The Absolute Best Store-Bought Quesos For Your Next Game Night

Queso is a Tex-Mex staple. A bowl of queso dip is as popular as guacamole or salsa, depending on which Texans you ask. The traditional way to eat it is as an appetizer along with tortilla chips at a restaurant (via the Austin American-Statesman). The original recipe may be shocking to those outside of the Southwest, though. A can of Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies and a block of Velveeta cheese are all that is required to make queso, explains The New Yorker. But sometimes, melting cheese at home doesn't sound great. It can be messy or take too much effort. In these instances, it can be necessary to pick up a pre-made, store-bought queso.

If you're looking for a great grocery store queso to fuel your next game night, keep reading. We've rounded up some of the most popular melted cheese products, including beloved queso makers like Tostitos, Herdez, Taco Bell, Pace, H-E-B, and more. With all of our recommended melted cheeses, we made sure that these store-bought quesos are extra cheesy, creamy, and flavorful. To discover the absolute best store-bought quesos out there, read on.

Salpica Salsa con Queso, Medium

One great store-bought queso for your next game night is Salpica's salsa con queso. This particular kind of queso is a combination of melted cheese and salsa. But you can expect the company Salpica – a Tex-Mex company that specializes in making various dips — to create an especially good product. This particular item is one of only two quesos made by the brand. It's made with smoked jalapeños, so its heat level is not completely nonexistent. Salpica calls it a "medium" in terms of spiciness.

Right off the bat, this queso is appealing to us in color. The deep yellow and orange appearance is what we would expect from a salsa con queso. Per Walmart, one of its main ingredients is a cheese blend of cheddar and blue cheese. For the salsa element, Salpica mixes in tomatoes, red salsa, and smoked jalapeño. The combination of these ingredients is bound to be flavorful. Also of note is the fact that this queso is handmade along with other Salpica products in Texas, guaranteeing that this item is bound to be authentic, yet satisfying, in taste.

Herdez Queso Blanco Dip, Medium

Another great option is Herdez's queso blanco. Herdez is a Mexican condiment company that produces salsas, chips, hot sauces, guacamoles, canned peppers, and other treats. Since this genre is kind of Herdez's thing, it makes sense that Mexican-American dishes like queso would be well-liked. It produces both a medium-heat salsa con queso and a medium-heat queso blanco. Both are good, but we are partial to Herdez's queso blanco. With spiciness provided by jalapeños, Mexican spices, and that especially creamy flavor that's typical of queso blanco — this dip doesn't disappoint.

Per Herdez, this product is made with Monterey Jack cheese. This white cheese is ideal for melting because it's full of fat and moisture. Obviously with queso, the meltier, the better. On Amazon, more than one individual reviewed Herdez's queso blanco in a complimentary way. One reviewer called it good, "with more heat than mainstream US brands." Another consumer said that it was perfect when heated, which is the way most people want to eat queso. "This is the best jar queso that I have ever had. ... It only took 1 minute thirty to get to a silky warm and smooth texture," they wrote.

Stonewall Kitchen Chile con Queso

Stonewall Kitchen is a group of home goods and food brands. Whole Foods stocks its products, so that's where you may have seen them before. Within the titular food brand, the company makes a dip called Stonewall Kitchen Chile Con Queso. The brand describes this product as having a Texas-inspired recipe, with ingredients like cheddar cheese, jalapeños, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers. As you may be able to recognize, this dip is essentially salsa con queso, but with a new name.

It's a pretty standard recipe, but we appreciate certain aspects of this product. For one, it's gluten-free — it says so on the jar. Speaking of which, it comes in a glass jar, which improves the look of this product. Finally, it's made without genetically modified ingredients. All of these things contribute to a tasting experience that comes across as fresh and authentic. As one person wrote on the Stonewall website, "It doesn't taste fake." Other compliments centered around the combination of spice and cheese, which some believed was executed well in Stonewall's Chile Con Queso. "Really delicious and a great balance of heat," another customer added.

Tostitos Salsa con Queso, Medium

Many readers may be familiar with the brand Tostitos. It's known for its chips and dips, especially products like Hint of Lime tortilla chips and chunky medium salsa. But you may not be aware of Tostitos' salsa con queso, a store-bought dip that you can find pretty easily. Its recipe is not unique, as it's a combination of Monterey Jack cheese, tomatoes, and jalapeño along with being described as having medium heat. But if you're rushing to prepare snacks for your game night, just pick up a jar of this stuff, heat it in the microwave, and set out your dipping vessels of choice.

