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Baked Queso Fundido

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Queso fundido– a Mexican cheese dip in a skillet, is a warm, gooey and delicious appetizer. A perfect dip for tortilla chips, veggie sticks and even on fresh bolillo bread! 

Close-up of fully baked queso fundido garnished with jalapeno slices.

About This Queso Fundido Dip Recipe

I love to host sports watch parties with good food that’s easy to make ahead. That way, when people come over I can spend time with my friends and not worry about prepping in the kitchen.

Plus, people like to be able to come and go at the food table depending on how the game is going- which is always unpredictable.

During the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica made it to the quarter-finals (thanks in part to our phenomenal goalkeeper Keylor Navas) and it was the furthest any Costa Rican team had ever made it in the FIFA World Cup. Nos tiramos pa’ la calle para celebrar!

Related post: 20+ Best Places For Your Next Costa Rica Vacation

Baby Wearing in Costa Rica
Mere minutes after Costa Rica advanced to the 2013 quarterfinals, the streets of Costa Rica were flooded with happy revelers!

Since we’ve been in Costa Rica for the last five FIFA World Cup tournaments, we are a bit sad that we won’t be watching the games in Costa Rica.

That’s because celebrating soccer is the absolute biggest deal in Costa Rica- oftentimes work and school is canceled on game days, liquor laws are changed in the event that games start outside of normal vending hours, and EVERYONE wears the red white and blue to cheer on the team. Talk about pura vida!

So for the 2018 World Cup watch parties I thought it would be fun to do an ooey-gooey queso fundido recipe this year.

You might also like our Homemade Guacamole Dip Recipe or the traditional Costa Rican frijol molido dip.

Queso fundido topped with jalapeno slices in a cast iron pan alongside small bowls of dip.

Vegetarian Queso Fundido Recipe

Ingredients (printable recipe below)

  • olive oil
  • chopped onion
  • garlic, pressed
  • salt
  • Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Oaxacan cheese (or may substitute shredded mozzarella)
  • Jalapeno slices (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat . Finely chop the onion and press the garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the pan, stirring occasionally until fragrant, then remove from the heat.

Grate the mozzarella cheese and pull apart the Oaxacan cheese and add to the skillet. Mix well and put into the oven. Bake until cheese is melted, bubbling and golden on top, or about 15 minutes. Serve hot with warm flour or corn tortillas.

Baked cheese dip served in a small cast iron pan.

Substitutions

Shredded mozzarella will work in place of Oaxacan cheese, and you can substitute milder poblano pepper slices for garnishes if jalapenos are too strong. In Colorado, we love to add roasted green chili to the top!

 You can also use queso quesadilla- really any kind of cheese that melts well works in here, but white cheese is most traditional.

Variations

Some people make an onion and pepper mixture and then layer the cheese on top. A lot of people slice up Mexican chorizos and add them to the middle. You can also do a chorizo mixture with onions and peppers.

You can put everything into a glass baking dish and bake if you prefer.

Serving Suggestions

I couldn’t help but make my two favorite homemade salsas- salsa verde cremosa and my spicy chile del arbol salsa recipe.  These were absolutely delicious when I put them on top of the queso fundido and rolled them up in a warm tortilla (in Mexico it’s traditional to use flour tortillas). In Costa Rica, we call this a gallo de queso- ¡demasiado rico!

I garnished my queso fundido with jalapeno slices, but those can certainly be omitted if they aren’t your thing. Pico de gallo, cilantro sprigs, and sour cream are great toppers as well! Though it will no longer be vegetarian, for a more traditional queso fundido, you can add chopped chorizo. 

Baked cheese dip served in a small cast iron pan.

FAQ

What does “queso fundido” mean?

Translated from the original Spanish, queso fundido means “melted cheese.”

Is queso fundido healthy?

Though it’s absolutely delicious, queso fundido isn’t known for its health benefits! It does tend to have a high fat and cholesterol content, so it’s best enjoyed in moderation. 

How do you pronounce “queso fundido”?

Queso fundido is pronounced: Kay-soh foon-dee-doh.

What To Serve With Queso Fundido

I couldn’t help but make my two favorite homemade salsas- salsa verde cremosa and my spicy chile del arbol salsa recipe.  These were absolutely delicious when I put them on top of the queso fundido and rolled them up in a warm tortilla. In Costa Rica, we call this a gallo de queso- ¡demasiado rico!

Once the queso came out of the oven it was GAME ON- listos para la fiesta! I garnished with a few jalapeño slices for fun and put everything on the table near the game so that we wouldn’t miss a thing. Add some fun soccer-themed plates, napkins, glasses and of course country flags- perfect FIFA World Cup soccer party!

Related Recipes You’ll Love

Printable Queso Fundido Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Vegetarian Queso Fundido

Baked cheese dip served in a small cast iron pan.

Queso fundido- a Mexican term for melted cheese in a skillet, is a warm, gooey, and delicious appetizer. This easy baked vegetarian queso fundido will be sure to please a crowd!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 package Oaxacan cheese (or may substitute shredded mozzarella)
  • Jalapeno slices for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch iron skillet until the skillet is warmed up.
  3. Finely chop the onion and press the garlic, adding them to the pan and sautéeing until fragrant, then remove from the heat.
  4. Grate the mozzarella cheese and pull apart the Oaxacan cheese and add to the skillet. Mix well and put into the oven.
  5. Bake until cheese is melted, bubbling and golden on top, or about 15 minutes. Serve hot with warm flour or corn tortillas.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 1095mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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About the Author

Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa! I fell in love with Latin America in my 20s, and I’m still head over heels! Here at Pura Vida Moms I celebrate what it means to be bicultural- Costa Rican recipes, bilingual parenting and family travel.

Follow her at: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest.

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4 Responses

  1. You just described my favorite easy party setup. Simple decor that adds to the atmosphere and a table full of delicious dips and refreshing Diet Coke! #client

    1. Amen sister. Nothing better- and I’m not going to lie, I totally ate queso fundido with tortilla and fried egg for breakfast the morning I shot this! XO
      ~Christa

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Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa, and I’m on a mission to help the world fall in love with Costa Rica through food, language and travel. I’m a Latina mom, bicultural, bilingual (English/Spanish), and 100% in love with celebrating parenthood in all its forms, (even the sucky parts). I’m so happy you found the site- WELCOME! Find out more about me here.

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