Carlos O’Kelly’s Queso Recipe — If you’re a fan of Mexican-inspired cuisine, you’ve likely heard of Carlos O’Kelly’s, a popular restaurant chain known for its delicious Tex-Mex offerings. One of the standout items on their menu is their mouthwatering queso dip.
But what if we told you that you can recreate that cheesy goodness in the comfort of your own kitchen? Today, we’re sharing the secret Carlos O’Kelly’s Queso Recipe so you can enjoy this creamy, cheesy dip whenever possible.
What Is Carlos O’Kelly’s
Carlos O’Kelly’s is a chain of Mexican-American restaurants in the United States. It’s known for serving Tex-Mex cuisine, which combines elements of Mexican and American Southwestern culinary traditions. Carlos O’Kelly’s offers a menu that includes dishes like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, and various appetizers, along with a range of margaritas and other beverages.
The restaurant chain has locations in several states and is known for its casual and family-friendly dining atmosphere.
It’s a popular choice for those who enjoy Mexican-inspired dishes and flavors in a relaxed setting. Please note that the availability of Carlos O’Kelly’s restaurants may vary by location, and it’s always a good idea to check their website or contact a specific restaurant for the most up-to-date information.
Ingredients Needed For Carlos O’Kelly’s Queso Recipe
These ingredients combine to create the delicious and creamy Carlos O’Kelly’s Queso, a popular Tex-Mex dip perfect for enjoying with tortilla chips or as a flavorful accompaniment to your favorite Mexican dishes.
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Velveeta Cheese Velveeta cheese is a processed cheese known for its creamy and melty texture. It serves as the base of the queso, providing a rich and cheesy consistency.
- Milk (1/2 cup): Milk is added to the cheese to help create a smooth and creamy texture in the queso while thinning it out slightly for the perfect dipping consistency.
- White Onion (1/2 cup, finely chopped): White onion adds a subtle, sweet onion flavor to the queso. When finely chopped and cooked, it blends seamlessly into the dip.
- Diced Green Chilies (2 tablespoons, canned): Diced green chilies, typically found in canned form, contribute a mild heat and a subtle earthy flavor to the queso.
- Cumin (1/2 teaspoon): Cumin is a ground spice that imparts a warm and earthy flavor with a hint of citrus. It adds depth and complexity to the queso’s taste.
- Garlic Powder (1/4 teaspoon): Garlic powder provides a subtle garlic flavor without the harshness of fresh garlic. It enhances the overall savory profile of the queso.
- Paprika (1/4 teaspoon): Paprika adds a mild smokiness and a vibrant reddish color to the queso, enhancing its visual appeal and flavor.
- Ground Cayenne Pepper (1/4 teaspoon, adjust to taste): Ground Cayenne pepper provides a touch of heat to the queso. You can adjust the amount to suit your preferred spice level.
How To Make Carlos O’Kelly’s Queso
Prepare Your Ingredients:
Begin by chopping the Velveeta cheese into small cubes to ensure even melting. Also, finely chop the white onion and have the diced green chilies ready.
Combine Ingredients in a Saucepan:
In a medium-sized saucepan, add the cubed Velveeta cheese and milk. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add Flavorful Ingredients:
Stir in the finely chopped white onion, diced green chilies, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and ground cayenne pepper. Continue to cook and stir until all the ingredients are well combined and the queso is heated.
If your queso is too thick, you can add a little more milk to achieve your desired consistency. Conversely, if it’s too thin, continue cooking for a few more minutes to thicken it up.
Serve and Enjoy:
Once your Carlos O’Kelly-inspired queso is smooth, creamy, and flavorful, it’s ready to be served. Transfer it to a serving bowl and serve immediately with your favorite tortilla chips or as a dipping sauce for various dishes.
Here are some pro tips to help you make the most of your Carlos O’Kelly’s Queso recipe:
- Use High-Quality Cheese: While the recipe calls for Velveeta cheese, using high-quality cheese can elevate the flavor of your queso. Consider using real cheddar or a blend of cheeses for a more authentic taste.
- Slow and Low Heat: When melting the cheese, use low heat and be patient. Slow melting prevents the cheese from becoming grainy and ensures a smooth, creamy texture.
- Customize Spice Level: Adjust the amount of ground cayenne pepper to control the spiciness of your queso. Start with a small amount and gradually add until you reach your desired heat level.
- Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients like diced green chilies and real onions instead of canned or pre-packaged options for a fresher and more vibrant flavor.
- Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Add a pop of freshness and color to your queso by garnishing it with chopped fresh cilantro or diced tomatoes just before serving.
- Keep Warm: If serving the queso for a party or gathering, consider using a small slow cooker or fondue pot to keep it warm and melty throughout the event.
- Pair with Dippers: Beyond tortilla chips, offer a variety of dippers like sliced bell peppers, celery sticks, or toasted bread cubes to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences.
- Reheat with Care: If you have leftovers, reheat the queso gently in a microwave or on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently to maintain its creamy consistency.
- Experiment with Add-Ins: Feel free to get creative by adding ingredients like cooked ground beef, sautéed onions and peppers, or diced tomatoes to customize your queso.
- Double the Recipe: If you’re serving a crowd, it’s a good idea to double the recipe to ensure there’s enough queso to go around.
With these pro tips, you’ll be well-prepared to create a Carlos O’Kelly-inspired queso that’s not only creamy and flavorful but also customized to your liking. Enjoy your homemade Tex-Mex delight!
What is Velveeta cheese, and can I substitute it with another cheese?
Velveeta cheese is a processed cheese known for its smooth melting properties. While you can substitute it with real cheddar or a cheese blend, remember that Velveeta contributes to the queso’s signature creamy texture. Experiment with different cheeses to find your preferred flavor and consistency.
Can I make this queso recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the queso ahead of time and reheat it when ready to serve. Use a microwave or stovetop on low heat to gently reheat the queso, stirring frequently to maintain its creamy texture.
How do I adjust the spiciness of the queso to my liking?
You can control the spiciness by adjusting the amount of ground cayenne pepper. Start with a small amount and gradually add more until you achieve the desired heat level.
Can I make this queso recipe without green chilies?
Green chilies add a mild heat and flavor to the queso. If you prefer to omit them, you can create a milder version of the queso by leaving them out. The queso will still be creamy and delicious.
What are some suggested dippers for serving the queso?
Tortilla chips are a classic choice, but you can also serve the queso with various dippers, including sliced bell peppers, celery sticks, carrot sticks, toasted bread cubes, or pretzel bites.
Can I refrigerate and reheat leftover queso?
Yes, you can refrigerate leftover queso in an airtight container. To reheat, use a microwave or stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently until the queso is smooth and heated.
Can I customize this queso with additional ingredients like tomatoes or ground beef?
Absolutely! Feel free to get creative and customize your queso by adding ingredients like diced tomatoes, cooked ground beef, sautéed onions, peppers, or even jalapeños for extra heat.
What can I do if my queso turns out too thick?
If your queso is too thick, add a small amount of milk and stir until it reaches your desired consistency. Start with a tablespoon of milk and adjust as needed.
There you have it – the Carlos O’Kelly’s Queso Recipe that allows you to recreate that irresistible restaurant-quality queso dip at home. Whether you’re hosting a game day gathering, celebrating a special occasion, or simply satisfying your Tex-Mex cravings, this homemade queso is sure to be a hit. Gather your ingredients, whip up a batch, and get ready to dip into cheesy bliss.
More Easy Recipes
Carlos O’Kelly’s Queso Recipe
- 1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons diced green chilies, canned
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, adjust to taste
- Begin by chopping the Velveeta cheese into small cubes to ensure even melting. Also, finely chop the white onion and have the diced green chilies ready.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, add the cubed Velveeta cheese and milk. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the finely chopped white onion, diced green chilies, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and ground cayenne pepper. Continue to cook and stir until all the ingredients are well combined and the queso is heated through.
- If your queso is too thick, you can add a little more milk to achieve your desired consistency. Conversely, if it’s too thin, continue cooking for a few more minutes to thicken it up.
- Once your Carlos O’Kelly’s-inspired queso is smooth, creamy, and full of flavor, it’s ready to be served. Transfer it to a serving bowl and serve immediately with your favorite tortilla chips or as a dipping sauce for various dishes.
- Don’t rush the melting process. Slow, gentle heat ensures a smooth and creamy queso.
- Feel free to customize the spice level by adjusting the amount of ground cayenne pepper.
- For an extra burst of freshness, you can garnish your queso with chopped cilantro or diced tomatoes.
- Customize your queso by adding ingredients like diced tomatoes, cooked ground beef, sautéed onions and peppers, or jalapeños.
- Leftover queso can be refrigerated and reheated gently when ready to serve.