Imagine diving into a bowl of creamy, dreamy Queso Dip Mac and Cheese. This recipe is a delicious mashup that brings together the cheesy goodness of queso dip with the comforting embrace of classic mac and cheese.
It’s like a party in every bite, where the bold, zesty flavors of queso perfectly complement the familiar, hearty taste of macaroni and cheese. This dish isn’t just a meal; it’s a celebration of flavors that will have everyone asking for seconds.
What makes this Queso Dip Mac and Cheese so special is its ability to combine two crowd favorites into one incredible dish. The creamy texture and the hint of spice create a perfect balance, making it an ideal dish for both cozy family dinners and lively gatherings with friends.
What’s in Queso Dip Mac and Cheese
At the heart of this Queso Dip Mac and Cheese is the glorious cheese duo – sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack. These are melted into a rich, creamy béchamel sauce, giving the dish its luxurious texture.
The spices are the real game-changer here, with cumin and chili powder bringing that classic queso kick. It’s this combination of cream cheese and warm spices that takes the dish from good to unforgettable.
Variations and Substitutions
Gettin’ cheesy: Crave a bit more heat? Toss in some diced jalapeños or a splash of your favorite hot sauce.
Gluten-free: Swap out the regular pasta for your favorite gluten-free variety.
Make it lighter: To lighten things up, opt for low-fat milk and cheeses, and you’re all set.
Top Tips for Queso Dip Mac and Cheese
- Whatever you do, don’t skip the American cheese. It melts and doesn’t curdle.
- Grating your cheese fresh off the block can make all the difference in melting it down to that oh-so-creamy consistency.
- Spice it up or tone it down – adjust the cumin and chili powder to suit your heat preference.
- If you are not serving the queso dip mac and cheese right away, keep the queso on warm, and then add the pasta into the slow cooker right before serving.
Storage + Freezer Directions
Queso Dip Mac and Cheese keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you want to save some for later, just freeze it in a suitable container, and it’ll be good for a couple of months. Thaw it in the fridge, then reheat it for a quick and easy meal.
To reheat this queso dip mac and cheese after the noodles have been added, add the noodles to a saucepan with a bit of heavy cream. Heat on low stirring often until all is combined and warm.
What to Serve with Queso Dip Mac and Cheese
Our sister site, Fit Foodie Finds, has plenty of tasty sides to pair with this queso dip mac and cheese. Here are some of our favorites:
Balance the richness with a light, zesty salad like this Apple Burrata Salad. Or, pair it with grilled veggies like this Grilled Cauliflower, Easy Grilled Asparagus in Foil, or these beautiful Rainbow Grilled Vegetables!
For a wholesome meal. It’s also a fantastic side to grilled meats, including this Juicy Grilled Chicken, adding a cheesy twist to your barbecue nights.
Queso Dip Mac and Cheese
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 16 oz. American cheese cut into pieces*
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 16 oz. salsa any kind
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 16 oz. uncooked pasta
- First, spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
- Then, whisk cornstarch into the milk until it dissolves. Pour into the slow cooker and then add the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix everything together and then cover the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 1.5 to 2 hours stirring every 15-30 minutes to be sure the edges don’t burn. We recommend NOT cooking this on high as it can easily burn.
- When there is about 15 minutes left of cook time bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta to the boiling water.
- Add the pasta to the water and then cook until the pasta is al dente.
- Strain the water from the pasta and set the pasta aside.
- Finally, when all the cheese is melted and smooth, stir and turn the slow cooker to warm.
- Add the pasta to the slow cooker and stir until all of the pasta is covered in the queso.
- Serve with scoop of salsa or guacamole on top.