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Overhead view of a bowl of white queso with a dollop of diced tomatoes in the center, surrounded by tortilla chips.

Restaurant-Style White Queso (Queso Blanco)

This creamy, cheesy white queso recipe brings that delicious restaurant appetizer straight to you in no time at all.
Course Appetizers, Dip
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cheese dip, cinco de mayo, family-friendly
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 181kcal


  • medium saucepan
  • Whisk


  • ¾ cup half and half
  • 8 ounces white American cheese from the deli counter, sliced or shredded; approximately 2 ½ cups
  • 1-2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño juice from jar of pickled jalapeños
  • salt to taste


  • Warm half and half in medium saucepan over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add cheese in small increments, whisking well between addition, allowing cheese to melt almost completely before adding next handful.
    Overhead view of white American cheese on a cutting board next to a saucepan.
  • When all cheese has been added and melted, whisk mixture vigorously over low heat. Add 1 tablespoon diced jalapeños, 1 tablespoon jalapeño juice, and 1 big pinch salt, then whisk until completely smooth.
  • Taste queso and add jalapeños and/or juice as needed for more tang and spice. Stir well and constantly to prevent queso from sticking or burning. Once desired taste has been achieved, transfer queso into bowl and serve hot.


  • You want to use cheese from the deli counter rather than prepackaged shredded cheese. Typically the prepackaged versions use starches and other fillers to prevent clumping, which also prevents them from melting well. You can have the deli counter slice the cheese for you, or pick up a block and shred it yourself.
  • The queso will firm up as it sits and cools. For a thinner consistency, add more half and half. For a thicker consistency, add more cheese.
  • You can make the queso ahead of time (up to 3 days) and refrigerate it in an airtight container, then reheat it in the microwave and serve. I recommend microwaving in 30 to 60 second bursts, stirring well between each, until queso is hot and melty.
  • Make it Vegan: Check out our vegan queso recipe for the BEST vegan queso blanco ever!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 706mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 521IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 428mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 2g