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Queso Fundido Recipe

Excerpted from ‘Trejo’s Cantina: Cocktails, Snacks & Amazing Nonalcoholic Drinks from the Heart of Hollywood’

spinner image skillet with queso in it, topped with chorizo, onion, chiles; hand dipping tortilla chip in queso; tortilla chips on table around skillet
Larchmont Hospitality Group LLC

Serves 6 to 8

Queso fundido is the undisputed world champion of cheesy dips, fondue be damned. Topped with spicy-savory chorizo and served with crunchy tortilla chips, it’s a knockout-delicious appetizer. While we typically use organic and artisanal products at our restaurants, sometimes you need to add a secret ingredient to take a dish over the top. In this case it’s Velveeta, which is neither organic nor artisanal! While it might not be the first thing you think of when you’re cooking Mexican food, it helps keep the other cheeses smooth and melted and from getting all stringy and gloppy.

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  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola
  • 5 ounces fresh chorizo, removed from casings
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons diced white onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 6 ounces Velveeta, roughly chopped (from 8 slices)
  • 2½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped Hatch chiles
  • 1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla chips or warm corn tortillas, for serving


In a medium skillet, warm the canola oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer, about 2 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s fully cooked and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Remove the chorizo from the pan and set aside.

Add ¼ cup of the onion and the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Return the chorizo to the pan and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the half-and-half and Velveeta and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the Velveeta is melted, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the Mexican cheese blend and stir until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in the Hatch chiles, chipotle pepper, oregano and chili powder.

Transfer the melted queso to a warm dish or cast-iron pan and top with the reserved chorizo-onion mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons diced onion and the cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or warm corn tortillas.


Cook With Danny

spinner image trejo's cantina book cover with danny trejo on it pouring drink from pitcher into glass; food on table in front of him
Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Two more recipes from Trejo’s Cantina for AARP members to try:

Diablo Eggs

This version turns up the heat with a combination of fresh and pickled jalapeños and hot sauce.

Lavender Paloma

This recipe combines tequila and mezcal in equal parts, which allows for the subtle flavors of the lavender to not be overwhelmed.

Read About Danny Trejo's cookbook, Trejo's Cantina.


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