Roasted Chili Pepper Queso Blanco


When Sis suggested that we make our own queso dip so we could also make our own tortilla chips so we could use up some tortillas, I was all in. Especially when I saw that the recipe she wanted to make was super simple and that we had all of the ingredients in the house save for the peppers.

No matter. When we went out for breakfast this morning we stopped at New Seasons to get some peppers and other items. Incidentally, I spent $30 on groceries and bought hardly anything because $18 went toward two chocolate bars and a package of Tillamook shredded cheese. 

Around dinner time Sis said we should get the queso going, went into the kitchen and asked me where the peppers were. “I don’t know. Where did you put them?” I asked. “I didn’t buy them. You were supposed to buy them.” “No I wasn’t. I told you I was buying cheese, cilantro and one other thing.” True story. The previous evening I had rattled off what I was planning on buying at the grocery store and then promptly made a list of the ingredients on my phone. Peppers were not included.

At any rate, this momentarily put a damper on our dinner plans. We had to recalibrate and do some substituting. The only thing we had available were some chili peppers, two Serranos and 3 jalapeños. So we roasted those up instead of the poblanos we failed to purchase.

The recipe I was following called for 3 simple ingredients: cream cheese, evaporated milk and charred, chopped peppers. Now to be fair, 3 small peppers are not going to be the same as 8 larger peppers like hatch or poblano. But the taste just wasn’t there when I mixed everything together. It was entirely bland. After throwing in some salsa verde that was in the fridge and adding a little bit of salt and some chili powder, a knockout queso blanco resulted.



  • 8-oz brick of cream cheese, cut into 8 chunks
  • 12-oz can of evaporated milk
  • 6 to 8 chili peppers, roasted, seeds and insides removed
  • ¼ to ½ c. salsa verde
  • ½ tsp. chili powder (optional)
  • salt, to taste


  1. If you need a method to roast the chili peppers, simply put them on a pan under the broiler for 5 minutes, flip over and broil for 5 more minutes. Then remove from the oven and place in a plastic bag. Close the bag and let the peppers steam for 20 minutes. Then remove the skins and the insides and seeds and chop.
  2. Over medium low heat in a small sauce pan, cook the cream cheese with the evaporated milk until the cheese has melted. Stir with a whisk until completely smooth. 
  3. Add the chopped chili peppers and salsa and stir to incorporate. Taste and add more salsa, if necessary, salt and chili powder, if using.
  4. Serve immediately with your favorite tortilla chips or as a dip for tacos, burritos, taquitos or simply eat with freshly made tortillas.

Recipe rating: 

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