Café Rio’s queso dip is incredibly tasty and hard to resist. It’s a creamy and cheesy dip that’s a big hit at Café Rio.

Think of it as a smooth blend of melted Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses coming together perfectly. Monterey Jack has a mild, slightly tangy flavor, while cheddar adds a sharper, nuttier taste. To make it more interesting, they add mild green chilies for a subtle kick without making it too spicy. These chilies add a bit of smokiness and a touch of heat that makes it even more delicious.

They also use spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin to make it savory and aromatic, keeping you coming back for more.

In terms of texture, Café Rio queso is creamy and just the right thickness. They use a mixture of butter and flour to thicken it up. It coats your tortilla chips or whatever you dip into it with a satisfying texture.

You can enjoy Café Rio queso in many ways. It’s a great dip for tortilla chips, making each bite cheesy and delicious. You can also use it as a tasty topping for quesadillas, tacos, or burritos to make them extra special.

Now you can make Café Rio queso at home easily. It only needs a few ingredients and less than 15 minutes of your time. You can serve it with tortilla chips or drizzle it over burritos, and it’s sure to be a hit. You can adjust the spiciness depending on the ingredients you use, making it suitable for any gathering.

The Story Behind the Recipe

Café Rio’s queso recipe’s origin is not widely known, but Café Rio, a popular Mexican restaurant chain founded in the mid-1990s in Utah, is celebrated for its fresh and flavorful Mexican cuisine, including their famous queso.

Queso, a beloved Mexican dish made by melting cheese with spices and chilies, has diverse variations across regions and restaurants.

Café Rio’s queso has become a signature menu item, known for its high-quality ingredients and scratch-made preparation. While the exact recipe remains a secret, it likely combines traditional Mexican flavors with their unique twist.

Café Rio has expanded across several states, with their queso gaining a devoted following. Its creamy texture, cheesy goodness, and flavorful spices make it a popular choice for dipping chips or enhancing Mexican dishes.

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How to make Cafe Rio Queso

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Crafting your own Café Rio Queso is a breeze with straightforward steps. So grab the ingredients and let’s begin.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced mild green chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the flour and whisk continuously for about 1 minute to make a smooth mixture (roux).
  3. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking constantly until it thickens and gently simmers.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses. Stir until they melt and the mixture becomes smooth.
  5. Add the diced green chilies, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix everything together.
  6. Let the queso simmer on low heat for another 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  7. Taste the queso and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt or spices as needed.
  8. Once the queso reaches your preferred consistency and flavor, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a serving bowl.
  9. Serve the queso warm with tortilla chips, use it as a dip for quesadillas, or as a topping for your favorite Mexican dishes.

Rated: 5.0 of 5.0 from 52 reviews.

Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • Quick and Simple: Whip it up in minutes with readily available ingredients.
  • Irresistible Flavor: This copycat queso recipe delivers deliciousness every time.
  • Versatile for All Gatherings: Perfect for both parties and cozy family dinners.
  • Taco Night Essential: Elevate your Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo with this effortless queso dip.

Pro Tips to Perfect Your Queso

  • Proper Storage: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, where they’ll stay fresh for up to 5 days. When reheating, simply microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. If it thickens up too much, a splash of milk can help restore the ideal consistency.
  • Customize the Heat: If you prefer a milder queso, you can reduce or eliminate the jalapeno according to your taste.
  • Cheese Melting Technique: When melting the cheese, use short intervals in the microwave and stir between each round. This method prevents the cheese from burning and helps achieve a smooth texture.
  • Add Some Protein: For a heartier queso, consider mixing in chopped chorizo or cooked ground beef at the end, then heat it through for added flavor and substance.
  • Avoid Freezing: It’s best not to freeze this queso recipe due to its cheese content. Freezing may result in a slightly grainy texture when thawed and reheated.
  • Adjust the Thickness: If the finished queso is too thick for your liking, dilute it with a little Classic Coke—add a little to reach the desired consistency.


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