This Copycat Cafe Rio Queso recipe takes you LESS time to make at home than it does to drive to Cafe Rio and get some! It’s a perfect companion for all your football parties.

Difficulty: Level 1 (easy peasy)

Prep timeCook timeTotal time

Super Queso for the Super Bowl! Because cheese and football just go together. Don’t they? Cheese and football. Football and cheese. It just works people, it just works. Don’t try to mess with the cheese and football mojo.
That being said. Let me tell you about that little pot of golden deliciousness. I accepted a challenge from a friend who really wanted a copycat Cafe Rio queso recipe. So, I went to Cafe Rio to get some nachos, because duh, nachos. And then I went home, ate all the nachos, and all the queso and then…I made more queso.

This perfectly creamy wonderfully processed cheese dip is full of salsa, jalapeños and 3 kinds of cheese. All. The. CHEESE. Now you just need one thing.


15 Minute Copycat Cafe Rio Queso
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. ⅔ cup half and half
  2. 4 oz velveeta
  3. 2 cups cheddar cheese - grated
  4. 2 oz cream cheese
  5. 1 cup salsa
  6. ¼ cup chopped jalapeños
  7. ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  8. ¼ tsp cumin
  9. ¼ tsp chili powder
  10. Tortilla chips for dipping
  1. Heat the half and half in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add the velveeta, cheddar and cream cheese. Mix until all cheese are melted.
  3. Add in the salsa, jalapeños, cayenne, cumin and chili powder. Mix until combine.
  4. Serve immediately with your choice of chips
The DIY Foodie
Queso Short
Queso Long


  1. This is my favorite copycat queso. I found that it tastes closer to the Cafe Rio queso when I use pico de gallo instead of salsa. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I love it!!!

  2. Chili powder–are you talking American chili powder (the non spicy kind you find in the spice aisle that contains cayenne, paprika and other spices too) or an Indian style chili powder that packs a lot of heat?

    • For this recipe I just used American chili powder. But I’m sure Indian style chili powder would be delicious too!

  3. I know this is a recipe that’s a few years old now but this is really tasty!!! We made it for nacho night and we kept saying how good it was! This recipe is a keeper for sure!

  4. If I wanted to use a crock pot for this recipe, do you think I should start it in a sauce pan and then transfer it too the crock pot to keep it heated? Or do you think I could start it in the crock pot? Wondering what you think would be best! We’re having a super bowl party and I’m thinking this is the recipe I’m wanting to use!

    • Hey Madison!
      I haven’t tried this in the crockpot (that is a brilliant idea), but I think it would work just fine! Just put in all the ingredients together on low, and give it a mix every now and then and it should work. Have a wonderful Super Bowl party!

    • We absolutely love the recipe especially my daughter… Its been awhile since eating at a Cafe Rio and my daughter loves the queso dip. We don’t live near a Cafe Rio so it’s exciting to find this recipe. It’ll go well with the copycat roast beef and lime rice I make at home.

    • I was actually thinking that just this morning! Or perhaps the fuego rojo or verde cheeses…that would be amazing. Now you’ve got me thinking about all sorts of cheese sauces I can make with Heber Valley Cheeses!

    • Hi Stefanie! Yes I think it would be just fine to reheat the next day. It would probably be easiest to heat it in the microwave for short bursts and mixing it occasionally 🙂

  5. Ohhh.. I completely understand your addiction to queso, because I myself have it! I could eat Mexican food daily, and not get sick of it. I live in CO now, and I’m surrounded by it, but no places had white queso dip like I had in Ohio, so I had to recreate it, and I was in heaven! 🙂 Will be trying this recipe!

    -Cianna (LaMode365)

    • White queso dip sounds amazing!! I’m going to have to look into that for sure. Always looking for new queso recipes for my queso addiction 🙂

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