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Copycat Chili’s Skillet Queso Recipe

This copycat Chili’s Skillet Queso tastes exactly like the original and takes only minutes to make! With just 5 easy ingredients, you can have this queso ready to serve in 20 minutes. Bonus? It can also be made in a slow cooker!

queso dripping off chip

This easy queso was a happy accident. We were hankering for some seriously delicious dip, dug around the pantry, and tossed ingredients together. 

Amazingly enough, this tasted EXACTLY like the skillet queso you get at Chili’s! As Bob Ross would say, a happy little accident. 

Everything starts with a quick saute of onions and garlic until they are soft. Mix in some chili, Velveeta, and a secret ingredient… SALSA. Specifically, we like to use green salsa. Trader Joe’s makes a  Hatch Valley Salsa that is a killer addition. 

queso ingredients

Copycat Chili’s Skillet Queso Ingredients:

The base ingredient list for this cheese dip is only 5 items, which means it is cheap to make. It also makes a whooping 10 servings (8 if you go a little heavy handed), which makes it a go-to party pleaser. 

  • Onion- I use yellow onion. Yellow onion has a bold flavor which tones down slightly during the cooking process, but still leaves you with a great onion-y flavor. 
  • Garlic- Not much, but just enough to kick things up a notch.
  • Chili- This is key, use a bean-less chili, like Hormel Chili with no beans.
  • Salsa- I called this out above, and I will do it again… Hatch Valley Salsa from Trader Joe’s is such a great addition. You can technically use any green salsa for a similar flavor. But this is my go-to.
  • Velveeta- We tried this with cheddar, and the votes were unanimous. Velveeta takes things from a solid 8 to 10. 

Helpful tools for this recipe:

  • A 10-inch cast iron skillet. Technically, and skillet or pot will work as long as it is medium/large in size. We like to serve this in a cast iron skillet to help keep it warm and get that fun serving flair. 
  • OR a 1.5 slow cooker! This little cutey is only $14 and a dream if you are constantly taking dishes to parties or gatherings. Perfect for party dips and sauces! 
  • Silicone spatulas– Because everyone should have a set of these in their kitchen! I have two. They are SO HANDY and heat resistant. 
queso in skillet with tortilla chips and lime slices

How to make Chili’s Skillet Queso at home: 

The cooking process for this is incredibly simple. You will have it ready in under 20 minutes including prep time and cooking. 

  1. Saute the onions, in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, in 1 tablespoon of butter or oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook one additional minute.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients. Heat until the cheese has melted and the dip is warm. Serve with chips.

Homemade queso lasts 2 to 4 days. Make sure you keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove or microwave when ready to eat. 

How to make queso in a slow cooker:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small slow cooker.
  2. Heat on low for 2 hours, or until melted and heated through.
  3. Serve with chips.

Handy little kitchen tip, use these liners to make slow cooker clean up even easier. They are my FAVORITE.

queso dip on chip above skillet

More Cheesy Appetizers:

More Copycat Recipes:

Copycat Chili's Skillet Queso

Copycat Chili's Skillet Queso

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This copycat Chili's Skillet Queso tastes exactly like the original and takes only minutes to make! With just 5 easy ingredients, you can have this queso ready to serve in 20 minutes. Bonus? It can also be made in a slow cooker!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15oz) can beanless chili
  • 1 cup green salsa, we recommend Trader Joe's Hatch Chile Salsa
  • 12 oz Velveeta, cubed
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Instructions

1. Saute the onions, in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, in 1 tablespoon of butter or oil until soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the garlic and cook one additional minute.

3. Add the remaining ingredients. Heat until the cheese has melted and the dip is warm. Serve with chips.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small slow cooker.

2. Heat on low for 2 hours, or until melted and heated through.

3. Serve with chips.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 873mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g

nutritional information is an estimate

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This copycat Chili's Skillet Queso tastes exactly like the original and takes only minutes to make! With just 5 easy ingredients, you can have this queso ready to serve in 20 minutes. Bonus? It can also be made in a slow cooker!

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