Copycat Applebee’s Queso Blanco

There is nothing better on game day than this Copycat Applebee’s Queso Blanco dip. Who doesn’t like hot melted cheese? Ready in 30 minutes!

copycat applebee's queso blanco

When it comes to appetizers, specifically dips, this Copycat Applebee’s Queso Blanco is my favorite. Delicious white melted cheese with just a hint of spiciness.

onion jalapeno in saucepan

I usually use a can of petite diced tomatoes when I make this recipe. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to chop veggies.

If you do take the can route as I do, make sure you thoroughly drain the juices before adding them to the cheese mixture. I like to let the tomatoes sit in a colander over paper towels for a good 15 to 20 minutes.

copycat applebee's queso blanco
pepper icon

How to Handle Hot Peppers

  • The capsaicin in hot peppers is what makes peppers hot. If you handle hot peppers gloveless, it’s a guarantee that you’re in for a nasty case of chili burn, both on your fingers and anywhere you rub. Like your face. Ouch!
  • Even if you wear disposable gloves, be careful about what you touch. The gloves are going to protect your fingers, but touching any part of your body with the gloves after you’ve handled hot peppers can lead to severe chili burn.
  • Resist the temptation to rub your eyes. Wait until you’ve removed your gloves and washed your hands thoroughly with soap.
fresh jalapeños
Fresh Jalapeños

The Scoville Scale is the measurement that tells you the spiciness of a given type of pepper.

Pepper TypeScoville Rating (Heat)
Bell Pepper0-0
Banana Pepper0-500
Poblano Pepper1000-1500
Jalapeño Pepper2500-8000
Serrano Peppers10,000-25,000
Manzano Pepper12,000-30,000
Tabasco & Cayenne30,000-50,000
Habanero Pepper100,000-300,000
Ghost Pepper855,000-1,000,000
Carolina Reaper1,500,000-2,300,000

Applebee’s is a Grill + Bar restaurant chain focused on casual dining, with mainstream American dishes such as salads, chicken, pasta and burgers. All Applebee’s restaurants feature a bar area.

copycat applebee's queso blanco

I like to use shredded cheese when I can as it tends to melt faster and a little more evenly but it may be hard to find.

If you buy your cheese in a block, make sure you chop it up into cubes before adding them to the saucepan. Also, stir often and keep the heat in check. It’s very easy to burn the cheese in the bottom of the pan!

copycat applebee's queso blanco

Since the goal of a Copycat Recipe is for it to taste exactly like the original, it’s only natural to rate this recipe against the original. This Copycat recipe rates a solid 10 out of 10 in my opinion.

copycat applebee's queso blanco

You will need the following ingredients to make this Copycat Queso Blanco recipe from Applebee’s (see recipe card for quantities): Vegetable Oil, Jalapeños, White Onion, White Cheddar Cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese, Half & Half, Diced Tomatoes and Fresh Cilantro.

  1. In a medium-sized pot over low – medium heat add vegetable oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped the jalapeño and white onion. Saute onions and peppers until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add all cheeses and half and half. Reduce heat to low and stir the cheese until it melts.
  3. When the cheese has melted, stir in the tomatoes and half of the cilantro. Mix to combine.
  4. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and chopped jalapeños.

Printable Recipe Card

copycat applebee's queso blanco

Copycat Applebee’s Queso Blanco

There is nothing better on game day than this Copycat Applebee's Queso Blanco dip. Who doesn't like hot melted cheese? Ready in 30 minutes!
2.91 from 11 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 250 kcal


  • Saucepan


  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Jalapeño, finely minced
  • Cup White Onion, finely chopped
  • 16 oz White Cheddar Cheese
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack Cheese
  • ½ Cup Half and Half
  • ½ Cup Tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped


  • In a medium sized pot over low – medium heat add vegetable oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper and white onion. Saute onion and peppers until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Chop cheese into large pieces, add all cheeses and half & half. Reduce heat to low and stir the cheese so it melts.
  • When all of the cheese has melted add the fresh tomatoes, stir the tomatoes in. Stir in half of the cilantro. Just before serving garnish the queso with remaining cilantro and chopped jalapenos.


Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 15gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 341mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 628IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 427mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.

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2.91 from 11 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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  1. Tammy G says:

    Didn’t taste anything like the queso at Applebees.

  2. Ryan Grider says:

    Agree with others. Its ok but doesnt even remotely task like the applebeas dip. Ive tried 3x times and all same results.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Nothing at all like AppleBees Queso Cheese Sauce.
    The Cheese Clumps together.

  4. Sara says:

    The flavor profile is there, but this is much more of a fundido rather than a dipping sauce. Sad! I wanted to love it!

  5. Shelley says:

    Im giving this recipe one star for flavor, because I did think it tasted good. But for some reason when the cheese melted it kind of separated from, I guess liquids from the tomatoes or whatever, and never really mixed in well, or melted into a smooth, creamy cheesy texture. The cheese would congeal together and you couldnt even dip your chip without having a huge clump of cheese on it. This was nothing like Applebees queso in my opinion.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Sorry to hear you had issues with the cheese.