Queso Blanco with Guacamole

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
May 30, 2023 | Updated on May 9, 2024

Queso blanco is a rich, creamy cheese sauce enhanced with fire-roasted peppers, spices, and a heaping side of fresh guacamole. Served hot from the stovetop, enjoy this Mexican white cheese dip with your favorite chips, or drizzled over burritos or rice bowls.

For more cheesy dips, try my Korean Corn Cheese, Queso Dip with Chipotle and Easy Rotel Dip next.

queso blanco in a bowl with guacamole in the center and topped with cilantro. Surround by tortilla chips on a platter

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Queso blanco is a luxuriously smooth, melty, gooey cheesy dip that’s also incredibly easy to prepare. Now you can enjoy the same dip your favorite Mexican restaurant makes from the comfort of your home.

What’s the secret to mouthwatering, silky-smooth homemade queso blanco dip? The answer is sodium citrate. As intimidating as it may sound, it’s super simple so keep reading to learn how to make the best queso blanco recipe with the perfect cheesy texture you’ve ever tasted!

Why This Queso Blanco Recipe Works

  • Easy to Make – The sauce itself takes only 10 minutes to prepare. The rest of the cooking time involves roasting the jalapeño and poblano peppers.
  • Great Party Appetizer – Serve these with a platter of tortilla chips at your next gathering and watch how quickly they disappear. This is perfect for birthdays, game days, and watch parties.
  • Versatile – Add ingredients to make it more or less spicy then get creative and use it as a dip, topping, or sauce on your favorite foods.

What is Queso Blanco?

Queso blanco is Spanish for white cheese. The most basic recipes include milk, white American cheese, and peppers. It’s easy, affordable, and super filling so it’s perfect for serving families and crowds. There is also a crumbly Mexican cheese with the same name but that’s not relevant for this recipe.

queso blanco in a bowl with guacamole in the center and topped with cilantro. Surround by tortilla chips on a platter

What Does Sodium Citrate do for Queso Blanco?

For silky smooth queso blanco, sodium citrate is an essential ingredient. Sodium citrate (made of baking soda and citric acid) is an emulsifier that lowers the acidity of the cheese, making it easier to blend with liquids as it heats up. It also prevents the cheese sauce from curdling, and the final result is a smooth, never grainy, consistency.

If you are looking for sodium citrate, this is the one I use. A little goes a long way and trust me when I say you will never have to worry about grainy queso again once you use this secret ingredient.

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for Queso Blanco

Queso blanco is made with milk, aromatics, seasoning, peppers, sodium citrate, and plenty of cheese!

  • Salted butter: This is the oil base used to cook the aromatics
  • Aromatics: Use diced white onion and fresh garlic cloves (minced) as the base of your sauce.
  • Peppers: I highly recommend charring and roasting jalapeño peppers and poblano peppers on the stovetop or in the oven for even more flavor.
  • Seasoning: I use kosher salt, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
  • Cream cheese: Ensure it is room temperature for ease in mixing and full-fat for best flavor.
  • Sodium citrate: This improves the overall texture of restaurant-quality dip.
  • Whole milk: This enriches the sauce. For a thicker sauce use half and half, evaporated milk, or whipping cream. Avoid low-fat or nonfat milk because the sauce won’t be creamy enough.
  • Cheese: I use freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese and monterrey jack cheese.

Guacamole

  • Avocados: Use avocados at their peak ripeness.
  • White onion: Finely chopped.
  • Fresh jalapeño: Finely diced.
  • Garlic powder: I prefer to use powder over fresh garlic for this recipe.
  • Lime juice: For a citrus twist that enhances the overall taste, adding a bit of brightness.
  • Kosher salt: Seasoned to taste.

How To Make Queso Blanco

Make queso blanco by gradually adding each ingredient until you’re left with a delicious, spicy, savory melted cheese sauce.

  1. Fire roast – Below are two ways to fire roast the jalapeño and poblano pepper.
    • Stovetop – Using medium-high to high heat, cook the ingredients over an open flame rotating as it chars until blackened all over. Set aside until cool to the touch, then remove charred pieces. Seed, devein, dice poblano, and finely chop jalapeño. Set aside for later use.
    • Broiler – Place jalapeño and poblano pepper on a quarter baking sheet and cook 6 inches below the broiler on BROIL mode, keeping a watchful eye and occasionally flipping to ensure all sides are charred (about 10-15 minutes.) Remove from the oven and set aside until cool to the touch, then remove charred pieces. Seed, devein, dice poblano, and finely chop jalapeño. Set aside for later use.
  2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add butter. Add garlic and onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until onions are softened.
  3. Add finely chopped jalapeño and diced poblano and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add seasonings, stir, and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add cream cheese and milk. Stir until completely smooth. Next, add sodium citrate and stir until blended.
  6. Lower heat to low and add grated cheese in small (1 cup) batches and whisk until completely smooth. Repeat until all cheese is added. Be careful to not allow the mixture to get too hot or boil.
  7. Adjust seasoning with salt, if needed. If you prefer to thin out the sauce, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time.
  8. Top queso blanco with preferred toppings and serve with tortilla chips.
garlic-onion-sauteing
process step of queso fully melted in a medium saucepan

Guacamole

Mash avocados in a bowl, then add the remaining ingredients. Adjust taste with more lime juice and kosher salt, if necessary.

