Chile con queso (Spanish for "chile with cheese") is an appetizer that is served in Tex-Mex restaurants.
Chile con queso (also spelled chili con queso) is a part of Tex Mex
and Southwestern cuisine
, originated in Texas. Chile con queso is predominantly found on the menus in Tex-Mex restaurants across Texas. However, authentic Texas style chile con queso has been found as far east as Washington, DC
and as far west as Phoenix, Arizona
and as far north as Alaska
Chile con queso should not be confused with nachos
, nacho cheese, queso fundido or queso flameado
. While nachos
are sold in concession stands at movie theatres and sporting events across the United States, chile con queso is generally found in Tex-Mex restaurants.
Mexican restaurants in California and other states may serve queso flameado or queso fundido as an appetizer. These are authentic Mexican dishes, and they differ in consistency. Yellow cheeses are generally used in Tex-Mex style chile con queso. However, white cheeses may also be used (Asadero, Oaxaca, Chihuahua), and blended with cream or half-and-half during cooking.
Chile con queso, the appetizer
Chile con queso, similar to cheese fondue
, is a sauce used for dipping that consists of a blend of cheeses, cream, and chili peppers melted into a smooth, creamy sauce.
Chili con queso can be eaten with tortilla chips, or special queso chips which are thicker than regular tortilla chips. It can also be used as a condiment on fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, or any other Tex-Mex dish.
Chile con queso is a warm dish, heated to a desired temperature.
Tex-Mex restaurants usually offer tortilla chips and salsa as an appetizers, free of charge. Chile con queso is usually offered for an additional charge. It can be made with various cheeses. Usually it is white or yellow in color.
Chile con queso is called "queso" by Texans. It should not be confused with "cheese dip," an inaccurate colloquialism used by people unfamiliar with Tex-Mex cuisine.
New Mexican Style
New Mexican chile con queso often includes either green or red chiles, and is made without tomatoes.