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Creamy, flavorful, and 100% addictive, this is the ultimate queso recipe! Perfect by itself, or load it up with toppings too make it even more amazing!


1 pint half and half (don’t use fat free)
1 pound high-quality white American cheese, chopped (look for this at the deli counter of your grocery store, not the prepackaged slices)
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded and divided (a block, not shreds; the shreds are coated in a powder that can impact the texture of the queso)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup (1 4.5-ounce can) roasted green chilies
See notes for optional toppings


In a medium saucepan, combine the half and half and the salt, onion powder, chili powder, and garlic powder. Cook over medium heat, stirring very frequently (constantly near the end), until bubbles form around the edges and it almost boils. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Whisking constantly, add a handful of the chopped American cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted, then repeat until all the American cheese has been used.  Repeat with the pepper jack cheese, reserving 1/4 cup. of the cheese for later. When the mixture is completely smooth, remove from heat. Add the chilies and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Transfer to a serving dish, add toppings as desired, and sprinkle with reserved pepper jack cheese.


This queso is incredible by itself, but if you really want to send it over the top, here are a few of our favorite things:

  • Add a generous scoop of guacamole to the bowl before you add the queso
  • Generously shake some Chipotle Tabasco Sauce on top
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Chopped Green onions
  • Chopped pickled jalapeño peppers
  • Pico de gallo
  • Cooked, crumbled chorizo
  • Chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Serve with lime wedges
  • Green (jalapeño) Tabasco sauce