Easy Copycat Monterey’s Little Mexico Queso

Monterey’s Little Mexico Queso is unique, packed full of cheese, green chilies, celery, and onion, it offers so much more than ordinary queso, you can’t pass this one by!

Queso with cheese, chilies, celery, and onions

I don’t think anyone should go into a Tex Mex restaurant and pass on the queso dip. Monterey’s Tex Mex is a chain and it looks like they have changed their name to Monterey’s Little Mexico. Whatever the restaurant’s name, there are few things that I enjoy more than Monterey’s Tex Mex Queso.

This is wonderfully mild queso that is tasty with tortilla chips, or even spread on a crisp corn tortilla as a side dish. This queso dip is delicious, and the onions and celery add a nice touch.

What does Queso mean?

Queso is the Spanish word for cheese. However, you get more than cheese when you see this gooey and spicy delight on the menu at a Tex-Mex restaurant.

Queso is the shortened form of chile con queso, which translates to chile with cheese. This Tex-Mex appetizer is a cheese dip recipe, but it should not be restricted to just dipping; it also goes well over burritos, fajitas, nachos, tacos, and even grilled chicken.

Type of cheese to use to make Queso

I had forever been stumped on finding the right cheese to make the cheese dip recipe that is familiar in so many Tex Mex restaurants. In this queso dip recipe, we use American Cheese. Not Cheddar, not Monterey Jack, but the good-melting American cheese that you can buy in the deli at your local grocery store. With American cheese, you get a cheese that melts quickly and can be reheated easily.

Ingredients for Monterey’s Little Mexico Queso, American cheese, celery, chilies, and more

This recipe calls for Anaheim or hatch chile peppers.

Anaheim or Hatch Peppers

Anaheim peppers (or California peppers) are called chile verde del norte in Mexico since they belong to the northern part of the country. Anaheim is also one of the most common chile peppers in the southwestern United States.

These long, vividly green chiles have been cultivated in California to be milder, in order not to overwhelm the tastebuds of the norteamericanos. However, although these green chiles are some of the mildest you can find, they can still vary in the level of heat they add to a dish.

Hatch peppers are very similar in appearance to Anaheim peppers, but they are much, much hotter. These premium green chiles are grown in the small town of Hatch, New Mexico. Every Labor Day weekend, there is a Hatch Valley Chile Festival when approximately 30,000 people descend on the little town to buy and eat these delicious hot peppers.

Get more queso recipes!

Here are some more copykat queso recipes for you. And, let me know what is your favorite dish served in Tex Mex Restaurants. I love hearing what my readers most like to eat.
Applebees Queso Blanco
Best Ever White Queso

Chili’s Skillet Queso – Make it in your slow cooker
Pappasito’s Queso

cheese queso made with chilies, onions and more

Can’t enough recipes like Monterey’s Little Mexico Queso? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and get your favorite recipes all of the time.

Queso with cheese, chilies, celery, and onions

Monterey’s Tex Mex Queso

You can recreate Monterey's Tex Mex Queso at home. 
4.5 from 2 votes
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Cheese Recipes, Monterey's Tex Mex, Queso
Servings: 9
Calories: 226kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 large green peppers such as anaheim or hatch peppers, diced fine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound American cheese
  • 1/3 cup milk

Instructions

  • The real secret to a flavorful queso is sauteeing your vegetables until they are cooked almost all of the way through, you want there to be a touch of crunch when you begin to add in your American cheese. 
  • Place the chopped onion, thinly sliced celery and diced peppers in a saute pan over medium heat, add the two tablespoons of butter, and saute until the onions are translucent. In a medium pot add American cheese, sauteed vegetables, and milk. Heat on a low to a medium heat until the cheese is melted. 

Nutrition

Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 874mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 30.1mg | Calcium: 545mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie

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 CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. PAM D'OLYMPIO

    I HAVE NOW LIVED IN SOUTHERN CA FOR 6 YRS AND CAN NOT FINE A MEXICAN RESTAURANT THAT HAS QUESO DIP ON THE MENU. I THINK IT’S PROBABLY NOT A MEXICAN DISH BUT IF THE CUSTOMERS WANT IT…..?

  2. Philip

    Here’s how I’ve modified this recipe through the years. 13 oz of water . Two and a half pounds of American bulk cheese. the cheese cannot have calcium added . I use the bulk sliced American cheese from Sam’s Costco Orlando lakes if you’re lucky to get that. Vegetables. One cup of pureed green bell pepper one cup of pureed celery. Onion 1 and 1/2 to 1 and 3/4 of white onion . A quarter cup of jar jalapenos must be Jarred in order for this to work. Use liquid measurements. Put that all in a pot and get it to a rolling boil. Once it is at a rolling boil for a couple minutes start adding the cheese. The taste that everybody is looking for you cannot ever get because is the name of the cheese used originally in it I cannot remember to save me but I have never been able to find it. if you make this exact recipe with pepper jack cheese to get a lovely presentation cheese that will clean to the product made and look beautiful

  3. Sandy Windham

    HELP!!! I’m having a hard time finding fresh hatch or anaheim chilies. Will canned work? Will diced canned work and if so how much (i.e. 1/4th cup)?

  4. TiffanyD

    5 stars
    I made this to the letter, and it is perfect. It’s as close as you can get to Monterrey’s cheese and the family was ecstatic. I used the fresh sliced Boar’s Head American cheese from the deli and diced up fresh Anaheim peppers, along with the yellow onion and chopped celery. Perfection! I’m so happy, as I hate the velveeta version of chile con Queso.

  5. Lexi

    I once asked what kind of cheese they used the woman told us they use Land O Lakes cheese. I have found it at the deli counter at walmart in like the big blocks. It tastes pretty close

  6. Chrystal

    4 stars
    Montereys, is a favorite and since we moved away itis one of the things we miss the most. so my comments on this recipe is, Its very close.

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