Assembly

In a medium-sized bowl, place guacamole in the center, creating a dome shape. You want some of the guac to poke above the queso. Next, add warm queso and garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired. Enjoy warm.

Tips and Tricks

  • Shred your own cheese. Preshredded cheese has a waxy coating that prevents it from sticking together. Shred a block of cheese for the best results. It melts easier and tastes better.
  • If the dip begins to curdle, add a tablespoon of milk.
  • Don’t limit this to dip. Use it as a sauce or topping on a variety of dishes.

Variations

  • Cheese: Traditional queso blanco recipes use white American cheddar so feel free to use that for this recipe. If you can’t find it in the dairy section of your grocery store, go to the deli counter. White Velveeta is another alternative.
  • Spice Level: Use green chiles for mild spice. If you want an extra kick of spice, add serrano pepper, cayenne pepper, or some dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
  • More Add-Ins: You can add chorizo, diced tomatoes, or pickled jalapeños.

Leftovers

After the queso blanco dip has completely cooled, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. To reheat it, warm it up on the stove over medium-high heat. You may need to add a splash of milk to loosen it up because the sauce will thicken as it cools.

queso blanco in a bowl with guacamole in the center and topped with cilantro. Surround by tortilla chips on a platter

Frequently Asked Questions

Is queso blanco spicy?

This recipe is moderately spicy. However, you can adjust the ingredients to make it more or less hot.

What should I serve with queso blanco?

Pairing this with guacamole makes it an even more satisfying dip. Serve it with tortilla chips, pretzels, or sliced fresh veggies. You can also use drizzle it on top of burritos, rice bowls, or on grilled chicken. Get creative because the possibilities are endless!

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queso blanco in a bowl with guacamole in the center and topped with cilantro. Surround by tortilla chips on a platter

Queso Blanco with Guacamole

Queso blanco is a rich, creamy cheese sauce enhanced with fire roasted peppers, spices and a heaping side of fresh guacamole. Served hot from the stovetop, enjoy this Mexican white cheese dip with your favorite chips, or drizzled over burritos or rice bowls.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 5 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Mexican

Equipment

  • Medium Sauce Pan

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • ½ medium white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper
  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoons cumin, ground
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature, full-fat
  • teaspoons sodium citrate
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, white block, grated
  • 4 ounces monterrey jack cheese, grated

Guacamole

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh jalapeño, finely diced
  • tablespoons lime juice
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

Instructions

  • Fire roast – Below are two ways to fire roast the jalapeño and poblano pepper.
    Stovetop – Using medium-high to high heat, cook the ingredients over an open flame rotating as it chars until blackened all over. Set aside until cool to the touch, then remove charred pieces. Seed, devein, dice poblano, and finely chop jalapeño. Set aside for later use.
    Broiler – Place jalapeño and poblano pepper on a quarter baking sheet and cook 6 inches below the broiler on BROIL mode, keeping a watchful eye and occasionally flipping to ensure all sides are charred (about 10-15 minutes.) Remove from the oven and set aside until cool to the touch, then remove charred pieces. Seed, devein, dice poblano, and finely chop jalapeño. Set aside for later use.
  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add butter. Add garlic and onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until onions are softened.
  • Add finely chopped jalapeño and diced poblano and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Add seasonings, stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Remove saucepan from the heat and add cream cheese and milk. Stir until completely smooth. Next, add sodium citrate and stir until blended.
  • Lower heat to low and add grated cheese in small (1 cup) batches and whisk until completely smooth. Repeat until all cheese is added. Be careful to not allow the mixture to get too hot or boil.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt, if needed. If you prefer to thin out the sauce, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time.

Guacamole

  • Mash avocados in a bowl, then add remaining ingredients. Adjust taste with more lime juice and kosher salt, if necessary.

Assembly

  • In a medium sized bowl, place guacamole in the center, creating a dome shape. You want some of the the guac to poke above the queso. Next, add warm queso and garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired. Enjoy warm.
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queso blanco in a bowl with guacamole in the center and topped with cilantro. Surround by tortilla chips on a platter

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Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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