Last Updated on December 16, 2023 by David Michael

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Creamy queso and crisp tortilla chips are a winning combination. This is an easy recipe that uses real cheese to make a flavorful dip, no Velveeta here. This queso is perfect for game day, easy and foolproof. Whether you’re throwing a tailgate, or getting ready for the Super Bowl this chili con queso may just be you MVP. Serve it with tortilla chips, or use it to create nachos.

Here we use the modernist cuisine ingredient sodium citrate again to make a velvety smooth queso. If you’re looking for a sodium citrate queso, we’ve got you covered here.

Sodium Citrate Queso

Sodium citrate acts as an emulsifier and allows for the smooth melting of cheese, even if that cheese doesn’t normally melt very easily. A little is all you need to create the smoothest queso. Sodium citrate queso is practically foolproof. Sodium citrate is also the key to our velvet smooth Classic Cheese Fondue.

We use a combination of Monterey jack for its mild nutty flavor combined with Cheddar for its more pronounced flavor. We saute the jalapenos to bring out a bit more heat, leave the seeds in if you like it more spicy. The dried chipotles add great smoky heat. Feel free to add more peppers if you want more spice. This Queso takes just a few ingredients that you may already have on hand.

Queso dripping on tortilla chips
Easy Chili con Queso

Making homemade queso only takes about 15 minutes. Once you see how easy it is to make queso from scratch you may never buy a jar of queso again.

Chili Con Queso Dip Recipe

1 teaspoon oil
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 dried chipotle, diced
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon sodium citrate
8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded.

In a medium saucepan heat the oil over medium heat and saute the jalapenos. Add the chipotle when the jalapenos soften, about 3-4 minutes.

Turn the heat down to low and stir in the milk and sodium citrate. Stir to dissolve the sodium citrate.

When the milk is hot but not boiling, begin to add the cheese a handful at a time. Stir to melt the cheese before adding more. Continue adding cheese, stirring to melt each addition before adding more, until it is all used. Every cheese has a different moisture content. If you used an extra sharp cheddar you may need to add more milk. Just stir milk into the queso 1 tablespoon at a time until it’s smooth and dippable.

Taste before adding any salt, there’s usually enough in the cheese and the sodium citrate adds a bit of a salty flavor. I usually don’t need to add any. Most tortilla chips that you would serve with the queso already have been salted.

Pour into a bowl and serve hot.

If you don’t have the jalapeno and chipotle, just add about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or ground chipotle pepper. Add more to taste if you like it spicy.

Can also be served in a small slow cooker set on low to keep it hot. A 1.5 quart size is perfect.

I’ve even made this right in the 1.5 quart crock pot, here’s how:

Crock Pot Queso

Put the sodium citrate and milk in a 1.5 quart crock pot, stir to dissolve the sodium citrate.
Add the diced jalapenos and chipotles (no need to cook them in oil first).
Add the cheese.Turn the crock pot / slow cooker on low and leave for 45 minutes.
Stir and leave another 15 minutes if the cheese hasn’t fully melted yet.
Stir and serve!

Nacho Queso Sauce

If you want to use this as more of a queso sauce, then stir in a little extra milk, a tablespoon at a time until it’s the pourable consistency you want. It makes a great nacho cheese for our Everything Nachos

Queso dip is one of our food and drink recipes from our Celebrate Cinco de Mayo post, with party ideas too!

Recommended Products for Queso

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Sodium Citrate

Sodium Citrate
Sodium Citrate


Box Grater

Box Grater


1.5 Quart Slow Cooker

 Crock-Pot Mini 1.5 Quart Round Manual Slow Cooker, Black (SCR151)

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