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6 Easy Ways To Thicken Homemade Queso Cheese Dip

Homemade queso cheese dip is one of my favorite snacks and party foods. When I was a high school librarian, there were many Christmas and end-of-year parties where my crockpot full of homemade queso cheese dip was the star of the show. If it was too thin, there were a few things I could do to thicken it.

Depending on the type of liquid used to prepare the dip, there are at least 6 easy ways to thicken homemade queso cheese dip: (1) with a cornstarch slurry, (2) with a roux, (3) by adding more Velveeta cheese, (4) by reducing by cooking longer, (5) by adding other dairy products, and (6) by adding egg yolks.

If your homemade queso cheese dip should become too thin because you forgot to drain the Rotel well before adding it or you were thinning it with milk or beer for extra flavor, then try using one or more of the following methods of thickening the dip.

1. Add A Cornstarch Slurry

Thickening queso cheese dip by adding cornstarch is an excellent and easy method of thickening that too-thin dip, which involves making a slurry of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of milk, mixing it well, and adding it to the pot of dip.

Heat the dip over medium heat to activate the cornstarch slurry, which will thicken the dip. Keep in mind that cornstarch must be cooked to 95 degrees to thicken at which time the cornstarch slurry turns from opaque to transparent. 

Even though a cornstarch slurry could possibly affect the flavor of the dip should you use too much of the slurry, the change should not be significant.

Here is a video I did on making a cornstarch slurry:

Pro Tip: Be sure to combine the cornstarch and milk or other cool liquid together with a whisk to make a smooth slurry which will combine more easily with the dip in the pot.

2. Add a Roux

Thickening queso cheese dip by adding a roux is another excellent method to use if your dip is too thin. This is similar to making a cornstarch slurry but with a few extra steps. However, adding a large amount of roux to the dip could alter the taste. 

  1. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet or pan.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of flour and stir well to make a paste or roux. Add extra butter if the paste is too dry.
  3. Add a small amount of milk (1/4th cup) slowly to the roux, stirring or whisking constantly and thoroughly, until the roux is smooth.
  4. Add a tablespoon of the cheese dip to the roux at a time, stirring or whisking constantly.
  5. After you have added approximately one cup of cheese dip to the roux and the roux has been completely incorporated into the dip, add the cheese dip containing the roux back to the pot of cheese dip and stir completely. 
  6. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the pot of dip has thickened.

My article on making a roux includes several options for making a roux without flour.

Note: These ingredients can be halved or doubled, depending on how much queso cheese dip needs thickening.

3. Add More Velveeta Cheese

The best method of thickening queso cheese dip that is too thin is by adding more Velveeta cheese. This method will not change the taste of the dip and will only increase the amount of dip that you have.

Simply drop cubes of Velveeta into the pot of dip that you have simmering over low to medium heat and occasionally stir as the cheese melts. As the cheese melts, the dip should thicken. Continue adding Velveeta cheese cubes, a few at a time, and allow them to melt until the desired consistency is achieved.

4. Reduce By Cooking Longer

One easy method of thickening homemade queso cheese dip is by simmering until the liquid in the dip is reduced by evaporation. Simply pour the dip into a saucepan and put it on the stovetop over low heat so that the dip will simmer. Stir regularly so that the dip will not stick to the bottom of the saucepan and scorch or burn.

If using this method to reduce and thicken queso cheese dip that is too runny, be sure that the heat is low enough under the saucepan so that it doesn’t come to a boil. Boiling the cheese dip could cause the dairy to separate and change the texture of the dip, making it inedible.

5. Add Dairy

Homemade queso cheese dip that is too thin can also be thickened by adding two or three tablespoons of some type of dairy. Some examples of the kinds of dairy that could thicken cheese dip are sour cream, heavy cream, or plain yogurt.

To thicken cheese dip by adding dairy, simply add a tablespoon at the time of one of the dairy products mentioned here and stir. Repeat this process until the dip has reached the correct consistency.

6. Add Egg Yolks

The fastest way to thicken homemade queso cheese dip if you are short on time is by adding egg yolks. Just follow these steps to thicken queso dip quickly by adding egg yolks:

  1. Heat queso cheese dip in a heavy boiler or saucepan while stirring often to prevent burning.
  2. Separate an egg, discard or save the whites to use in another recipe, and beat the yolk slightly by using a fork or a whisk.
  3. Add the beaten egg yolk into the cheese dip, stirring well to incorporate the egg completely into the dip.
  4. Continue cooking the dip after adding the egg yolk to allow the yolk’s high protein content to thicken the dip while cooking the egg to avoid using raw egg in the dip and rendering it safe from possible contamination from salmonella.

What Causes Runny Queso Dip?

Queso Blanco on a Plate With Tortilla Chips

The primary reason queso cheese dip can become runny is if some of the ingredients contain too much liquid. For example, I once forgot to drain the can of Rotel tomatoes before adding them to the cheese, which made the dip a little runny. In that situation, I allowed the dip to simmer long enough for the extra moisture to evaporate, and it worked very well.

How To Fix Homemade Queso Cheese Dip That Is Too Thick?

Thinning queso cheese dip that is too thick is a much more simple process than thickening dip that is too thin. All you have to do is pour the cheese dip into a saucepan, add a small amount of the liquid of your choice, milk, broth, or wine, to the dip, and heat while stirring well. Continue adding a small amount of the liquid at a time and stirring well until the desired consistency is reached.

Can Queso Cheese Dip Be Frozen?

If queso cheese dip is frozen, after being thawed, it will separate and can become grainy, mushy, and watery. However, the good news is that cheese dip will last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 

Take a look at this article that I wrote that will give you more information on storing homemade queso cheese dip and various ways it can be used if you have more than you need.

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

Jelly Grandma

For more, check out How Long Does Queso Last?