OKAY KIDS. HUDDLE UP!
Today, we’re tackling the BIG ONE… the Torchy’s Queso Recipe.
Why? I’m so glad you asked!
#1 It’s gaining status as the most coveted, delicious queso recipe in Texas— so any Urban Cowgirl is gonna be all over this one.
#2 All of the copycat recipes on the web really, and I mean realllllly fall short of it’s greatness and complexity.
(If you’re using Velveeta, you’re already off to a bad start…Sorry ’bout that. The good news is we’re here to help!)
What is Torchy’s Queso?!
Now, for anyone who doesn’t live in a Torchy’s town, Torchy’s is a neighborhood gourmet taco shop that in recent years has developed a cult-like following.
(And they is DAMN GOOD!)
For this challenge, we hit up our local Torchy’s and even took some photos while we were there.
Here’s the menu…
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I took the liberty of ordering several quesos to go and asked them to package each ingredient separately, so once we were back in the kitchen we could analyze each component.
How Do You Make Torchy’s Queso?
The Torchy’s queso begins with a scoop of fresh, basic guacamole scooped into a bowl.
Then, they ladle roasted green chile queso on top, which is infused with verde sauce. (That’s the little roasted black flecks of tomatillo.)
They top it with a drizzle of their homemade diablo sauce, a pinch of minced cilantro, and shredded cotija cheese. It looks like this…
We found that the queso needs some time to infuse with the green chiles, so we’ll start there…
Like our official Urban Cowgirl Queso Recipe, this Texas-Style queso is made with a block of Boar’s Head American cheese from the deli. NOT VELVETTA! (Cause round these parts we’re on a mission to teach as many people as possible to use American cheese in your queso for WAY better, restaurant-quality queso.)
For the base of the queso we’re going to roast some salsa veggies in the oven. We’ve got new mexico chiles, also called anaheim chiles, serranos, tomatillos, roma tomatoes, and garlic.
Roast them according to the recipe instructions…
Clean the chiles just like the recipe…
And CHOP! Torchy’s queso recipe uses sizes about ½ an inch square.
Clean and chop the tomatoes and mince the garlic.
Making the Torchy’s Queso Recipe:
In a large stockpot, melt the butter…
Add the garlic, and then the chopped veggies…
Add the half and half.
Melt in the Boar’s Head American cheese…
Add the 1/2 c. cheddar cheese and let it melt. Then add the verde sauce from the blender. Finish with the salt and lemon to taste.
You may use water to thin it when necessary, it won’t affect the flavor. This queso gets thick quick and often if left on the stove or in a crock pot.
Now, let this queso infuse while you prepare the other ingredients. I imagine Torchy’s makes the queso once a day, and always one day ahead. We noticed the green chile flavor takes about 3-6 hours to really infuse into the queso recipe. It can sit on the back of the stove, or you can chill it and reheat it before serving. Also, you can always thin it with a little water if it gets thick on you, which ours did.
Next, make the Torchy’s guacamole recipe which we put right here. It’s pretty basic. HAAS avocados, cilantro, white onion, salt, and garlic powder. We added a pop of lemon or lime juice to make it sing.
For assembly, use a scoop like this one to scoop a 1-2 oz. portion of guacamole into the bottom of your serving bowl.
Ladle the hot queso on top. Drizzle with Valentina which is very similar to their homemade diablo sauce.
Top with shredded cotija and fresh cilantro.
Walla! Enjoy my friends. 😀
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When I originally created this recipe years ago, I found this version to be very close to the original. Then, employees wrote into the blog with the actual recipe. For that reason, the chicken stock has been removed and I have fine-tuned the recipe further. If you are coming here from YouTube please follow this new recipe with the salsa verde and roasted chiles which mimics their salsa roja, the salsa the restaurant version is built on. Enjoy cooking our home version of Torchy's Queso!
- 4 T. butter
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 5 green new mexico chiles, also called anaheim
- Verde Sauce:
- 4 large tomatillos
- 2 serrano peppers
- 4 cloves garlic - for roasting
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
- Queso Base:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 c. half and half
- 1 pounds white or yellow BOAR's HEAD BRAND American cheese, from the deli (not Velveeta), cubed
- 1/2 c. sharp cheddar
- 1 T lemon juice
- ½ t. kosher salt
- Additional water to thin when necessary
- 1 prepared recipe of torchy’s guacamole copykat (linked in blog)
- Garnishes: Additional Valentina hot sauce, finely chopped cilantro, cotija cheese
TO ROAST THE CHILES:
Turn your broiler on high and move the rack to the second rung from the top. On a baking sheet place the tomatoes, tomatillos, serranos, green chiles, and garlic cloves (garlic should still be in the clove).
When the broiler is hot, place the pan under and roast the veggies for about 8 min. The skin of the tomato should be soft and peeling off and the green chiles should have small charred areas.
Remove the roasted garlic from the pan and reserve. Flip the chiles and tomatoes and place them back under the broiler for an additional 6-8 minutes to char on the other side.
After the final side is well roasted remove the veggies from the broiler and place on a countertop to cool.
In a blender, place the tomatillos, serranos, garlic, and 1/2 t. kosher salt. Blend well and reserve.
To clean the chiles, remove the majority of the seeds and the tops of the chile under warm running water in your sink. You will be able to peel off the charred and wilted skin, keeping the green roasted flesh of the pepper. Dice this into small pieces, about ½ in x ½ in, place into a bowl and reserve.
Remove the roasted tomatoes to a cutting board. Remove the skin and discard. Chop the tomatoes very fine and reserve.
FOR THE QUESO:
In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, melt the butter. Add the minced garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the green chiles and chopped tomato, stirring well. Season with a pinch of salt.
Pour in the half and half and the cubes of American cheese. Stir to incorporate and bring to medium heat. Allow the American cheese to melt into the mixture. Add the sharp cheddar. When it melts in, add the verde sauce from the blender.
Cook as long as it takes to melt the cheese. (Reduce heat to prevent the bottom from scorching if necessary.)
When the cheese has melted, and you have a dish resembling queso, add in the lemon juice and salt.
At this point, the queso looks done, but it takes at least 1-2 hours for the queso to start to pick up the flavor of the green chiles. I imagine in the store this queso is probably prepared 8-12 hours ahead of time to allow the green chile flavor to infuse into the cheese dip. If you have the time, this recipe is best enjoyed after an infusing period of time of at least 4 hours. It can be refrigerated and heated back up in a slow cooker. Just keep extra water or half and half around to thin it out. The Torchy’s version is a very loose queso.
In a serving bowl, scoop out a 2 oz. ball of Torchy’s guacamole. Ladle the hot queso over it. Shake 1 line of Valentina sauce over the queso. Top with shredded cotija and finely minced cilantro.
Serve hot with chips!
I recommend using only Boar's Head American cheese in either white or yellow for this recipe. Generic brands of American cheese will occasionally (though not always) get chunky. I do not know why this occurs but it has happened to me when making other queso recipes. You're safe with using Boar's Head in my experience.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 345mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
These nutritional values are an estimate only and provided as a courtesy. Different brands of ingredients may result in different calorie counts, and the software does not account for these differences. Consult with your dietician or doctor for precise nutritional values.