Decorating a White Queso Dip for Christmas or a winter party is super easy. Add olive eyes, a smile, and a carrot nose to this Mexican cheese dip to make it festive and fun.
Queso dip, also known as Queso Blanco, is an easy appetizer to make for any event so why not have some fun with it?
My most popular Christmas appetizer is a cute skillet dip snowman. Everyone loves it and It's so easy to decorate that I used the same technique to make this Snowman Queso Dip.
You'll start by making the creamy white cheese dip on the stovetop and before serving it you'll add a snowman face made with black olives and a carrot.
Make the snowman face.
You'll need two large black olives for the eyes. Just keep them whole.
For the smile, cut four large black olives in half, then cut out circles from 7 slices. You can use a knife, kitchen shears, or a round plunger cutter to cut the black olive circles.
Then, cut a baby carrot into a cone using a vegetable peeler.
What cheese to use to make white queso dip?
White American Cheese pared with Mozzarella cheese tastes great in this queso dip recipe. Both of these styles of cheese melt nicely and blend together into a smooth dip. You can also use Monterey Jack or Fontina cheese instead of Mozzarella. You just want a good white melting cheese.
You can find white American cheese in the deli. You'll need 12 ounces of this cheese. I purchased three ¼-pound slices of cheese that I cut into small cubes. Optionally, you could have them cut one big chunk of the cheese and shred it using a cheese grater.
I recommend using a block of mozzarella cheese and shredding it yourself. Pre-shredded mozzarella cheese is coated in cellulose to keep it from clumping. Your queso dip will be smoother and creamier if you use freshly shredded cheese.
Ingredients in white queso dip:
- evaporated milk - Use 1 can of evaporated milk for a thick and creamy queso dip. Other recipes call for half-and-half or milk, but those dips can separate and turn greasy or clumpy. Evaporated milk has less liquid and will make a creamy dip that doesn't separate.
- corn starch - Adding corn starch will help to thicken this dip.
- white American and Mozzarella cheeses - see notes above
- salt and pepper- Both will enhance the flavor of the cheese dip. If you have white pepper on hand, use it to keep your dip even whiter.
- chili powder - This spice gives your queso dip a robust flavor and a tiny bit of heat.
- jalapenos - Not only will jalapenos add a spicy pickled flavor but they also add a crunchy texture.
Is this queso dip spicy?
It is mildly spicy but you can adjust the spiciness to your liking. If you really want to ramp up the spice, add more jalapenos, black pepper, or chili powder, and throw in some red pepper flakes.
If you don't like spicy foods, use no-heat jalapenos and less chili powder and black pepper.
How to make white queso dip?
The trick to making this dip is to allow the cheese to melt thoroughly with each addition and to stir constantly so the cheese doesn't burn on the bottom of your pan.
- Start by scalding the evaporated milk (heat it just until it bubbles) over medium-high heat.
- Then, slowly whisk in the cornstarch.
- Next, lower the heat to low and add the white American cheese in 3 batches, stirring until the cheese completely melts before adding more cheese.
- Stir in the Mozzarella cheese until it melts until smooth.
- Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, and jalapenos.
- The dip is now ready to serve.
NOTES: I start by using a whisk to combine the milk and cornstarch, then I changed to a ThermoWorks Silicone Spatula. I love that the heat-proof spatula can get into the corners of my saucepan and easily scrape the bottom and sides of the pan.
How to keep queso dip warm?
If you heat a cast iron skillet in a 300-degree oven for about 10 minutes it will help to keep your queso dip warm for serving.
Pour the hot queso dip into the hot skillet just before you plan to serve it.
Be sure to set the hot skillet on a trivet like a ThermoWorks 9" x 12" silicone hot pad. I love these silicone hot pads because they are heat resistant, are made of non-slip material, and can be thrown into the dishwasher for cleaning. But the best thing is that mine is purple (my favorite color) but they are available in a rainbow of colors to match your kitchen or holiday.
Can I serve my queso dip snowman in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can also make and serve your dip in a Crock Pot or even in a fondue pot. I've included instructions in the recipe below. If you use a round pot, then you can easily decorate it with the snowman face.
Can I prepare the queso dip ahead of time?
Yes, but the cheese dip will solidify as it cools. You can reheat the dip on the stove over low heat or in the microwave but you'll need to add some heavy whipping cream, half-and-half, or milk to thin it out.
Decorate your Christmas dip.
Now, the fun part. Turn your white queso dip into a cute snowman.
Place the carrot nose in the middle of the dip first.
Then, arrange two black olive eyes above the carrot and place seven olive circles in a smile below the carrot.
Serve with tortilla chips and jalapenos.
I like to use Tostitos Scoops but any tortilla chips will taste great with this dip.
Be sure to have extra jalapenos on hand for any of your Christmas party guests that like a bit more heat.
More Snowman Recipe Ideas
Click the images to see the recipes to make these cute snowman-themed desserts and appetizers.
Snowman Queso Blanco Recipe
Decorate a creamy white queso dip to look like a snowman with black olive eyes, a carrot nose, and a black olive smile. This festive dip is a perfect Christmas appetizer.
- 12 ounces (1 can) evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 12 ounces white American cheese, shredded or cut into small cubes
- 4 ounces Mozzarella or Monterrey Jack Cheese, freshly shredded
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- 3 tablespoons jalapenos, finely chopped
Drain 6 large black olives.
Keep two whole olives for the eyes then cut the remaining olives in half.
Cut 7 circles from the olive slices.
Peel a small baby carrot into a cone-shaped nose.
If using, warm a cast iron skillet in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes. This will keep your dip warm.
Pour the evaporated milk into a medium saucepan and set it over medium-high heat.
Whisk in the corn starch.
Allow the milk to warm until bubbles just begin to form around the edge of the pan.
Turn the heat down to low and add ⅓ of the white American cheese.
Stir constantly until all of the cheese melts.
Add another ⅓ of the cheese, allow it to melt, then add the remaining American cheese and allow it to melt.
Then, stir in the Mozzarella cheese until it completely melts.
Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, and jalapenos.
Pour the Queso Blanco into the warm skillet and immediately add the olive eyes, smile, and carrot nose.
Serve and enjoy!
If you need to make this dip ahead, reheat it in the saucepan over low heat adding a splash of heavy whipping cream, half and half, or milk, stirring until smooth and warm. Then pour it into a hot skillet to serve.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can reheat leftover cheese dip in the microwave. Add some cream, half-and-half, or milk, and heat the cheese dip for 15-second bursts of high power, stirring after each until creamy.
If you prefer, you can make and serve this dip in a crock pot. Combine the evaporated milk, cornstarch, and cheese in the bowl of your slow cooker. Turn the heat on high and place the lid on the bowl. Let the cheese melt. Then, stir in the salt, pepper, chili powder, and jalapenos. Turn the heat down to low to keep the queso dip warm. Decorate the dip in the crock pot just before serving.