Creamy Queso With Pickled Jalapeños

Creamy Queso With Pickled Jalapeños

Queso, the crown jewel of Tex-Mex cuisine, is a creamy, tangy dip made with melted cheese. But it can't be just any cheese. This is one of those rare instances (see also: cheeseburger) where the preferred cheese is good, old-fashioned, highly processed American cheese. Velveeta is tops, but Land O'Lakes and Boar’s Head have deli versions that will do. Kraft singles work, too, but it's a lot of unwrapping. The pickled jalapeños in this recipe aren’t traditional, but they do add some welcome heat and a bit of tang that cut through the richness.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Place half of the jalapeños in a small bowl and cover with vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Step 2

    Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and remaining jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened and onion is translucent, but not browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add milk and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and add cheese, one handful at a time, whisking so that none of it settles on the bottom (it can burn that way), encouraging it to melt.
  3. Step 3

    Keep an eye on the pot and continue whisking until the cheese is completely melted (it can take a while for the American cheese to totally melt) and the mixture is thickened considerably, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep on low until ready to serve (you can always thin with milk if it thickens too much).
  4. Step 4

    To serve, ladle queso into a large bowl and top with sour cream, scallions, reserved pickled jalapeños and cilantro. Serve with chips for dipping.