If you need a no-fail appetizer for a party, Applebees queso dip could be your answer — as long as your guest list is OK with dairy. This is rich, creamy, slightly spicy dip that gets eaten fast. The addition of a pico de gallo, served on top of the dip or on the side, adds a freshness you don’t normally get with queso dip.
Sadly, this queso dip is no longer on Applebees menu. That means if you want it, you have to make it yourself. Fortunately, the dip and the pico are pretty easy to prepare.
How to make Applebees queso dip
1. Make the pico de gallo
Start by making your pico. Chop up half an onion, a seeded Roma tomato, 1 1/2 tablespoons of cilantro, and 2 to 4 jalapeno peppers or green chiles, depending on how spicy you want it.
- You can seed your peppers or chiles for a less spicy pico. If you like things hot, leave the seeds in.
- If you don’t have a preference on peppers, use jalapenos. The last time I made this dip, I used roasted green chiles instead, because I already had them on hand.
- To seed the tomato, quarter it and cut out the core. You’ll be left with the outer shell of the tomato. Scrape the seeds away and dice.
2. Prep the dip ingredients
Measure your cheese and cut it up into chunks. I also like to measure my cream at this point.
You’ll also want to grab a saucepan, a cheese grater, and 1/2 onion.
3. Make the dip
Place the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Carefully grate your 1/2 onion directly into the saucepan. Add your peppers or chiles. Let the onions and peppers cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Turn the heat down to medium, then add in the cream and your cheese chunks with heat on. Stir gently until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth. This takes about 5 more minutes.
Pour the Applebees queso dip into a serving dish. You can top the dip with the pico (that’s the Applebees way) or serve the pico on the side. I served it on the side so my guests could take some or not, depending on their tastes.
This dip goes perfectly with tortilla chips, but toasts or thick bread slices would be delicious too.
I find this recipe to be simple, but there are those days when you need something REALLY simple. For that, I’d recommend the two-ingredient, slow cooker Velveeta queso dip by DineDreamDiscover.
5. Watch it disappear
I set the Applebees queso dip out for a hungry crowd of 5 people, including me, who have notoriously huge appetites. It disappeared in pretty short order. I think there might have been 1 tablespoon or so left in the serving dish — probably only because no one likes to eat the last bite.
More Applebees knock-off recipes
Applebees recipes are very popular on Blog Chef. Here are a few more our readers love:
- Applebees three-cheese chicken penne
- Applebees clubhouse grille sandwich
- Applebees chicken quesadilla grande
- Applebees Asian chicken rollups
- Applebees nachos nuevos
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1/2 onion
- 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese (cut into chunks)
- 4 oz white cheddar cheese (cut into chunks)
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Pico de Gallo
- 1/2 onion
- 1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
- 2-4 peppers of your choice (minced and optionally seeded)
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Slice the onion in half and mince one half of the onion. Set aside. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add 2/3 of the minced peppers and grate the remaining ½ of the onion into the pan.
- Cook while stirring occasionally for about 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add the heavy cream, Monterey jack cheese, and white cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- To make the pico de gallo—In a medium bowl combine the minced onion, tomato, ½ tablespoon cilantro, and remaining jalapeno.
- Pour the queso dip into a medium sized serving bowl and top with pico de gallo.
- Serve immediately with thick tortilla chips for dipping.
The original recipe uses fresh jalapeno peppers, but I have also used roasted green chilis that I had in the freezer. Also, you can use half and half or even milk in lieu of heavy cream. The dip will be slightly thinner but will still taste great.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 315Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 358mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 15g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.