Pappasito’s Queso

Pappasito’s Queso is wonderful full-flavored queso. Made with onions, garlic, green chilis, cheese, and fresh tomatoes, it’s perfect for nachos and so much more.

a bowl of copycat cheese queso made with garlic, green chilies, and more

You can make queso in less time than it takes to go to the restaurant.

About Pappasito’s Cantina

You can easily find a Pappasito’s if you live in Texas, although you might be lucky enough to live near one in another location. When you step through the front door of a Pappasito’s Cantina, the sights, scents, and sounds of Pappasito’s hit your senses, and you know you are in for an original and wonderful Tex-Mex dining experience.

Pappasito’s story is a family story. It began with the grandfather, who came to the new world from Greece in 1897. He opened restaurants throughout Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas that were renowned for the quality of their food and service, and he passed these ideals down to his sons and grandsons.

In 1976 his grandsons followed in their grandfather’s footsteps and opened their first Pappasito’s restaurant. A true American family success story.

What Is Queso?

If you are not familiar with Tex-Mex food, queso is a Mexican-inspired side dish or appetizer made with a base of creamy melted cheese. Pizzazz is added to the cheese by the addition of chile peppers, garlic, jalapeños, different kinds of meat, pico de gallo, etc.

It would be fair to say that queso has taken over the world of Tex-Mex and could be regarded as the unofficial dish of Texas. Moreover, queso dip has become so popular it has inspired many other cultures to adopt their own version, for example – kimchi queso.

If you really love queso, you could even take a queso road trip! To inspire you, here’s an article telling you where to find the best queso in each state. And, why not begin your road trip on September 20, National Queso Day!


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • American cheese
  • Whole Milk
  • Canned green chilies
  • Garlic
  • Garlic Salt
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
Pappasito's queso ingredients

How to Make Pappasito’s Queso

  1. Place cheese and milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook and stir until cheese is melted and blended.
  3. Add chilies with liquid, garlic, garlic salt, and onion. Cook and stir until onions are transparent.
  4. Remove from heat and add tomatoes before serving.

If you have fallen in love with queso, below are some more links for you.

homemade cheese queso dip recipe

Love queso? Try these recipes!

Be sure to check out more of my easy Mexican food recipes and the best copycat restaurant recipes here on!

And, I would love to hear about your favorite queso dip – just drop me a line in the comments section. Be sure to follow us on Facebook!

homemade queso made with green chilies, onions, and garlic

Pappasito’s Queso

Make Pappasito’s Queso for a tasty appetizer with this easy copycat recipe. A creamy Mexican cheese dip with chiles, garlic, onion, and tomatoes.
5 from 9 votes
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Pappasito’s Queso, Queso
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 327kcal


  • 1 1/2 pounds American cheese
  • 1/3 cup Whole Milk
  • 4-5 ounces Canned Green Chilies with juice
  • 1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 cup Diced Onion
  • 1/2 cup Diced Ripe Tomatoes (discard seeds)


  • Melt cheese with milk and stir until blended.
  • Add chilies with liquid, garlic, and onion. Cook and stir until onions are transparent.
  • Remove from heat and add tomatoes before serving.


You may want to add additional milk/cream to the queso to make it thinner.  Should you need to reheat this, it is best if you reheat on a stovetop. 


Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 1498mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 850IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 904mg | 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. Taylor Hornbeck

    I followed the directions to a tee. Is it meant to thicken up so quickly? Any suggestions on what I could use to help prevent this issue

  2. Dale

    Hi, I live in Canada and am not sure what American Cheese is. Can someone please explain what kind of cheese to purchase and thank you!

  3. Esther G

    Stephanie, this is great. However it is missing a few ingredients. I used to work there so I can confirm the Land ‘O Lakes cheese. It is definitely the brand they use. However, when they serve it, not only do they top it with tomatoes but they also put cilantro and some kind of cheese (it looks like feta-with that consistency). Any way to find out what that cheese is they top it with?

  4. shelley

    We went to find some White American processed cheese and you can find it at any walmart deli. But just be warned it is very expensive so you may be better off just going to your local mexican restaraunt and buy there premade stuff.

5 from 9 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.