I am excited to partner with Cabot to share how to make queso and a queso bar – just in time for the big game.
I am a proud New Englander. This means that I grew up with two things: Cabot cheddar and a top-notch football team. As we gear up for the big game, I am sharing details on how to make queso and how to create a queso bar. It’s a game day recipe that can be served as an appetizer or as part of a main course.
I love queso – warm melty cheese is one of the best things in the world. Queso is easy to make from scratch, and the secret to making exceptional queso is to use exceptional cheese, which is why I used my go-to cheese: Cabot Cheddar. And to add a kick of spice and a smooth silky consistency to the queso I mixed in Cabot’s Pepper Jack.
Cabot is one of my favorite food brands. I’ve been adding their cheddar to macaroni and cheese, scrambled eggs, grilled cheeses, and baked potatoes ever since I started cooking. It’s also delicious on a cracker – this is my ideal afternoon snack. I am very selective when it comes to brand partnerships, and I make a point to only work with brands that I use and love. Working with Cabot is a dream come true since the brand has a permanent home in my fridge!
Another reason why I am excited be partnering with Cabot is that the company is a co-operative. That means it is owned by the farmers – 100% of the profits go back to them.
Cabot started with 94 families is Cabot, Vermont in 1919, and today there are 1,000 farm families in the co-operative.
While Cabot is most well known for their cheddar cheese, they have other cheeses and dairy products too! This recipe is made using a 50/50 mix of Cabot Cheddar and Cabot’s Pepper Jack.
For those of you who try to stay away from lactose, Cabot’s cheeses are aged, and the aging naturally removes lactose. All of Cabot’s cheddars, and many of their other cheeses, are lactose-free. Look for the Lactose-Free icon on Cabot’s packaging to check which products are naturally lactose-free. Oh, and Cabot cheeses are naturally gluten-free – but you already knew that, right?
Speaking of gluten-free food options, a queso bar is an easy way to accommodate people with different dietary restrictions. Serving queso with corn tortilla chips or baked potatoes will give guests a lactose free, gluten-free, and vegetarian option.
The process of making queso is easy, the only trick is to slowly add the cheese bit by bit, letting it completely melt before you add more. This is how you get smooth queso.
The best way to keep your queso at an ideal warm and melted temperature is to transfer it into a slow cooker set to low. This is how I serve queso at parties.
If you follow my recipe exactly, the queso will have a very mild spice, but there are lots of ways you can add a little more heat. If you want to give your queso an extra kick of spice, you can add chopped jalapenos, sriracha, or cayenne pepper powder. I like to serve sliced jalapenos on the side, so that people have an option to add extra spice if they want.
Once your queso is ready it is time to put together the queso bar! I arrange baked potatoes, corn tortilla chips, shishito peppers, and steamed broccoli with toppings like chopped tomatoes, ground sausage, bacon, and chopped green onion. I like to give guests a mix of healthier and more indulgent options.
There are so many more foods you could add to your queso bar. Homemade chili, hot dog, tater tots, French fries, and pigs in a blanket would all work well too. I am sure your game-day party guests will come up with their own ideas too.
How to Make Queso from Scratch:
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
- 2 ounces Cream Cheese
- 4 ounces of Cabot Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed
- 4 ounces of Cabot Pepper Jack Cheese, cubed
- 1 (12 ounce) can of Evaporated Milk
- 1 (10 ounce) can Diced tomatoes with Green Chilis
- Baked Potatoes
- Corn Tortilla Chips
- Blistered Shishito Peppers
- Chopped Cooked Bacon
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Steamed Broccoli
- Crumbled Cooked Sausage
- Chopped Green Onion
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the cornstarch, and let cook over the heat for one minute, while whisking.
Next whisk in the evaporated milk, and continue to whisk until the milk and cornstarch mixture are well blended. Let the mixture thicken a little by bringing it to a slow and steady bubble and whisking constantly for one minute.
Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the cream cheese. Once the cream cheese has been mixed in, add the cheddar and pepper jack a little handful at a time. Wait for each addition of cheese to melt before you add more, this is the way to make sure your queso is nice and smooth.
Once all of the cheese has been added and is melted, stir in the diced tomatoes and green chilies.
Heat the queso up until it beings to bubble again, and then transfer to a slow cooker.
Arrange the baked potatoes, corn chips, shishito peppers, bacon, diced tomatoes, broccoli, sausage, and chopped green onion near the queso so that party guests can create their own snacks.
This post was sponsored by Cabot. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Kittchen possible.