best Queso Recipe (Cheese Sauce) I’ve ever made!

Cheese sauce makes or breaks any nacho recipe. The Best Queso recipe is easy and flavorful, with sharp and smoky notes. Start dipping those tortilla chips! #ASpicyPerspective #queso #cheese #dip
Pin it on Pinterest!

BEST Queso Recipe

You say party, I say nachos.

Party! Nachos! Party! Nachos!

Sorry… When we get to the end of football season, everything tends to come out in chant format.

What I meant to say, was that it would be a shame to have a Super Bowl party and forget the spicy cheese sauce.

You’ve probably tried the 2-ingredient version with one unnamed block of highly processed cheese product and one can of tomatoes and chiles.

I’m not knocking either of these products, or the queso they make.

I’m just saying… You can do better.

Cheese sauce makes or breaks any nacho recipe. The Best homemade Queso recipe is easy and flavorful, with sharp and smoky notes. Start dipping those tortilla chips! #ASpicyPerspective #queso #cheese #dip

This my friends, is The Best Queso Recipe I’ve ever made.

Start with fresh onions, garlic and jalapeños, sautéed until soft, then add creamy half & half, smoky chipotle peppers, and three fabulous cheeses, including smoked cheddar to add a huge punch of flavor.

This is the best queso recipe, perfect for nachos, burritos, and all your dipping needs!

Best Queso (Cheese Sauce) Recipe

The reason so many people stick with said processed 2-ingredient cheese sauce is that it’s nice and smooth.

However, if you know how to thicken your queso recipe and use quality cheeses (without fillers) you can create the best cheese sauces you’ve ever tried.

How to make queso cheese sauce. The Best Queso recipe is easy and flavorful, with sharp and smoky notes. Start dipping those tortilla chips! #ASpicyPerspective #queso #cheese #dip

How to Thicken your Queso Sauce

The best way to thicken your homemade queso is to use cornstarch as the thickening agent instead of flour. It can be tricky to know when to choose cornstarch and when to choose flour. But the general rule of thumb is that if you plan to cook something a long time, use flour, and if you need your thickening agent to act quickly, use cornstarch.

Flour produces a much better flavor over time, but must be cooked quite a bit to ensure your recipe is smooth, not gritty.

Queso sauce makes or breaks any nacho recipe. The Best Queso recipe is easy and flavorful, with sharp and smoky notes. Start dipping those tortilla chips! #ASpicyPerspective #queso #cheese #dip

Tips for this Homemade Queso recipe

  • In this queso recipe, there are so many bold ingredients to add flavor, so we don’t need to rely on the flour to build flavor. Cornstarch is the answer for a very smooth creamy consistency.
  • It’s also important to mention that block cheese, shredded at home, produces a much better texture than pre-shredded cheese covered in additives to ward off clumping.
  • Once you’ve scalded the half & half (also important for texture) keep the heat down and be patient as you slowly stir in the fresh shredded cheese.

You’ll be amazed by how rich, creamy, and zesty this smoky homemade queso sauce is.

Cheese sauce makes or breaks any nacho recipe. The Best Queso recipe is easy and flavorful, with sharp and smoky notes. Start dipping those tortilla chips! #ASpicyPerspective #queso #cheese #dip

Watch the Video & Check the recipe card for instructions on how to make the best queso recipe!

Cheese sauce makes or breaks any nacho recipe. The Best Queso recipe is easy and flavorful, with sharp and smoky notes. Start dipping those tortilla chips! #ASpicyPerspective #queso #cheese #dip

Pour The Best Queso recipe over tortilla chips, fries, broccoli, burgers, yourself...

Just kidding, let’s stick to food!

Pour it over all things food, and enter cheese-lover’s heaven.

Looking for more cheesy recipes? Try some of your favorites:


The Best Queso (Cheese Sauce) Recipe
4.96 from 25 votes

The Best Queso (Cheese Sauce)

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Cheese sauce makes or breaks any nacho recipe. The Best Queso (Cheese Sauce) recipe is easy and flavorful, with sharp and smoky notes.
Servings: 8 Servings
Nutrition Facts
The Best Queso (Cheese Sauce)
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 300 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 418mg 17%
Potassium 137mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 1g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 18.1%
Vitamin C 4.1%
Calcium 37%
Iron 2.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 2 chipotle chiles, diced (canned in adobo sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half or evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounce  cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
  • 2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 8 ounce  smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounce  sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add the butter, shallots, garlic and jalapeño. Saute for 3-4 minutes to soften, then add the half & half and chipotle peppers.
  2. Whisk in the cornstarch. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, so the half & half can scald (not necessary with evaporated milk) then lower the temperature to medium-low. Then stir in the cream cheese and mustard.
  3. Slowly start adding the shredded cheese. Stir and add by the handful, until the sauce comes together. If you prefer your cheese sauce a little thinner, add an extra splash of half & half. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a slow cooker or fondue pot.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

NOTE: If you don't like smoky flavor, use all sharp cheddar.

You May Also Like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

144 comments on “The Best Queso Recipe (Cheese Sauce)

  1. Mandyposted November 12, 2018 at 9:38 pm Reply

    Looking forward to trying this queso!😋 just wanted to let you know that the “print” button on the recipe is broken while using an iPad. 

  2. Jossposted September 26, 2018 at 1:10 pm Reply

    That was gooooood. Great replacement for store-bought nacho sauce.

