Last Thursday night I sat at one of my favorite restaurants, enjoying the company of my friends, and indulging in chips with a luxurious Mexican cheese dip.
“You know it’s not real,” I said to my friends. “There’s no way to get a REAL nacho cheese dip this creamy and smooth without using a processed cheese like American or Velveeta.”
It got me thinking. Is there really no way to make a creamy smooth Mexican cheese dip using real cheese? Would my melted cheese forever be consigned to the realm of fondue?
So, I experimented. And this is the recipe that resulted. BOY is it fantastic!
- 1 egg yolk (from pastured hens!)
- 1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder (where to find arrowroot powder)
- 1 Tbsp. milk (from grass-fed cows!)
- 1 C. cream (where to find cream from grass-fed cows)
- 1 C. milk (where to find milk from grass-fed cows)
- 8 oz. grated cheddar cheese (where to find cheese from grass-fed cows)
- 4 oz. cream cheese (optional)
- 14oz. diced tomatoes & green chiles, drained (where to buy organic, BPA-free tomatoes & green chiles)
- salt & chipotle chili powder to taste
First, create the thickener that will bind the cheese together and keep it from turning into a nasty, oily mess when it melts. Mix egg yolk, arrowroot powder, and 1Tbsp. milk until smooth.
Next, pour cream and milk into a saucepan and warm over medium heat. Gently stir in the thickener and continue stirring until the cream starts to thicken.
Once your sauce thickens to your desired consistency, add in the grated cheddar cheese and small spoonfuls of the cream cheese (homemade from grass-fed cream is best). Lower heat to medium low, then continue stirring until the cheese melts and you have a deliciously creamy sauce.
Now for some flavor. Remove the sauce from heat, and stir in the tomatoes & diced green chiles. Then add salt and chipotle chili powder to taste, being sure to stir everything until evenly distributed.
My oh my, is this GOOD! Smooth. Creamy. Rich. This Mexican cheese dip will happily replace the Velveeta, fake-food recipe everybody brings to potlucks. We ate it served over meatballs (from healthy grass-fed beef). My kids enjoyed slopping it up with real sourdough bread and homemade corn tortilla chips. I even dipped sweet potato fries & celery into it and couldn’t stop!
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Wow – I also thought this wasn’t possible. I will definitely be trying this, as my hubby really loves this kind of dip. It’s a staple for our yearly Superbowl party, and I haven’t ever found a good replacement. This year I actually had someone at our party ask me “I thought you didn’t eat this kind of stuff?” I’m so happy to find this – thanks!
This cheese dip is sooo good.. my hubbie likes velveeta.. but i am not the biggest fan.. he LOVES this dip.. and so do I.. enjoy
I’m so glad you found a way to make cheesy nacho dip without having to use velveeta! this is very helpful for future parties and bbq’s!
Rebecca — I KNOW! Isn’t it so exciting to know you can eat a creamy cheese dip made with REAL CHEESE. I still can’t get over the shock that this WORKED.
Jessie — Thanks! Me too!
Katie | Healthnut Foodie says
Kristen— I love this! I’ve shared a similar dip on my site using cream cheese and turmeric for the color. Super simple! I just discovered your site and am so excited to connect further. We absolutely share an identical vision.
Loretta Harrison says
Kristen, had no luck contacting you. Will this cheese dip stay soft or does it turn into concrete like the velveeta dip does? I hat that, I want it to stay soft. THANKS! Still going to try it even if I don’t hear from you.
this cheese does not get hard.. it is delicious… we usually eat it all within 2 days.. good cheese sauce.
I grew up in Texas too so I am super excited about this! Thanks so much for sharing.
oooh, thanks for that! never have been able to bring myself to buy velveeta, so just ‘indulged’ once in awhile in a restaurant. yum :).
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
You are BRILLIANT for figuring this out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Thank you, Ladies. I hope you try it and love it as much as we did!
P.S. I don’t even think the cream cheese is necessary. I just had some I needed to use up. So if you don’t have any on hand, don’t let that stop you!
that looks fabulous!!!
I always heat up salsa mixed with cheddar cheese and try to eat it quickly b/c it starts to get cold and separate – heh. this is a much better idea! (we don’t do velveeta *shiver*)
Henny — Ever since we made the switch to real food, we haven’t done Velveeta either. So it’s been YEARS since I’ve had a good cheese dip. I’m thrilled. Simply thrilled!
Yum! I’m so excited! I’ve missed queso, but then when I do invariably make it (buying the dreaded Velveeta or cheddar cheese soup) I always both feel guilty about it or it upsets my stomach (or both!) so I’ve just stopped making it!
This will definitely be a hit in my home! Thank you!
