Thai – not mexican – flavors shine through here with a unique Red Curry Coconut Queso. Easy to make and comes together quickly on the stove, this is the perfect queso for taco night! Learn how to make it with this easy to follow recipe
🧀 What is Red Curry Coconut Queso?
Queso itself is a melted cheese dip that can stand alone as a dip, or be added to tacos, nachos, burritos or more as a wonderful cheesy compliment. This version is inspired by one of my favorite restaurants, Velvet Taco in Texas.
We start with the basic melted cheese sauce, with some key changes. We use a blend of coconut milk and half-and-half for a creamy, but subtly sweet base. We blend american cheese with pepper jack for a touch of heat to balance things out, then add in some thai red curry paste for a hit of nuttiness and mild green chilies for a truly unique blend of spices.
Top it all with pickled red onions for some acidity and it’s the perfect dip for your chips!
😍 Why you’ll love it
First, this recipe is great because it’s pretty darn easy to pull off. Everything comes together pretty quickly on the stovetop with very little technique necessary.
But the best reason to love this is the unique flavor. An awesome blend of spicy, sweet, acid and fat on a salty chip really gives you a full blend of flavors that your mouth will truly enjoy.
👨🏻🍳 Mike’s Recipe Rundown
- Taste: The nuttiness of this queso it’s signature, which blends well against the Thai red curry blend of chili, ginger, lemongrass and garlic. It’s a bite that will delightfully surprise everyone who has it for the first time.
- Texture: Still the same melty, cheesy goodness that comes with a great warm cheese dip. Should be thick enough to easily stick on a tortilla chip, but thin enough that you can easily stir it with that chip without breaking.
- Difficulty – Pretty Easy! This dip mostly consists of stirring ingredients over medium heat in a saucepot and letting it all blend together. Nothing tricky about making this dip!
- Pros: Truly unique and adds a twist on taco night. Great for parties or get togethers and will truly grab everyone’s attention.
- Cons: Not your standard Tex-Mex version of white cheese with typical mexican flavors. This is unique and stands on its own.
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💭 Top Tips
- Buying tip: Buy your pepper jack cheese in a block and shred it yourself. Pre-packaged cheeses have non-clumping additives, which doesn’t help to give us a nice, melty queso. I get my American cheese from the deli counter as well, sliced very thick off the block.
- Cooking tip: You’ll want to delicately heat this slowly, the milk and cheese can burn if you use too high of heat. A saucepan with a thick bottom will help your cause, as it will distribute the heat more evenly and allow for a better melt.
- Heating tip: As with most cheese dips, the longer it sits, the more it will solidify. This works best when it’s kept warm. If you’re putting this out at a party, it goes great in a small crock-pot or fondue pot . This will keep it nice a warm for however long it’s left out.
- Pre-cooking tip: You can make the queso a day ahead of time if you’re hosting a party, simply transfer it to a crock-pot or fondue pot and warm before serving.
- Party Tip: To go more on that theme, if you’re serving this at a party, feel free to make plenty of extra pickled onions and set them out in a bowl to the side of your queso. Let people add them as they go, getting that little pop of acid to cut through the cheese. It really helps to lighten up the bite.
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced. We’ll pickle these with the ingredients below.
- 1 cup white vinegar, the prime agent for pickling the onions.
- 1 tsp salt, to season your pickled onions.
- 1 splash grenadine, which give the onions just a subtle touch of sweetness.
- 1/3 cup coconut milk, this adds a little sweetness to the dish.
- 1/3 cup half-and-half, which makes the sauce nice and cheesy.
- 1 cup american cheese, which melts perfectly into a nice cheese sauce. I get mine from the deli counter, sliced very thick and cut into cubes.
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese. Buy a block and shred it yourself.
- 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste. This gives the unique flavor that’s going to wow your quests.
- 1 can mild green chilies. Our nod to Tex-Mex, but with a mild spiciness
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro
Step 1: Slice red onion and place in small, heatproof bowl. Season with salt. Meanwhile, bring white vinegar to boil, then pour over onions in bowl. Add splash of grenadine and let sit while you make your queso.
Step 2: Warm coconut milk and half-and-half in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue heating for about 5 minutes, until it begins to steam. While it is heating grate your pepper jack cheese and cut your white american cheese into cubes.
Step 3: Add white american cheese to pot and stir until it begins to melt, about 30 seconds. Then, gradually mix in grated pepper jack cheese and stir together. Stir in Thai red chili paste and mild green chilis. Continue stirring until sauce begins to thicken. It should be thick enough to just barely stick to the back of a spoon. Remove from heat to thicken a little more before serving, or keep warm if serving over time.
Step 4: To serve, spoon into a heatproof bowl. Top with pickled red onions and torn fresh cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
🥗 Related Recipes
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- Mushroom Tacos
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Loaded Nachos
- Copycat Chipotle Chicken Bowls
- Homemade Guacamole
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Unique cheese dip inspired by Thai flavors for a complete twist on Taco Night!
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 splash grenadine
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup american cheese
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese
- 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 4oz can mild green chilies
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro
- Tortilla Chips, for serving
- Slice red onion and place in small, heatproof bowl. Season with salt. Meanwhile, bring white vinegar to boil, then pour over onions in bowl. Add splash of grenadine and let sit while you make your queso.
- Warm coconut milk and half-and-half in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue heating for about 5 minutes, until it begins to steam. While it is heating grate your pepper jack cheese and cut your american cheese into cubes.
- Add american cheese to pot and stir until it begins to melt, about 30 seconds. Then, gradually mix in grated pepper jack cheese and stir together. Stir in Thai red chili paste and mild green chilis. Continue stirring until thick enough that it barely sticks to a spoon. Remove from heat to thicken slightly more before serving.
- To serve, spoon into a heatproof bowl. Top with pickled red onions and torn fresh cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: Queso Recipe, Cheese Dip, Appetizer Recipes