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tequila queso fundido on cast iron pot

Tequila Queso Fundido

You can make this restaurant-style Tequila Queso Fundido at home for a decadent and indulgent cheese dip with a hint of tequila.
5 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 285kcal
Author: EmilyFabulous



  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups Monterey jack cheese, grated (½ pound)
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder (homemade or store-bought, see notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup tequila, I used a silver tequila
  • ¼ 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.


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.

How to Make Homemade Fried 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 about 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.

Make Baked Tortilla Chips in the Oven

Cut round tortillas into quarters and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Place the corn tortilla slices on the rack of your oven (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 little oil or water before sprinkling on the salt so that it sticks.

Tips for Keeping your Queso Warm

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.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.5g | Protein: 13.9g | Fat: 17.2g | Saturated Fat: 10.8g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Calcium: 423mg

Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.