Excellent! I have a couple of tortilla soup recipes that include Velveeta. Without the Velveeta, they are Real Food, but not as creamy and tasty. We used to make chicken tortilla soup often because it is quick and easy and everyone eats it, but I gave them up when we switched to more traditional foods. I’m going to try making your cheese up to the addition of the seasonings and adding that to my soup recipe in place of Velveeta. Should be good.
Raine Saunders says
I’m wondering about the sourdough bread – is this bread made from sprouted grains and soaked? We don’t eat much bread in our house because most breads are processed. When we do eat bread, we eat Ezekiel. We do make our own corn chips from scratch occasionally (with sprouted corn tortillas and grapeseed oil), but again, I avoid corn chips in general since corn is not digestible and deep-frying is definitely not healthy. What are your thoughts about this?
Raine — Sourdough, by definition is a fermented bread. That’s what makes it sour. By allowing the dough to ferment for days (or even weeks), you produce that magnificently sour taste. This fermentation process serves the same purpose (nutritionally speaking) as sprouting or soaking the grain in that it breaks down the phytic acid and anti-nutrients in the grain and increases the vitamin, mineral, and enzyme content of the dough through the process of lacto-fermentation. It also “bends” the gluten proteins in such a way as to make them far easier to digest.
As to deep frying not being healthy, I think that has to do with the kinds of fats used. Deep frying in vegetable oil or shortening is unhealthy because of the trans-fats and heat-unstable oil. But deep frying in beef tallow is actually quite good for you!
And corn *is* digestible if you prepare it the way the ancient Aztecs or Mayans did (and most modern Mexicans do). You’ve got to soak the corn in lime (the mineral, not the fruit!) and nixtamalize it. When you buy corn products, look for ones that are 1) organic (so you can avoid GMO corn), and 2) soaked in lime (like masa harina).
Raine Saunders says
We use beef and bacon fat (from grass-fed animals, of course) to fry foods, yes! I know about beef tallow but haven’t used it yet. We never use shortening or vegetable oil, but do use grapeseed and coconut oils a great deal in our house. I’m looking for some good varieties of beef tallow around where I live but haven’t found any yet. Where I live I’m the local “food-crazy” woman who makes her own yogurt and eats sprouted, raw foods.
I haven’t begun to make bread yet, as I’m still experimenting with my yogurt-making process. Last week I took a large amount of raw milk from my refrigerator, mixed in some local flash-pasteurized cream and yogurt starter, and made three large containers. The first one turned out creamy and semi-solid, but soon went flat. The second jar I left in the refrigerator longer and it seemed to hold much better. Haven’t yet tried the third jar, but my son actually prefers plain, homemade yogurt from raw milk to the garbage sold in the store (not a small victory).
I am familiar with fermenting process of grains as I’ve been researching it for years, and I’m including a segment in the book I’m working on about nutrition and whole living. It’s great to find sites like this to augment my research and knowledge; we can all learn so much from each other. Just when I think I’ve seen all that’s available on the web, I come across more. I’m so glad you are spreading the word about good food…people like us have to stick together!
Please read my latest post on Agriculture Society about supporting preventative health care for all citizens. The time to act is now!
Mmm… I’m definitely going to soften up my husband with this dip next time I need a favor! Thanks for taking the time to figure it out! 🙂
Heidi from Savory Tv says
I’m in love! Thank you, I’ll try this one with one small adaption, chopped canned chipotles. Cheers!
Heidi from Savory Tv
Thank you so much for this recipe!! I have been trying and trying to find something very smooth and “cheesy” and satisfying to fill my cravings for that taste/texture without resorting to processed foods… I made this tonight and I must say it’s a winner!! I can’t wait to get some tasty sourdough to try it over 😀
This looks marvelous!
WOW, Kristen!!! I made this tonight, and it is awesome! Of course, you knew that. 🙂 Thanks so much for the recipe. I had grass fed meatballs in the freezer, so I served it over them as you suggested. YUM!! My husband loved it as well. I made the Buttery Patty Pan Squash as a side. It was a great dinner. Thanks again.
O.K. we will try this. If it’s as good as it looks and sounds you will have some new friends.
Robert and team dippers.
I’m a bit a cheese snob, (so sorry if this sounds rude) but I find it sad that you used cheddar cheese in a Mexican cheese dip, and by cheddar I assume you are using that nasty stuff Americans call cheddar NOT real cheddar, the only real stuff is made in three farms in England, Somerset Artisan Cheddar.
For an authentic Mexican cheese dip start with shredded Queso Oaxaca, cream, chopped fresh jalapenos, fine diced onions, cumin, and diced red bell pepper. Instead of chili/chipotle powder try fine dicing a real chipolte pepper, rehydrate a dried one or wet from a can, and you can always kick up the spice with a small amount of fine dice Habanero (wear gloves when handling the really hot peppers) melt it all on the stove and serve for dipping warm and gooey. Yumm!
