Chipotle Queso (Copycat)

8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Chipotle Queso (Copycat) recipe is an all natural creamy chili cheese dip with tomatillo salsa in just 20 minutes that tastes just like you’d get at Chipotle! 

We love creating restaurant meals at home! Round out your Chiptole meal with Chipotle Barbacoa Beef, Chipotle Corn Salsa, and Chipotle Lime Chips and Guacamole.

Chipotle Queso Copycat Chipotle Queso (Copycat)

If you are a lover of queso dip, you’ll know that homemade queso is most often made with processed cheese combined with canned tomatoes and green chilis. A crock pot is where these ingredients melt together. Chipotle Mexican Grill prides itself on natural ingredients and preparing those best ingredients by hand so this copycat recipe follows their lead. The Chipotle queso ingredient list may be long, but the process of making homemade queso dip is simple. A Dutch oven and a whisk are the tools you’ll need.

Drizzle this chipotle queso dip over your tacos, burritos and bowls to bring that even better than Chipotle taste home.

Chipotle’s queso is not without a bit of controversy. Customers thought the restaurant’s queso made with natural ingredients didn’t taste like the queso people grew up eating. The restaurant reintroduced queso to their menu and having tried it again this time, I liked it enough to test it, recreate it and add it to the blog! (I’m looking at you Panda Express General Tsao Chicken, you were NOT good).

The cheese topping elevates a Mexican buffet whether you are serving burritos, tacos, or bowls. Queso dip is also a great party food ready for game day. Take the challenge upon yourself to try this Chipotle queso copycat recipe and compare it to both the restaurant version and the crockpot version. We think you’ll find this creamy queso dip to be a winner!

More Dip Appetizers:

Homemade Chipotle Queso Copycat Recipe

Tips for making Chipotle Queso (Copycat)

  • Use a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot to encourage even cooking, if you use a thin bottomed pot you will end up with burned spots and the queso will not be creamy.
  • Give the onion, bell pepper and jalapeno time to soften before adding the remaining ingredients, you want to cook low and slow.
  • Tomatillos are not green tomatoes, although that is what they look like. Tomatillos are a popular ingredient in Mexican cooking.
  • In this queso recipe, the tomatillo salsa adds depth of flavor and an authentic Mexican taste. A roasted tomatillo salsa would be an ideal choice.
  • You may swap canned tomatillos, chopped, fresh tomatillos, or another type of salsa verde for the tomatillo salsa.
  • Whisking constantly is the key to a smooth queso dip. Start whisking as you add the milk and continue to do so until the cheese have been incorporated.
  • Queso is best served warm and soon after preparing. You can use a crock pot (the mini size works well) to keep this cheese dip warm until you are ready to eat.
  • Keep your whisk handy as you’ll need it to stir in the lemon and lime juice right before serving or the cheese sauce may break.

If you love learning how to make restaurant copycat recipes, you’ll find recipes for Panda Express, Chili’s, and Olive Garden and more on our Copycat Category here. Some favorites include:

How to make homemade lime tortilla chips just like Chipotle chips

  1. Wet your clean fingers in lime juice and wipe across the tortillas. Let them sit out for five to ten minutes while you make the guacamole.
  2. Cut the tortillas into six even triangles.
  3. Heat your oil to 375 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop one chip in the oil and if it comes to the surface bubbling the temperature is good. Cook for 20-30 seconds, you aren’t looking for them to brown. Remove with slotted spoon.
  4. Sprinkle salt over them immediately.

You can see the step by step photos on the recipe page here.

Love copycat recipes as much as we do? Great! Check out our Copycat Category of recipes where you’ll find the best dishes from Chipotle, Chick Fil A, Chili’s, Panda Express, Olive Garden, and more!

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Chipotle Queso (Copycat)

Chipotle Queso (Copycat) recipe is an all natural creamy chili cheese dip with tomatillo salsa in just 20 minutes that tastes just like you'd get at Chipotle!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper , chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper , deveined, deseeded and minced
  • 15 ounces canned tomatoes and chilis
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese , grated
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • In a large dutch oven add the vegetable oil on medium high heat along with the onion, bell pepper and jalapeños and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.
  • Add in the canned tomatoes and chilis, tomatillo salsa, garlic, flour, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Add the milk in, whisking well, then add in the tomato paste, vinegar and cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted.
  • Right before serving whisk in the lime and lemon juice and serve.


