Here's the deal: I know that classic queso is already extraordinary. It may seem silly (or even blasphemous) to incorporate a vegetable into an indulgent Tex-Mex cheese sauce, but I find that when you blend the traditional smokey-spicy queso with some roasted butternut squash, it becomes an extra silky-smooth, sweet-salty sauce that's incredibly addictive and, luckily, super simple to make. Ready? Break!
Note: The sauce can be made a day or two ahead of time and reheated in a pot when you’re ready to serve. It may need to be loosened with a little splash or extra milk and blended again to combine.
chipotle in adobo peppers (depending on how spicy you like it)
Cilantro, chopped for garnish
Scallions, chopped for garnish
Serrano pepper, sliced thin, for garnish
Sweet potato chips or tortilla chips, for serving
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, toss the butternut squash with olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Once coated, pour onto a parchment lined sheet tray and roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender. Set aside.
To make to queso, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Once the butter is hot, add the garlic and cook for about a minute or two until garlic is fragrant. Next, add in the flour and cook until just toasted, about two minutes. Using a whisk, slowly incorporate the milk to make a béchamel. Bring the béchamel to a bubble and let thicken just a bit. Remove from the heat and pour it straight into a blender.
To the blender, add the roasted squash, both cheeses, and the chipotle peppers. Blend for a few minutes or until the sauce is very smooth and silky. Taste and season with more salt, if necessary.
Pour into a serving bowl and serve immediately or put into a fondue pot to keep warm. Garnish the top with chopped cilantro, scallions and serrano pepper slices.
Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning Producer of the Rachael Ray Show, food writer and recipe developer. He's a contributor to Food52, NYT Cooking and Rachael Ray Every Day Magazine. He loves cookies, cocktails and kindness.