Chile Con Queso

Chile Con Queso

11 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2009

Our healthier version of chile con queso will have ooey-gooey-cheese lovers celebrating. Now you can enjoy this Tex-Mex dip without all the fat and calories. We replaced some of the cheese with a low-fat white sauce and used sharp Cheddar plus a splash of beer to boost the flavor. Our version cuts the calories in half and reduces total fat and saturated fat by nearly 60 percent.

Ingredients 16 servings

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Original recipe yields 16 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup pale ale, or other light-colored beer
  • 1½ cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1¾ cups shredded sharp Cheddar, preferably orange
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, (see Note), drained, or 1¼ cups drained petite-diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ½ cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring vigorously, until bubbling and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in drained tomatoes, lime juice, salt, chili powder and cayenne (if using). Serve warm, garnished with scallions and cilantro.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Slowly reheat on the stove over medium heat or on Medium in the microwave.
  • Note: We like the flavor of Rotel brand diced tomatoes with green chiles the best in this dip. Choose original or mild, depending on your spice preference.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: ¼ cup
  • Per serving: 84 calories; 5 g fat(3 g sat); 0 g fiber; 5 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 7 mcg folate; 14 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 243 IU vitamin A; 2 mg vitamin C; 116 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 319 mg sodium; 66 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: ½ high fat meat

Reviews 11

April 15, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Substitute for beer? We have beer allergies here - any suggestions for what to use in place of beer? I know we could leave it out but was hoping for something to add to the taste...
February 03, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Awesome queso dip I had no problems with this dip what so ever. I made homemade chips and my kids loved it. It was a nice thick cheesy dip. I used all 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, no issues using all 3 tablespoons and I had no cornstarch taste with the dip. Didn't have pale ale on hand so I used a lager and 3/4 colby cheese and 1 cup sharp cheddar. I didn't add cilantro or scallions cause I didn't have any. This was an excellent fast dip. I can't wait to make this in canada when I can get my hands on some molson stock ale! Pros: fast quick and easy
December 07, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Nothing special, wouldn't make again. I made this dip for a potluck. I wish I had done a trial-run, because I didn't like it at all. It tasted pretty bland, even with the spices, onion, and Rotel. My friends asked if there were potatoes in it, if that gives you an idea of the consistency/flavor. It made a pretty big batch (about 4 cups), and less than 1 cup of this was eaten by a group of 20 people. I hate to say it, but the calorie-cutting was NOT worth it here, and I won't be making this again. Pros: Quick and easy to make, standard ingredients Cons: Weird consistency, flavors don't mesh well
October 26, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
For mexican food lovers, this is a GREAT queso recipe!! I was looking forward to making this all week and it met my expectations and beyond! Definitely didn't have an issue with the cornstarch like others did and used exactly the amount it called for. THIS WAS SOOOO SO GOOD! Has a really nice beer cheese taste to it but also has the mexican chile kick. And not too bad for calories a 1/4 cup is a lot more than you think! I had two servings and dipped vienna bread in it and loved it! Make sure to use a good pale ale. Also, I love cilantro and green onions so it tasted great in this queso, for those who don't like my boyfriend, I'd leave that out. Will make this again for sure!
September 23, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Like restaurant queso! I really liked this healthier version of queso. I disagree with the review that said there is too much cornstarch. You can't taste it like they said. I saved the Rotel liquid to thin it out a bit if needed & did use a little of it, but not much. My husband even liked it. He doesn't usually like the healthier version of anything! :). I topped my serving with fresh cilantro & it was great! I will make this again. Pros: Lower fat, less calories
June 22, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Adjusted for WW Pointsplus I
March 23, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Adjusted ingedients It had good flavor hiding underneath the beer and the corn starch. The 3 tablespoons of corn starch was overkill. It left it with a chalky aftertaste. And so much of it was not needed. It can be made without the beer and still tastes awesome. I added the scallions and cilantro into the dip instead of serving fresh on the top and then added 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper and it was great! Pros: Easy to make Cons: WAY too much corn starch
February 05, 2012
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By: annaconforti
Better than store bought. This dip was a hit in our house! The teenage boys did not even know it was low calorie until I spilled the beans. I was told it could be a little thicker, so next time I will add another 1/2 tsp of cornstarch. Otherwise, it was perfect for super bowl sunday. Pros: less calories, cheesy and flavorful Cons: could be a little thicker with a little more cornstarch
January 21, 2011
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By: brocker1413
Wonderful Flavor I loved the hint of beer taste in the cheese. I made as directed and moved the cheese to a mini crock pot to keep it warm for New Years Eve. The next day I heated it up slowly in the same crock pot. De-Lish!
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