How to Make Queso Fundido - The Billionaire Mexican Cheese Dip by Cleo Coyle

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To my American ear, fundido sounds a little like an advertising slogan invented by a group of Mad Men trying to sell tortilla snack chips. "Party with our queso fundido. It’s fun, fun, fun!" 
Cleo Coyle, who sees
the fun in fundido,
is author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries

The truth is, fundido in Spanish means melted; consequently, queso fundido means melted cheese, and if you’ve sampled it, then you may agree it’s about the best cheese dip on the planet. That's why we included it in the recipe section of one of our most popular Coffeehouse Mysteries Billionaire Blend (first edition published December 2013).
To download this recipe 
as a free PDF, click here

Originally served in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern US, queso fundido has culinary roots that take it back to campfire eating. The recipe in this blog post is the version my husband (and partner in crime writing) and I enjoy. We hope you do, too. 

Eat with fundido joy!
~ Cleo 

To download our recipe now
as a free PDF, 
click here.

To see our recipe in blog post form,
click here or on the Read More link below.

Cleo Coyle's 
Queso Fundido
("Melted Cheese" Dip)

Traditionally presented while still bubbling hot, queso fundido is sometimes served flambé in restaurants. They'll add a flammable alcohol and light 'er up. My husband and I prefer the broiler method of finishing this dish, which is much easier—and you don’t need to have a fire extinguisher on hand.

As for the ingredients, some cooks splash in tequila, but our Hispanic neighbors here in Queens, New York, believe cerveza is the way to go, and we do, too. That's why we’ve gone with beer in our recipe, an ingredient which should be easy to find as we approach cookout season.


Finally, our recipe makes it optional to add chorizo (or your favorite sausage). We prefer this dish without meat. However, if you decide to add it, we have a warning. While some recipes direct you to cook the chorizo in the same pan in which you cook the veggies and melt the cheese, we find that creates a very greasy dip. We like our method...

Slice open the chorizo (or sausage) casing, cook the meat (mashing it with a fork while heating until it looks like ground meat), drain the fat, and sprinkle it over this dish before the final broil. This method will give you an ooey-gooey, cheesy pool of fundido flavor without the grease!
Click here for
the free PDF.

Cleo Coyle
Queso Fundido


1 plum tomato, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped 
  (For more options on peppers, see the
   note at the end of this recipe.)

1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Dash of black pepper
1/2 cup Corona or another pale lager beer (Never measure the foamy,
      white head when using beer in a recipe; allow the beer to settle first.)     
6 ounces Monterey Jack, roughly chunked
6 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, roughly chunked
Tortilla chips 
(optional topping) chorizo or your favorite sausage 

Variation: For white cheddar dip, replace the extra sharp cheddar with 6 ounces of Queso Blanco

Cheese note: Do not use pre-shredded cheese for this recipe (the kind found bagged and hanging in most grocery stores—did you know it has wood pulp in it? Read more about that here). The coating prevents it from melting as nicely as pure block cheese. 

Step 1 – Rough chop the cheeses: Break your block cheese into 1-inch pieces. (See my photo below.) Set the cheese aside.

Step 2 – Prep the veggies: Chop your tomato, onion, and jalapeno pepper. I recommend using only the green part of the jalapeno in this dip, discarding the seeds and the white membrane, which hold more heat than flavor. (For advice on working with jalapenos and suggestions on other peppers you might prefer to use in this dish, depending on your taste, see my notes at the end of the recipe.)

Step 3 – Cook the veggies: Toss the vegetables into a nonstick, oven-safe saucepan, or a well-oiled, cast iron saucepan and cook over medium heat. Sauté all the veggies until the onions are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. 

(Note: If you do not have an oven-safe pan, no worries. Just note that in Step 6 of this recipe, you will need to transfer the dip to a casserole dish, a pie plate, a cake pan, or some other oven-proof container before placing it under a broiler and serving. In all cases, be sure to grease the pans with oil to prevent the cheese from sticking.)

Step 4 – Simmer: When the veggies are soft, add the oregano, salt, and pepper to the saucepan. Then add the 1/2 cup of beer (do not measure the white head, wait until the beer settles before measuring) and heat the mixture to simmering, stirring occasionally and scraping browned bits that may stick to the pan. Let simmer 3 to 5 minutes, or until half the liquid evaporates.

Step 5 – Add the cheeses: Do not add all at once. Add your chunks, a handful at a time, while stirring vigorously. Allow each addition to melt and the mixture to become blended and smooth before adding more. 
When all the cheese is added, melted, and blended, you're ready to finish. 

If you'd like to add chorizo, sausage or bacon bits, now is the time (for directions on how, see my note at the end).

In this photo, I'm transferring the dip
 from my skillet to a small, well-oiled
cast iron pan. The next step is
broiling the top before serving.
Step 6 - Finish under broiler: With the cheese melted and blended, you can now finish by...

A. Broiling the top for 2 to 5 minutes and serving in the same pan in which you cooked it or...

B. Transfer the dip to another serving container (a casserole dish, pie plate, or cake pan) before broiling. Whatever pan or dish you use, be sure the container is safe to place in your oven and well-oiled to prevent sticking. 

Broil the cheese dip until the top just begins to go golden brown--about 2 to 5 minutes (see my photos below for appearance)--and serve it immediately, bubbly and hot.

Serving tips and notes on chorizo: Use tortilla chips for dipping. You may also wish to garnish the finished fundido with cooked chorizo, sausage, or bacon bits. For the chorizo or sausage, slice open the casings, and cook the meat inside, mashing with a fork until it resembles ground meat. Drain and sprinkle it on top of the queso fundido before it goes under the broiler.

How to Reheat: Just warm the fundido over medium heat; stirring until melted and bubbly once again. 

Pepper options: Jalapeno is our favorite pepper for this dip. If you’d like zero heat, go for a bell pepper. For milder heat than a jalapeno, use a banana, cherry, or poblano pepper. For more heat than a jalapeno, try a fresh Serrano, or sprinkle in some dried cayenne. Suicidal heat? Try a Thai chili, Scotch bonnet, or habanero. To see a visual guide to common chili peppers, click here, along with their heat rating on the Scoville scale. 

Pepper safety: As many of you know already, take care when cutting jalapenos or any hot pepper. The capsaicin in the peppers can burn skin. If you a tiny scratch or winter-chapped skin, the burn can be painful. Should you absently touch your nose, lips, or your eyes while cutting hot peppers, you will surely regret it (ask me how I know). Use latex gloves to protect chapped hands; otherwise, work with care. 

Where can I get those adorable baby skillets?

I'll tell you! These are Lodge brand (6-1/2 inch size) cast iron pans. I love these little skillets. For more info or to purchase for yourself, click here.

For the free PDF
of this recipe,

click here, and...

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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