Easy Skillet Queso


Skillet Queso

Skillet Queso is very easy to make, and will allow you to enjoy the perfect snack, appetizer, or simple main dish. No matter the occasion you are looking to make skillet queso, we will share our favorite recipe to make this delicious dip, as well as a few tasty variations you won’t want to miss.

queso in cast iron

Chili’s Copycat Skillet Queso

Making a copycat version of Chili’s skillet queso is easy and it allows you to enjoy the delicious dip without hassle, at a lower cost, and you can enjoy serving this simple dish for an appetizer, snack, or even as part of your taco night. 

This is a simple recipe to make, and it tastes delicious too. Let’s jump in first by looking at exactly what queso is, then look at what ingredients you will need to make this delicious cheese dip. 

What Is Queso?

Queso is a delicious type of cheese dip. It is usually served warm and with chips to dip in the cheese.

You can also enjoy queso on top of foods, or as a sauce added to tacos. Really, there is no limit for how you enjoy the delicious cheesy sauce. 

Best Velveeta Skillet Queso

Skillet Queso Ingredients:

Melty cheese. Melty cheese like Velveeta or the store brand of this type of cheese works best as the base for your skillet queso. 

Canned chili. A can of no meat chili will give you the closest copycat skillet queso to Chili’s. However, if you are simply looking to make a delicious skillet queso, you can use a can of chili with beans in it, if you want. 

Milk. A little bit of milk added into your cheese dip will help make it a little more liquified. You don’t need much milk, but a little bit will definitely help the overall texture of your dip. 

Chili powder. We recommend adding a little chili powder to your cheese mixture for added chili flavor. 

Paprika. A bit of paprika will also add a delightful flavor to your sauce. 

Red pepper flakes. If you like your cheese dip to be a little on the spicy side, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

Cumin. Cumin is an optional ingredient, but if you want to add a little more flavor, a pinch of ground cumin will do the trick. 

Lime or Lemon juice. Lime juice is the best option to add to your cheese sauce to help enhance the overall flavors and give it a hint of citrus as well.

However, if you don’t have lime juice, you can easily substitute it with lemon juice. 

Shredded cheese. Shredded cheese is optional, but sometimes we enjoy adding a bit of freshly shredded cheddar cheese to the top of the skillet, for a visual appeal. 

skillet queso

How to Make Skillet Queso:

To make skillet queso we recommend using a cast iron skillet if you have one, if not you can use any medium to large sized skillet. 

Place the skillet over medium low heat and start by adding your Velveeta cheese that has been cut into cubes. 

Melt this cheese over a low burner, stirring continually until the cheese melts completely. 

When your cheese is melted, add in the can of chili and milk. Stir to combine. 

Also mix in the chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes (optional), cumin (optional), and lime juice. 

Stir until all of your seasonings are combined. 

When your sauce is warmed through, you can top with shredded cheese, and broil in the oven for a few minutes, to melt the cheese and then serve. Or you can skip adding shredded cheese on top, and serve it once it is warmed on your stovetop, then enjoy! 

How to Serve Chili’s Skillet Queso

The best way to enjoy skillet queso is when it is freshly made and has been warmed through. You can enjoy it fresh from the stovetop, or you can top the dip with shredded cheese.

Then place it in the oven on broil for 5 minutes or less, just to brown the top a little bit before serving.

Our favorite way to enjoy this queso is served as a dip along with tortilla chips.  

Uses for Queso Dip

There are many different uses for queso dip. The most common use is simply as a dip with tortilla chips.

In addition to this you can also use it as a sauce on your tacos, use it to make a spicy mac and cheese, or even serve it on top of your enchiladas. 

Tips & Tricks

Cube the Velveeta. In order to get the best results with your melty cheese, and help it avoid burning, we highly recommend that you cut the Velveeta into cubes before adding it to your skillet. This will help it melt much better. 

