Today I am going to give you the best pepper jack queso recipe! My family and I love this, and you are going to, too.
It’s the perfect easy appetizer with great flavor, and the best way to bring Mexican restaurant-quality food into your home.
This is also the perfect party dip recipe to have when you are hosting watch parties for sporting events.
This is a great, simple dip to have in your back pocket when you’re going to entertain for big games.
What is it?
Pepper jack queso is a take on chile con queso. Chile con queso, often just called queso, is a delicious cheesy dip with tomatoes, and chilies.
In my recipe, we use pepper jack and some other cheeses instead of Velveeta. We also use ground sausage sometimes, where not all queso recipes have meat. This is the best queso recipe with no Velveeta!
Pepper Jack Queso Ingredients
(Note: The full list of ingredients and detailed instructions are available in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
This queso dip recipe uses these main ingredients:
Cheese – Cheese is the chief ingredient in pepper jack queso dip. For my recipe, I use a few different kinds of cheese instead of a block of cheese. I use shredded pepper jack cheese, as it gives the dip a nice bite without being too spicy, and is easier to melt. I also use Monterey jack cheese. All these cheeses can be found at most grocery stores. I like to use the deli counter if possible, because I find the quality to be much better.
Green chiles – Queso dip needs green chilies. You can just use any kind you find at the store.
Evaporated milk – I also love to use evaporated milk in my queso dip. It makes it so creamy and rich. Any brand will do.
Rotel – Queso dip would not be complete without Rotel. If you are unfamiliar with Rotel, it is a brand of diced tomatoes and green chilies that comes in a can. You can use any can of Rotel you like depending on the spice and flavor you prefer. I like the original, but other flavors are good, too, like hot and fire roasted.
Ground sausage (Optional) – I love to have a queso dip with meat, and ground sausage is the perfect meat to use, because it also gives a bite without being too spicy. I like to use ground turkey, because it’s lean and isn’t gamy.
How to make Pepper Jack Queso
In a large cast iron skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add green chilies.
Add evaporated milk. Once it begins to simmer turn to low heat and add the shredded cheese in batches while stirring consistently. Once each batch of cheese melts, add more cheese and continue to stir consistently until cheese is melted.
Once all the cheese is melted stir in the Rotel, salt, black pepper, and cumin. Fold in cilantro.
Top with salsa, if you like.
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
This is such a simple recipe. You are going to love how easy it is to make, but here a couple of tips to make it better:
Watch the heat – Make sure you keep a close eye on the heat. If it gets too hot, your cheese and milk are going to scorch. The best way for them to melt is low and slow, so keep the heat low and do not let it get above a simmer.
Use the stove top – You might see queso dip recipes that are made in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot. Although those are good recipes, they typically use Velveeta cheese. Since I am not using Velveeta cheese, I make mine in a medium saucepan over the stove top so I can keep a better eye on the cheese melting. I suggest you do the same when you are not using a queso recipe without Velveeta.
There are many easy ways to cook this recipe without using the stovetop or a slow cooker, though. You can also try making this as a skillet queso recipe which is the dish I used!
If you would like to change the recipe a bit to fit your specific flavor preferences, here are some optional ingredients you can use:
Jalapeño peppers – Add fresh jalapeños for another bit of spice. Chop them finely and cook them with your onions at the beginning. Leave in a couple of seeds if you really want the heat.
A Different Kind of cheese – You can always swap out American cheese or Monterey Jack cheese for some of your other favorite cheeses. You could use white cheddar if you would like.
Different meat or no meat – You can use different meat if you would prefer, or you can eat it without any meat. I of course prefer eating it with meat at times, but it could easily be made into a vegetarian recipe.
No cilantro – Feel free to skip the fresh cilantro. A lot of people don’t like cilantro, and if you’re one of them, just leave it out.
Queso dip can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some of my favorite ways to eat it:
With tortilla chips – The most natural way to eat pepper jack queso dip is with tortilla chips. Use whichever kind you like.
On tacos – This dip can also be eaten over other foods like tacos, especially if you decided to forgo the meat. It can be a great topping on a hard or soft shell taco.
Nachos – Pepper jack queso dip can also be used for nachos. Spread out a layer of tortilla chips and pour the queso dip over it to enjoy a plate of nachos.
Make it a medley – You can eat this along with other dips, like guacamole and salsa. It is the perfect addition to an entire platter of dips.
Add some veggies to the plate – Instead of tortilla chips, or along with them, try using vegetables as chips. You can cut bell peppers into the shape of a chip or serve carrot chips to have a healthier option.
Use a serving dish – When it’s time to serve it, put it in a serving dish.
How long does queso last in the fridge?
Fresh queso dip unfortunately does not last that long in the fridge. It will start to go bad after about four days. However, you can store it in an airtight container in the freezer for a couple months and enjoy it later.
What is the best way to reheat queso?
You can reheat queso in the microwave, but when it heats up that quickly it starts to get a film around it. The best way to heat up queso dip is by doing so over the stove top. Again, go low and slow so it doesn’t scorch.
I know you’re going to enjoy this pepper jack queso party dip.
Let me know if you try it! In the meantime, check out some of my other great recipes!
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Pepper Jack Queso
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 12 ounces evaporated milk 1 can
- 1/2 small onion diced ,about 1/4 cup
- 1 can of Green Chiles 4.5 ounces
- 12 ounce Pepper Jack Cheese
- 4 ounce Monterey Jack
- 1 can of Fire Roasted Rotel 10 ounces
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon of cilantro
- In a large cast iron skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add green chilies and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add evaporated milk. Once it begins to simmer turn to low heat and add the shredded cheese in batches while stirring consistently. Once each batch of cheese melts, add more cheese and continue to stir consistently until cheese is melted.
- Once all the cheese is melted stir in the Rotel, salt, black pepper, and cumin. Fold in cilantro.
- Top with salsa, if you like.
- Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!