Make Queso Compuesto

Normally I avoid long-winded intros to recipes, but this one requires a little bit of background.

Firstly, Queso Compuesto means loosely, Queso: With Stuff. Not all queso has to have stuff, so I’ve separated out the queso alone to start, and then I list the compuesto elements and instructions.

Having lived in Austin, Texas, I’ve become somewhat of a queso addict. You can get it at almost every restaurant there, and if you attend any kind of get-together there’ll be a big homemade batch of it either in a crockpot or kept hot on a hot plate. After extensive “research” and asking just about everyone how they make their queso, I have concluded that even though I tried to complicate it with gastro techniques, special cheese blends, and other ingredients, it is just this simple. Onward!

The Queso

  • 1 16-ounce package VELVEETA® Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut up
  • 1 10-ounce Ro-Tel®, undrained

Add your Ro-Tel® to a pan or crockpot and heat it until about a simmer. Add the VELVEETA® and allow it to melt, stirring frequently. That’s it! I swear that is what THE MOST TEXAN PEOPLE I MET DO (native Texans, foodies, you name it)! So I am positive there are things that commercial kitchens do (Chuy’s, Roaring Fork, and other masters of queso), but this is a home cook’s resource and I’m not speaking for them.

Note: This recipe has been around and somewhat universal across America due to one of the earliest cross-branding campaigns between Ro-Tel® (a brand that originated in Texas, of course) and Velveeta® (which by that time had become a KRAFT product) and if you’re interested in that kind of thing, click here to learn more. I am conscious that likely most of my readers have already made this dip at least once because I have, at no time in my life, been unaware of this simple recipe, and I’ll bet you can say the same. So here’s where It gets interesting…

The Compuesto:

Serving Instructions for Queso Compuesto

  1. I recommend having the queso available in a heated server like a slow cooker on low, covered, or a fondue pot, covered, or on a hot plate, covered. The covered thing is about keeping the top from forming the dreaded “skin”.
  2. Set out small plates or bowls for people to ladle some queso into, and next to the queso, make the guac, pico, and sausage available to add as they prefer. This way vegetarians can avoid the sausage. You may alternately wish to find a suitable spicy vegetarian sausage to serve in addition to or instead of the sausage.
  3. Make several large bowls of chips available throughout the party space so that nobody has to cart them along with their bowl of queso.

You may wish to add, omit, or alter your compuesto set-up based on dietary restrictions or personal preference. Next time I make it, I’ll be drizzling some of this on top.

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