On the review website Influenster, users have provided additional ways to enjoy Tostitos' queso. They suggested using it as a nacho topping, rather than as a dip for chips. Other customers appreciated the smooth consistency of the melted cheese product. "The smoothness of the dip and the taste, absolutely delicious," wrote another reviewer. One person even said they liked dipping chicken fingers and french fries into the product. If this sounds like you, you might want to give this queso a try.

Good & Gather Salsa con Queso

Good & Gather is Target's line of food products, and are sold only at Target or online. If you're hoping to buy this queso in-store and don't have a Target nearby, then you might be out of luck. On the other hand, if you're a regular Target shopper, this queso could be the easiest to pick up. Good & Gather's salsa con queso comes highly reviewed by those that have bought it. There are over 400 ratings on the Target website for this queso, coming out to an average rating of 4.4 out of 5. People appreciated the fact that it was cheaper than other name-brand quesos, creamy, fresh-tasting, and contained a small kick of heat.

This item is described as having a mild amount of heat by Good & Gather. It's also said to be made with a creamy cheese blend, including Monterey Jack cheese along with red bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, and diced tomatoes. All of this is what you expect to see in jarred queso, but that doesn't make it bad. In addition to eating it as a dip, Good & Gather recommends having this salsa con queso as a nacho, taco, or burrito garnish. The brand also suggests adding it to various chicken or beef dishes. If you want to take the company's advice, you could make your own nacho beef dip recipe.

Queso Mama White Queso with Diced Green Chiles

Queso Mama is a brand specializing in queso. Its melted cheese products can be found at Whole Foods, Costco, and Target. One of Queso Mama's most popular products is its White Queso with Green Chiles. According to Queso Mama, it is conveniently both vegetarian and gluten-free. We like this because it could open up the product for more people to enjoy. This also makes it great for putting out at a gathering like a game night where participants may have different dietary needs.

Per the Target product page, Queso Mama's White Queso with Green Chiles is also made with a more limited number of ingredients compared to other queso products. Some may see this as a green flag to see on food labels, because fewer ingredients could mean less processing. Also by looking at the nutritional label, we can see that this queso is made with American cheese — which may be of note for some shoppers.

One thing is clear, however: Shoppers who tried this queso found it to be delicious, per reviews on the Target page, which gave the product an average rating of 4.6 out of 5. On Reddit, consumers also raved about this queso blanco. "Run, don't walk! Go get this queso! Tastes just like the Mexican restaurant cheese!" wrote one poster. "I went through 2 tubs in 2 weeks. I had to just stop buying it. I ate it too fast," said another one.

On the Border Salsa con Queso

On the Border's salsa con queso is another dip that will help to round out your snack selection. Per the company, this queso is made with real Monterey Jack cheese and jalapeño peppers.

The brand On the Border is a snack food line that accompanies the chain of American Tex-Mex restaurants which go by the same name. On the Border's food products (a variety of chips and dips) mimic those served on their menus. They are sold at Walmart and on Amazon, and their salsa con queso is especially well-liked. On Walmart's website, it's been reviewed over 100 times, receiving an average rating of 4.3 out of 5.

Customers like that this product tastes like the queso sold at the restaurant. "The best queso on the market. Tastes just like that served in the On the Border restaurant," one person wrote. Other reviews compliment the texture, price, flavor, and versatility of it, making note that the queso was good enough to enjoy eating in several different ways.

Cacique Mild Mexican-style Queso Blanco Dip, Mild

Cacique is a food brand that makes more than just chips and dips. Per the company's website, it prides itself on making Mexican food products that are especially authentic. This includes cheeses, crema, chorizos, and salsa.

According to Cacique, its queso blanco dip is inspired by queso fundido. This traditional recipe — that is said to have existed long before Americans popularized dips like salsa con queso — is made with real Mexican cheese, mixed with grilled peppers or other vegetables, and eaten with fresh tortillas, per Texas Monthly. This is why it's no surprise that the first ingredient in Cacique's Mexican-Style queso blanco is queso fresco. Other than the choice of cheese, the ingredients in this dip are pretty standard, including the use of jalapeño peppers.

