Queso Fundido is a delicious dish of spicy sausage and melted cheese. It makes for a great, freezer-friendly taco filling that your whole crowd will love.
I feel like I can say I’ve now achieved “mature woman” status. I’ve got recipes that I’ve been making for over 20 years. How is that possible? If memory serves me correctly, this recipe for Queso Fundido is one of those old standby recipes for me.
According to Wikipedia, Queso Fundido is
a dish of hot melted cheese and spicy chorizo that is often served flambé. Often compared to cheese fondue, it is a party dish; it is popular at cookouts and in restaurants as an appetizer.
My rendition of it has a few tweaks to it. First, I don’t care for chorizo, so I use hot Italian sausage. Bonus: it’s more readily available. My version is also more sausage than cheese, and we serve it as a main dish around here. Party on, my friends!
Queso Fundido is super easy to make. One of the things that I love about it is that it’s super freezer-friendly. You can cook up a vat of sausage, divide it among pie plates, sprinkle on your cheese, wrap, cool, and freeze. Voila! You’ve got one of the most amazing taco fillings all ready and waiting in your freezer!
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of bulk Italian sausage is helpful. You can also use the kind in the casings, just bulk is easier. My target price is currently $3.99 or less per package.
- Buying in bulk – I buy my pepper jack cheese in big ginormous hunks at Costco. It offers the best unit price in my neighborhood. If you don’t go through big blocks of cheese very fast, shred it all at one time and then freeze the shredded cheese in 2-cup portions or make a lot of Queso Fundido. Shredded cheese freezes and thaws beautifully.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
- food processor for shredding cheese
- a great skillet – I have two of these
- USA pie plates – no need to grease these pans – they are awesome!
- heavy-duty aluminum foil – great for wrapping freezer meals when your dish doesn’t come with a lid.
- 1 lb hot bulk Italian sausage
- 1 onion (1 cup chopped)
- 8 oz pepper jack cheese (shredded ) (2 cups)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- corn tortillas preferably homemade
- taco toppings
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, brown the sausage and onion, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon. Drain and spoon the mixture into an 8-inch pie dish. Cover the mixture with cheese.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve with corn tortillas, sour cream, and salsa.
Originally published May 18, 2009.