DIY Takeout: Making Torchy's Texas-Style Queso at Home

Queso is one of my absolute favorite appetizers. It's perfect for a lazy football Sunday — and who doesn't love a big bowl of it? It's always a hit!

I recently hopped over to Torchy's to try some delicious green chile queso. The queso at Torchy's is jam-packed with roasted green chiles and has a great mix of cheeses. (I'm not sure exactly which cheeses, but they work well together.) The only downside to the queso is that it's $6 for about a cup. You can definitely save some money by making it at home. But I'll admit, that's not easy.

DIY Takeout: Making Torchy's Texas-Style Queso at HomeEXPAND
Nick Evans

If you can't find fresh Hatch chiles to roast, I recommend using a mix of poblano and jalapeño peppers, which are readily available and cheap, and give nice flavor and heat to the queso. Go heavy on the chiles — they add great texture to the queso as well.

Whether you go to Torchy's to snag some or try out my DIY Takeout version, you can't go wrong with queso. Keep reading for the recipe.

Roasted Pepper Queso
Serves 4-6
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 poblano pepper, roasted and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, roasted and chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup queso fresco
Cilantro
Hot sauce
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lay out the peppers on a baking sheet and roast them for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once halfway through, until they are blistered. Place the roasted peppers in a bowl and cover with foil or plastic wrap and let them steam for 5 minutes. You can then peel the peppers or you can leave the skin on.

2. Cut the stems off the peppers, remove the seeds and dice the peppers.

3. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, add the butter and chopped peppers. Stir to cook for a minute. Then add the spices, followed by the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes until a roux (a paste of the flour, butter and peppers) forms, stirring occasionally.

4. Slowly whisk in heavy cream until the mixture thickens.

5. Lower the heat and add in cheeses, stirring to melt. Taste the queso and season with salt and pepper.

6. Transfer queso to a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro, hot sauce and extra crumbled queso fresco.

Serve immediately while warm!

Have an idea for a dish to re-create for DIY Takeout? Leave a comment or e-mail cafe@westword.com.

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