This Chorizo Queso Blanco Dip uses all real cheese and is PERFECT for parties! It’s rich and creamy, with just the right amount of kick from the chorizo sausage. You can omit the chorizo for a plain queso dip (or use an alternative like soy chorizo). People always go nuts for this when I serve it!
When I offered to make a queso dip for Wisconsin Cheese, I thought it would be a no-brainer recipe. It’s a cheese dip. Point. Blank. Period. However, I had actually never prepared a queso dip from scratch before using real cheese. When I was in college, I had that famous concoction everyone loves that uses microwaved processed cheese and salsa or seasoned canned tomatoes.
Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is tasty. It’s chemically engineered deliciousness. However, these days I try to use real ingredients in my cooking, as you’ll know if you’re a regular around here.
My first attempt at queso dip was a flavorful disaster. It was wonderful right out of the saucepan, however it solidified within 10 minutes. That’s not what I want in a cheese dip. No one wants that. I quickly realized that the key to a good cheese dip was to start with a béchamel base.
Béchamel sauce is one of the five French mother sauces, and it’s often used to make macaroni and cheese. For example, I used it in my baked butternut squash macaroni and cheese. If you add the right cheeses, spices and toppings to it? Perfect, gooey, melty, flavorful queso blanco dip.
Chorizo adds a wonderful meatiness to the cheese dip as well as a spicy kick, but feel free to omit it for a vegetarian option. You could also use a vegan chorizo, which obviously won’t make the dish vegan, but it keeps it vegetarian! I’m a big fan of some of the meatless sausages on the market. Trader Joe’s and Field Roast both have tasty vegan chorizos. I’ve used both to prepare this vegan chorizo mac and cheese.
This Chorizo Queso Blanco Dip Recipe uses all real cheese and is PERFECT for parties! Time to take things up a notch from the standby sour cream and onion.
- 8 ounces ground chorizo, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or 3/4 cup whole milk + 3/4 cup heavy cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups grated monterey jack cheese
- 1 1/2 cups grated white mild cheddar cheese
- Tortilla chips for serving
- Queso fresco or ricotta salata cheese
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Finely diced jalapeno peppers
- Finely diced red onion
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the chorizo over low heat to render the fat into the pan. As the fat melts, slowly turn up the heat to medium-low and then medium, stirring the chorizo frequently while using a spatula to break apart any clumps. Once fully cooked, 7-10 minutes, transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Melt the butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for a 3-4 minutes, stirring, until translucent and fragrant. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the half & half, salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat while whisking. It should begin to thicken after a few minutes. Once the sauce has thickened to the consistency of a cream soup, remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese, one handful at a time.
- Pour the dip into a serving dish and top with the chorizo. Add the optional toppings, if using, and serve with tortilla chips.
For a basic queso blanco dip, omit the chorizo and skip directly to step 2. You can also use soy chorizo (I like the one from Field Fare) for a vegetarian version.
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About the Author
Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.