Smooth, creamy and cheesy with the right amount of spice, you can now enjoy Copycat Chipotle Queso Blanco at home. The new and improved version, not the old. After many recipes tests and eating countless bowls, this is recipe is a keeper. You’ll need a lot of tortilla chips because it really is hard to find restraint when eating this cheesy dip.

Dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of queso blanco

When Chipotle restaurants recently changed their queso recipe (for the better), I knew it because the first one was more orange and it really did not have much taste. 

A closeup of queso blanco showing chunks of tomato and peppers

I’ve never been able to get my husband to enjoy ‘junk food’ and I have never seen him eat queso. Until he came home one day and said he tried the new Chipotle restaurants Queso Blanco. I told him it’s not good and he convinced me that it is different than the first one I tried.

We went, we tried, he was right. This, is good and I am hooked. Queso, nacho cheese, whatever you call it if you love cheese, you will LOVE this for dipping chips, pour over chips and top with your favorite nacho toppings or just about any way you can eat it, is acceptable.

Since the restaurant advertises the queso as gluten-free, they obviously don’t use regular flour to thicken.  I use corn starch which is my favorite way to thicken sauces and it gives the dip a nice shine.

The queso from overhead with tortilla chips spread all around

This queso blanco has some spice to it, but a warming spice that comes at the backend from the fresh serrano peppers and ground chipotle pepper.

Using 2 types of white cheese (cheddar and Monterey Jack), they serve 2 different purposes. The Monterey Jack gives the sauce it’s creaminess and the cheddar, a slight sharpness you come to expect from a good cheddar. Not too much, the ratio of each cheese has to be just right.

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. 

What can I do if my queso or cheese sauce is gritty or curdles?

Always remove from the heat. You can whisk in a little of the milk you used (evaporated milk, cream, milk) which will help lower the temperature. Whisk as vigorously as you can.

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 creamy, cheesy dip using only real ingredients like good cheeses, fresh peppers and tomato.

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


  • 8 ounces (228 grams) Monterey jack cheese
  • 3 ounces (86 grams) sharp white cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons poblano pepper, finely chopped, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons (about 2) serrano peppers, finely chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tomato, seeds and juice removed, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 28 fluid ounces (793 grams) unsweetened evaporated milk
  • ½ teaspoon spicy chipotle pepper powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste


  1. Grate both the cheeses on a large grater. Set aside.
  2. Add the butter to a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is hot and bubbling, add the onion, poblano and serrano peppers. Cook for a couple of minutes to soften. Add garlic, tomato and cumin.
  3. Slowly pour in the evaporated milk, chipotle powder and whisk in the corn starch. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often to make sure corn starch doesn’t clump on the bottom until thickend. If you find that it is not getting thick after a few minutes, add a little more corn starch (1 teaspoon at at time) until it is the right consistency. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated cheese in small batches until melted. If the sauce looks like it is curdling, turn off the heat immediately and whisk in a little more milk vigurously until you see it get smooth.
  4. Taste to test for salt, add if needed. The queso will also thicken more after turning off the the heat. Serve warm.


Yields: 3 ¼ cups (850 ml)

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 470Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 99mgSodium 607mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 1gSugar 21gProtein 22g

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