How To Thin Queso Dip

Queso dip is a delicious white-cheese-based dip that is popular in Mexican dishes. Many people eat this perfect cheese dip with chips and nothing else. The thing is, queso tends to have a thick type of cheese and therefore it sometimes needs to be thinned out a little.

Chips and a pan of queso dip made after chef learned how to thin queso dip

How To Thin Out Your Queso Dip

You can make queso dip thinner with a variety of ingredients, including:

  • Milk
  • Whole cream
  • Butter
  • Half-and-half
  • Sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Plain water
  • Jalapeño pickle juice
  • Piquante sauce
  • Alcohol

Let’s go over how much to use for each of these thinning options …


You can use any type of milk. Start by heating the milk in a saucepan to medium heat. When it’s done, add one tablespoon of hot milk at a time to the dip until the dip achieves the right consistency.

Whole Cream

If you want to add cream to the queso dip, don’t heat it first. Simply add one tablespoon of cream at a time until the dip has the consistency you want.


Butter that can be used to thin queso dip
Butter is a great thinner for queso dip.

Use unsalted butter to thin out the queso dip. Add one spoonful at a time until the dip gets to a good consistency.


Half-and-half cream does not have to be heated up first. Just add one tablespoon for every 1/2 ounce (14.8 milliliters) of dip until the dip is thinned out enough for you.

Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt

With either of these two ingredients, simply add one tablespoon at a time to the dip until you get the ideal consistency. If you’re using Greek yogurt, you should never add more than five tablespoons because it can significantly affect and even overpower the taste of the queso dip.

Chips next to cups of guacamole and queso prepared after chef learned how to thin queso dip

Non-Dairy Options

You can also use non-dairy products to make your queso dip thinner. These include the following:

Plain Water

Add one tablespoon at a time. Add salt and cayenne pepper for extra flavor.

Jalapeño Pickle Juice

Add one tablespoon at a time until the consistency is right.

Piquante Sauce

Add one tablespoon at a time until the consistency is right. For the best results, the proportion of cheese to sauce should be 3:1.


Add one tablespoon at a time until the consistency is right. Use beer, red wine, dry white wine, or whiskey (three tablespoons for every pound of cheese). If you use bourbon, go with two ounces per cup of cheese.

Keep in mind that with some of these products, you may have to add some seasonings because they will dilute the dip and make it a little less flavorful. After you add the cheese dip thinner, taste the dip to determine if you need extra seasonings for it.

Now you know how to thin queso dip!

Frequently Asked Questions About Queso Dip

Here are answers to some FAQs regarding queso dip.

Pregnant person

Is Queso Dip Safe During Pregnancy?

Queso dip is fine to eat while pregnant—assuming of course, that the usual food-safety precautions such as proper refrigeration have been followed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against eating queso fresco during pregnancy, but that is not the same thing as queso dip.

Queso fresco translates literally as “fresh cheese,” and it refers to soft cheeses that are often made with unpasteurized milk. These carry a risk of listeriosis, a dangerous infection caused by the pathogenic bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis may cause miscarriage, according to the FDA.

Here’s how to tell the difference:

Queso dip is an orange color and typically comes packaged in a jar or tub. It is safe to eat while pregnant.
Queso fresco, or fresh cheese, is soft, moist, crumbly cheese similar to feta. Cotija is one of the popular Mexican varieties.

The CDC advises that “While pregnant, you should not eat soft cheeses, such as queso fresco, unless they are made with pasteurized milk, to lower the risk of getting infection from Listeria or other foodborne germs.” Be aware that pasteurization does not completely eliminate the risk of a Listeria infection, as noted by the CDC and other medical experts.

Always consult your doctor about the safety of any foods during pregnancy.

Is Queso Dip Pasteurized?

Queso dip is usually pasteurized to help ensure that it is safe to consume. However, there is no guarantee that any queso dip is pasteurized, whether it’s from a restaurant, store-bought, or homemade. If it’s important that you avoid unpasteurized foods for health reasons, always check the label on the product or, when at a restaurant, inquire about the pasteurization status of the food.

How Long Can Queso Dip Sit Out?

Queso dip should not sit out at room temperature for longer than two hours. After two hours, it’s best to toss it. That dip isn’t worth the risk of getting sick!