This chorizo queso is the perfect recipe to put the Instant Pot Duo Crisp to good use since you can cook, broil a crisp layer of cheesy chorizo on top, and keep warm all in one pot. You’ll only need 5 ingredients and about 20 minutes to make this queso, and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser for something so simple.
Oh, and if your kitchen is lacking an Instant Pot, have no fear. You can make this queso right on your stovetop or even in a crockpot, but we’ll get to that!
Chorizo Queso Recipe Walkthrough
I’ll run you through how to make the queso in the Instant Pot first and then cover stovetop and alternative prep methods after that. No matter the route you take, it’s easy peasy lime squeezy.
Cook ground chorizo using the sauté function on the Instant Pot. Set half aside for later.
I used the same lean chorizo (found at HEB) that my egg and chorizo quesadillas call for. As long as you’re using ground chorizo and not the cured chorizo, you should be golden.
And if you’re having trouble tracking down chorizo, you can make your own using our recipe for ground chicken chorizo. It’s a Kinda Healthy recipe, but you could swap the ground chicken for ground pork to work with this chorizo queso.
Add RO-TEL or diced tomatoes with green chiles, cooking until no liquid remains.
I used the Mexican-Style RO-TEL which has added lime and cilantro. Any can of diced tomatoes with green chiles will get the job done, though. Instead of draining, keep that flavor in and let the heat cook off any excess liquid.
Add evaporated milk and stir until warm. Switch the Instant Pot from sauté to slow cook or keep warm.
Evaporated milk is a queso cheat code. Since the water has already been removed, there’s no need to worry about reducing the base of your queso or adding any thickening agents like flour or corn starch. Just warm it enough to melt the cheese and you’ll have a rich, creamy queso in no time.
While evaporated milk can withstand higher temperatures without curdling, you don’t need tons of heat for melting the cheese. So take it low and slow by using the Instant Pot’s slow cooker or keep warm functions instead of the sauté function.
Gradually add American cheese 1-2 ounces at a time, stirring to fully melt.
It’s important to use a higher quality American cheese here, not just the individually wrapped slices in the dairy section. You can find some better American cheese at the deli counter of your grocery store. Cubed or sliced, it doesn’t matter. You can break it up into pieces to speed up the melting process.
Why American cheese? It’s just magic in the melting department. The only thing better is probably liquid gold AKA Velveeta.
Do the same with shredded Monterey jack cheese.
I tested this chorizo queso with cheddar and several other blends, but I found Monterey jack worked the best. But feel free to experiment!
As long as you take it slow, you should have a silky smooth queso that sticks to the back of a spoon. You could serve it straight up from here and top with some of the reserved chorizo, guacamole, pico de gallo, and queso fresco. Or you could go the extra mile to create a beautifully crispy top layer of broiled cheese.
Top the queso with the remaining chorizo and extra shredded cheese.
If you can’t tell, the photo above has shredded cheddar on top. Feel free to use cheddar, but the recipe calls for an extra 2 ounces of Monterey jack since you’re already working with that. Both work great here.
Use the broil function on Instant Pot Duo Crisp for 5 minutes to melt the top layer of cheese.
Be careful not to burn the cheese. Start slow and extend the broil time if necessary. And that’s a wrap. Top your chorizo queso with a little queso fresco and cilantro before serving and get dipping!
You’ll find instructions on alternative cook methods in the notes section of the recipe card below. If you have any other recipe questions, you can leave a comment at the bottom of the post. And be sure to leave a recipe review if you try this chorizo queso. We really appreciate them!
- 12 oz Ground Chorizo
- 10 oz can RO-TEL (or diced tomatoes and green chiles)
- 12 oz can Evaporated Milk
- 8 oz Quality American Cheese (I used Boar's Head)
- 6 oz Shredded Monterey Jack, divided
- Use the sauté function on the Instant Pot to cook the chorizo. Once cooked, transfer half to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the RO-TEL, undrained, and cook until no liquid remains.
- Add the evaporated milk and stir everything together until warm.
- Turn off the sauté function and set the Instant Pot to its low slow cooker or keep warm function.
- Gradually add the American cheese, 1-2 oz at a time, stirring until fully melted. Once you've incorporated all the American cheese, do the same with 4 oz of Monterey jack, reserving 2 oz for topping. (You can season to taste here with things like ground cumin or chili powder. Go light on the salt, as you'll be adding chorizo back to the queso.)
- Once all the cheese is melted and the queso is smooth, add the remaining chorizo on top with 2 oz of Monterey jack. Use the Instant Pot's broil function* for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
*If you don't have an Instant Pot Duo Crisp with a broil function, you can put the cover on and let the residual heat melt the cheese.
For stovetop prep, cook the chorizo in a large pot and set half aside. Add the RO-TEL, cooking off excess liquid, before reducing to a low heat and adding the evaporated milk. Follow the recipe as written, making sure to avoid too much heat and stirring often to prevent scalding.
For slow cooker prep, cook the chorizo and RO-TEL in a pan before adding to a slow cooker with the evaporated milk, warming, and stirring in the cheese.
To make this chorizo queso on a smoker, cook the chorizo and add everything to a grill pan at 250ºF for 40-50 minutes. Check out our Traeger smoked queso or smoked chicken cheese dip recipes for more ideas.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 11 Serving Size: about 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 24gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 17g