Queso blanco is Spanish for white cheese. But when you see blocks of cheese labeled queso blanco in the store, they're typically soft, unaged cheeses made either with cow's milk or a combination of cow's and goat's milk. The flavor tends to be mild and the texture is crumbly.
Because it's not ripened, some people refer to it as queso fresco or fresh cheese. However, they are actually different cheeses. Queso fresco is made with culture and rennet whereas queso blanco, the more simple of the two, is made with milk and an acid. Neither cheese is very melty.
Queso blanco, however, can refer to many different kinds of cheeses as long as they are white in color. The actual crumbly queso blanco is very popular in Mexico. In the United States, there are several options when it comes to queso blanco. In large supermarkets and grocery stores, you will often find packages of soft white cheese labeled queso blanco. But you'll also see white versions of American cheese and cheddar and both are commonly used to make queso blanco dips. In fact, they, along with Monterey Jack cheese, are more likely to be the cheeses you find in the white dip since they melt better than actual queso blanco.
Queso blanco dip is a popular party favorite. Our recipe begins with a butter and flour roux to ensure a smooth texture when the cheese melts. We also include chopped green chiles for that expected Tex-Mex flavor. A mixture of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses and some spices add lots of savory flavor. Grab the tortilla chips and get dipping.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
- 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 4 ounces green chiles (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (fresh, chopped, or parsley)
- 2 tablespoons tomatoes (chopped, for topping)
Gather the ingredients.
Melt the butter in a large skillet or cast iron pan. On medium-low heat, add the all-purpose flour and slowly whisk in until all the butter is coated. Continue cooking for a minute to cook out the raw flour taste.
Slowly whisk in the whole milk until the mixture is smooth and beginning to thicken. Stir in the garlic powder, chili powder, and ground cumin.
Stir in the shredded Monterey Jack cheese and the shredded white cheddar cheese. Stir in the chopped green chiles. Continue stirring until the sauce is smooth and thick, then stir in the chopped cilantro or parsley.
Pour into a serving dish, top with the chopped tomatoes, and serve warm with tortilla chips.