The Skillet Queso is one of the most beloved appetizers at Chili’s Grill and Bar. The thick and spicy queso is a fan-favorite. Now you can make it at home in under 20 minutes.
The Chili’s Skillet Queso is a chili con queso, which literally means chili with cheese.
The base for this recipe is a can of chili and lots of yummy cheese.
Add some spices and a little lime juice and you’ve got the famous Chili’s Skillet Queso at home.
Serve it up with with some restaurant-style tortilla chips or some Frito’s scoops and you’ve got yourself a Mexican Fiesta Appetizer for the win!
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Key to Success #1 – Cube the Velveeta
The first step to making Skillet Queso is cutting the Velveeta into cubes.
This will help the cheese melt quicker and at a lower temperature.
You don’t have to cut the cheese into tiny squares, but they should be around an inch cubed or so.
The smaller you cut the squares, the faster the cheese will melt.
I know a lot of people bristle at using Velveeta in queso because it’s not “real cheese” but it’s melts so beautifully into a creamy sauce.
I prefer to use the Velveeta with 2% Milk if I can find it.
I think it has a creamier texture and it has 60% less fat than cheddar cheese.
That’s always a good thing in my book.
Key to Success #2 – Heat in a Cast Iron Skillet
It would’t be Skillet Queso without a nice skillet. Am I right?
If you have it you should make this queso in a cast-iron skillet.
If you don’t have one, you should get one!
Cast-iron skillets are great for evenly heating a multitude of foods and they will last forever, even if you abuse them.
Put the cubed Velveeta into the skillet then heat on medium-low.
Go ahead and add the milk, chili, and seasoning.
Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir the queso frequently.
Continue heating until the Velveeta is completely melted.
I like to break up the chili chunks with the spoon as I heat up the queso. This step is optional.
Some people like the chili chunks, some people don’t.
If you don’t like the chunks, you can pulse the chili in your food processor for a few seconds until it is smooth before adding to the queso.
Key to Success #3 – Serve Warm
The key to great queso is heating it until it is warm, but not overheating it.
You’ll know it’s ready when the Velveeta is completely melted but the queso is not yet simmering.
You’ll want to serve this queso while it’s warm. A cast-iron skillet will keep the queso warm for a while.
If your Skillet Queso is going to sit out for a while during your party, you’ve got a couple good options.
- Put the cast-iron skillet on a single-burner hot plate on low heat for an authentic feel
- Use a miniature Crock-Pot to keep queso warm for hours
Either of these options would be perfect for serving Skillet Queso at a party.
You can serve this delicious queso with restaurant-style tortilla chips or Fritos Scoops.
It would also make a great sauce for enchiladas or chimichangas.
Save this Chili’s Skillet Queso to your favorite Appetizers board or your Chip and Dip Ideas board.
- 16 oz Velveeta cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 1 can (15 oz) Hormel Chili No Beans
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- Cut Velveeta into 1-inch cubes then place into cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add in remaining ingredients and continue heating until cheese is fully melted. Stir often.
- Serve warm.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 799mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 10g