Oozy, gooey, warm melted cheese. Got your attention? Queso fundido with chorizo is a guilty pleasure in a hot terracotta pot. A dunky dip for tortilla chips, it’s unbelievably low-prep and dangerously moreish. This is your new indulgent go-to.
I cannot get enough of Mexican flavours; chilli, fresh lime, juicy tomato, cilantro and tequila! My dream menu looks like this: queso fundido con chorizo with crunchy tortilla chips, followed by a chicken fajita bowl, accompanied by a cool smoky blood orange margarita. What’s yours?
Queso fundido con chorizo
Unmistakably Mexican, it’s a melted cheese and chorizo dip, that originated around campfires and was made to share. The cheese was left to melt in a pot over the fire and then spread on soft flour tortillas, keeping everyone warm and satisfied for their night under the stars.
This dip can be served with chorizo or without (queso fundido), but I like it with thanks to the bonus chilli kick and additional layer of meaty flavour! Vegetarian substitutes are mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, or straight up poblano peppers.
If you’re feeling wildly brave and want to impress, you can ramp up your queso fundido to queso flameado! Essentially, douse the oven-hot dish with rum, brandy or tequila and light it to flambé and bring it flaming to the table.
But, please, think twice about this if you have already been at the tequila.
What cheese to use
Mexican cheeses like queso asadero, which literally means ‘roasting cheese’, or queso Oaxaca are the varieties most commonly used in the fundido recipe. Asadero is light and tangy, while Oaxaca has an earthy butteryness.
Both are pale in colour, melt spectacularly and give the classic cheese-stretch that is the hallmark of a perfect quesadilla or fundido.
Outside their native land and the US, these Mexican cheeses might not be so easily located, but don’t worry extensive experimentation has brought me to the ideal substitutes. Monterey Jack for rich creamy texture, mozzarella for webby cheese-pull and mild milkiness, and cheddar, the ultimate melter and all-round cheese hero.
A combination of all three works best but go ahead with a mozzarella and cheddar mix if that’s all you can get.
What chorizo to use
What? There’s more than one kind??
Yes. Let’s break it down to Mexican vs Spanish. Simply put, Mexican chorizo is raw pork (or sometimes beef is added too)ground with seasonings and red peppers for a fiery flavour. Spanish chorizo is harder in texture and made from semi-cured pork seasoned with paprika, so the flavour is smoky.
Firm Spanish chorizo is safe to eat raw. But you can also get uncooked Spanish chorizo sausages; the flavour is the similar, the texture is different and these are cooking sausages. I use them in soups, stews, or chilli for a bit of added smokiness.
No doubt they will be clearly labelled so there’s no mistaking these chorizo champs, but it’s good to remember that Mexican chorizo should be cooked before eating. The firm Spanish one can be sliced and eaten straight off the sausage.
I’ve used the Mexican version to keep it traditional and because I like the spice! But Spanish cooking chorizo sausages will work just as well and be deliciously smoky with less of a kick.
A decadent TV snack for two, a saucy side for a Mexican feast, or one of a few small plates, this rich dip comes with a cheese-coma warning! Balance out the sleep-inducing effects with enlivening dips like pico de gallo or fresh salsa.
Recipe tips and notes
- Queso asadero or queso Oaxaca are Mexican cheeses used for authentic fundido, but they could be tricky to source. Particularly in the UK! But Monterey Jack, which is available in big supermarkets and good delis, is the most similar in flavour and texture to traditional fundido cheeses.
- I’ve used a clever mash-up of Monterey Jack, mozzarella and cheddar. And I’m very happy with the result!
- I tend to avoid pre-grated cheeses. They come coated in starch and this creates a grainy texture when melted for sauces or dips.
- If you can’t get hold of Mexican chorizo, you can substitute with Spanish chorizo sausages (the cooking kind).
- If you’re not a pickle fan or can’t stomach a jalapeño, you can leave them out. For a little extra flavour, put a scoop of salsa in the bottom of the dish instead.
- Keep checking your cheese! Cook it too long and it will harden – not very tortilla-friendly. Take it out of the oven when it’s just melted and starting to bubble. It can be tempting to wait for a little colour to appear on top – but don’t!
- This hot and rich Mexican cheese dip can be beautifully balanced by a cool and refreshing salsa. I like pico do gallo or my 5-minute blender salsa fresca.
- Finally, serve with a side of tortilla chips for scooping.
Storage and leftovers
Leftover queso fundido? Unimaginable! But if you do have a little left, cover it and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until cooked through.
Caution: nuked cheese is HOT! Eaten all the tortilla chips? Slather the melty cheese on some sourdough toast for a super speedy Mexican snack.
More recipes to try
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Chicken Chilaquiles with Warm Corn Salad
- Beast Taco Meat Recipe (With Homemade Spice Mix)
- Chorizo Breakfast Hash with Feta
- Chicken Fajitas
Queso Fundido with chorizo
- 2 chorizo sausages casing removed (not cured Spanish chorizo)
- 1 tbsp jarred pickled jalapeno Chopped
- 100g / 1 ¼ cups cheddar
- 100g / 1 ¼ cups cheese (Monterey jack)
- 50g / ½ cup mozzarella
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Add the chorizo sausage to a frying pan and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until done while breaking up with a spatula. Remove from a pan and set aside till needed.
- Grate the cheeses and chop up the pickled jalapeños.
- Assemble the dish by covering the bottom of a small oven proof dish with the cooked chorizo. Reserving a couple of tablespoon for garnish.
- Then add the chopped jalapeños and mixed grated cheese. Cook in the preheated to 180C/350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly but not coloured.
- Top the dip with the reserved chorizo and pico de Gallo if using. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. If left too long, the melted cheese will harden.