The understated thrill of the road trip is in the realization that you have the choice to keep going; to never come back. Responsibility washes over and away from me in a wave of relief. I exhale. I stare out the window. I sleep. I dream. I am on vacation....
Because I absorb so many life experiences through food and cooking, my vacation souvenirs are usually aprons and ingredients. So to mark the trip we took to New Mexico, I bought a jar of authentic roasted New Mexican green chiles. And now, almost a year later, on the eve of our next road trip, I will honor last year's trip by using them in an authentic Chile Con Queso Recipe.
On our road trips we eat grocery store roast chicken, continental breakfasts and swim in heavily chlorinated swimming pools. And although we sleep in hotel beds, the van is our home – our cocoon. It is there that we really live; we bond and we grow. We don’t have to keep to a schedule – we have the freedom to go where and when we want. It is heaven.
Art by: my talented young artist daughter Abby Gilson
We don't always go to Winnipeg...
We’ll drive from Calgary to Winnipeg again, my family and I. We've been taking road trips with our kids since the first months of their lives and long before they were even born. And we’ve done this trip a number of times over the years.
Over the years we have taken road trips to Mt. Rushmore, Las Vegas, Portland and Minneapolis. And last year we had the unforgettable experience of driving through Colorado to New Mexico.
Aside from the usual grocery store grub, we do eat the odd meals at restaurants. One of the many highlights of the trip was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we ate dinner at the Blue Corn Café. It came highly recommended in reviews, and for good reason. It was unpretentious, had great service and awesome authentic New Mexican Food. The chile con queso was fabulous!
This Queso dip is made without Velveeta cheese or cream cheese and it's the best chile con queso! Instead, I use real cheese (cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese.) It's a quick and easy, delicious recipe and you don't need to go to New Mexico to buy the chiles. You can buy them at any grocery store. Although, you really should get there one day - it's worth the trip! We definitely plan to go again. For this New Mexican Queso dip, you'll need:
- green chiles (canned)
- unsalted butter
- white onion
- all-purpose flour
- ground cumin
- 1 % milk or skim/non-fat milk
- old light/low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- Monterey Jack cheese
- salsa (I use medium Pace brand)
📖Variations & Substitutions
Here are some substitutions and variations for this chile queso:
- Jalapenos- use tamed jalapenos in the jar if you prefer it less spicy
- Cheese - you can use regular/full fat cheese if you prefer
- Milk- you can use 2% or whole milk, if you prefer
- Salsa- you can use any brand (milk, medium or hot) or use homemade Pico de Gallo Salsa *You can also add fresh tomatoes.
- Butter - if you only have salted butter, you can substitute it and simply skip the salt
This chile con queso dip is really easy to make in one pot on the stove top. Just be sure to follow the directions exactly.
👪 Serving Size
This authentic chile con queso recipe makes 5 cups (20 servings), so it's perfect for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. However, you can half, double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust accordingly.
You only need a medium pot and something to stir with for this chile queso recipe. A whisk also comes in handy.
You can make this queso dip a day or two in advance. And since it makes 5 cups, you may have leftovers. I store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, then reheat them in a microwave safe bowl (in the microwave, of course!) It does not stand up well to freezing
🥗 What to serve with Chile Con Queso dip?
Chili Con Queso dip goes best with tortilla chips, corn chips or baked flour tortillas for the perfect appetizer or a snack. You can also serve it with fresh veggies. It goes great as a starter with Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Recipe (gluten-free) (shown) and my Healthy Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote), with Coconut Lime Tres Leches Cake!
If you are looking for Chile Con Queso recipes or the perfect dip for Cinco de Mayo or your Super Bowl Party, then give this Authentic New Mexican Queso Dip a try!
Did you make this recipe? Please RATE THE RECIPE below and leave a comment!
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📋 Chile Con Queso Recipe (New Mexican)
- 1 cup chopped green chiles, (canned) drained
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups 1 % milk or skim/non-fat milk
- 4 cups grated old light/low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
- ½ cup salsa
- 4 tablespoon (or more) chopped jalepenos - to your heat preference
- cilantro sprigs/pieces
- tortilla chips
- In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add the onion, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring, until lightly browned.
- Once the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes more, add the flour and cumin and whisk into the butter mixture and cook until lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Increase the heat to medium and slowly pour in the milk, whisking continually until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add the shredded cheeses, a ⅓ of it at a time. Stir until cheese in incorporated before adding more cheese.
- Fold in the salsa, chiles and jalapenos. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm with tortilla chips
I love the idea of bringing home ingredients as souvenirs. You get to relive the whole experience again. The apron however, well I'm not much of an apron girl. 🙂
Sue, though fun... sadly, the ingredients get eaten! I just LOVE finding cool aprons-it's amazing how many I have found. When I cook while wearing them, it transports me back to that vacation. I have one gem from the VLA in New Mexico that says, "All these dishes? Where are the desserts?!" 🙂
All right that kind of apron I could love. 🙂
Santa Fe is a place we've always wanted to visit. This looks like such a delicious dip and a must try. Thanks for posting.
Thank you ! Yes, Santa Fe was really cool but so was Albuquerque and south. We made it as far down as the VLA - just past Socorro. But there was a lot more to explore... until next time! I hope you enjoy the dip.
I have been in search of a workable recipe for liquid cheese (not from a jar) so was thrilled to find your post through The Growing Edge. Reading your post brought back wonderful memories of my trip to Santa Fe and Alburqueque so many years ago!
Wonderful- I hope you like it! I cannot wait to get back to Santa Fe myself :)!
I love the story of your road trip and that you bring home a food item as a remembrance. I'm definitely pinning this recipe. Thanks!
Jersey Girl Cooks
Yum! I have never been a fan of Velveta. But I do think I would love that jar of chili peppers.
I'm the same - NO VELVEETA!
IWe love this queso dip, It is cheesy and creamy. Perfect with chips. I want to dip everything in it. Yum.
Glad you love it, Eileen!