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The Ultimate Slow-Cooker Queso

Slow-Cooker Queso
Casey Barber


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 cups shredded cheese, such as Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, Mexican Chihuahua, or a shredded Mexican blend
  • 1 8-ounce block cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk + additional milk as needed
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro for serving (optional)

Chef notes

In queso you're wondering what to serve at your Super Bowl party, we've got the answer right here: a classic dip that kicks plastic-y cheese product to the curb in favor of the real (and really delicious) shredded stuff. It's gooey, salty, warm and exactly what you need to either drown your sorrows or celebrate a well-earned victory.

RELATED: Don't have a slow cooker? Try our easy stovetop cheese dip recipe


If your slow cooker has a brown or sauté function, turn it on to that setting. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers, then add the onion, garlic, jalapeño and salt.

Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is starting to soften and the vegetables are fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute more.

If your slow cooker doesn't have a brown function, brown the vegetables in a medium skillet or sauté pan on the stovetop over medium heat, then scrape them into the slow cooker.

Add the shredded cheese, cream cheese and milk to the slow cooker and stir to combine all the ingredients.

Close the slow cooker and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.

Stir well, and add more milk 2 tablespoons at a time if needed. 

Top with chopped cilantro, if desired, and serve. The queso can be kept warm in the slow cooker using the warm function for at least 3 hours — stir periodically if the dip starts to thicken.


Spicy Chorizo: Remove 1/2 pound fresh chorizo sausage from its casings and brown with the onion, garlic and jalapeño.

Roasted Chili: Add 1 4-ounce jar chopped chilies (hot or mild, your choice) to the slow cooker with the tomatoes.

Veggie Fiesta: Add 1/2 cup drained, rinsed white beans and 4 cups well-rinsed chopped fresh spinach (from about 1 small bunch) to the slow cooker with the tomatoes.