Chili con queso with chips recipe
Food and Wine

Kick Off Football Season with this Chile Con Queso Recipe

Football season has officially kicked off and you know what that means – tailgates and watch parties. What better recipe to bring than a classic fan favorite, Chile Con Queso? I have provided two versions of the queso recipe. The first version brings a hit of nostalgia because it was very popular for after-school parties in the 1950s. The Velveeta makes it creamy and smooth, while the fire comes from the Rotel, a trademarked combination of canned chiles and tomatoes. The second is an updated gourmet version that I have created with high-end ingredients that’s sure to delight the senses. 

Fritos corn chips are my favorite accompaniment to this dip, although baked or fried tortilla chips are also a great option. Either way, Chile con Queso must be served warm, otherwise, it solidifies.

Old-fashioned Texas Chile Con Queso Recipe


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small onion, minced (1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 fresh jalapeño chiles, seeds and stems removed, minced

1 (10 ounces) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 pound Velveeta or processed American cheese, cut into cubes

Fritos corn chips, tortilla chips, or vegetables for serving


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic, and jalapeños until soft. Add the can of tomatoes with its liquid and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. When tomatoes begin to look dry, start adding the cheese, one handful at a time. Stir over medium-low heat until the cheese melts. Add more cheese and continue stirring to melt it.

Serve in a chafing dish or fondue pot to keep the queso warm. Pair with Fritos corn chips, tortilla chips, or vegetables.

Makes 2-1/2 cups

Chili con queso with chips recipe

Gourmet Chile Con Queso Recipe


1 small onion, unpeeled and quartered

3 cloves garlic, unpeeled

3 fresh Anaheim chiles

3 fresh jalapeño chiles

3 plum or Roma tomatoes

8 ounces Caciotta or Monterey Jack, shredded (2 cups)

8 ounces Cheddar or Longhorn, shredded (2 cups)

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon pure ground chile powder

1 dried Arbol chile

Fritos corn chips, tortilla chips, or vegetables for serving


Preheat the broiler. Place the onion, garlic, Anaheim chiles, jalapeños, and tomatoes on a flat broiler pan. Broil them three inches under the broiler, turning with tongs as necessary, until their skins are blackened on all sides. Remove from the broiler, place in a bowl, and then cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam until cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the blackened skins and seeds and discard them. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds and juice and discard. Place the onions, garlic, Anaheim chiles, jalapeños, and tomatoes in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse to chop. There will be about 1-1/2 cups of chopped vegetables. Set aside.

Mix the shredded cheeses with the cornstarch, then sprinkle the salt over the cheese. Heat the cream in a two-quart saucepan over low heat. Add the cumin and chile powder and stir to blend. When warm, gradually stir in the shredded cheese, handful by handful. Wait for each handful of cheese to melt before adding the next. When all of the cheese is melted, gradually stir in the chopped vegetables.

Serve the queso in a chafing dish or fondue pot to keep it warm and liquid. Float the Arbol chile whole on top, as a garnish. Serve with Frito corn chips, tortilla chips, or vegetables.

Makes 4 cups

Looking for a delicious dessert? Try this refreshing Angel Food Mascarpone Berry Trifle.

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