This molten cheese dip is topped with a mouthwatering mixture of sautéed shiitake mushrooms and green chiles. This vegetarian queso fundido recipe is made with two cheeses (quesadilla and Oaxaca) combined with an irresistible mixture of sautéed mushrooms and Hatch green chile.
What is Queso Fundido?
Queso fundido translates to molten or melted cheese, and in my opinion is so much more flavorful than a traditional queso dip. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both! Heck, I love anything and everything made with cheese. But there is something super special about a skillet filled with hot, melty cheese.
Queso fundido is a Mexican appetizer I can never resist. Usually, you will find it made with chorizo, mushrooms, or poblano strips. Generally speaking, the ooey, gooey melted cheese dip is served with tortilla chips or tortillas.
PSA: Hatch Chiles are in season!
New Mexico is known for its chiles from the Hatch Valley in the southern part of the state. I grew up nearby in El Paso, Texas and shopped with my grandma and mom for Hatch chile every year around late August/early September.
Grocery stores in El Paso would even roast the Hatch chile peppers in the parking lots. Slowly but surely I have seen the same sights and smelled the beautiful aroma here in Colorado. If you haven’t seen roasters in parking lots of your grocery stores or farmers market do not fret. You can roast your own right at home!
You can find Hatch chiles at grocery stores, but expect them to be in short supply with a very quick window of availability. So, hurry! Run to your grocery store and stock up. You can roast a big batch and freeze them for use throughout the year. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Hatch chile comes in mild, medium, and hot, so select the peppers depending on your heat tolerance.
How to make queso fundido
You won’t believe how easy this delicious, melty dish is to prepare. First up, you’ll want to preheat your oven because this baby is getting baked.
Next up, cut off the stems and remove the seedpods from the roasted chile peppers.
TIP: If you really love spicy food, go ahead and leave the seeds in there! The seeds and membrane are where the majority of capsaicin lives. Learn more about capsaicin and the Scoville Scale here: An Introduction to Mexican Chiles.
Prepare your ingredients: Grate your cheese. Cut the chiles into strips, dice your onion, and slice your mushrooms. Now we’re ready to get cooking!
Melt your butter in a large (preferably cast iron) skillet, then add your onions. Sauté them for about a minute, until they are fragrant and beginning to soften.
Next up, add your mushrooms. Sauté them for about 5 minutes, until they have released a good amount of water and are soft. Remove from heat.
TIP: Mushrooms will give off a lot of water when they cook, so be sure to choose a large enough pan to keep from crowding them. If you don’t, you can end up with soggy mushrooms.
Place the shredded cheese on top of the mushrooms, then top with the roasted pepper strips. Place the skillet in the oven and bake uncovered until the cheese is completely melted and slightly golden on top. Sprinkle with some fresh cilantro and dig in!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of chile can be used for queso fundido?
Hatch chiles are not available year-round or sold everywhere. The next best chile pepper is Anaheim, which are readily available year-round. For a milder chile pepper, try poblanos. In a pinch, you can also use canned roasted green peppers.
For a full list of delicious Mexican chiles, check out my post here.
What kind of cheese can be used?
While I personally call for two cheeses in my queso fundido recipe – queso quesadilla and queso Oaxaca – there are a variety of other cheeses that would work well here depending on what you have access to. Here are some possible swaps:
- Monterey Jack
Basically, you want a cheese that is going to get good and melty. Avoid any crumbly cheeses like feta or cotija and you should be good!
How should I serve it?
When I eat queso fundido, I eat it with warm corn tortillas, literally making instant quesadillas — it’s the height of comfort food. You can also serve it with flour tortillas or chips, or even on toast. Doing the low carb thing? Eat it with a spoon!
If you’re feeling really saucy, add some to your favorite tacos or spoon it over refried beans. I mean, really, what isn’t made a little more delicious with a healthy dose of melty cheese?? The real question, I think, is how shouldn’t you serve it? And the answer is I honestly don’t know.
More Mexican appetizer recipes for my fellow cheese lovers:
- Chile con Queso
- Rajas con Queso
- Mexican Cheese Fonduehttps://youtu.be/T6o7AajABZQ
- Artichoke with Roasted Green Chile Dip
- Queso Fundido Mexican Style Pizza
- Choriqueso (Queso Fundido with Chorizo)
Watch this video to learn how to make this easy queso fundido recipe.
Queso Fundido with Mushrooms and Hatch Green Chile
- 2 or 3 Hatch chile peppers, roasted and peeled
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 ounces Private Selection golden oak shiitake mushrooms sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 8 ounces queso quesadilla or asadero cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces queso Oaxaca, shredded
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 6 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut off the stems and remove the seedpods from the chile peppers. Cut into ¼-inch-wide strips about 2 inches long.
- Melt butter in a large skillet and add onion and cook for 1 minute.
- Add mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms begin to soften for about 5 minutes.
- Place the cheese and strips of chile over the cooked mushrooms.
- Place skillet in the oven and bake uncovered for about 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and slightly golden brown on top.
- Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
- Serve with corn or flour tortillas.
- If you are unsure how to roast chile peppers, please refer to this blog post: How to roast chile peppers.
- If you don't have access to Hatch peppers, you can use Anaheim, Poblano or even canned roasted green chiles instead
- If you don't have access to Oaxaca or Quesadilla cheeses, feel free to substitute any other melty cheese instead (ex: Monterey Jack, Chihuahua).
- Make ahead tip: This can be prepared a couple hours ahead then popped in the oven when it's fiesta time.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: August 2017