The Kettle & Fire Blog

Tex-Mex Chili Con Queso Is the Cheese Sauce to Rule Them All

If nachos and guacamole had a child, it would be chili con queso. Said to be the “unofficial” dish of Texas, this creamy, cheesy, smooth—and highly addictive—dip is a popular Tex-Mex crowd-pleasing appetizer that you can make for any occasion. Football games, parties, barbecues, you name it. No one says no to queso.

Commonly served at Tex-Mex restaurants with warm tortilla chips, chili con queso (sometimes chile con queso or simply queso) can be on the indulgent side. So we’ve “healthified” this recipe as best we could by adding Kettle & Fire Bone Broth to the mix, although you’d never know it was there by tasting it. This way, though, you’re still getting some high-quality minerals in this dish, as well as the beneficial protein, collagen, which is loaded with anti-inflammatory amino acids.

What Is Chili Con Queso?

Chili con queso is, in its essence, a cheese dip, seasoned with aromatics and spices, such as jalapeños and cumin. Said to have originated in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, this dish is made differently, depending on which side of the border you’re on.

If you order chili con queso in Mexico, you’ll find it to have a pale, white-ish color, as it’s traditionally made with Monterey jack cheese or queso asadero (Mexican white cheese).

As for the American chili con queso, processed cheddar cheese is usually used to make this style of dip, such as Kraft Singles. You could also use Velveeta. If you want to use unprocessed cheese, you can use a blend of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack.

What to Serve with Chili Con Queso

The beautiful thing about making a chili con queso sauce is that you can make it suit your mood. Feeling like something more filling? Add taco meat, shredded chicken, or ground beef. Looking for extra spice? Cayenne pepper or serrano peppers are great options.

You can dress up chili con queso just as you would nachos, by adding diced tomatoes, cilantro, bell peppers, roasted garlic, and anything else your Tex-Mex-loving heart desires.

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Tex-Mex Chili Con Queso

A guaranteed crowd pleaser, this creamy, indulgent chili con queso is made with a secret healthy ingredient: bone broth. Gluten-free, ready in 20 minutes.

Course sauce
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Sharon Chen


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño finely chopped (You can use canned diced jalapeño peppers or green chiles if you prefer; just add them with the tomatoes.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth
  • 8 American cheese singles cut up
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • Fresh cilantro for garnishing (optional)


  1. In a cast-iron skillet or a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, and jalapeño (if using fresh) with cumin, salt, and cornstarch for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

  2. Add the broth and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir constantly, allowing the sauce to thicken.

  3. Add the cheese and tomatoes. Carefully simmer the queso over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and adjust its thickness to suit your taste by adding more broth or cheese.

  4. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes


  • Other cheese alternatives: pepper jack cheese, sharp cheddar cheese.
  • If using canned jalapeño peppers, add them with the cheese and tomatoes at step 3. Start with 1 tablespoon and adjust the taste by adding more if desired.

About the Author

Sharon Chen is the founder and creator behind StreetSmart Kitchen, a recipe website that helps busy professionals to prepare healthy meals in less time they ever thought possible. Download her Top 18 One-Dish Meals Cookbook for free here: