Tequila Queso Fundido

4 servings
20 min

You can make this restaurant-style Tequila Queso Fundido at home for a decadent and indulgent cheese dip with a hint of tequila. This queso dip pairs perfectly with fresh tortilla chips and a margarita! This recipe is small-batch meant for 3-4 people but it can easily be doubled for a larger party.

Queso fundido translates to molten or melted cheese and is one of the best appetizers you can order or make! Queso fundido is similar to fondue and is often served with chorizo.

Fry Your Own Tortilla Chips

Cut round tortillas into quarters and fill a deep pan or cast iron pan with oil (vegetable or canola) about 1″ high over medium-high heat. Heat the oil for a few minutes. You can test the oil with a small piece of corn tortilla. When the piece bubbles, the oil is ready to go. Add 8-10 sliced tortillas to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side. Once the tortillas are light brown they are ready to be pulled out of the oil. Place them on a paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle with salt and chile powder if desired.

Bake Your Own Tortilla Chips

Cut round tortillas into quarters and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Place the corn tortilla slices on the oven rack (you can also place a cooling rack down first so the chips don’t fall through). Bake for 4 minutes, flip the chips and bake for another 3-4 minutes. Salt the chips if desired as soon as they come out. You can also spray with a bit of oil or water before sprinkling on the salt so that it sticks.

Tequila Queso Fundido in a cast iron pot

Tequila Queso Fundido with tortilla chips

Tequila Queso Fundido

Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups Monterey jack cheese, grated ( 1/2 pound)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder (homemade or store-bought, see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup tequila, I used a silver tequila
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • tortilla chips for dipping (homemade or store-bought, see notes)

Cut the garlic in half and rub it along the inside of the saucepan and serving dish. Discard any leftover garlic.
Grate the cheese and add it to a medium mixing bowl. Add the cornstarch, chile powder, and cumin and stir to coat the cheese. Set aside.
Pour the tequila into the saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
Add the cheese mixture, a little at a time, and stir continuously while the cheese melts. Continue adding more cheese and stirring while the mixture comes together and becomes nice and smooth. Stir in the salt and pepper.
Quickly transfer the queso to the serving bowl, garnish and enjoy immediately. If the cheese becomes too thick and cool, you can reheat it in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  • Since Queso Fundido is similar to fondue, it’s best when served in a warm dish or in a fondue pot. I served mine in a cast iron dish that had been preheated or a regular fondue pot would work as well!
  • If you don’t have either option available and your cheese starts to harden, place it in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it’s nice and smooth again. Please do not put cast iron in the microwave 😬, use a microwave-safe bowl.
  • This recipe is small-batch meant for 3-4 people but it can easily be doubled for a larger party.
  • How to Make Homemade Chili Powder
  • You can make your own chili powder using dried peppers for additional flavor. This is optional but highly recommended for extra flavor. Take dried chili peppers and grind them in a nut/coffee grinder until they are in powder form. This chili powder also makes a delicious garnish to sprinkle on top.
Emily | emilyfabulous.com
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  • Nannette Nannette on Oct 04, 2022

    You wrote in your Ingredient list chile powder, homemade or store bought, see notes. I don’t see it. Did I miss something?

    • Hi Nannette, it looks like the instructions didn't copy over, thanks for letting me know. They are now in the notes or you can check out my post HERE.

  • Barb Brown Barb Brown on Oct 16, 2022

    Toast the peppers, 30 seconds per side for a better flavor.