Whether celebrating Cinco de Mayo or changing up your home Happy Hour, Chile con Queso and Roasted Jalapeno Salsa are irresistible dips. Easy to make, they turn standard ‘chips and dip’ into a party!
Originally posted in May 2013 and updated 2018
With Cinco de Mayo on the horizon, some great dipping options seem appropriate. Cheesy, spicy Chile con Queso and firey Roasted Jalapeno Salsa are two unique and tasty dips perfect for any occaision. They are delicious but something different than mainstream salsa.
Truth be told, I fell in love with Mexican food at a young age and it has remained one of my favorite cuisines. I’d happily eat something made with Mexican flavors of chiles, cumin, cayenne, epazote, or chipotle for any meal of the day at any time of the year!
Though we do not celebrate Cinco de Mayo as a true holiday, we never miss the chance to whip up some of our favoritre home recipes and to raise a margarita in a toast.
Whether celebrating the holiday or getting together with friends any time, dips are a great appetizer option. They are easy and simple to make, and quick too. Chile con Queso and Roasted Jalapeno Salsa aren’t things most people make so they add a special and truly mouthwatering option to your dipping.
Chile con Queso
Chile con Queso (translated ‘chile and cheese’) is a rich dip of tomatoes, cheese and chiles in a creamy base. A combination of cream cheese, fire roasted canned tomatoes, green chilies, Mexican cheese blend, onion and hot pepper sauce, blend together for a thick irresistible dip. It can be pureed to a smooth texture or I prefer mine blended with an immersion blender leaving it ‘roughly smooth’, not chunky but not perfectly smooth either.
Healthier Dipping TIP: Though tortilla chips are a Mexican food staple for dipping, cut sturdy vegetables such as bell pepper or jicama make a fantastic dipper too.
Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
I first tasted Roasted Jalapeno Salsa at a local El Salvadorian restaurant that was our neighborhood ‘go to’. They served chips and a variety of salsas to start a meal.
I had been fascinated with a smooth muted green sauce that was included with the salsas, never able to fully pinpoint the flavors. It also had a wonderful heat profile in that it takes about three seconds after eating to feel the heat building.
I finally asked about it and learned it’s a jalapeno salsa. Our server described how they made it and I decided to try to make it at home. I was so glad I did as it has become a favorite.
The salsa is very basic with only four ingredients but truly is unlike any other I’ve tried. The combination of the roasted jalapenos and garlic are sublime. It’s bursting with big flavor and heat! It would be fantastic on grilled chicken or fish too.
CAUTION WHEN HANDLING HOT PEPPERS: be sure to wash hands thoroughly after handling hot pepper and do not touch any mucus membranes before washing hands to avoid skin irritation.
SUGGESTED DRINK PAIRING: Peach Margaritas or a Peach Spritzer (non-alcoholic)
SUGGESTED SUPPLIES FOR MAKING CHILE CON QUESO AND ROASTED JALAPENO SALSA
Most supplies for these recipes are kitchen staples.
If you’ve tried this Chile con Queso or Roasted Jalapeno Salsa recipe or any other recipe on BoulderLocavore.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
How to make Chile con Queso and Roasted Jalapeno Salsa – Step by Step:
Chile con Queso & Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
Ingredients for Chile con Queso
- 6 tablespoons unsalted Butter
- 1 large yellow Onion , peeled and chopped
- 6 tablespoons gluten-free Flour (or regular all purpose flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 14.5-ounce cans Fire Roasted diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Peppers
- 1 4-ounce can Diced Green Chiles (select hot or mild to your heat preference)
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese or Neufchatel cheese (the latter is lower in fat)
- 12 ounces grated Mexican cheese blend*
- Hot Pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
- Tortilla chips, corn tortillas and /or vegetables for dipping , corn tortillas and /or vegetables for dipping
Ingredients for Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
- 8 3-4 inch Jalapeno Peppers
- 3 small Garlic Cloves , peeled and chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoon Canola Oil
- Pinch salt to taste
Instructions for Chile con Queso
- In a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in flour and stir until beginning to turn golden, about 4 minutes.
- Mix in tomatoes, chiles and cream/Neufchatel cheese, cooking until the cheese melts stirring all the time (about 3 minutes).
- Simmer until mixture thickens (about 5 minutes) stirring the entire time.
- Add cheese and stir until melted and bubbling (3-4 minutes). Add hot pepper sauce to taste. Blend with an immersion blender (or traditional blender but if so blend in batches) until smooth. Serve with hot/warm dipping items. Note: if planning to have the dip sit out, using a mini crock pot or chafing dish to place the dip in works best.
Instructions for Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
- Place jalapenos on a baking sheet underneath a heated broiler in the oven. As jalapenos blacken on each side (ensure they turn fully black before turning), turn to expose a side that is still green until the entire pepper is blackened. Remove from oven.
- Place all the peppers together in a zipper plastic bag and place the bag in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or until peppers can be easily handled by hand. Remove the blackened outer skin of the pepper. Cut off the top/stem of the pepper and slice lengthwise to open the pepper. Scrape the inner seeds and membrane and cut pepper roughly into four pieces.
- Place peppers, garlic cloves and canola oil in a blender of a mini chopper. Blend until smooth. Add salt, taste; add more salt if desired and blend to fully combine.
+Chile con Queso batch size: the ingredient amounts definitely make a 'party batch' size; if desiring a smaller amount, cut recipe in half.
*I purchase an organic pre-grated Mexican cheese blend of Colby, Monterey Jack and Cheddar mixed which is perfect for recipes like this. If that is not available grate your own cheese ensuring Cheddar be included (both for flavor and color).
Prep Time: the time for the roasted chilies to cool is included in the prep time. The prep and cooking for the dips can easily overlap and have both dips done within 30 minutes unless the chilies take longer to cool before handling.