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 232mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 17.6mg | Calcium: 287mg | Iron: 0.8mg

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Just curious if the cheese measurement is by volume or weight? Mine tastes good but the texture is off and it’s curdled. I see another reviewer added two more cups of cheese so I’ll try that to see if it improves it.

  2. This recipe was so delicious. I made it exactly as directed, and then I tasted it and added two more cups of cheese. This is a keeper!

  3. So disappointed in this recipe. This is nothing like chipotle queso! It isn’t even the same color. I wish I would have read all of the comments before I purchased the ingredients.

  4. 1.) I cooked it in an instant pot
    – help below
    2.) it’s nothing like chipotle
    -good dip, why lie about it being like chipotle, and why lie about what the dip looks like

    1.) I sautéed everything on the sauté setting. Then turned it off and added all the ingredients, stirring well. Then pressure cook it for just 2 min (after the pressure has already built up).

    2.) the recipe was good and all but it was way too thin and was nothing like chipotle (Or the picture posted for that matter!).

    1. Manny, so act like a grown up and just say you didn’t care for it. No need to call names and be nasty about it.

    1. Agree. Not at all! Not at all. Like, why lie? I’m super disappointed. I was looking forward to having homemade queso, but that is not what it turned out to be. Doesn’t even taste cheesy, the peppers, while not too spicy, just overpower. It’s thinner than expected, and just not what I thought I’d get.

  5. This tastes so good!! Ours was a little thinner than we wanted it to be so we added another 1/2 of cheese and about 1/8 cup of cornstarch. Super yummy!!

    1. Did it taste good? Yeah. But it taste NOTHING LIKE THE QUESO AT CHIPOTLE! Honestly no offense but the jar of queso at any grocery store is far better with zero effort. And to whomever made this recipe. Shame on you.

  6. Hi! This recipe looks amazing! Quick question, is there another vinegar I can use instead of red wine? Thank you!

  7. While it’s not a bad recipe, it’s not even close to what the chipotle queso tastes like. This recipe has too much tomato and not enough cheese.

      1. Same. So many wasted ingredients. It’s like a weird tomato soup. I should have trusted my instincts and used about 1/5 of the canned tomatoes.

        1. I was in a rush and didn’t read the comments. But the photo looks great. I’ve never been let down by a copycat recipe. The recipe has 5 stars. A private chef created this.

          What a mistake. Most of the 5 star ratings are from people who haven’t even tried the recipe but thought it sounded good. Like others who actually tried this, mine came out nothing like the photo, and nothing like queso, even though I followed it exactly. This really pains me to write, as I never leave negative reviews but this was just too disappointing.

          1. I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.

            Hi Laura, I would love to help if I can? The Chipotle queso isn’t quite the same as most queso recipes, so it took some work getting it to taste similar. Help me understand where it went wrong? What was your prevalent taste to it? Like not enough cheese? too thin? Would love to troubleshoot.

  8. It was decent tasting but quite tomato-heavy, so it ended up being a much darker orange color than in the photo (or what comes from Chipotle)…. if I were to make it again, I’d probably do less tomato, green pepper, and tomato paste, and a bit more cheese.

    1. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t turn out well for you. If you try it again with your adjustments, let me know how you like it!

    2. I agree I think there’s way too many heavy vegetables especially the tomatoes.. I think if you used half the tomatoes and Chile’s it would be sufficient and substitute that with an extra cup of cheese

    1. Absolutely. I would use cornstarch (1 TBSP). Sweet rice flour or amaranth flour can be a substitute as well.

  9. Could this be done in one of the Crock pot instant cooker/steamer styled pots?

    it’s an 8 quart and I was hoping to make it in bulk as well

    1. I’m not sure it would work because this recipe requires a lot of whisking and not really a dump and leave it to cook. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!

  10. The Chipotle chips and queso has been my pregnancy craving, but it’s getting so expensive!! Here’s to hoping this tastes like the real thing, I’ll be trying it very soon!!

  11. I do my chips the same way. I like to use a spray bottle though filled with squeezed lime juice for even coating. Another thing to do is to season the oil with taco seasoning, cumin or just chili powder based on what your going for. OMG….you cant stop eating them.

  12. This is all I need for a real fiesta! Love that you included instructions on how to make the lime tortilla chips! A must-try!

  13. Oh this looks so good! I just want to grab one those of chips and start dipping!! Well, maybe more than one! 🙂

  14. My friends are going to be excited when I make this for them!!! Using a dutch oven is such a great idea!