Tequila Queso Fundido


What’s not to like about a bowl of hot, velvety melted cheese? And this one is spiked with booze, no less! Monterey Jack is the perfect blank slate for the complex mix of flavors. There’s chili powder and cumin to add earthy spice, green chilies for a little heat, and tequila which both adds a bite and draws everything together. Of course, if you like a lot of fire, swap in pepper Jack. Note: Keep an eye on the heat while you’re cooking, if it gets too hot the mixture will break.

Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
6 serves


  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 4 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 clove garlic, halved

  • ½ cup blanco (silver) tequila

  • 1 4.5-oz. can chopped green chiles

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, for serving

  • 6-in. corn tortillas, warmed, for serving


  1. Mix cheese, cornstarch, chili powder, and cumin in a large bowl until cheese is coated.

  2. Rub the inside of a saucepan with cut sides of garlic; discard garlic. Add tequila and bring to a simmer over medium. Immediately add cheese mixture a handful at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until cheese has melted and queso is smooth before adding the next handful, about 4 minutes. Stir in chiles, salt, and several grinds of pepper.

  3. Transfer queso to a serving bowl and top with cilantro. Serve immediately with warm tortillas. (To reheat queso, microwave in a microwavable bowl on high until melted, about 1 minute, stirring halfway through.)

    Greg DuPree
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