How to Make Costa Vida Queso at Home

Hello, Good News! If you are a fan of the creamy, cheesy, and spicy queso dip from Costa Vida, you might be wondering how to make it at home. Well, you are in luck, because we have the perfect recipe for you. In this article, we will show you how to make Costa Vida queso from scratch, using simple ingredients and easy steps. You will also learn some variations and tips to customize your queso to your liking. So, get ready to enjoy this delicious dip with your favorite tortilla chips, tacos, burritos, or whatever you prefer.

Costa Vida is a fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in fresh Mexican food. Their queso dip is one of their most popular items, and for a good reason. It is made with a blend of cheeses, salsa, cream cheese, jalapenos, tomato, and spices, creating a smooth and flavorful sauce that goes well with anything. It is also gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly, making it a great option for everyone. But you don’t have to go to the restaurant to enjoy this queso. You can make it at home with just a few ingredients and a saucepan.

What You Need to Make Costa Vida Queso

To make Costa Vida queso at home, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (4 ounces) of chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup of chopped jalapenos (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 cup of salsa
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • Tortilla chips for dipping

You will also need a medium saucepan, a whisk, a wooden spoon, and a serving bowl.

How to Make Costa Vida Queso Step by Step

Follow these easy steps to make Costa Vida queso at home:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the green chilies and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and milk until smooth. Gradually stir this mixture into the saucepan, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and gradually stir in the cheeses, one handful at a time. Wait until each addition is melted before adding more. Stir until smooth and creamy.
  6. If using jalapenos, stir them in now. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and salt to taste.
  7. Stir in the salsa and tomato. Cook until heated through.
  8. Transfer the queso to a serving bowl and enjoy with tortilla chips or your favorite Mexican dishes.

Variations and Tips for Making Costa Vida Queso

You can customize your Costa Vida queso according to your preferences and what you have on hand. Here are some variations and tips to try:

Add Some Meat

If you want to make your queso more hearty and filling, you can add some cooked meat to it. Some options are ground beef, chorizo, chicken, or bacon. Just brown the meat in a skillet before adding it to the cheese mixture. You can also use leftover rotisserie chicken or shredded pork.

Use Different Cheeses

You can experiment with different cheeses to change the flavor and texture of your queso. Some alternatives are American cheese, cream cheese, Velveeta, pepper jack cheese, or Colby jack cheese. You can also use a combination of cheeses for more variety.

Spice It Up or Tone It Down

You can adjust the spiciness of your queso by adding more or less jalapenos, cayenne pepper, chili powder, or salsa. You can also use different types of salsa, such as mild, medium, hot, or chunky. If you like it really spicy, you can add some chopped habanero peppers, serrano peppers, or hot sauce.

Add Some Veggies

You can add some extra veggies to your queso for more color and nutrition. Some options are corn, black beans, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, or avocado. You can also use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones for a fresher taste.

Make It in a Slow Cooker or an Instant Pot

If you want to make your queso in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot, you can follow these simple steps:

  • Combine all the ingredients except the salsa and tomato in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot. Stir well to combine.
  • If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted and smooth. If using an Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
  • Stir in the salsa and tomato. Serve warm or keep on the warm setting until ready to serve.

Nutrition Facts and Benefits of Costa Vida Queso

Costa Vida queso is not only delicious but also nutritious. Here are some nutrition facts and benefits of this dip:

Nutrient Amount per Serving (1/4 cup) % Daily Value
Calories 200
Fat 15 g 23%
Saturated Fat 9 g 45%
Cholesterol 45 mg 15%
Sodium 390 mg 16%
Carbohydrate 6 g 2%
Fiber 1 g 4%
Sugar 3 g
Protein 10 g 20%
*Based on a 2000-calorie diet.
Benefits of Costa Vida Queso:
– It is a good source of protein, which helps build and repair muscles, bones, skin, and other tissues.
– It is a good source of calcium, which helps maintain strong bones and teeth, as well as regulate muscle and nerve function.
– It is a good source of vitamin A, which helps support vision, immune system, and skin health.
– It contains antioxidants from the tomatoes and peppers, which help protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals.
– It has a spicy flavor that can boost metabolism and appetite.
*Note: Costa Vida queso is also high in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, which can have negative effects on health if consumed in excess. Therefore, it is recommended to enjoy this dip in moderation and balance it with other healthy foods.

Frequently Asked Questions About Costa Vida Queso

What is the difference between queso and cheese?

In Spanish, queso means cheese. However, in English, queso usually refers to a cheese-based dip that is popular in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Cheese is a general term for any dairy product made from coagulated milk.

How long does Costa Vida queso last in the fridge?

Costa Vida queso can last for up to 4 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. To reheat it, you can microwave it in 30-second intervals, stirring well between each one, until hot and smooth. You can also reheat it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently.

Can I freeze Costa Vida queso?

You can freeze Costa V