Basic Cheese Dip

Total Time15 Mins
Yield: Serves 12 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

Say hello to our best-ever basic cheese dip. So creamy, decadently cheesy, and perfectly easy to whip up at a moment’s notice, this simple cheese dip recipe is the one to keep on hand to address any and every queso craving. Rich, but not too thick, our basic cheese dip makes a primo last-minute party appetizer or “something special” treat to make a weeknight meal feel a little more festive. We made this no-frills cheese dip with customization in mind; use it as a versatile base for all of your favorite cheese dip stir-ins. Chorizo, fresh slice jalapeño, cilantro, chopped onion, or taco meat would all be delicious additions. 


  • 1/4 cup (2 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1medium-size white onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2garlic cloves, minced
  • 1(5-oz.) can chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 16 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 4 ounces medium Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Tortilla chips
  • Optional stir-ins: pico de gallo, chorizo, taco beef or chicken, black beans, roasted corn, Rotel

How to Make It

Step 1

Melt butter over medium-high in a large pot. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chiles and salt, cooking just until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add half-and-half, and continue stirring until warmed throughout and beginning to steam, about 5 minutes. 

Step 2

Toss together cheeses and cornstarch in a small bowl. Reduce heat to medium, and add cheese, 1 handful at a time, whisking after each addition. Once fully melted and smooth, remove from heat. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. Add additional stir-ins, if desired.

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