Do you love Chipotle's queso blanco? Learn how to make our copycat version and you'll have enough of this addicting dip to share with your friends at party time!
Need more appetizer ideas for parties? Try our Cowboy Caviar and homemade Jalapeno Poppers! Your friends and family will love them!
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The authentic Chipotle queso uses 13 ingredients and our copycat queso blanco recipe also uses only 13 real food ingredients. Homemade queso blanco sauce is all natural with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Dairy: We used butter, monterey jack, white cheddar, whole milk, and heavy cream.
- Aromatics: We used white onion and garlic.
- Vegetables: We used poblano pepper, serrano peppers, and roma tomatoes.
- Thickener: We used cornstarch.
- Dried Spices: We used chipotle chili powder and salt.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for our copycat Chipotle queso blanco. Coarsely grate the two kinds of cheese, and chop up the onion, garlic, tomato, poblano, and serrano peppers. Measure out the cornstarch, salt, chipotle chili powder, whole milk, and heavy cream.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Saute the onion, poblano, and serrano peppers until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic and the roma tomatoes and cook until fragrant.
- Pour in the whole milk and the heavy cream.
3. Slowly whisk in the slurry of cornstarch and water. This will act as the main thickener for the sauce. Keep whisking while the queso blanco is brought just barely to a boil, then simmer and whisk constantly until it starts to thicken. This will take some time, so be patient.
Add the dried chipotle chili powder for a little heat, smokiness, and color.
4. Remove the sauce from the heat and gradually add the cheese. Whisk in the cheese in small batches until it is melted. The six cups of freshly grated cheese will also help thicken the queso blanco.
5. Taste and sprinkle in as much salt as you like. We added 3 ½ teaspoons for a batch of 7 ⅓ cups of white sauce.
Whisk in the salt, then taste again and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
6. Enjoy this copycat Chipotle queso blanco warm in a large serving bowl for family members, or transfer it to a small crock pot to keep warm for an event.
When eaten in moderation, this queso can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. A one-third cup serving size provides 244 calories with 6.7g of carbs and 20.2g of fat. This recipe is also high in calcium, naturally gluten-free, and keto-friendly. For more nutritional facts, scroll to the end of the recipe card.
Queso blanco is Spanish for white cheese. In the culinary world, it is a white cheese sauce commonly used as a dip for tortilla chips.
A seasoned cream sauce is made with heavy cream and milk along with onion, tomatoes, chilies, and spices. Once heated, a blend of white cheeses such as white cheddar and Monterey jack are mixed in and melted into the cheese sauce. It is thickened using flour or cornstarch.
The trick to ultra-smooth queso is to use freshly grated cheese and add it to the sauce slowly at the end of cooking. Preferably after removing the pot from the stove. The slow melting makes it creamier. Also, using cornstarch instead of flour makes the sauce shiny and prevents a gritty texture that may come from using flour.
The most common way to serve up copycat Chipotle queso blanco for company or a covered dish event is in a small crockpot set on warm. This holds the dip at the right temperature, keeping it soft and smooth.
Another way you can serve up Chipotle copycat queso blanco is in individual ramekins, but it's best to eat this soon after dishing up, as the dip will cool off quickly.
Here are some ideas for queso blanco dippers!
It goes great with tortilla chips and all kinds of Tex Mex food such as nachos, enchiladas, and burritos.
Serve it over cooked broccoli, cauliflower, or potato wedges creating simple side dishes that taste amazing! You can also elevate your snacks by using it as a dip for raw veggies and pretzel bites!
Leftovers: Store any leftover copycat queso blanco dip in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Don't freeze this copycat Chipotle recipe because it's dairy-based and will separate and become grainy when thawed and reheated.
- Want to increase the protein? Add cooked sausage, chorizo, ground beef, or shredded chicken to your copycat Chipotle queso blanco.
- Want other garnish ideas? Try diced jalapeños, tomatoes, or chopped cilantro.
- Want a spicier blanco queso? Add more serrano peppers.
- Use full-fat cheese, milk, and cream for the ultra-creamy texture.
- Use freshly coarse grated cheese for a velvety smooth consistency.