Due to the different style of this queso, it may not be what some people are looking for. As a Reddit post explains, there is a difference between an authentic Tex-Mex queso, nacho cheese, and a Mexican-style queso. Many of the jarred, store-bought quesos on this list do not fit into this last category, but Cacique's does. If you're looking to have a queso blanco that is more like a queso fundido, then this is the one for you.

Chi-Chi's Salsa con Queso, Mild

Chi-Chi's Mild salsa con queso is another melted cheese dip that only takes minutes (or possibly even seconds) to prepare. Having something like this on hand is useful when entertaining guests during a game night. You could even add chorizo to the dip to easily make a more hearty, meaty appetizer. Also, since Chi-Chi's product is mild, its heat level is low enough to be inoffensive to many different spice tolerances.

Per Chi-Chi's, this queso is made with Monterey Jack cheese, tomatoes, green chiles, jalapeño peppers, and more. On Chi-Chi's website, it is extremely popular with reviewers. It's been reviewed over 150 times, receiving an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. In terms of flavor, it seems to be more of a nacho cheese-tasting product than anything else. One user described it as an upgraded version of what you would be served at a bowling alley or movie theater. People also recommend eating it with fajitas or chicken dishes.

365 Organic White Queso

365 White Queso is a product made by Whole Foods' 365 product line, which is known for its strict quality standards which include the banning of over 200 ingredients. This melted cheese dip is described as being USDA Organic, low-fat, sugar-conscious, and keto-friendly. According to the ingredients list, it's made with white cheddar cheese and cream, which should make a white queso that is especially smooth and rich.

This item is popular on Amazon, but not all of the reviews are complimentary. A few people complained about a bad smell that emitted from the queso once it was heated. Others said that it lacked salt, which could be a good thing for some individuals. There were still a few positive reviews. "I love this queso! It is full of flavor and easy to heat up for eating with tortilla chips. I buy some every time I make a Whole Foods order. I highly recommend," wrote one person.

Taco Bell Mild Salsa con Queso

Taco Bell's mild salsa con queso is a condiment that may be fitting for fans of the fast food chain's nacho cheese. This cheese sauce is a part of menu items like Chips and Nacho Cheese, Nachos Bellgrande, or 7-Layer Nacho Fries. According to reviews on the website Influenster, it doesn't taste exactly like Taco Bell's nacho cheese sold in stores, but it does have a flavor similar to something sold at the chain.

On Walmart's website, the product has been reviewed over 200 times, where it has an average rating of 3.5 out of 5. It's described as having a flavor more like a mild, slightly sweet nacho cheese sauce, rather than a traditional queso. One review complimented it, writing, "It has a wonderfully mild taste and is nice and creamy." If you're looking for a store-bought queso to pour over some tortilla chips for your next game night, this is one option. We wouldn't set this out as a normal dip, but that doesn't mean it isn't useful.

H-E-B Queso Blanco, Mild

H-E-B is a regional grocery store chain with over 400 locations across Texas and Mexico. Because H-E-B services these areas, it makes sense that this grocery store makes a great queso blanco. It comes highly recommended by multiple people on Reddit. One person called it the best white queso in Austin. Another person called it one of the best store-bought quesos out there. "If you are in TX, HEB white queso is quite good," they wrote.

Per H-E-B, this queso blanco is made with American cheese, milk, plus half and half, giving it that creamy taste that is expected from this type of queso. It is also mixed with jalapeños, so you can expect a little bit of a kick. On top of that, this product is made with tomatoes with green chiles (one important aspect of the traditional Tex-Mex version of queso). As you can see, its recipe was created with intention, and if you can get your hands on it, this dip will likely not disappoint.

Pace Nacho Jalapeño Queso, Mild

Pace Nacho Jalapeño Queso is a dip made with multiple types of cheese. According to Campbell's, the company which owns Pace, it's made with Monterey Jack cheese, Neufchatel cheese, cheddar cheese, and blue cheese.

On Influenster, reviews described it as more cheesy than creamy, as a great queso should be. On Amazon, Pace's Nacho Jalapeño Queso has earned an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 across more than 400 ratings. "This isn't too hot, but does have a little bit of the jalapeño nacho flavor, so it is good as a cracker dip," wrote one person. The reviewer continued, recommending how to prepare this jarred queso. "I took about a third of the bottle out into a bowl, and microwave for 45 seconds, and that was good enough for eating with crackers. This is pretty satisfying for a quick snack. It is easy to prepare."