  3. Linseyposted August 12, 2018 at 12:53 am Reply

    Made this tonight and it’s the best queso I’ve ever tasted. I wasn’t sure how I’d like the smokier flavor (I do love smoky cheese but wasn’t sure how I’d like it in a queso) but all the flavors blend together really well and it’s perfectly balanced. Yum!! Thank you!!! 

  4. Aisteposted June 3, 2018 at 10:24 pm Reply

    Absolutely delicious sauce. I used it on chimichangas. Yummy!

  5. Roxiposted May 30, 2018 at 11:24 pm Reply

    This is awesome!!! I changed it a bit to suit the ingredients I had on hand, but not much.

  6. Sarahposted May 5, 2018 at 1:43 pm Reply

    So so yummy! Going on my regular Mexican rotation. 

  7. Heatherposted March 11, 2018 at 11:09 pm Reply

    So good and creamy. No weird ingredients and we made it extra spicy with extra jalapeño. The texture is perfect.

  8. Amanda Paxtonposted March 11, 2018 at 10:14 am Reply

    This was delicious! I will cut the mustard in half next time though.

  9. Elliotposted February 14, 2018 at 5:43 am Reply

    Damn, I went to the store with another recipe that calls for medium cheddar cheese, claiming sharp doesn’t melt as well and asking for flour instead of cornstarch.

    Then I saw this recipe right below it on the google search and had to check it out because of the amazing reviews… Welp, now I have to deal with this other recipe so I don’t waste this half pound of medium cheddar hahaha… Bookmarking this for later! :)

  10. Peter McConnellposted February 13, 2018 at 11:08 pm Reply

    We don’t have half and half, substituted milk and a dollop of cream, did not use cream cheese or smoked cheese turned out fine. did add a few drops of annatto to give it an orange color

  11. Natashaposted February 6, 2018 at 8:31 pm Reply

    So delicious and easy to make. Followed it exactly with no substitutions. Also would be easy to customize as well.  The directions were clear and the notes on scalding the half and half were also really helpful. After preparing this at home I traveled about a half hour to a party and was concerned it would get lumpy or change in texture, but keeping it warm helped and it ended up not needing any added liquid at all. Everyone loved it. Great recipe, thank you for sharing!

  12. Allieposted February 4, 2018 at 1:33 pm Reply

    What brand and size is your pot in the wooden thing in your last two pics? Forget the cheese! Haha! The pot looks awesome! Where did you find it and what did it cost? Do you know if it’s still available?

    • Sommerposted February 5, 2018 at 9:47 pm Reply

      Hi Allie,

      LOL! I think that is part of the Cat Cora cooking collection. I have no idea if they still make it, but I bet Amazon would know. ;)

  13. Damianposted September 30, 2017 at 7:35 pm Reply

    Found this recipe while searching for a replacement to an old nacho cheese I used to purchase from the grocery that was called Kaukauna deli mex nacho cheese dip. They discontinued the product almost 10 years ago and I have missed it dearly up until trying your recipe. Never thought I would find a better sauce but without a doubt I surely have now.
    I use a mixed variety of fresh peppers from our garden including Chocolate bhut jolokia, Tobasco peppers and mustard trinidad scorpion peppers in place of jalapeno which adds a little extra kick and smoky flavor. Your sauce is perfect and despite my small change mentioned needs no alteration. Thanks for the post you have given me a recipe to remake many more times over the years.

  14. Cheryle Verishposted June 15, 2017 at 10:41 am Reply

    Do you think this could be easily made for a large crowd>  Not sure if I can just multiply it by 6 to have enough for about 50 people.  I’d like to make the night before and put it in the slow cooker.

    • Sommerposted June 17, 2017 at 9:24 am Reply

      Hi Cheryle,

      I’ve made large batches before. Just multiply as you normally would. Warming it up slowly in a crockpot is definitely the way to go. :)

  15. Mikeposted May 21, 2017 at 1:50 am Reply

    Oh wow, what a beautiful recipe. This is exactly what I was looking for, and I’m so happy you explained stuff like the corn starch. For me cooking new recipes isn’t just about the food, because I like learning new things. I was curious how to properly make nacho cheese and well…yeah this recipe looks better than I could have hoped.

  16. Pingback: 20 Queso Recipes You'll Crave Long After Cinco de Mayo - Is This Really My Life | Is This Really My Life

  17. Lauranneposted April 8, 2017 at 7:51 pm Reply

    This is delicious, just made it tonight for our nachos. Thank you! Ps…it is perfect!

  18. Kerriposted March 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm Reply

    This truly is the best queso ever. I’ve made it a dozen times. We love it over baked potatoes with broccoli.  Anyone I share this with leaves with a link to the recipe. Normally I adapt recipes to my own taste but this one is perfect the way it is. 

  19. Amandaposted February 5, 2017 at 11:16 am Reply

    Thank you so much for this. I wanted traditional Rex-mex without the gross processed cheese and fillers. I really appreciate it! Yum! 

  20. Joannaposted January 31, 2017 at 9:27 pm Reply

    Do you recommend half and half over the evaporated milk? Have you made it both ways?

    • Sommerposted February 9, 2017 at 9:52 pm Reply

      Hi Joanna,

      Yes, I prefer half & half. But if you go with evaporated milk, let me know what you think!

  21. Pingback: 10 Easy Game Day Recipes - A Dash of Sanity