Creamy poblano queso dip, studded with flavorful roasted poblano peppers, is pleasantly spicy but not fiery. Enjoy it as a dip or a topping for tacos or nachos.

White queso dip in a black skillet, with a black spoon. Queso is studded with green poblano peppers and fresh cilantro, and placed next to tortilla chips.

I’ve been on a poblano kick lately. Much like roasted red peppers, roasting these dark green gems really makes a difference. Roasting mellows and intensifies the flavors at the same time, softening the flesh and loosening the skins.

You can use roasted poblanos in a variety of ways. I love southwestern farro salad with roasted poblanos and chile relleno soup with chicken. And, of course, I love the addition of roasted poblanos to this queso dip. The chunks of flavorful roasted peppers really up the flavor profile of plain queso dip. 

You may be wondering if poblano peppers make the dip spicier. I’ve noticed that there can be quite a lot of variation in the spiciness of poblano peppers. Sometimes the peppers have quite a bit of heat, and sometimes they are really quite mild. The peppers all look the same on the outside but you’ll have to take a little taste to test how hot they are.

None of them are super hot, though, if you’re worried about that. Poblano queso dip is not going to singe your tongues or make your eyes water. 

Enjoy this poblano queso with tortilla chips as an appetizer. Try it as a topping for nachos or tacos – it’s so good drizzled on these cauliflower nachos or crispy sweet potato tacos. Top homemade French fries or roasted sweet potatoes with poblano queso for a real treat.

Queso dip in a black pan with a black spoon, next to a black and white linen, and a bunch of fresh cilantro.

About this poblano queso:

Creamy poblano queso isn’t a difficult recipe to make. It takes a little time, especially if you need to roast the poblanos first. I like to roast a bunch of the peppers all at once, and then use them in a variety of recipes.

Tip: You can freeze roasted peppers, for future use in recipes. It’s a great meal prep idea, and it makes sense to just do a bunch of peppers if you’re already taking the time to do it.

Once you have the poblanos prepared, you’re ready to go. You’ll begin by sautéing chopped onions in a skillet, then adding minced garlic and the poblanos. 

Next, add chili powder, cumin, and a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour to the pan, and stir this mixture around a few minutes as it heats and covers the vegetables in the pan. This creates a roux or a thickener for your queso. Slowly add milk to the pan, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened and hot. 

A lot of stirring, I know, but we’re almost there now! Cheese time! Lower the heat, and stir in a block of cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.

Sprinkle the dip with fresh chopped cilantro and your poblano queso dip is ready to serve! Somebody grab the chips and let’s get eating. Oh, I guess you could put the poblano queso dip into pretty bowl first, if you want to get fancy.

Poblano queso and chips would go really well with a glass of Dos Equis or Bell’s Oberon, or another one of your favorite beers. Just sayin’! Don’t forget the orange wedge!

Note: Queso will solidify slightly as it cools. Keep warm over low heat on the stovetop or in a slow cooker set on the “warm” setting, so it stays warm and melty. 

Overhead view of queso made with poblano peppers, in a pan. Next to it are chips and fresh cilantro.

How to make this queso your own:

  • Spice level: like I mentioned above, poblano peppers seem to vary in heat. Taste your dip and if you feel that it’s not spicy enough, stir in additional chili powder, or ground cayenne. Chopped jalapeño peppers would be tasty, too. 
  • Watching your calories? Well, I have to say, this isn’t a low-fat recipe. Is queso ever really a diet food? Probably not, but you can substitute low-fat milk or lower fat cream cheese. Just a warning, though, these substitutions will affect the texture of your dip. Better yet, stir the chopped poblano peppers into this better-for-you queso recipe that’s made with frozen butternut squash. It’s really good!
  • Instead of cheddar cheese, try a Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, or Colby-Jack cheese.
  • Substitute roasted red bell peppers for the poblano peppers. Or skip the roasting part, and sauté chopped peppers of your choice, right with the onions. 

Close up overhead view of queso in a black skillet, next to a pile of chips.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Cover leftover poblano queso dip tightly, and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

That’s assuming it hasn’t been left on your counter for several hours while everyone’s been dipping chips into it. I wouldn’t recommend saving that leftover dip, but you know what? I bet there won’t be much left over anyways, it’s too good. The bowl will probably be scraped clean.

To reheat, slowly warm over low heat on the stovetop while stirring frequently.

Overhead view of poblano queso in a black skillet, with a black spoon. Also pictured are chips, a linen, and fresh cilantro.

Love queso and southwest style dips?

Queso isn’t the only kid on the block. Try a few of my favorite Mexican style dips:

 

Queso dip in a black pan with a black spoon, next to a black and white linen, and a bunch of fresh cilantro.

Poblano Queso Dip

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Creamy poblano queso dip, studded with flavorful roasted poblano peppers, is pleasantly spicy but not fiery. Enjoy it as a dip or a topping for tacos or nachos.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion (about one small onion)
  • 3 poblano peppers, roasted and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups 2% or whole milk
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat. When butter is melted, add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add peppers and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant. 
  2. Add flour, chili powder, and cumin, and cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly.
  3. Slowly add milk while stirring constantly. Add chili powder and cumin. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.
  4. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheddar and cream cheese until melted. Stir in cilantro.
  5. Serve warm with chips.

Notes

  • It’s best to buy a block of cheese and grate it yourself for the smoothest queso.
  • Queso will solidify slightly as it cools. Keep warm over low heat on the stovetop or in a slow cooker set on the “warm” setting. To reheat, slowly warm over low heat on the stovetop while stirring frequently.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 174mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: I can’t resist a good cheesy dip.
Husband’s take: Everyone loves queso, and this is a really good queso! Ben is no exception.
Changes I would make: None at all!
Difficulty: Easy!