Amy Love says
Delish!!! Thanks a bunch. I’m a from-Texas gal too and missed my queso! Made it tonight and couldn’t stop eating it. 🙂
Katy Stone says
Loves wonderful! My hubs and I are from TX, now living in Africa- thousands of miles away from the nearest loaf of velveeta. I do have a question though- how important is the arrowroot powder? i’m not real sure I can get that here.
i can’t wait to try this for my cheese-loving husband! 🙂
This is so delish! It has been my little tradition to make cheese dip and enjoy on it the day after Thanksgiving while I’m starting the Christmas decorating. I had stopped making it though because the processed cheese product is just too disgusting! Normally, I wouldn’t have cream cheese and cream on hand but this being the day after Thanksgiving – I have both so I was so excited to give this a try and so glad I did. Thank you for the recipe. This will be a keeper for sure!
Laurie Neverman via Facebook says
I’ve been looking for a recipe like this.
Kristi Tibbs via Facebook says
Thanks! I’m going to try this Sunday.
Ginny Flom Villers via Facebook says
My husband will love you for this!!
Ginny Flom Villers via Facebook says
Is arrowroot powder the same as baking powder?
Shelley Mlejnek Johnson via Facebook says
arrowroot would be more like cornstarch… I’ll be making this on Sunday!
Food Renegade via Facebook says
@Ginny — A substitute for arrowroot powder might be organic corn starch. I’ve tried it with corn starch and found it to be OKAY, but the arrowroot gave it just the exact right consistency.
Carolyn Kennedy via Facebook says
Thanks! We LOVE nacho dip (taco meat stirred into veveeta w. homemade canned salsa), so it’s hard to kick the ‘veeta habit!
Carolyn Kennedy says
How does this store? IE- does it reheat or how about storing it during the game in a little dipper crock pot? (it’s just the two of us in our home and I HATE to waste food!)
@Carolyn, It’s just like the processed Velveeta dip as far as storage and re-heating goes.
Emily Johnson via Facebook says
Wow, I will definitely be trying this out – did not realize you could make such goodness!
Peggy Pigeon Judd via Facebook says
This queso is AMAZING! yum yum yum we had it 2 days ago with homemade chips.
I was wondering if you could sub potato starch for the arrowroot and would use the same amount? Also what kind of cream? I am assuming heavy cream. Thanks again for the recipe!
I’d imagine some cooked and chopped bacon could be added at the end, to really give this a “wow” factor! It’s Superbowl tomorrow, now I know what my family and I will be munching on with some homemade corn chips! Perfect timing!
Tori Stewart says
Thanks for this recipe! You know, you’ve saved a lot of “real food” foodies from reverting.
I did want to say, though, that if you’re going “real” food, go all out. I mean, if you’re milking your cow or goat and making your own cream cheese (we do) then why cheapen the recipe by adding a BPA lined can of tomatoes and chilis to your delicious creation? Just chop about a cup of (combined) tomatoes, onion, green chili’s and cilantro with a squeeze of lime juice and cumin. Way better and better for you!
Tori — Excellent point. The first time I posted this recipe was in April — a month without tomatoes (not even the ones I canned myself). So, I did what I could! But, I’ve made it with fresh tomatoes and chilis in the summer, home-canned ones in the winter, and even store bought canned ones. Muir Glen now has BPA-free canned tomatoes, and Eden Organic has BPA-free canned tomatoes in glass jars.
Tori Stewart says
And I also wanted to lovingly add to the self-proclaimed “cheese snob”:
I was actually assuming by “cheddar” she meant, “the best cheddar you can buy”. Isn’t that what the slow food movement is all about? Eating as well as one can afford, locally? I personally prefer Barber’s 1833 vintage reserve cheddar.
Which brings me to my next point that surely you wouldn’t suggest that a fine cheese like Barber’s 1833 vintage reserve isn’t *real* cheddar because it was made in Ditcheat, Somerset; close to, but definitely NOT Cheddar, Somerset. It’s not referred to as “Ditcheat cheese”. It’s called cheddar because the cheddaring process was created in Cheddar. That process can be implemented world wide. It’s not like Roquefort cheese, being able to sport its name only if it has been aged in the Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.
Being a bit of a “culture snob”, I’d also like to add that if you are familiar with Texan culture as well as true Mexican culture, you will know that Texan food is heavily influenced by Mexican food, but they are not at all the same. Queso, as we are talking about here, is Texan not Mexican, or Tex-Mex. I think it is sadder that one can go into any “Mexican” restaurant and order lab-created, cheese flavored product, (that is definitely the norm in regards to the dish we’re attempting to recreate here) then criticize a real food bloggist for daring to use a European-originated cheese in a recipe that was adapted in, *gasp*, a European-descended state!
