The Best Ever Copycat Applebees Queso Blanco

Applebees Queso Blanco is a favorite appetizer of so many. This Southwestern cheese dip is smooth, creamy, and has just a little bit of spice.

Homemade Applebees Queso Blanco and tortilla chips on a platter.

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What is Queso Blanco?

White Queso dips or queso blanco may at first seem like a mystery, I promise, it isn’t. I don’t know why, but the white queso seems to be very perplexing.

Queso Blanco is simply a white cheese dip or sauce with Mexican flavors. Applebee’s version is made with fresh jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro.

What Makes this Queso Blanco Recipe the Best

What makes this Applebees queso Blanco dip copycat recipe special is that we are using fresh onions, jalapenos, and tomatoes to give this queso its added flavor. Nothing is canned, but this queso has its spice from fresh jalapenos.

Queso Blanco Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need to make queso blanco dip:

  • Jalapeno pepper
  • White onion
  • Vegetable oil
  • White American cheese
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • Half and half
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh cilantro

About American Cheese for Dips and Sauces

Many of the cheese sauces you find in restaurants have American cheese as their base. Before you recoil in horror, consider that American cheese has its place. Quite honestly it does a fantastic job of melting and making cheese sauces.

You may not have known it comes in the very familiar yellow variety, but it also comes in the white variety, and it is the base of this cheese sauce. A quick trip to the deli and you will be in the queso-making business.

How to Make Applebee’s Queso Blanco

  1. Place vegetable oil, chopped jalapeno, and chopped onion in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Sauté onion and jalapeno until the onion becomes translucent.
  3. Cut both cheeses into 1-inch cubes.
  4. Add the cheeses and half and half to the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and half of the cilantro.
  6. Garnish the queso with cilantro and chopped jalapenos.

Recipe Notes and Tips

You may want to wear gloves when working with fresh jalapeno peppers because they can burn your fingers. Also, be careful not to touch your eyes.

If you like your queso hot you can add more chopped jalapenos. You could also not seed them and get a little more of that spice.

What to Serve with Queso Blanco

Serve this dip with corn chips, but honestly, I think this queso would taste great spooned over enchiladas, or even served over fresh chimichangas.

When serving queso at a party I like to put mine in a Fondue Pot. This way the queso stays nice and warm the whole time.

Homemade Applebees Queso Blanco and chips on a platter.

Looking for more Applebees Copycat Recipes? Be sure to check out these copycat Applebees recipes

More Tasty Dip Recipes

Take a look at even more of the best appetizer recipes and easy dips to make at home.

Applebees Queso Blanco dip in a bowl and tortilla chips on a platter.

Applebees Queso Blanco

You can recreate Applebees Queso Blanco at home. 
5 from 5 votes
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Applebees Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 295kcal


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper finely minced, core and remove seeds if you don’t like heat
  • 1/3 cup white onion finely chopped
  • 1 pound white American cheese
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup half and half milk
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped


  • In a medium-sized pot over low – medium heat add vegetable oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper, and white onion.
  • Saute onion and peppers until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Chop cheese into large pieces, add all cheeses and half and half. Reduce heat to low and stir the cheese so it melts.
  • When all of the cheese has melted add the fresh tomatoes, stir the tomatoes in. Stir in half of the cilantro. Just before serving garnish the queso with remaining cilantro and chopped jalapenos.



Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 884mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 680IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 657mg | Iron: 0.5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Kelli

    Hello Stephanie, I just came across your copy cat recipes and soooooo hope you can help me.
    My boyfriend and I were at Disneyland in March and stopped to eat at the Splitsville restaurant in Downtown Disney.
    We just loved their loaded fries especially the white Queso Blanco sauce that was on these fries. Is there a recipe you have for them ?
    I can’t stop thinking of the sauce ! Thanks, Kelli

    • Stephanie

      Thank you for your note. I am sorry I haven’t tried this one. I would base the queso you loved off of this one. If it is a white queso the base is likely an American White cheese. Land o Lakes is a very popular foodservice brand. I don’t know how it was spiced. All available recipes are currently online.

  2. Dolly

    Stefanie this queso sounds fabulous. I
    Absolutely love the white queso that qudoba serves. Are these two sauces the same ?

  3. Jill Bolster

    This is one of my husbands favorites! I can’t wait to try this!!! Thank you so much! Keep the recipes coming!

  4. MissMusey

    Hi! I just stumbled on your website recently and have been working my way through the recipes. My husband loves Applebees’ Pretzel and Beer Cheese app. Any plans on crafting that one?

    • Darrel Weber

      Applebee’s uses this White Queso dip and adds granulated garlic and a little pepper, Shock Top beer, and shredded cheddar cheese it thicken it up again. (from the beer you added). Amounts? Don’t remember.

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