Queso, also known as Chile con Queso, is awesome meaty, cheesy goodness. It is the ultimate comfort food as well as an ever-popular party food. It seems people just can’t get enough when it’s placed in front of them. This recipe for Queso is, perhaps, The Greatest Queso That Ever Lived. It’s definitely one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made and one of the tastiest. It is a must-try.
Chile con Queso (which is Spanish for ‘chile with cheese’), known popularly as just Queso, is an appetizer or side dish made of melted cheese and chili peppers and is typically served in Tex-Mex restaurants and home parties as a dipping sauce for nacho chips. Queso is part of Tex-Mex and Southwestern United States cuisine, originating in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua (it is a version of Queso chihuahua and Queso flameado). Served warm, Queso is a smooth, creamy sauce typically made from a blend of melted cheeses (often Velveeta or another processed cheese, Monterey Jack or cream cheese), cream and chili peppers. Many restaurants include canned tomato and chili pepper mix as well as pico de gallo, black beans, guacamole and ground beef or pork. This dish is usually eaten with tortillas, tortilla chips or special Queso chips (which are thicker than regular tortilla chips). It is also used as a condiment on fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, migas, quesadillas or any other Tex-Mex dish. Although Chile con Queso is commonly just called Queso, it shouldn’t be confused with “cheese dip”, which is melted cheese without any peppers.
This Queso recipe calls for Velveeta cheese which is a processed cheese product that has a taste identified as a type of American cheese but a much softer, smoother texture than most cheeses. When melted, Velveeta maintains a fully integrated and evenly clump-free liquid texture, the opposite of what results when cheese is melted or cooked at high heat. Velveeta was invented in 1918 by Emil Frey of the Monroe Cheese Company in New York. In 1923 The Velveeta Cheese Company was incorporated as a separate company and was then sold to Kraft Foods in 1927. At the time, Velveeta was advertised as a nutritious health food (according to Kraft’s website, Velveeta became the first cheese product to gain the American Medical Association’s seal of approval in the 1930’s). Velveeta is also great in grilled cheese sandwiches and as a filler for macaroni and cheese sauce.
What makes this particular recipe great is that all of the ingredients are literally thrown into a slow cooker (after the ground beef is cooked off with onions and green peppers) and then come out as an amazing melted meaty-cheesy dip. Honestly, does it get any simpler? There are only 6 pretty basic ingredients in this Queso recipe. You may replace the cans of Rotel with your favorite brand of salsa if you wish and add more or less roasted green chilies or jalapeno peppers depending on your preference for spicy (or not) food. Whatever your preferences, though, this recipe for Queso is most certainly delicious and is sure to please at your next get-together.