My Copycat Chipotle Queso Blanco is smooth, creamy and cheesy with the right amount of spice and it’s as close as you can get to the real recipe! You can now make your own Copycat Chipotle Queso Blanco at home and be the envy of just about everyone.

Dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of queso blanco

With Chipotle restaurant releasing their ingredient list of 13 components, it has made my job easier to recreate their new and improved version (not their old original version). After many (and I mean many!) recipe tests and eating countless bowls, this is recipe is a keeper. You’ll need a lot of tortilla chips because it’s impossible to find any measure of restraint when eating this cheesy dip!

A closeup of queso blanco showing chunks of tomato and peppers

Based on the comments I’ve received over the years, I know that are literally dozens of you that have made my older recipe and if you prefer it, I can send it to you, but this is more authentic to the original version served in the Chipotle restaurants.

One of Chipotle’s ingredients calls for cultured cream (aka fermented cream) and this is what brings the tang to the queso. Fermented creams that you can purchase in your favorite grocery store are creme fraiche and sour cream – I went with sour cream. 

Chipotles in adobo (which are jalapeños that have been dried, smoked and packed in adobo sauce) is what gives the queso its very slight smokiness. I opted to use only the peppers, not the sauce, as this would turn this white queso a shade of orange. It is queso blanco (white) after all and I wanted to keep it that way.

The queso from overhead with tortilla chips spread all around

The spice comes from Serrano peppers. Again, the spice matches the spice from the restaurants, but you can add as much spice as you like if you like a little more zip.

How long can you store queso?

Refrigerated in a sealed container, up to 4 days. It will be quite thick when cold.

How do you reheat queso?

It reheats easily in the microwave (stirring often) or in a pan on the stove over low heat, stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If it is cold, it will be thick, but will thin out when it starts to get some heat into it.

Queso viewed from above with tortilla chips and peppers

Queso serving tip:

To keep warm for a party or entertaining, serve in a slow cooker set to warm.

Queso Nachos

Wondering what to do with leftover queso? Last night I made nachos from things I had in the fridge, Pulled Pork, cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro. (pic below). This was an easy dinner.

A baking pan full of nachos with queso, tomato, pulled pork and cilantro

Gluten-free queso

Because this recipe is thickened with corn starch, it is naturally gluten-free.

Pre-grated cheese vs. grating yourself

Please buy blocks of cheese and grate them yourself. If you use pre-grated cheese, you may find the queso turns gritty or grainy. This is because the cheese has powdered additives to prevent clumping. 

Tips to prevent curdling or grainy queso or grainy cheese sauce:

  • Slow and steady heat – If you heat over high heat, this heats the liquid too quickly. You want to slowly bring up to a simmer over medium heat or medium-low heat is best. And never boil.
  • Always grate the cheese yourself. Pre-grated cheese has anti-clumping added and this will affect the texture of the sauce.
  • If you’re using white flour, always mix into the fat before adding liquid, this makes a roux. This serves 2 purposes. To cook out the raw flour flavor and prevent lumps.
  • When using cornstarch, make a slurry. This means mixing in a little of your liquid (water, milk, cream) into the cornstarch to make it smooth before adding to the sauce.
  • To reheat your queso or cheese sauce, add to a pan and heat low and slow, stirring often.

Serving Suggestion:

This queso is delicious on it’s own with tortilla chips, but I also love it served with my favorite Mexican dishes:

Yield: 6

Copycat Chipotle Queso Blanco

Using a tortilla dip to dip into queso blanco

A copycat recipe of Chipotle restaurant queso blanco.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (472 ml) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons serrano pepper seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons poblano pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper, seeds removed and chopped from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Water
  • 1 cup (240 grams) sour cream
  • 2 cups/ 6 ounces (172 grams) Monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 1 cup/3 ounces (86 grams) sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tomato, seeds and juice removed, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste

Instructions

  1. To saucepan add the milk over medium heat. Stir in the onion, serrano peppers, poblano pepper, chipotle pepper and garlic. Mix cornstarch with just enough water so it dissolves, stir into the milk and bring to a light bubble, cook, stirring often until thickened. .
  2. Turn down to the heat to very low and whisk in the sour cream. Once the sour cream is incorporated, add a handful of cheese and stir until melted. Continue to add and handfuls of cheese and stir until all the cheese is used, making sure it is completely melted before adding another handful and ensure the queso is smooth. If too hot, the queso may turn gritty and separate.
  3. Stir in the tomato. Remove from the heat and allow the queso to cool, it will get even thicker as it cools.

Notes

Yields: 4cups/1 quart (850 ml)

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 397Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 86mgSodium 530mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 1gSugar 11gProtein 18g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.