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Chile Con Queso Recipe

Chile Con Queso Recipe

Satisfying, cheesy dips steal the show at any holiday gathering, and they're well-suited for teaching young cooks the basics of sauce-making and presentation.


  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 3 cups (about 12 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar (for a milder flavor, substitute up to half Monterey Jack)
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


Chile Con Queso - Step 1

1. Slice the tomato in half crosswise and squeeze each half to force out the seeds or simply push out the seeds with a clean finger. Coarsely chop the tomato and set it aside.

Chile Con Queso - Step 2

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, green chilies, garlic, chili powder, and tomato. Saute the vegetables over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

3. The next step requires constant stirring as each ingredient is added, to ensure a smooth, thick sauce with no lumps. First, stir in the cornstarch, then the milk or half-and-half. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is barely simmering, about 2 minutes; it will thicken slightly. Stir in half of the cheese and continue to stir until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes; do not let the mixture boil. Add the remaining cheese and continue to stir until the cheese is melted and heated through, about 2 minutes. Taste, and add a little salt and pepper, if necessary.

4. Pour the dip into a heated serving dish or a small, heated slow-cooker (see Tools of the Trade on page 115). Serve hot, with tortilla chips. Serves 10 as an appetizer.