One day we had a hankering for blue cheese queso dip, but had never made our own queso before. It couldn’t be that difficult, right? Melt some grated cheddar, add a skosh of blue cheese along with some peppers and voila! So, we turned to one of our cookbooks that had a queso recipe. This one called for making a roux (which kind of surprised us) and then adding the cheese. But, by the time we served it, while it was really flavorful, it was also super grainy. Ugh. That set us on a mission to create the perfect queso. This proved to be more time consuming than we ever thought possible!
The next time we tried making it with no flour, using only milk and the two cheeses and still, it was grainy. Okay, it was time to find out what the experts had to say about queso. What we learned was so interesting: use evaporated milk and melt the cheese very slowly, adding only a small amount at a time over low heat. It’s also very important to grate your own cheddar cheese. Pre-grated cheese doesn’t work nearly as well in queso as when you grate your own. This extra step is so worth it for a great texture to your queso.
After many trials and errors, we came up with a dip you can really sink your teeth into! Made with blue cheese, sharp cheddar, onions, fresh poblano, Ortega and jalapeño peppers, chili-lime seasoning, then garnished with cilantro and crispy bacon crumbles … you are going to love this! Spicy and so fresh! 🌶🌶🌶
Besides the addition of blue cheese, the thing we really love about this dip is the use of fresh diced peppers. Most queso dips call for roasted poblanos, and they are delicious and smell divine, but we love using fresh peppers in our Mexican food, like our Chicken Enchiladas and Green Chili Goat Cheese Dip. They give dishes such a fresh flavor with little crunchy bits of peppers in each bite. The best is a combination of both roasted and fresh diced peppers, if you have time to do both, but if not, be sure to add fresh peppers to your queso. It saves time and is so good!
Blue Cheese & Cheddar Queso
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp. olive or canola oil
- 1 tsp. New Mexico Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Tajin or Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning
- 3 oz. crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 10 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated about 3 1/2 to 4 cups BE SURE TO GRATE YOUR OWN for this dip!
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 Ortega chili pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 poblano pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 2 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, for garnish
- 2 tbsp. mixed diced peppers (from above) for garnish
- 2 sprigs cilantro for garnish
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium-low heat until translucent and just beginning to brown. Add seasonings and continue to cook for another minute or two, stirring often.
- Reduce heat to low, and add blue cheese and evaporated milk. Cook until blue cheese is melted. (It won’t completely melt and will still have a few lumps, but that is okay.)
- Slowly add the grated cheddar, just about one-half cup at a time, until all but 1 cup of the cheese has been added. Stir often. Add the diced peppers and stir well. Finally add the remaining cheese and heat just until melted.
- Pour the queso into a serving bowl and garnish with the extra peppers, bacon, and cilantro sprigs. Serve warm with sturdy tortilla chips!