Queso is a type of cheese dip that is popular in Mexican cuisine.
It can be made with either cheddar, Colby or Monterey Jack cheeses.
You may also find it served as an appetizer at restaurants and parties throughout the United States.
Many people have never heard of queso, so they are not sure how to store it or how long does queso last.
This article will answer those questions and more.
What is Queso?
Queso is a Mexican cheese sauce, which can be made with either white or yellow American-style cheeses.
This dish originated in Central America and the Caribbean but has become an iconic part of Tex-Mex cuisine.
Queso makes for a great dip for tortilla chips or another topping for tacos, burritos, nachos, etc.
It’s also commonly used to fill up quesadillas (a type of stuffed tortilla).
Some dishes that use Queso include: Fajitas con Queso; Enchiladas Verdes; and Fiery Queso.
It’s important to note that the word “queso” is not exclusive to Tex-Mex cuisine.
Queso can be used as an ingredient in many dishes such as: Quesadillas (both traditional and grilled); Nachos; Spaghetti with Vegetables and Cheese Sauce; Macaroni & Cheese; Soups or Stews with Cheese Additions.
In Mexico, there are many varieties of cheese sauces from which Queso originated including Chihuahua cheese sauce, Menonita cheese sauce, Puebla style cream sauce, and Sonora cheese sauce, to name just a few.
How to Make Queso?
Do you like Mexican food? If so, then this is the recipe for you.
This is a step-by-step guide to how to make queso from scratch.
Follow these simple steps and learn about what ingredients to use and why they are important in making your ultimate dip that will be sure to go with all of your favorite chips.
- Evaporated milk.
- Cheddar Cheese.
- Tomato Paste.
- Jalapeno Peppers.
- Garlic Powder.
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Cumin and cayenne pepper.
- In a medium sized pot, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add in jalapenos, tomatoes and garlic powder to the pot.
- Cook for about five minutes. This will allow the ingredients to produce juices that help with the consistency of your dish later on when you add cheese and evaporated milk into it.
- Next, pour in evaporated milk while stirring occasionally until all liquid is gone from the pot (about three minutes).
- Stirring constantly, gradually add cheddar cheese to mix (one cup at a time) until melted completely through sauce.
- Taste mixture again before adding salt or pepper as needed to taste desired flavor profile level. For spice lovers who like a little extra kick: add Cumin and Cayenne Pepper after taste.
- Transfer mixture to a pot and cook on low until desired thickness is reached (about five minutes).
- Remove from heat and pour into a bowl or serving dish.
This recipe is easy to mix and will make enough for four servings, depending on how much your guests like it.
Queso can be served with tortilla chips as an appetizer or alongside other Mexican dishes at dinner time.
Also, if you want this queso to have more of a kick, add in Cumin and Cayenne Pepper after taste until the desired level of spice has been reached.
This recipe is great because the cheese melts through creating one cohesive sauce that brings all these ingredients together.
How to Store Queso?
Queso is usually an unrefrigerated foodstuff.
This means that it will spoil faster than yogurt or bread, but the process can be slowed down by putting in a cooler with ice packs to help keep things cold and fresh longer.
If you want your Queso for later use or save some of it (or if you’re planning on eating half), wrapping tightly in plastic wrap is also recommended.
Be sure not to contaminate other foods though.
If there’s no way to refrigerate the Queso, then you’ll have to find a place that will store it for you.
Many grocers sell queso in their deli or cheese section, and sometimes they can be found at Latino grocery stores.
If none are available nearby, plan on freezing it as soon as possible after purchase (although this may not work with some cheeses).
How Long Does Queso Last? Does Queso Go Bad?
Queso can last for a long time as it has not been cooked.
If you store the queso with a tight seal, it can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
If you are going to store it for a long time, make sure that you have put in preservatives like vegetable oil or canola oil.
If the queso is stored without these ingredients, it may start giving off an unpleasant taste and smell after just a few days of storing them.
To keep your queso fresh longer, add hot sauce and chopped jalapeños to the dish before it cools down completely.
For store-bought queso, you can store it in an airtight container for up to two weeks before eating.
Store-bought queso is best consumed within a week of opening the package or jar because its flavor and texture will start deteriorating after that time.
If you want to keep your Queso fresher than this, then try freezing some.
- Place small portions into freezer bags with as much air squeezed out as possible (don’t forget about those pesky ice cubes.), seal tightly and freeze.
- Once they are frozen solid, stack them together on a flat surface until they have created their little block of cheese.
- Now place them back inside the freezer bag again so you can get one serving at a time when you want it.
How to Tell if Queso is Bad?
Queso can be made from either processed cheese, or fresh cheeses mixed with various other chiles.
The color of the queso will vary depending on the kind of cheese used in its creation.
For instance a white and yellow, for instance, is a sign that it was created using American processed cheddar and Monterey jack; while if it’s orange or red, there are peppers present in the mix.
What does bad queso look like? The best way to tell if a pot of cheese is bad or not is by looking at the color.
If there are thick white clumps in your liquid, you may have an issue with mold.
Bad odors and sour flavors also mean it’s time for disposal.
Another sign that your queso is bad is if it’s a little darker, or perhaps too thick.
Moldy cheese can often be seen as white clumps and will usually smell sour.
There are many reasons why you should not eat moldy food, one being that the fungus might cause allergic reactions such as vomiting, headaches, hives, and difficulty breathing.
Some people believe that Queso does last for a long time, while others disagree.
Queso is typically made from Monterey Jack Cheese and other ingredients such as tomatoes or peppers.
It is typically up to five days in the fridge when it comes to how long Queso lasts.
Always check on the expiration date to make sure that it is still good.
How Long Does Queso Last? Does Queso Go Bad?
- Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
- Labels and markers
- Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
- Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
- Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).