It’s totally okay to use Euro cheese in a Mexican inspired dish when you’re from the South and are culturally influenced by Mexican and European cultures.
Although your cheese dish sounds delicious, as well.
tut tut. . .live on the edge. . .experiment! I say if it tastes good or sounds like it might taste good, just go for it. The semantics of origin shouldn’t limit you. Yeah, I like white wine with beef! 🙂
Different parts of Texas make this chees sauce in differnt ways. It is very regional. Here in Houston for the foodies, we would NEVER use velvetta, and it should be WHITE, not yellow. Only fresh tomatoes and peppers. We use fresh Mexican Farmer’s cheese, such as Queso Oaxaca or Queso Fresca. We prefer to use very small green onions raw, and add sauted white onion diced very, very small. Cumin and chilantro is manditory. I usually add bacon to mine. It really adds. The bacon should be very cripy.
For years I tried to recreate the white cheese dip all the Mexican-Texican restaurants called queso blanco with every Mexican cheese I could find. I was saddened to discover that what I had been consuming in all the restaurants was a Land o Lakes product known as “easy melt” which has pretty much nothing in it but Crisco with added chemicals to make it cheesy.
No wonder I couldn’t create the texture. Now I use Queso Fresca and plain old whipping cream.
This comment: “a European-descended state”–I bet half of my boyfriend’s family would be surprised to know they are suddenly not considered part of Texan history.
I mean, you DO know that Texas was once part of Mexico, right? Right?? (It’s sort of a big deal…there was something about an Alamo)…or are you suggesting that the Spaniards in Texas were somehow more European than the Spaniards in Mexico at that time? Or that the Native Americans in Texas were somehow “less Native” than the Natives of Mexico?
Oh, also, there is totally queso in some parts of Mexico. They just use quesa fresca instead of Velveeta.
Please don’t talk about my state anymore. You probably think we’re all oil millionaires who ride horses everyday and that we all own ten-gallon hats.
Charlotte: I’ll talk about MY state anytime, thanks. Since I was referring to the colonists and the Euro influences they brought with them.
BRAVO Tori Steward!!! I love your explanation and point of view, it couldn’t be more true, I grow up in Mexico and I never ate cheddar cheese. And what people sell us here, it is not Mexican food. Neither their recipies.
We’ve been stealing your recipe for a while now at our house, but over the weekend I both changed it for our needs and pimped your version on my new blog. All 56 or so readers that I have, LOL! But, I wanted to let you know how much we enjoy it – I always went the Velveeta route, too, but lately we’re trying to buy less prepared cra- ..er…prepared food items and make more from scratch. Yours was the first alterable and simple dip recipe I found, so my kids, cat, husband and the after–school gang that winds up here weekly all thank you.
Hi I am wondering if you could help me…I am wondering if there is any way to make a beer cheese dip out of your recipe for “creamy mexian cheese dip?” I love the dip, it is wonderful to make it at home and know what I’m eating…just ate the left overs on my eggs with home made salsa this a.m. but my husband wants me to to find a recipe for “beer cheese” and was hoping you may have some ideas????
Thank you, Traci R.
For something quick — cheese can be melted with a little sour cream. For this its good to put some mozzarella on the bottom with some sour cream on top of that, and then your finely grated cheddar…mmm…
Thank you, thank you!! We had a Cinco de Mayo celebration at work and this was a HUGE hit! The whole crockpot was empty 🙂 I made it with all milk since I didn’t have cream and it turned out great. I think i’m going to use this method for my mac and cheese too, since it’s so creamy!
I cant wait to try this. This is more like the queso you’d get at a mexican restaurant.
Jennie@ Pure Homemaking says
Oh this looks positively divine! I must try it this weekend with some homemade tortilla chips.
Thanks for the info on bpa free canned tomatoes. I called Muir Glen a year or so ago, and they were still using it. Glad to see they’re changing. Eden tomatoes are hard to find.
JUST made this for a late lunch, loaded up organic chips w/ grass-fed taco meat, this cheese dip & onions and sour cream! It was SOO good, and my husband even loved it… which says alot because he loves velveeta! THANKS!!!
I have a similar method to make creamy cheese dip
Well, FIRST I sautee some onions and minced jalapenos/chipolte peppers
I make a rue out of flour (We aren’t gluten free here…) and butter, then I slowly mix in some milk….
after that I slowly whisk in finely grated colby/monterey jack/Cheddar
It’s kinda like making your base for Mac n Cheese, but with a kick..and without the mac. You can use it to toss Mac noodles in of course.
Jill Thaxton says
It’s always been a huge weakness of mine, this plastic, gooey, cheese-like substance. Can’t wait to try this out!!!!
dee mallett says
Thank you for such a wonderful looking recipe. As I am reading through it, I am thinking this weekend I will make this Mexican Dip, but I will most like add a jar of my homemade salsa for the cut up tomatoes/chilies. Can’t wait. 🙂
Kristen – you’re awesome!
