Whip up delicious skillet queso with a hint of spice in under 25 minutes
Need an easy and delicious appetizer? Make this three cheese classic yellow queso dip that is sure to be a crowd pleaser! The entire recipe is made using a cast iron skillet on the stovetop. The cream cheese, yellow cheddar, and white cheddar blend together for a perfectly smooth cheese dip. Plus, Tajín seasoning adds the perfect amount of spice to this dish.
Queso has to be one of my all-time favorite appetizers! A tortilla chip dipped in silky smooth queso - what could be better?!
The key to making queso at home is creating something that is as good as your favorite restaurant. To me, that means queso that has good texture, is made with high-quality cheese (no Velveeta for me), and has a little spice to it!
This is the best queso recipe filled with three types of cheese, a hint of spice from Mexican-made Tajín seasoning, and it comes together in less than 30 minutes. It's the perfect skillet queso dip for a party or Saturday night hang out.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
By making this Mexican inspired queso recipe, you'll learn some helpful kitchen knowledge including:
- My favorite three cheeses to combine for a classic yellow queso.
- Tips for making perfectly smooth and creamy queso at home.
- Why your queso may be turning out lumpy, oily, or stringy, and how to fix this issue.
If you enjoy learning tricks like these to step up your game in the kitchen, be sure to sign up for my free 5-day email series all about becoming a better home chef.
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make the skillet queso dip:
- Unsalted butter: There are many salty ingredients in this dish already. I like to balance things out by using unsalted butter.
- Garlic: Freshly minced or jarred garlic will work for this recipe.
- Whole milk: Milk is essential for thinning out the queso. Without milk, the queso would be thick and clumpy. Be sure to use whole milk for best results.
- Cream cheese: This ingredient helps add creaminess to the queso. It melts nicely and aids in thinning out the cheddar cheeses.
- Mild and white cheddar cheese: There are two types of cheddar cheese in this recipe. The mild cheddar helps give us the classic yellow coloring of queso, while the white cheddar adds more depth of flavor.
- Tajín clásico chile lime seasoning: This seasoning is a must for perfectly spicy and flavorful queso. It just adds a bit of heat (not too much) and a hint of lime. Don't skip out on this ingredient.
- Tortilla chips: You'll want something to serve with the skillet queso. If you're looking for a healthier option, crudités work nicely!
Tools & Equipment
There are just a few kitchen tools you'll need to make this recipe:
Cast Iron Skillet: You'll want a 10 - 12 inch cast iron skillet for this recipe. If you don't have a cast iron, you can use any heavy bottom pan.
Whisk: This tool will help move the queso around while the cheese is melting.
Spatula: Great for stirring and plating the queso!
Tips For Making The Best Queso At Home
Believe it or not, there are a few tricks to making smooth, melty queso. Be sure to follow these tips for the best results in this recipe, and any other queso dip you make in the future!
- Always shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese has additives to prevent the cheese from sticking together. This can inhibit the ability for the cheese to melt. For queso with a super creamy taste and texture, always buy a block of cheese and freshly shred it using a box grater.
- Use cheese that easily melts. Not all cheese is created equal. Certain cheeses melt down better than others. Cheeses such as American, cheddar, or even Velveeta are popular for queso because of their superior melting abilities.
- Melt cheese on a low temperature. It takes time (and patience) to melt the cheese slowly and gently. Don't be tempted to cook on high heat. High heat will cause the cheese to curdle and become a stingy, oily mess.
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
First off, make sure your cream cheese was at room temperature.
While cooking the cream cheese, ensure it has fully melted and become incorporated with the milk. You don't want any lumps (even little ones) of cream cheese. It takes a bit of time for all of the cream cheese to fully melt. Take your time with this process!
When making stovetop queso, it's really important to melt the cheese at a low temperature. If heated at high temperatures, cheese can begin to curdle. This will cause your queso to have an unpleasant texture.
Sure! Just make sure to use a heavy bottom pan instead.
Other Appetizer Recipes To Make
If you enjoyed this queso recipe, be sure to try these other appetizers:
- Whipped Spicy Feta Dip is the perfect appetizer in a pinch. You can whip up this dip in under 10 minutes. Serve with some toasted pita and crudités.
- A fun appetizer platter full of three varieties of hummus. This Hummus Platter is perfect for a dinner party or casual get-together.
- Bacon and Onion Dip an elevated take on your traditional french onion dip.
- All cheese lovers need to try Spicy Marinated Feta. It's a perfect addition to a charcuterie board or served with pita.
Cast Iron Skillet Three Cheese Queso
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 ounces white cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tablespoon Tajín clásico chile lime seasoning plus more for garnish
- tortilla chips for serving
- Melt butter in a 10 - 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add milk and cream cheese and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until the cream cheese is completely melted and no lumps remain.
- Slowly add in shredded mild cheddar and white cheddar cheese one handful at a time. Whisk the cheese, allowing it to fully melt before adding in an additional handful. Once all the cheese is completely melted, add Tajín seasoning and whisk to combine.
- Garnish with additional Tajín seasoning, as desired. Serve with tortilla chips.