This warm, homemade Pepper Jack Queso dip is a fun and easy appetizer that everyone will love. It’s absolutely bursting with flavor, ultra-creamy, and has the perfect amount of spice.
Homemade Pepper Jack Queso
If you have searched far and wide for the best white queso recipe, look no further. This Pepper Jack Queso is our family’s absolute favorite, hands down. It has so many layers of flavor, thanks to the base of minced onion, garlic, and jalapeño.
And if you are a little more sensitive to spicy foods, have no fear! Pepper Jack cheese isn’t super spicy, and the amount of extra jalapeños and canned green chilis aren’t enough to completely cut through all of the ooey gooey cheese, cream, and evaporated milk.
My favorite way to eat this pepper jack cheese sauce is with celery sticks, carrot sticks, and olives but we’ve given you plenty of other ideas below, along with even more yummy pepper jack cheese recipes to try.
What to Serve with Homemade Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce
- Bread. Bread is always a great choice! Try serving with homemade breadsticks or freshly baked bread cut into chunks and lightly toasted in the oven.
- Veggies. For an easy shortcut, I like to purchase pre-cut veggie trays from the supermarket and then arrange the veggies on a platter. No one will ever know the difference!
- Pretzels. The store-bought crunchy kind taste great, as do our favorite homemade Soft Pretzel Bites.
- Crackers. Any type of cracker will work great.
- Burrito- Try this Queso Dip along side our Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito with all the fixing for a fun Mexican Fiesta!
- Salsa- Try it with our homemade salsa, it can be ready in about 5 minutes.
Ingredients in Pepper Jack Queso Dip
- Pepper Jack Cheese - make sure you use brick cheese instead of pre-shredded. Pre-shredded cheese is made with a non-caking coating and your queso will never get as creamy.
- Cornstarch - this helps to thicken the queso slightly.
- Onion - we like to use white onion.
- Red Pepper - you could substitute any other color of bell pepper, too.
- Jalapeño - fresh jalapeños are our fav! If you want to tone down the spice, you could either reduce the amount, eliminate it completely, or use green chiles.
- Garlic - any kind of fresh peeled garlic will work.
- Butter - you can use either salted or unsalted.
- Evaporated Milk - this adds to the creaminess.
- Heavy Cream - any type of cream will work.
- Canned Green Chilis - you should be able to find these in the Mexican aisle at the grocery store.
- Spices - in this queso we use garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes. You can adjust the seasoning to your own liking if you wish.
How to Make Pepper Jack Queso
- Prep the ingredients. In a small bowl, add the shredded Pepper Jack cheese and sprinkle the cornstarch over the top. Gently mix to coat, then set aside. In a food processor, with the grater attachment on, grate the onion, red pepper, jalapeño and garlic (Note: if you don't have a food processor, you can dice them with a knife).
- Saute the veggies. In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the onion and vegetable mixture. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft but not brown.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook. Add the evaporated milk, cream, green chilies, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes and the reserved shredded cheese. Mix together, then simmer on low and stir until the cheese is melted and smooth.
- Serve. Transfer the warm queso to a serving bowl and serve with fresh veggies or tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Queso is generally thicker than fondue and something you'd find at your favorite Mexican Restaurant. It is often filled with chunks of onions, pepper, jalapenos, sausage, or pico de gallo.
To make queso Blanco, when making a queso dip, use Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or White American Cheese.
Tips and Tricks
- If you are serving a crowd, it works great to make the Pepper Jack Queso and keep it warm in a slow cooker.
- If you need to reheat your queso, put it into a saucepan with a splash of milk and warm over medium heat while stirring until smooth again.
- In order to keep this a white queso, we like to use white onion.
- Do not try and use pre-shredded cheese! It will never melt smoothly like brick cheese will because it contains an anti-caking coating.
Storing and Reheating
Leftover Pepper Jack Queso can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, either microwave or transfer to a saucepan with a little milk and heat over medium heat, stirring until nice and creamy.
Pepper Jack Queso Recipe
- 16 oz Pepper Jack Cheese shredded from a brick
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- ½ Cup Onion cut into large chunks
- ½ whole Red Pepper deseeded and cut into chunks
- ½ whole Jalapeno deseeded
- 2 Cloves Garlic peeled
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 12-oz Can Evaporated Milk
- ½ Cup Heavy Cream
- 4 oz Canned Green Chilis drained
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- In a small bowl, add the shredded Pepper Jack cheese and sprinkle the cornstarch over the top. Gently mix to coat, then set aside.
- In a food processor, with the grater attachment on, grate the onion, red pepper, jalapeno and garlic (Note: if you don't have a food processor, you can dice them with a knife).
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the onion and vegetable mixture. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft but not brown.
- Add the evaporated milk, cream, green chilies, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes and the reserved shredded cheese. Mix together, then simmer on low and stir until the cheese is melted and smooth.
- Transfer the warm queso to a serving bowl and serve with fresh veggies or tortilla chips. Enjoy!
More of our Favorite Cheese Dip Recipes
More of our Favorite Appetizers
- Bacon and Jalapeno Stuffed Peppers
- Mini Kabobs
- Toasted Ravioli
- Soy Chicken
- BBQ Chicken Taquitos
- Bacon Wrapped Smokies
- Sausage Flatbread Recipe
- Chicken Wings
- More Appetizer Recipes
If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate it and leave a comment on this post. I love hearing feedback from you helps me and other readers too! If you love Pinterest, feel free to leave a comment and photo there too. Also, if you like to share, use the hashtag #thecarefreekitchen on Instagram and tag me @thecarefreekitchen so I can find you and give your post some love. You can also find me on Facebook at The Carefree Kitchen. Thank you!!
This homemade Pepper Jack Queso dip is absolutely bursting with flavor, ultra creamy and has the perfect amount of spice. It's a fun and easy appetizer that everyone will love.