Chili Con Queso Appetizer

By Published On: July 18th, 2023Categories: Appetizers4 Comments on Chili Con Queso Appetizer

I adapted this recipe from the Hay Day Country Market Cookbook. Hay Day markets first opened in 1978 as a country farmstand in Westport, CT. Hay Day is a renowned group of country markets featuring the finest fruits and veg, breads, cheeses, upscale provisions and a glorious spread of prepared foods. Today there are more than a dozen Hay Day locations across the east coast.

This is the second time I made this and this time the top did get a little crispy, but the char actually added to the flavor. Sometimes mistakes prove to be winners! The tomatoes need to be diced quite finely as it just makes it easier to scoop out when you’re dipping into it.

I like to roast more peppers than the recipe calls for as it is nice to have them on-hand.

Roasting peppers will make your kitchen smell fabulous. Make sure you get all sides very blackened so the skin peels off easily. With tongs, just keep rotating the peppers until they are totally blackened. In this shot they are about 90% done. Once they are charred roll them in the foil they broiled in and let them cool completely. The steam also helps them finish cooking and deepens the pepper flavor. When cool, slice the peppers open, use your hands to rub off the skin. Catch some of the juices in a bowl as you clean the peppers. Remove seeds, stem and run the back of a knife to clean out the insides.

This is another overnight recipe making it super easy for an appetizer next day. Mix all ingredients except the cheese and diced tomato and let it marinate, covered overnight in the fridge.

When ready to bake, bring the marinated pepper mixture to room temp. Add the cheeses and mix well. Grease a shallow baking dish with Pam. Spread the mixture evenly and top with finely diced tomatoes and more grated cheese.

Bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes. Pop under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to get the top nice and crispy. Serve with tortilla chips, crispy toast points rubbed with garlic, or any other crackers you like.

Chili Con Queso Appetizer

This appetizer is easy to put together and packed with flavor. If you like a little more heat, add more jalapeno.


  • 1/3 cup Cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Pepper Jack cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup Monterey cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Pimento cheese spread Or Old English cheese spread.
  • 1/4 cup Red onion, finely diced
  • 1 Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Red Pepper, large
  • 1/2 Pasilla Pepper
  • 1/2 Anaheim Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Jalapeno Pepper, finely diced More or less depending on how hot you like it or how hot your pepper is. Not all jalapenos have the same heat level.
  • Tomato, finely diced for top
  • Salt, to taste
  • Additional grated cheese for top


To Roast the Peppers

  • Heat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place peppers on the baking sheet and broil until totally charred on all sides. Use tongs to keep rolling the peppers to get all sides blackened.
  • Wrap the peppers up in the foil and let cool completely. When cool, slice open and remove seeds. Catch some of the juices over a bowl. Using the back of a knife scrape the inside of the peppers to completely clean. They are slippery. You don't have to remove every bit of charred skin. It's ok to keep a little on.
  • Chop the peppers in the bowl that you caught the juice.
  • Add finely diced red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, salt to taste.
  • Cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  • The next day...blend all cheeses. Add the peppers. Mix well.
  • Top with diced tomatoes and little more grated cheese.
  • Bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned. Pop under the broiler for another minute or two if you want a crispier top.

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  1. Mr. Rabbitt July 20, 2023 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    I just had the chilli for dinner tonight. Delicioso❤️😘😍

    • Cindy Rabbitt July 20, 2023 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      That makes me very happy my darling husband. Love, Mrs. Rabbitt

  2. Kathy Fahey July 26, 2023 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    This recipe looks great, Cindy. What are Pasilla peppers and where did you find them?

    • Cindy Rabbitt July 27, 2023 at 3:07 am - Reply

      Hi Kath, Pasilla peppers are a long and thin chili pepper with dark green skin; sometimes called ‘chili negro’. They are mild to hot (depending on the pepper) with a rich, earthy, smoky (almost like an ancho, but not as sweet) and fruity flavor. Safeway usually carries them.
      What’s fun about this dish is you can change up the flavor (and heat!) depending on which peppers you use.

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