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This Chili’s Copycat Skillet Queso combines smooth Velveeta cheese that melts magically with flavorful chili and Mexican spices in a skillet to pure queso perfection, hands down one of the best copycat recipes EVER!  A super easy appetizer that will disappear faster than it took to make it.

I love being able to be together with loved ones eating our favorites from the comfort and ease of home. Try these favorites for more delish copycats: Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta, Applebee’s White Chocolate Blondies with Maple Cream Sauce, Cheesecake Factory’s The Best Avocado Egg Rolls, and Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

Copycat queso in a black skillet with chips all around.

Chili’s Copycat Skillet Queso

The perfect blend of cheesy goodness and spices makes this recipe is so versatile, you make it all year long and get creative with it. Besides serving it with the standard tortilla chips you can serve it along side or in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, taquitos or any other dish.  Serve it over rice, home fries or a breakfast hash, for a fantastic Mexican twist.  It’s so easy and addictive you’ll be tempted to make it every week.

Leftovers are easily stored in the fridge for a few day. That’s if you have any leftovers. It’s so simple and quick, you may never need to go out and order it again. The spicy goodness is just that easy and just that good.

Skillet Queso Ingredients:

  • Velveeta Cheese: Velveeta is so smooth when it melts, it’s perfect for dipping.
  • Milk: Don’t use a nut milk here, it’ll make the flavor off
  • paprika: Adds flavor and color.
  • cayenne pepper: Decrease or increase according to your tastes.
  • Hormel Chili No Beans: Beans just don’t belong in Queso.
  • Chili Powder: Try Chipotle Chili powder for a smokey kick.
  • Lime Juice: Balances out the spiciness.
  • Cumin: A staple in Mexican cuisine.

How to Make Skillet Queso:

This can be made for any holiday get-together, family gathering or any celebration. When you want to be the hit of the party this Amazing Chili’s Copycat Skillet Queso will do the job. No one can say no to this descendant cheesy goodness.

  1. Cut: Cut up the velveeta into same size cubes for easy melting.
  2. Combine: Combine the cheese and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Stir: Frequently stir util the cheese melts completely.

The process of making copycat queso.

Velveeta Variation: 

Velveeta is by far the best and recommend it for this recipe but for those who don’t like Velveeta you can make a substitute.

  • 3-4 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

In a medium sauce pan bring all the ingredients to a boil stirring constantly, then continue to make the recipe as directed.

Skillet Queso Dipping Variations:

Skillet Queso isn’t just for dipping chips. There are so many things you can try, let your imagination run queso wild.

  • Vegetables- use instead of ranch for carrots, cucumbers, celery, sweet peppers, olives, etc.
  • Bread- A crusty french bread torn into pieces or bread sticks.
  • Pita Bread- Cut into triangles for easy dipping.
  • Flavored Corn Chips- Try Doritos for flavor explosion.

Queso in a black skillet with a chip being dipped in it.

More Amazing Queso Recipes To Try:

Love queso as much as I do then try these below:

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Chili's Copycat Skillet Queso

3.90 from 10 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
This Chili's Copycat Skillet Queso combines smooth Velveeta cheese that melts magically with flavorful chili and Mexican spices in a skillet to pure queso perfection, hands down one of the best copycat recipes EVER!  A super easy appetizer that will disappear faster than it took to make it. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 people



  • Cut the velveeta into cubes
  • Combine the cheese with remaining ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir Frequently until the cheese melts.
  • Enjoy with tortilla chips!



Updated on August 31, 2020
Originally Posted on November 29, 2012


Calories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 12gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 929mgPotassium: 267mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1201IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 363mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. We used to order this dish at Chili’s in Texas. After moving to Oregon, unfortunately they don’t have a Chili’s and sure don’t have Texas cuisine. I decided to try this recipe as I miss Texas food so much!!
    I didn’t use any milk, replaced paprika with a little more Cayenne and left lime juice out. I melted in saucepan, as directed but then poured in a small cast iron skillet and put I. Oven at 425 for about 10 minutes. Served with warm tortilla chips…Perfection!!! I almost thought I was back in Texas. Thank you for a great recipe!

  2. 1 star
    So I have been using your ORIGINAL recipe every holiday season for years now. This year I got asked to make it again; only to realize you have made changes to your recipe here. I would like to request that you post the original recipe along side your updated recipe so your fans can choose which one they prefer. I am no way a cook but can follow a recipe… Needless to say my heart broke when I learned that this update isn’t for us, and I have no clue how to fix it.

    1. Hello! This recipe hasn’t been changed and should be the same one you used in the past. I hope you have a Happy New Year! Thanks so much for following along!

    1. agreed. Also something about the cumin makes it disgusting. I bought chili’s and tasted next to this side by side and it was very different.

  3. 4 stars
    I’ve made this 3 times now and it’s been a winner for my summer pool gatherings. I cut back on the valveeta because it was too valveeta-y for my taste. I now make it with 12 oz instead of the full 16 and it’s right on the money! I have also omitted the cayenne for my more sensitive guests lol but was still really good!!! Thank you for this awesome addition to my appetizer repertoire!!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made this as is and brought it to a party – everyone called it crack dip! I just made it again but wanted to be a bit healthier so used 2% velveeta, TURKEY chili (no beans) and oat milk. Absolutely fantastic! Might not be the same dupe as the original recipe but it also saves several hundred calories and fat! Either way, delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    I cannot thank you enough for this recipe. I have been having such wild pregnancy cravings for this skillet queso dip but my hubby and I aren’t eating out because of the pandemic, plus there isn’t a Chili’s near enough to even justify getting the food to go. The cravings, however, would not listen to reason. I found this recipe and life was good until I discovered that Velveeta is just about impossible to come by right now. It took almost a month of trying and many false leads, but I just satisfied that craving… at least for a few hours. It was sheer paradise. I think it might even be better than what we would have had in the restaurant because our chips were sturdier and didn’t break in the dip! Thank you so much. You have made this pregnant woman very happy!