The Best Homemade Queso
A few weeks ago, we went out to Delaware to visit my SIL and her family (see here, three years ago (!!!)). We had a great time, mostly just hanging out and spending time with our nephews, but we also checked out Victory Brewing Company. Hubs and I did a tour – which are free every weekend, by the way – before we all ate dinner there. The beer selection is great, and the food was amazing. I’ll put a post together about it if I ever get my act together…debatable.
My BIL was nice enough to be our DD, and the rest of us sampled a decent amount of beer (aka about one flight each, which is about two beers – we were responsible so don’t go jumping to conclusions). We got back, the kids went to bed, and we wanted snacks. Nachos had come up on the car ride home, and we were pretty stuck on them.
My SIL and I raided their fridge and pantry and made an amazing queso. We’re pretty sure the Trader Joe’s fire roasted tomatoes were the key ingredient, and the entire block of cheese didn’t hurt either 😉 She got fancy and made some homemade guacamole. My BIL requested cheese melted directly on the nachos, so they were cheesy and delicious and perfect.
Since it was basically the best queso I’ve ever made, I’ve been determine to remake it. I think I succeeded. The fire roasted tomatoes are important – you don’t want to leave them out. Think of this queso as the homemade version of Rotel + Velveeta, but even better because there aren’t any weird ingredients like shelf-stable cheese product. Note: I love Velveeta and Cheez Whiz and I’m 100% not throwing shade because they have their place. That place is just not in this particular queso. Their place might be in a slow cooker macaroni and cheese I have coming up in the next couple weeks though…
Anyway, do yourself a favor and invite a couple friends over for the game next weekend and make a nacho bar. Do it up with the works – salsa, guacamole, maybe some sour cream if you’re feeling extra fancy. You could add some slow cooker shredded chicken or smoked pulled pork and make it a meal. And don’t forget to send an invite my way!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk, any fat content
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 can (14 ounces) fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (or more to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add in the flour, stirring constantly until it gives off a nutty aroma, approximately 2-4 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in the milk, and stir constantly until it thickens. It will be very thick, and that's okay - the juice from the tomatoes will thin it. Turn the heat to low and add in the rest of the ingredients. Stir until the cheese is melted and everything is hot and combined.
- You can transfer the queso to a slow cooker to keep warm during a party, or leave it over low heat on the stovetop. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.