Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Chile con Queso

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-3 servings
Chile con queso is a simple yet excellent recipe that you can build upon by adding your favorite ingredients.

Traditional chile con queso is great, but I like to make several variations of this dish. For example, I like adding roasted poblano pepper strips, sauteed mushrooms and sometimes chipotle-spiced shrimp.


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  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. While the onions are cooking, in the blender combine the tomatoes, chile serrano, water and 1 teaspoon of salt, blend until smooth, set aside.
  3. When onions are starting to brown slightly, add the tomato mixture from the blender to the onions, stir well to combine. Cook for just about 2 minutes, reduce heat and carefully add the cheese slices to the simmering sauce. If using panela or queso fresco, it will get soft, but it will not melt like the jack cheese.
  4. This dish should be served right away, so have your Mexican bolillo bread, warm tortillas or tostadas ready. Serve with warm refried beans and avocado slices.
  5. Note: In my mom’s recipe, she always used queso panela, a Mexican cheese, but it is not available in my local markets, so I substitute with pepper jack cheese.

Chef Notes

You can use queso panela, queso fresco or pepper jack cheese for this recipe. Try all three and see which one you like best.

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