Chipotle's New Queso Blanco Is a White-Hot Beacon of Hope

chipotle new queso blanco review cheese poblano peppers spicy cheesy heat
Courtesy of Chipotle

Considering how Chipotle's first-ever queso was once referred to as "a crime against cheese," the bar wasn't set very high for the burrito chain's brand new, replacement cheese dip, Queso Blanco. But it turns out the latest hot cheese isn't just a much-needed improvement, it's a downright triumph. 

To be clear, I was fine with Chipotle's mediocre queso because it did everything else so well; its carne asada was bright and zesty, its cilantro rice is always cooked perfectly with pillowy grains, and its chips are well-salted and freshly fried. So what if the queso wasn't good? I never needed it. 

To its credit, Chipotle heard the cries of its legion of burrito eaters and redemption has finally arrived in the form of Queso Blanco. And, yes, you're going to want to add it to everything you order. 

What's the Queso Blanco like?

In a word, magnificent.

Chipotle's Queso Blanco is everything the old queso is not. The sauce is smooth where the prior queso was grainy, flavorful where the old was flat. It's infused with poblanos, serranos, and chipotle peppers, resulting in an even, warming heat that doesn't numb your tongue. Flavors of garlic and onion pervade each bite. It'll leave you either A) scraping for every last ounce from the bottom of your cup or B) ordering another bag of chips so you can achieve item A. 

Surprisingly, the new queso is even simpler than the old one; this latest version only contains 13 ingredients, whereas the previous one was a mixture of 23 ingredients. In other words, Chipotle managed to double down on making an additive-free queso, but also improved the recipe. 

The cheese, which is a blend of aged white cheddar and Monterey jack, doesn't dominate the queso, but rather works with the other 11 ingredients to create something that is nuanced and velvety -- and a necessary addition to any future Chipotle order.

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Kat Thompson is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn