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Applebees Queso Dip Recipe

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.
Cutting board with chopped onion, tomato, cilantro, and green chiles.

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.

4. Serve

Prepared Applebees queso dip with pico de gallo and tortilla chips.

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:

Yield: 6 Servings

Applebee's Queso Blanco Recipe

Close up view of Applebees queso dip.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


Cheese Dip

  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To make the pico de gallo—In a medium bowl combine the minced onion, tomato, ½ tablespoon cilantro, and remaining jalapeno.
  4. Pour the queso dip into a medium sized serving bowl and top with pico de gallo.
  5. 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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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.


Sunday 12th of January 2014

Used this for the Broncos game today, but I added cream of chicken to in and loved it.

Joanne T Ferguson

Thursday 9th of January 2014

G'day! I remember this dip very well, true! Nothing like making your own at home to being back nostalgia too! Cheers! Joanne

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