- Add the cheese in small batches after the heat is turned off for the best texture.
- Constantly stir the sauce so the bottom doesn't burn.
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Copycat Chipotle Queso Blanco
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup white onion, finely chopped
- ¾ cup poblano pepper, finely chopped
- ¾ cup serrano pepper, finely chopped
- ¼ cup garlic, minced
- ¼ cup roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 ½ teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 4 cups Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated
- 2 cups white cheddar, coarsely grated
- 3 ½ teaspoons salt
- Add the minced garlic and the tomatoes and cook until fragrant, roughly a minute, while constantly stirring.
- Pour in the whole milk and heavy cream while whisking, then sprinkle in the chipotle pepper powder.
- In a small bowl, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing equal parts water to cornstarch. Mix with a fork until smooth, then gradually add it to the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly. The cornstarch will make the sauce glossy.
- Whisking constantly to prevent lumps or burnt spots, bring the sauce to a slight boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until it starts to thicken. This will take roughly 12 to 15 minutes. (It will thicken more once the cheese is added and the sauce has cooled down a bit.)
- Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and stir in the grated cheese in batches until it is melted.
- Taste then add enough salt to your liking. Adjust other seasonings, if necessary.
- Serve while warm. Keep the sauce warm by turning the stove to the lowest setting or transfer the copycat Chipotle queso blanco to a crock pot and keep on the warm setting.
- Make sure to grate your own cheese for this copycat recipe. The pre-grated cheese is coated in cellulose to reduce sticking, and that will add graininess to your queso and prevent the cheese from melting smoothly.
- To get the ultra creamy texture this copycat dip is known for, use full fat cheese, whole milk, and heavy cream.
- Remove the sauce from the heat, then add the cheese in small batches.
- Eliminate the risk of the sauce burning by constantly whisking.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
Our copycat Chipotle queso blanco was originally posted on June 26, 2020.
This recipe was delicious. I used a smoky chipotle powder for this recipe and it was a hit at a work function. I did make a couple of adjustments. I added the chipotle powder in the last 30 seconds of the onions and peppers being sautéed and toasted the seasoning slightly before adding the liquids.
I also omitted 1 cup of whole milk as I had read that the sauce was meant to be more soup like in consistency from other reviews.
This was a good call because after whisking for what felt like forever (15 minutes on low) the queso still felt to be pretty runny. I turned up the heat and once the cheese came to a very slight boil, I immediately removed the Dutch oven from the heat and whisked for 2 minutes longer to prevent sticking but after I let it sit for 5 minutes to let the cornstarch do it’s thing. I was left with queso with perfect consistency. It was a bit more like nacho cheese but that worked well for what I needed it for.
Good flavor and texture. I think that this was far superior to what Chipotle has.
Will make this again.
Wendy, We are thrilled that you thought our recipe was far superior to what Chipotle has. Yes, it is indeed delicious.
Hi, I am from India and it is very difficult to buy Monterey Jack cheese in my area. Can you please suggest any alternative to it ?
Akansha, Havarti cheese would be the closest substitute to Monterey Jack, as it has a similar texture and melts well. Enjoy!
Tastes great but mine came out way too thin. I’ve tried adding more cornstarch slurry, more cheese but still like soup. I’m going to try adding a bar of softened cream cheese ..if that doesn’t thicken it it’s getting dumped out.
I'm so sorry that this queso dip didn't thicken enough for you, but here are some ways you can rescue it. Try adding additional grated cheese (not cream cheese) coated with cornstarch. Another option is reducing the sauce by letting it simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.
This recipe was designed to be thick enough to coat a tortilla chip, but thin enough to easily pour over nachos, so it was never supposed to be as thick as some other homemade quesos. Keep in mind that the queso thickens dramatically once it is refrigerated overnight.
I took your advice and it did thicken more to my liking. Thank you!
You're welcome, Kate!
The sauce is full of exploding flavors! It tastes rich and creamy, and is great with tortilla chips.
Glad you enjoyed it, Alex!
This dip is warm and smells cheesy. It is creamy, the chipotle powder adds flavor, and the tomatoes and peppers are soft. This recipe makes a really good dip!
Thank you, Beth!