Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso Dip. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso Dip. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

I’m was born in Texas, and once you are born in Texas you are always a Texan. No matter that I’ve lived in California for over 20 years, and am coming up on living here for as long as I lived in Texas. I will still always consider myself a Texan.

There are many things that I *do not* miss about Texas: the politics, the gun-lovers, the sometimes backwards attitude towards others. But there are also plenty of things I do miss about Texas: the Southern hospitality, swimming at Barton Springs or in the lake, big booming thunderstorms, and mostly, the food.

I love the food in Texas. I adore Tex-Mex. I crave Texas BBQ. And I wish more restaurants would serve queso and chips as a matter of course. In Texas, a bowl of chile con queso—most commonly known as just “queso”— with tortilla chips is as natural as putting bread and butter on the table. I miss that. So I’m forced to make my own (although Tacolicious does do an excellent version).

Traditionally, queso is stoner food. Made late into the night by melting a block of Velveeta cheese in the microwave and then stirring in a can of Rotel tomatoes with green chiles. I honestly do not have a problem with this (quite likely because I grew up with it). And, well, it’s good!

But I thought I’d take this decadent snack one step up the ladder, and make it with real cheese, plus some buttery sautéed onions and jalapenos. Serve this on game day, or anytime you are feeling nostalgic about Texas, and watch it disappear quickly.

Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso Dip. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso Dip. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Chile con Queso

Makes enough for a party! (Or 10–20 friends)


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1–2 small jalapeno(s), minced (seeds removed if you like it less spicy)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 cups of shredded mild orange cheddar cheese
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 (4 oz) cans diced green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chips, for serving

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  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until the onions are browned and softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk the flour into the butter and let bubble for about 1 minute.
  3. Slowly add the milk to the pan, whisking constantly, and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, green chiles, and half the cilantro.
  4. Turn the heat down to low, and add the cheese slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring into the sauce until completely melted.
  5. When the sauce is smooth, stir in the sour cream. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve right away.

Note: If the sauce starts to firm up too much, put it back over low heat until melted and smooth.

Variation: If you want to get really crazy, stir some cooked, crumbled Mexican chorizo in at the end.

Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso Dip. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso Dip. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Cheese Please: Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso Dip For Your Super Bowl Party 21 January,2016Kim Laidlaw

  • 6thSense

    What is wrong with gun lovers? You sound must be of those perpetually offend liberal wacko Houstonites.

  • Lily Queen

    Did you know that queso (the dip, not the Spanish word) was invented in Arkansas? Texas usually gets credit for it, though. 😉 Anyway, I also live in California now, and miss having a good queso once in a while. The jarred stuff at, say, Trader Joe’s is just nasty. Your recipe looks delicious, though! And yes to chorizo.

  • Please_Stop

    Canned chiles are nasty.

  • Isaac Wingfield

    I like to add 2-4 Tbsp. canned chipotles in adobo (be sure to get both peppers and sauce), minced fine.


Kim Laidlaw

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen.

Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013.

She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and their child, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.


Wendy Goodfriend

I am the Senior Interactive Producer for KQED Food. I have designed and produced food-related websites and blogs for KQED including Bay Area Bites; Check, Please! Bay Area;  Taste This; Jacques Pepin’s websites; Weir Cooking in the City and KQED Food. When I am not creating and managing food websites I am taking photos and video of Bay Area Life and designing online navigation systems. My professional education and training includes: clinical psychology, photography, commercial cooking, web design, information architecture and UX. You can find me engaged in social media on Twitter @bayareabites and on Facebook at Bay Area Bites. I can also be found photoblogging at look2remember.

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