Thank you!! This is a favorite of my husbands and I loathe making it Velveeta creeps me out (even though I love dips made with it)! Can this recipe be used for other recipes that call for Velveeta – up to the point you add the ingredients that season the cheese dip?
So long as the Velveeta’s melted, my experience has been yes.
I ran out of milk so could I use two cups of cream instead of one cup milk and one cup cream?
I have a daughter who has a very severe egg allergy. Can you tell me what the purpose of the egg is in the recipe and if you have any suggestions for substitutions (or if I can just leave it out)? Just found your site a couple of days ago and I am loving it!! Thanks!
You might want to consider just trying a Mornay sauce (which is bechamel sauce with cheese melted in), which is extremely similar to this. That comes down to flour, fat, milk/cream, and cheese. Plus seasonings. Very easy and can be stored for at least a couple of days.
A Mornay sauce is not bad, and is in fact what I used to do before I discovered this method. However, it’s not nearly as smooth. Plus, it tastes like a flour-based sauce, which is to say it doesn’t taste like a real queso. It’s a tolerable substitute if you can’t do eggs or cornstarch, but nothing at all like the consistency most people expect in a cheese dip.
I discovered long ago that adding sour cream to grated cheese and melting it gave it a welsh rarebit effect….hope thats helpful to someone!
I just want to say thanks. I am not the most adventurous cook in the world (I have milk/water kefir grains sitting on the counter and am SWEATING bullets at the thought of sticking them in jars!), so making “new” things to replace the old is nerve-wracking at best. Not to mention I’ve got four Manlings who stare over my shoulder in the Pot to see what is cooking.
Well, in the spirit of trying New Things, I told them all we were making Salmon Melts for lunch today. Seriously I got the dead silent LOOK. My youngest went into fits at the thought of more fish in his diet, and there was outright refusal from the hubby.
So the two oldest Manlings and I made the cheese dip (which I’d planned to try for snack time) and dumped the salmon and tomato into another pan to heat while we whipped up the cheese. Then we dumped it altogether in the one pot, poured it over couscous, and Lo! There was rejoicing at the dinner table! Everything tastes better with cheese…or in this case Creamy Mexican Cheese Dip! The youngest told me he loved it…and then I told him what was in it. HEE! He just rolled his eyes and asked if we were gonna have it again.
You’re welcome! I absolutely adore this dip, and I agree with you. Almost everything tastes better with cheese!
Will definitely try this…now how would you modify it to make the “white” queso? I much prefer that over the cheddar sibling.
I didn’t read through ALL the comments, but I was wondering if anyone had tried making a baked mac and cheese with this? Does it hold up? And is Arrowroot necessary or can I use corn starch?
THANK YOU so much for this recipe!! I can’t get your print to work though….???
I am making Mexican food tomorrow for thirty hungry students. This will be perfect:)
Eva Osborne says
Thank you…have been needing a recipe like this!
My husband is allergic to egg…do you think there is a way to do this without the egg?
Julie Kay says
Shouldn’t the cheddar and cream cheese be from grass-fed cows as well? Just curious why the recipe didn’t stipulate that, or does it not matter for flavor? Not sure if you’re only going for flavor – or health also.
Absolutely. I just don’t have a sponsor for either of those right now, so I don’t have a link showing where to buy/find them.
Pat Baker says
Hi I tried to search your site for where you get arrowroot and can’t seem to find it. Please tell me…
Cindy Grouss says
I found it at Whole Foods.
I buy it my local grocery store. It’s not even a health food store. I just assumed it was like corn starch — everywhere!
Cindy Grouss says
This was awesome- thank YOU!! We love nachos at home AND the traditional queso on occasion but can’t bring myself to buy velveeta anymore. This was perfect!! I also threw in some black beans for a little added nutrition- delicious 🙂
We tried this recipe out tonight and i just have to say it was awesome! My family enjoyed it so much. Nachos was a staple for us before we turned to real food only. Now we can have nachos again. I loved this!
Just wanted to tell you-you can make delicious homemade velveeta-from REAL milk! I’ve done it, with milk from my own cows, and it is yummy, and real! http://cheesemakinghelp.blogspot.ca/search/label/Velveeta
Kristen- You are a life saver! Just the other day my husband and I saw a commercial for velveeta’s cheese dip and my hubby told me he missed cheese dip during Super Bowl. I told him I was sorry, but I refused to buy that so-called “cheese.” So next Sunday while he is out doing yard work before the game, I’m going to make some of this up and surprise him! My mouth is watering already!! 🙂
I’m so sad. 🙁 I followed all of the instructions exactly as given and the texture just didn’t turn out right. The texture is grainy. I have no idea what went wrong. Could it have been the cheddar?
