Chili’s Copycat Skillet Queso

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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
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ 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:

Chili's Copycat Skillet Queso

4.5 from 6 votes
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
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounce box Velveeta cheese
  • 1 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 15 ounce can Hormel Chili No Beans
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions
 

  • 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!

Video

Notes

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

Nutrition

Serves: 8

Calories150kcal (8%)Carbohydrates9g (3%)Protein12g (24%)Fat7g (11%)Saturated Fat5g (25%)Cholesterol27mg (9%)Sodium929mg (39%)Potassium267mg (8%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar7g (8%)Vitamin A1201IU (24%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium363mg (36%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword chili queso, queso, skillet queso
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Just made this. It was ok. It’s not quite exactly like Chili’s. Maybe my taste buds are a little more discerning but the Hormel taste was a bit strong. I wish I knew what Chili’s actually used 🙁

  2. So happy I found this recipie! I didn’t use the whole block of velvetta probably about 3/4 of it and I added half of another can of chili. It all depends on your taste preferences. It’s easy to adjust as you go so I would add a little of everything and see how you like it!! It reheats so well too had it again the next day slathered on a hot dog!!! Thanks for the recipie!

  3. Yummy yummy in our tummies! It’s been a few years since I’ve had the Chili’s original but this is just as I remember it. The recipe is terrific. I cooked it on medium low so the velveeta wouldn’t burn. If you’re in a pinch for time, I’m pretty sure you could do this in the microwave. I’d suggest stirring it frequently.

  4. Made this today and both hubby and I thought it was a bit too cheesy. Next time I’ll only use 3/4 of the Velveeta brick. Other than that, it was very tasty and very much like the restaurant’s version!

  5. I just made this and my daughter and I are eating it. It’s really good! Not exactly like Chili’s but close enough. It has a little more heat than the Chili’s version but that is fine with me! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Ok so we went to Chili’s last week and I think their queso isnt as good anymore! My hubby said that he actually likes this version better!

    2. Rebecca – knock it down to 3 or even 2 tsp of chili powder and that will clear up the heat issue. I found a bunch of copycat recipes and the most common variation was how much chili powder to use.

  6. If you put any tortilla chips in the microwave for 1 minute on high for a large bowlful, you’ll be amazed at how fragrant, fresh and crisp they taste!

  7. I love Chili’s queso!!! I used to be waitress at the Chili’s in Cambridge and then London restaurants. We had to learn every single ingredient for every single dish on the menu. I will defiantly want to try and make it myself at home, thanks for the recipe! I just wanted to say that the Chili’s queso definatly had meat in it and your recipe doesn’t! Is this because your vegetarian or did not think it had meat in it?

    1. This is awesome! I’m eating it right now. Turned out just right. Tostito’s recently came out with a chip that is pretty close to the Chili’s chips. It’s Cantina Thin and Crispy or something like that. My husband and I both worked at Chili’s a long time ago. Thanks for this yummy recipe!

  8. Hi, Thank you so much for following my blog. I am now your new follower!! I can’t wait to try the slow cooker beef recipe, looks yummy.

      1. I used a sause pan to start then I poured it all into our skillet and popped in the oven on a low broil for a couple of minutes.
        I find it easier to use the sauce pan for all the mixing

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