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Amazing Cafe Rio Queso Copycat

This 10 minute queso is a Cafe Rio Copycat recipe and will be your new favorite! It can be made on the stovetop, oven, microwave or slow cooker!

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, southwest
Keyword Cheese, dip, Mexican, queso, southwest
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8


Please read all recipe notes before making queso!

  • 16 oz Queso Blanco Velveeta, cut into cubes see recipe notes for substitutions
  • 1/2 cup Rotel original or hot (with habanero) OR 1/2 cup pico
  • 1/4 cup green chili sauce- mild, medium or hot
  • 1/3 cup red enchilada sauce- regular or hot
  • 2 tablespoons Coke, Diet Coke, or Dr Pepper to thin if needed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine*
  • 3 stems green onion, chopped green and white portions*


  1. Place cubed cheese in a 2 quart pan on stove top.

  2. Add the Rotel or pico, green chile sauce, and red enchilada sauce. Stir ingredients together over medium heat until the cheese is melted.

  3. Add the chopped green onion and cilantro to the mixture in the pan. Mix with a large spatula or spoon.

  4. Add the soda to the queso and stir to thin. Serve while warm with tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

  • The heat level in queso can be adjusted easily according to your preference. If you love a lot of heat, I recommend using Rotel HOT. I like Rotel MEDIUM  best for this recipe. Just a bit of heat, but not too hot for young kids! 
  • For testing purposes I used Rosarita red enchilada sauce and  for the green sauce: Herdez "Salsa Verde mild" or San Antonio Farms "Tomatillo & Hatch Chile" salsa verde. Most of the heat in this recipe comes from the Rotel, not the sauces. 
  • If the dip tastes too salty (sometimes this happens with certain brands of enchilada sauce and green chili sauce) I add 2 tablespoons of sour cream to the queso and heat until bubbly!
  • This recipe may be made up to 5 days before serving. When making ahead, do not add cilantro and green onion until the day of serving. 
  • I use a teflon pan for melting the cheese for easy cleanup.
  • If you like your dip super smooth, use an immersion blender and pulse in the pan after the queso is prepared. 
  • See recipe post for oven, slow cooker and microwave instructions.