Maybe. That has never happened to me. Is it possible you used pre-shredded cheddar rather than shredding it yourself?
If so, I need to go back into the recipe and edit it with that stipulation, because chances are VERY good that the cellulose in the pre-shredded cheddar messed with the end result.
For more on the cellulose (re: wood pulp) in pre-shredded cheeses, read: https://www.foodrenegade.com/would-like-some-wood-pulp-your-shredded-cheese/
I wish! I bought blocks of 365 Mild Cheddar from Whole Foods. Ingredients: cultured pasteurized milk, salt, microbial enzymes, annatto (for color).
The taste was delicious. My family happily ate it, but it just wasn’t right. I’ll try it again soon with a different cheddar.
So much for easy answers!
You used arrowroot powder, right? And you waited until the sauce was thick to add the cheese?
The *only* time this recipe failed me was when I subbed cornstarch for the arrowroot in a pinch.
I’ve also used a half a dozen different cheeses and always turn out well, so I hesitate to blame the 365 Cheddar. But, maybe next time!
Easy answers would just be too logical! 😉
I did use arrowroot powder and waited for it to thicken. The powder was kind of old. Maybe that’s the issue. I’ll get some fresh stuff when I try it again. I really want this to work…I miss my queso!!! Thanks for trying to help me out.
Can this be made without the egg yolk? Husband allergic to eggs.
Janet Roberson says
I’ve never had a problem. I just make a becjamel sauce and add a blend of ewasy melting REAL cheese.
My sauce did not thicken up much at all. In fact, the end result was quite runny. Is it supposed to be this way? I am wondering what type of cheese you used (prepackaged shredded?). I used cheddar cheese block 8 oz from whole foods and shredded it myself. Also, could I add more arrowroot after I have already added everything else? Thinking of ways to thicken it up.
Did you wait until the sauce thickened to add the cheese? That’s an important step. If it didn’t thicken, you probably didn’t wait long enough before adding the cheese.
And NO, there is NEVER any pre-shredded cheese in our house. Have you read this? –> https://www.foodrenegade.com/would-like-some-wood-pulp-your-shredded-cheese/
I probably whisked it for 5 minutes. Does it normally take longer?
That depends on your stove & pot. It’s kinda like gravy. You stir & stir and it’s thin & thin. Then WHOOMP! All in one big rush it thickens up in less than a minute. So, you want to stir until it actually thickens, THEN add the cheese & spices.
Also, I did use half and half instead of cream as I was out of the later. Could that of made it thinner?
Cheryl P says
I realize your comment was made about a year ago, but since I just made this sauce tonight and had the same thing happen to me, I thought I’d share my thoughts -and *maybe* you’ll see them. 🙂
Arrowroot, unlike corn starch, will easily break back down if over cooked. Arrowroot does *not* need to come to a boil to thicken, just be heated a bit (about medium-low)and only cooked for a few minutes (should always be the last thing in the pool when cooking).
In fact, the egg needs to cook more than the arrowroot, to thicken, in this recipe.
Knowing that the arrowroot would most likely thin out again on me by the time all the cheese was melted in, I was prepared to put more arrowroot in. All I did was mix up rounded teaspoon of arrowroot powder with a teaspoon of water until smooth, then stir it into the melted cheese sauce. Within a few stirs it tightens up nicely. HTH
If you were going to double this recipe would you also double the egg, arrowroot powder and milk combo? Is it necessary?
Nice. Thank you. If you can find some organic salsa, drain it, and throw it in with some finely diced onions. Chunky chile con queso. Sometimes I also throw in some organic ground pork or beef, sautéed with chile powder and raw milk butter. Woof.
The link for the arrowhead powder took me to a retail site that in turn had a link to a spice company with some blended spice mixtures, none of which are called arrowhead. Can you give me some more info on this arrowhead stuff? Is it a spice mix or essential to the cheese stabilization? Thanks!!!
If you look for arrowroot powder it is in the spice section of the grocery store.
Just made this for dinner tonight! It was very good! Thanks for the recipe 😀
Sandra Tanner says
GOODBYE VELVETA and Ragu Double Cheddar Pasta Sauce (my Velveta sub). I am going to substitute this for everything I used as a cheesy base like: Cheesy Broccoli Soup, Mac and Cheese with Beef or any other meat, Rice and Cheese with any meat, Faux Fondue, any veggie with cheese sauce, Scalloped Potatoes, ANY CHEESY SOUP. Broccoli is boiling, must get down the blender and open the door!!
Do you think this would be possible without egg?
Hubby allergic to egg.
Megan A says
I have the same question. If I don’t add the egg will it mess up the whole thing?
