The Delicious Case For Sneaking Sweet Potatoes Into Queso

There's nothing like dipping into a bowl of warm, melty queso. No matter your vessel of choice, be it tortilla chips, sliced vegetables, or a straight-up spoon, a dollop of queso makes everything better. 

The unofficial dip of Texas, chile con queso, or just "queso," as its fans have so endearingly abbreviated it, is a sauce made from melted cheese and chili peppers. Since its conception in the Tex-Mex culinary sphere in the '90s, queso has blown up in popularity, filling the mouths and hearts of cheese lovers across the United States and beyond.

Today, queso can be found not only on Tex-Mex restaurant menus and grocery store shelves, but also on countless food and recipe blogs. Creative queso cooks have transformed this simple recipe with alterations that bring the cheesy dip up a notch. Some of these imaginative recipes utilize sweet potatoes, which yield an unexpectedly delicious final product.

A vibrant twist on a quality dip

The Healthy Epicurean's "healthy queso dip" recipe sneaks in an unexpected ingredient: puréed sweet potato. Though an unusual addition, the supporting spud enhances the queso by adding a vibrant orange hue and subtly sweet, smooth flavor that's just begging to be tried. (Sweet potato stans recognize just how much of a rockstar the root vegetable really is.)

What's more, sweet potatoes take queso's nutritional properties to the next level. Sweet potatoes are not only full of fiber and cancer-preventing antioxidants, but they're also a significant source of vitamins A, C, and B6, and minerals including manganese, copper, and potassium. On top of the nutrients they provide, they may also support gut health, vision, and brain function. 

With all of the benefits sweet potatoes offer, though, it doesn't take a particularly high-functioning brain to see why they make a great addition to queso.

Not a replacement, but a variation

Sweet potato isn't the only potential queso addition. The Healthy Epicurean notes that the ingredient can be swapped with pumpkin or butternut squash purée for a similar flavor and nutritional boost. 

Other nutrient-rich renditions go beyond adding sweet, orange vegetables. Some recipes replace the cheese altogether with other flavorful ingredients such as cashews, nutritional yeast, and even harissa. When it comes to elevating queso, the possibilities are endless. 

Let's be clear, though: Classic queso dip does not need to be "fixed" or "health-ified" in any way. Sometimes, we just want the original version of queso in all its hot, gooey glory — and that's perfectly fine. When it comes to satisfying a cheesy, Tex-Mex-inspired craving, a classic queso dip is about as good as it gets. When looking for ways to switch up the queso experience, though, these variations can definitely come in handy.