Heat in a Cast Iron Skillet. Our favorite way to make this skillet queso is to use a cast iron skillet. It allows your queso to warm evenly, and you can even add it into your oven if desired. 

Serve Warm. Skillet queso is definitely the best when it’s served warm. This will give you the best flavor and texture in your dip. 

chip dipped in queso

Tips for Serving and Reheating Chili’s Queso Dip

How to Store Cast Iron Skillet Queso

Room Temperature. Skillet queso should not be left at room temperature any longer than two hours before it is stored away. 

In the Fridge. For the best storage of this queso, we recommend keeping it in the fridge after it has cooled.

You can transfer it to an airtight container, or wrap it securely in plastic wrap. Then place it into the fridge for up to three to four days. 

In the Freezer. We do not recommend that this queso dip be frozen. We have found when it goes through the freezing and thawing process, it does not always result in the same taste and texture. 

How to Reheat Skillet Queso

Stovetop. The best way to reheat your skillet queso is to place it back into a skillet over medium-low heat on your stovetop.

Heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the cheese sauce is warmed through. 

Microwave. Another way to reheat leftover skillet queso is in the microwave. First transfer the queso to a microwave safe bowl.

Cover it with a paper towel, then microwave for a minute or two stirring every 30 seconds to 1 minute. 

skillet queso dip

Velveeta Variation: 

There are different types of cheese you can use instead of Velveeta if desired. The key is to make sure that your cheese is a type that melts well.

Here are a few alternative ideas for you. 

  • Store brand version of Velveeta
  • Colby
  • Havarti
  • Swiss
  • Fontina
  • Monterey jack
  • Smoked gouda

If you want to use these types of cheese to make this queso, you’d simply want to cut them into cubes and melt them over low heat, being careful not to burn them.

You can substitute them one for one, or you can use several of the kinds listed above and mix them together. 

Skillet Queso Dipping Variations:

There are also several different variations of this queso dip you can make as well. Below are a few ideas for you. 

Chili with beans. Our main recipe calls for a can of chili without beans. However, if you want to mix things up a little bit, using a can of chili with beans it is a delicious variation.  

Ground Beef. If you like chunky queso, you can also brown some ground beef in the skillet before adding your cheese and other queso ingredients.

This makes the queso taste great, and you can even enjoy it as a delicious but simple dinner if desired. 

Smoked Skillet Queso. If you have a smoker, you can melt the queso together on your stovetop, then place it on your smoker for one to two hours at 200°F.

This will give your simple skillet queso dip a lovely smokey flavor. It’s so good! 

skillet queso with chip dipped

What To Serve With Skillet Queso

Skillet queso can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or even main dish. Some of our favorite things to serve alongside skillet queso include:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What to dip in queso besides chips?

Although tortilla chips are the most common thing to dip in queso, you can also dip pretzel bites, burritos, crackers, French fries, tacos, and even raw vegetables. 

Can I Make This Dip Ahead of Time?

Yes, this dip can be made ahead of time if desired. If you are going to make it more than two hours in advance and not keep it warm over a burner, it should be covered in plastic wrap and kept in the fridge until shortly before you are ready to serve. Place it back over an initially cold burner, and slowly warm it, stirring occasionally. 

Can I use canned chili with beans?

Absolutely! Making this skillet queso with a can of chili containing beans is another delicious way to make it. In fact, it is one of our favorites because the beans give it additional texture and flavor. 

Copycat Skillet Queso

Skillet queso is a very easy dish to make when you are looking for a simple main dish, appetizer, or snack recipe to make.

Plus, there are many different ways you can enjoy skillet queso as well. Be sure to give this recipe a try, and let us know what you think! 

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Copycat Chilis Skillet Queso Recipe


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Faith is the resident baking expert of this sister duo, and first started baking at age ten when she learned to make chocolate chip cookies on her own. From there she went on to have her own night of the week to make dinner for the whole family. She is excited to share amazing recipes and a love of food, and help you become kitchen smart!

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