Kelly Lockeman says
Just made this (for the first time) to enjoy during a rainy afternoon of football on TV. Husband loved it!
I just made this last night for our church gathering! Everyone ate it up raved and raved about how much they liked it! They were super-impressed it was made with all real-food ingredients. Thank you for another keeper!
Sooooo excited!! One question: is it freezable?
This is an incredible adaptation! I’ve been missing cheese dip since I gave up fake food. I almost had a week moment the other day by almost purchasing a newman’s own version. Your link was one of the first that popped up in my organic cheese dip search. Not only was it easy, it delicious! I cut some calorie corners and didn’t use cream and then layered the dip on black beans, spinach and ground beef. What a wonderful treat! Thanks!!!
Nazir ke Pakwaan via Facebook says
Karen Steele Morrow via Facebook says
Your Broccoli Bites
Kate Cooper via Facebook says
You read my mind! Just what I was looking for, thanks.
Julie Williams says
I’m curious why you listed U.S.Wellness Meats as having milk and Cream when they don’t sell any milk products.
Kristen Michaelis says
Good catch! Those are super old links from ages ago. I’ll go change them now. 🙂
This recipe looks delish! The only thing is that I, like many others signed a pledge presented by Organic Consumers to boycott Muir Glen. The parent company “General Mills” spends big bucks to support Monsanto. I think I will buy some organic diced tomatoes and add green chilies.
Thanks for the recipe!
Kristen Michaelis says
That’ll work. I’ve actually been making it with my favorite roasted salsa recently and like it better!
Cheryl P says
This turned out really tasty! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂 Normally I’d use a bechamel sauce for a cheese sauce base, but I’m on a no sugar/no grains eating plan at the moment, so can’t go that route. 🙂
This sauce was *just* what I was looking for since I need to get my protein and fats in, but also just had oral surgery and can’t chew on anything! (oy vey!) I made up a full recipe, but left out the chiles and tomatoes; and added garlic powder, onion powder, powdered tumeric, black pepper, sea salt (good way to get some nice healthy tumeric in also!). It made a nice all-around cheese sauce, which I combined with some flaked tuna and had a nice little supper. 🙂 I’m looking forward to variations on a theme for the rest of the week! 🙂
I love your recipes, but please is there any way to put a print button in the blog page. Really would appreciate it.
Because of you I have been trying Kombucha and really like it. thanks, how do you have time to do all this with three children.
Just found this blog post just in time for Super Bowl! I’m very excited to give this recipe a whirl! I’ll report back ASAP!
OMFG this cheese dip is the bomb. Thank you so much for posting this recipe, this dip has elevated the Super Bowl party to a new level. Bravo!
I just tried this tonight. It totally works!!! Yum!
I am going to bookmark this and DEFINITELY try it the next time I need a queso dip. I love the flavor of cheddar, but I hate the way it gets greasy and stringy when I have tried to use it for dips. Thanks for posting!
Val chandler says
I just made this, it is very good !!!
I love nachos and will not use processed cheese. This is better than anything using velveta 🙂
I just made this for the cheesy chorizo potatoes au gratin. Because I didn’t have milk or cream, I used almond milk and coconut cream. Worked beautifully. So delicious!! Thank you!
Thank you so very much for creating this cheese dip. I have worked out variations over the years and never came up with a decent recipe that I would make again.
Yours gets a 5 Star rating, it is so delicious.
I made it for lunch today to have with chips. Plus I experimented and added some to some GF pasta to see how it would work for cheese sauce for Mac / Cheese and it was great. So this grandma is going to make mac / cheese for her grandkids in Japan that are visiting soon.
This recipe is awesome! I can use your technique in order to change a recipe I have for tortilla soup to make it healthier! 🙂
Julie C says
This was delicious. I used full fat coconut milk instead of cream, added a little extra cheese because it seemed watery and I used 365 organic salsa instead of the tomatoes and green chili’s. I also didn’t have chipotle chili powder so used regular instead. It really reminded me of velveeta, although its been years lol.
Sarah Grace Quick via Facebook says
Haley Renee via Facebook says
B Nick Redden
Susanna Custer Spell via Facebook says
Stacey Haynes, this is the recipe I use!
Serendipity! I usually avoid Velveeta like the plague, until yesterday. For yesterday’s game day, a friend brought a ‘cheesy’ dip with ground turkey, and it was delish, no doubt about it. I had buyers remorse though when I asked her about the ingredients. So glad to Pin this recipe, I can see from others that it’s a keeper. Thanks for the great blog/ideas!
Priscilla F. says
I made this with just the thickener part, plus pepper jack cheese in place of the cheddar, a pinch of salt, and nothing else. It worked wonderfully. I doubled the thickener part, because I wanted it extra thick to make it easier for small children to eat without it being too runny. The egg yolk/arrowroot/milk binder makes this look, feel and taste like the bad for you kind we’re all craving but not eating. Thanks for a great recipe.
