Queso – Taco Villa Topeka Copycat

I have been trying to make something like the queso sauce they serve at Taco Villa in Topeka since about 1986 when I lived near there. I have had countless fails. I was there again yesterday and decided to try one last time. I think I nailed it.

Makes 4 cups


  • 28 oz. can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilis
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 9 oz. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese. If you grate your own from a block of cheese, it melts better. Pre-shredded cheese has less moisture, so it is more difficult to melt.
  • 2 Tablespoons diced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon diced jalapeno pepper juice (to taste).
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt.


  1. Blend the Rotel in a blender until smooth.
  2. Press the mixture through a strainer to remove all the skins and seeds. I used a chinois strainer, so I could push out all the juice.
  3. Add the butter and olive oil to a medium sized stock pot.
  4. Melt the butter over medium heat and stir it into the olive oil.
  5. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly (this is the roux base for our cheese sauce).
  6. Reduce the heat to a high simmer. (below medium)
  7. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until fully melted.
  8. Stir in the Rotel juice and salt.
  9. Add the diced jalapeno (without the juice)
  10. Add the jalapeno juice gradually, to taste (this is where the queso gets its piquancy (spiciness).
  11. Simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.
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