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Queso Fundido is a hot and melty cheese dip combined with spicy Mexican chorizo and poblano peppers. You’re going to love this zesty appetizer!Over the years, we’ve shared a number of recipes inspired by the delicious food served at The Edgewater Café – a small, hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant where Jack worked many years ago. It was located in the small, seaside neighborhood of Magnolia, Massachusetts (near Gloucester), and the food was so good, this little restaurant had a very passionate following of customers until it closed a number of years ago. Years later, it always surprises me when we hear from readers who found us here at A Family Feast, because they were searching online specifically for recipes from the Edgewater Café! Most recently, we had a reader write to ask if we had a recipe for Queso Fundido – so we set out to recreate the recipe.
What is Queso Fundido?Queso Fundido translates to “molten cheese” in Spanish. It’s an appetizer of hot, melted, stringy cheese, spicy sausage, and peppers – traditionally served with flour tortillas for scooping, or tortilla chips. Some restaurants serve Queso Fundido in large, cast iron skillets (as we did) for family-style scooping. Others serve it in smaller crocks as individual portions. You might even see a version of this dish called “Queso Flameado” on the menu – it’s a similar recipe, but served flambé-style at the table.
Why you’ll love it
- Two words: melted cheese! 😊 (Who doesn’t love a dip with lots of hot and melty cheeses?)
- Addictively-good, zesty flavor that will have you craving more!
Chef’s Tip We found Mexican chorizo at our local Walmart. It comes in both beef and pork varieties and either version can be used in this recipe.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Mexican Chorizo – Don’t confuse this with Spanish chorizo, which is a spicy but cured, hard sausage. Mexican chorizo is a raw, very flavorful sausage that is sold in tube-shaped packages – but it’s soft and needs to be cooked.
- Melty Cheeses – We used a combination of Oaxaca and Monterey Jack cheeses – two flavorful, milky cheeses that get soft and stringy when melted.
- White Onion – Look for round, white onions, available in most markets
- Poblano Peppers – These are a mild, green chili pepper with a dark green skin. They are elongated heart-shaped and sold at most supermarkets these days.
- Toppings – We topped our Queso Fundido with zesty, canned diced tomatoes and chiles, as well as fresh cilantro. You can stir these toppings into the dip if you’d like – or just dig in!
- Chips for dipping – Use crispy tortilla chips or flour tortillas for dipping.
How do I make Queso Fundido?
- Sauté the Mexican chorizo in a large, cast iron skillet. Break the meat up into small pieces (this tool works great) as it cooks. Once slightly browned, strain to remove the excess fat.
- Sauté onions and peppers until soften.
- Combine cooked sausage with the onions and peppers, the add shredded cheese on top.
- Heat just enough to melt the cheeses in the oven.
- Serve with diced tomatoes and cilantro on top, plus corn chips or flour tortillas for dipping.
Chef’s Tip Avoid overheating the cheeses in this recipe. Oaxaca and Monterey cheese can get tough if baked for too long.
Frequently asked QuestionsCan I use Spanish chorizo? You can – but it really won’t be the same. The Mexican chorizo cooks up soft and blends nicely into the melted cheese, however Spanish chorizo is cured and even when it is finely chopped, it will still add a chewy texture to each bite. Can I omit the onions and peppers? Sure – quite a few authentic Queso Fundido recipes include just chorizo and cheese. What is Oaxaca cheese? It’s a commonly-used Mexican cheese, similar in texture to fresh mozzarella. Although it becomes stringy when melted, it’s actually considered a semi-hard cheese. It has a similar flavor to Monterey Jack cheese, but it isn’t aged. You can find Oaxaca cheese at many supermarkets. Can I make this dish ahead of time? Yes – you can sauté the chorizo and vegetables, and top with cheese. Then, refrigerate until ready to bake. Allow the pan to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. You may enjoy these other recipes inspired by The Edgewater Café:
8 ounces Mexican chorizo (beef or pork)
1 cup white onion, diced small
1 whole Poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced small (about 1 cup)
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 ounces Oaxaca cheese, shredded
1 10-ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles, drained
½ cup fresh cilantro coarsely chopped
Tortilla chips for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a cast iron skillet sprayed with a little kitchen pan spray over medium high heat, add chorizo and break up as you cook.
After the beef has cooked and slightly browned, drain into a sieve and discard the fat. Then pour the cooked chorizo out onto paper towels to absorb any remaining grease.
Spray a little more kitchen pan spray if needed in the skillet and add the diced white onion and diced poblano pepper and cook 4-5 minutes to soften.
Add the cooked drained chorizo into the pan with the onion and peppers and stir to combine.
Sprinkle on the jack and Oaxaca cheese and place into the preheated oven for 5-8 minutes just to melt the cheese. Do not leave in longer or the cheese will go from stringy to tough and hard. Ours was ready in five minutes.
Garnish with the drained canned tomatoes and the fresh cilantro.
Place a pot holder over the handle of the pan to remind guests that it is hot – then serve right out of the skillet with tortilla chips.
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