Copycat Chili’s Queso

Copycat Chili's Queso

My brother is not shy about proclaiming his love for specific restaurants or dishes.  In fact, he can be downright forceful in his opinion.  “NO.  D’ALESSANDRO’S HAS THE BEST CHEESESTEAKS IN PHILADELPHIA.  I DARE YOU TO FIND ONE BETTER.”  Sometimes, I have found him to be right, and sometimes I just think to myself, oh brother, if only you knew of the things I have had that top this.

Chili’s Queso is one of those things he’s been very passionate about over the years.  “You’re going to Chili’s?  You GOTTA get the queso.  OMG.  Like, GET THE QUESO.”  The caps are not for emphasis – he really does shout and emphasize as if he is speaking in all caps sometimes.  So when I saw this recipe for copycat Chili’s queso, I thought, well, let’s give it a go.

He’s a workaholic though so of course he couldn’t help me eat it and really judge for me whether or not it was a true copycat recipe of the OG queso.  I ended up eating some of it by myself in front of a losing Kansas game when I wasn’t really all that hungry.  It was kind of a sad moment.

But, this queso was pretty dang tasty.

I had Chili’s queso once, years ago, so far long ago that I couldn’t really tell you if it was a true imitation or not.  But it was good queso.  I was able to easily split the recipe in half, since it was only me eating it.  I’m not always a fan of Velveeta – mostly because when I have it in the house I do slutty things with it, like make //these tacos// – because it can go back to its plastic consistency pretty quickly unless you’re keeping it hot.  But this queso stayed pleasantly melty, at least for the duration that I was eating it.

All in all, I would be happy to recommend this recipe!  I cut it in half and it would be plenty for 2 people – so if you’re making a full batch, expect to feed more of a crowd.  Also, if you have a way to keep it hot – either keeping it warm in a slow cooker or maybe even in a fondue dish, do that.

Copycat Chili’s Queso

16 oz. Velveeta Cheese
1 cup milk (preferably half & half if you have it – I used whole milk)
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 15-oz can no-bean chili
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
Juice of 1 lime juice (about 1 tablespoon)
Tortilla chips, for serving


1. Cut velveeta cheese into cubes. Add all ingredients (except for tortilla chips) to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or on high for 1 hour.

2. Stir until everything comes together. Cook on low for 30 minutes – 1 hour (As much time as you have before serving).

3. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!