White Spinach + Cilantro Queso (Lazy College Student Edition)

I had totally planned to get you guys this queso recipe in time for Super Bowl Sunday, but the big game came and went while I obsessed over Valentine’s Day crafts! I did end up making this last minute for a small get together that weekend though, which is when I snapped these few pictures. And rather than wait a whole year to share the best queso I have ever made at next year’s bowl, I figured that life is always a party and a little melted cheese can be just one more way to celebrate. (Plus, in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas, last week was Fiesta!!)

What’s special here is the white cheese, cilantro and spinach that makes this recipe simultaneously fresh and rich, as such cheesy goodness should be. Think of this as classic queso’s classy cousin—like the high society version of that Velveeta, Rotel and ground beef! And yes, I did just talk about cheese that much. (I mean, I’m from Texas. Queso’s practically a staple food here!) This is also really reminiscent of the queso blanco from Chili’s if you’ve ever tried it! Just to give you a heads up of what you are getting into.

The recipe was snagged from The Recipe Critic, but we made a few adaptations for the lazy/college student cook, and threw in a few of our own preparation tips. I hope you will adore this cheesy goodness as much as I do!

White Spinach + Cilantro Queso

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 c chopped white onion, or 1/4 c chopped red onion
16 oz Velveeta Queso Blanco (1/2 block)
5 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
2/3 c milk
10 oz medium Rotel, drained (1 can)
2 cups fresh or frozen chopped spinach (frozen is lazier—already chopped and wilted!)
1/4 c cilantro paste (found in the produce section)

Heat oil over medium heat, and sauté onions until tender. (They should slice easily from the pressure of a spatula.) Add cheeses and milk and stir until melted. Now add the spinach, and stir until wilted and/or defrosted. Drain and add the Rotel, and stir in the cilantro paste. Mix well. Serve while melty and delicious!

It’s easiest to keep the queso ooey and gooey by storing it in a small crockpot on low heat, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t burn onto the sides! Our favorite chips to eat with this are Tostitos scoops, Fritos, and, surprisingly, rosemary naan chips. Some more fun things we’ve dipped in queso are toasted slices of baguette, shrimp, and even veggie fries like these green bean fries! (We made those for Thanksgiving and they were en pointe/on point. Depends on if I’m feeling French or not.)

What are some of your favorite party snacks to make?

Stay lovely,

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