Chipotle’s New Queso Is an Abomination to Cheese — Try This Recipe Instead

cheese dip, salsa and nachos on table
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After years of people begging Chipotle Mexican Grill to come out with queso, the chain finally did.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all gouda with the public  — all right, I had to fit at least one pun in here — sorry! In fact, some people are downright disappointed with it.

Are you one of them?

What’s Up With Chipotle’s Queso?

I know Chipotle is life. I’m not going to lie: I eat it three to four times a month. It’s healthier than many other dining out options and convenient, plus there are a few hacks to get the most out of your burrito on a budget.

The chain pledged to remain a healthier option by using additive-free ingredients, which kept queso off the menu. But the public pressured the chain to add the cheesy dip to its menu.

Finally, after concocting a version of queso up to its standards, Chipotle rolled it out in all of its restaurants last week, as reported by Consumerist.

People weren’t exactly satisfied, though. Search “Chipotle queso” on Twitter, and you’ll see descriptions such as “inedible,” “disappointing” and “trash” (ouch).

Chipotle says it’ll continue to work toward perfecting its recipe.

I’ll also be honest when I say that I went last week and literally no one in line ordered the queso. I took one look at it and wouldn’t have, either. It was more orange than yellow, and the workers were constantly stirring it.

Even worse? The price.

I called my local Chipotle and got the price for queso:

2 ounces on a burrito or in a bowl: $1.25

4 ounces with chips: $2.05

6 ounces with chips: $5.25

I know that when you go out to eat, you’re paying for convenience, but that’s a pretty penny for some melted cheese.

A Better-Tasting Queso Recipe for Half the Cost

If you’re looking to satisfy your queso needs on a budget — and you want queso that tastes much, much better than Chipotle’s — then consider making yours at home for a fraction of the cost.

Here’s our favorite recipe for queso from Serious Eats. For just under $6, this sure does blow Chipotle’s version out of the water!

  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese (or a mix of cheddar and pepper Jack — see note), grated on large holes of a box grater: $2.11
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch: 3 cents
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk: $3.28
  • 2 teaspoons Frank’s Red Hot or other hot sauce: 7 cents

The total cost for this queso recipe rings in at $5.47, but it makes six 2-ounce servings, putting the cost per serving at just 91 cents.

Note: These prices vary depending on where you live; ours are taken from our neighborhood Walmart.


Add the cheese and cornstarch to a large bowl, and toss them to combine. Transfer the mixed cheese and cornstarch to a medium saucepan, and add 1 cup of evaporated milk and the hot sauce. Cook the mixture on low heat while stirring with a whisk until the mixture is melted and thickens. For thinner cheese, add additional evaporated milk until the desired consistency is met.

Serve the queso with fries, chips, hot dogs or whatever your cheesy heart desires!


Kelly Anne Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.