Rose Clare Covey via Facebook says
Cindy Clarke Grouss via Facebook says
This recipe is outstanding! I have been making it for a few years now and always get mad compliments. Thank you, Food Renegade!
McKenzie Peck via Facebook says
Wendy Bramlett McGowan…do we dare try it?!?!?
Well, l I know I’m late to the party but wanted to comment on the recipe. I used the recipe on our Christmas dinner buffet & it was well received. Only change I will make in the future is a dash of salt. I didn’t have arrowroot so I had to substitute with corn starch. I’ll purchase arrowroot to make a comparison. The recipe was easy & with the exception of the called for thickener, it is comprised of ingredients I always have on hand. Leftovers are in the fridge so I’ll be interested to see the consistency tomorrow. Thanks for the alternative to processed cheesefood dip.
Mike Shaffer via Facebook says
Never use that stuff. Cream or milk, cream cheese, butter and appropriate hard cheeses for me.
Mike Shaffer via Facebook says
Hmm… wonder if vital wheat gluten and xanthan gum could substitute for arrow root…
Jody Hill Joiner via Facebook says
I make this every Super Bowl and its always a hit!!!! And doesn’t make you feel crappy. The better the cheese, the better the dip.
Emily Towne via Facebook says
Thanks for sharing. I’ve always wanted an option!
Heather Burke Bradley via Facebook says
This is the best. I make it a lot and the kids love it!
Dr. Gwendolyn Green says
I enjoy reading your articles. However, I am converting my family into a vegan lifestyle. I have read articles and listened to lectures about how dairy products (especially dairy from cows) are very bad to the human body with the acidic casein protein, the body inability to breakdown lactose and galactose from the milk, the non absorbable calcium within the milk, and milk fat. With all these negative factors in mind I am searching for ways to make cheese like foods without using dairy products. One product I am currently using is Daiya vegan products. They make mac and cheese, pizza, and has the mozzarella and cheddar cheese that melts and taste like cheese except it is non diary. Have you had any experience with this product or do you have any other ways to make cheesy dishes without using dairy products?
You have to be so well off financially to buy “real” food, I actually find it a wee bit offensive when recipes call for grass-fed beef or pastured eggs or milk and cream from grass-fed cows. Due to illness, I was forced to retire early. I have celiac disease and food allergies and cannot afford the type of food I need without insisting on grass-fed animals and the best foods I can find. Sometimes I cannot afford to buy food at all. And I used to be upper-middle class!
I would love to buy heritage pork and turkey and raw milk! But I cannot. Whole Foods does sell affordable “cage-free” eggs, but now I am allergic to eggs. They used to sell duck eggs, but no longer do so. Farmers around here want $12 a dozen for duck eggs!
It’s a very easy fall to the point where you cannot afford good food, especially for those of us who are older, and now cannot find work due to our age. I am very qualified, but it isn’t much help. And it is indeed ironic that it may be that our lousy food has contributed significantly to my health problems.
So, if you are looking for the easiest way out, but still want an “Out of this world” cheese dip for your guests, feel free to use only these 3 ingredients and call it a day.
Healthy Mama says
Delicious! Has anyone tried freezing it?? Hate to waste any!
This recipe is awesome! I can use your technique in order to change a recipe I have for tortilla soup to make it healthier!
I have made this many, many times and it is soooo yummy. My friends and family love it too. I always add a bit of ground turmeric for the health benefits and coloring because the cheese I use is a white sharp cheddar and pepper jack. I get cravings for this cheese dip. Especially during both of my pregnancies. The most recent batch I made I used a bit less milk and a bit more arrowroot powder to make it thicker. I liked the thickness much better this time. I also added some garlic and onion powder this time for extra flavor. But no matter how I make it, it always tastes amazing!
I know you’ve had this recipe up for a while, but I still have to comment how much my family and I love it. My kids gladly gobble up their veggies when they get to dip them in this treat. I also suffer from HG in my pregnancies and have a difficult time keeping anything down for months. In 2 of my pregnancies this has been one of the first foods I have craved and kept down. So thank you very much for sharing!
I’ve made this before with storebought heavy cream and it was delicious, however today I made it and used the cream off the top of my raw milk and for some reason it didn’t thicken. I was afraid to overheat the milk so as not to get a grainy texture and it’s possible I didn’t let it thicken enough before adding the cheese. I added extra arrowroot at the end hoping it would thicken and it didn’t. Ive already poured it into my crockpot to reheat for a potluck tomorrow and I’m hoping to save it. Any ideas? If not we’ll save it for later and eat it thin but I was hoping to thicken it up for our friends tomorrow.