The Cheese You Need For Perfect Restaurant-Style Queso

queso blanco in a bowl with tortilla chips
queso blanco in a bowl with tortilla chips - Rez-art/Getty Images

Queso is the ultimate lactose-loving crowd-pleaser, making it irresistible to order any time you go to a Latin restaurant. But who says you can't have restaurant quality in the comfort of your own home? And no we don't mean bringing home leftovers — because there's never any leftover queso — we mean making your own queso at home. The key ingredient for a restaurant-style experience? White cheddar cheese.

We've all seen the cheap boxed queso at the grocery store that looks like seasoned cheese-wiz, so don't reach for that and reach for a block of white cheddar instead. White cheddar is commonly used in restaurants as the base for a thick and creamy queso blanco, like in Chipotle's newest queso blanco recipe. Due to its naturally sharp taste and how it easily melds with other cheeses and takes on the flavors of other added ingredients, white cheddar is the perfect candidate for your queso. White cheddar is also one of the easiest and most affordable cheeses to find, meaning you can make queso at home whenever your heart and stomach desire.

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Why Use White Cheddar Cheese?

white cheddar cheese cubes on black table
white cheddar cheese cubes on black table - Michelle Lee Photography/Getty Images

White cheddar is the quintessential ingredient for making queso blanco, which literally translates to white cheese. White cheddar has less fat than orange cheddar or American cheese, making it easier to melt while keeping its strong flavor. It's a naturally sharper cheese that has a rich and gooey texture when melted down with some milk on low heat to make it a bit less dense and more dippable without getting too runny. Note that when buying your white cheddar, any brand will do, but it's best to buy it in a block or cubes as opposed to slices for consistent melting.

Queso blanco is always a great go-to because white cheddar pairs well with spices and other ingredients. The slightly tangy flavor compliments aromatics like chopped onions and garlic, along with a bite of spiciness from green chili peppers that you can add into your queso to complete the recipe. And of course, don't skimp on the salt and pepper, but you can also add seasoning by mixing in some pepper jack cheese with your cheddar to bulk up the flavor and enhance the cheesy taste. You can also use similar ingredients to make queso fundido, a slightly different take on classic queso.

Ways To Serve Your White Cheddar Queso

hand holding chicken sandwhich with queso
hand holding chicken sandwhich with queso - razum/Shutterstock

White cheddar queso is the perfect restaurant-style addition to your meal and will likely have your guests feeling like they're dining out instead of eating in. This delicious dip is perfectly edible in a bowl surrounded by tortilla chips, but why stop there? If you want to keep your queso as a starter, try offering fresh, crunchy vegetables such as celery or peppers to be the vehicle for such a creamy sauce. You can also double up on the cheese offering and have some ready-made cheese and meat nachos that you can dip in warm queso.

White cheddar queso blanco is also just smooth enough to make for a good sauce in your main dish. Drizzle a rich layer of queso over your homemade street tacos that will blanket your ingredients, or use it as the binding agent for your potatoes in a spicy spin on chile con queso au gratin.

On the off chance you have leftover queso, try using it as a substitute in your mac and cheese, giving the dish a Latin spin with extra flavorful cheese sauce. The white cheddar will compliment your noodles perfectly, and the queso is an easy addition that will season every spoonful. You can also use it as a substitute for a slice of cheese on a chicken sandwich or burger, creating a gooey layer of queso blanco that coats all of the ingredients.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.