How Spicy Is Qdoba Queso Diablo?

How Spicy Is Qdoba Queso Diablo? (Dip Recipe)

Qdoba will always be one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. It is a go-to for fresh and handcrafted dishes. I love how I can participate in the entrée creation by hand-picking ingredients from many innovative flavors.

Speaking of Qdoba, Queso Diablo intrigued me when it was first advertised. I got curious about how spicy is Qdoba Queso Diablo. So, the time I got a chance to visit the restaurant, I didn’t hesitate to order it.

The Qdoba’s iconic 3-Cheese Queso inspired this dip. It’s a perfect blend of smoky chipotle and fiery jalapeno peppers. I love adding this meal to other entrees. I also enjoy it solo as a tasteful dip with hand-cut tortilla chips.

What is Qdoba Queso Diablo?

First introduced in February 2014 as Qdoba’s limited-time offer, Queso Diablo is a savory dip inspired by the original 3-Cheese queso. Since many guests and spicy food lovers crave this dip, it was brought back as a permanent addition to the restaurant’s menu. So, Queso fanatics can continuously enjoy the complete flavor experience.

Queso Diablo offers an exciting mix of smoky chipotles and fiery jalapenos, giving a spicy kick and unique spin to classic Mexican favorites. It can be enjoyed solo with hand-cut tortilla chips or added to any favorite entrees.

Is Qdoba Queso Diablo Spicy?

Queso Diablo is an exciting variant of the Original 3-Cheese Queso. I also love the 3-Cheese queso because of its light and smooth amalgamation of cheese, cream, diced tomatoes, and poblano cheese without too much richness or sweetness. But Queso Diablo’s spiciness and smokiness offer a different experience.

Compared to 3-Cheese, Queso Diablo is darker in flavor and color and slightly chunkier. Smoky chipotles and jalapenos bring more bitter, smokier, and deeper tones. The restaurant used the original 3-cheese’s more delicate and less-heavy structure. 

I tried fantastic smoked cheese before, and they have retained the sharpness and sweetness of the base cheese. But in the case of Queso Diablo, it lacked those things.

How about the heat? Queso Diablo offers a little punch to deliver some warmth for hardcore spicy food lovers and sear the tongue of not-so-spicy food lovers.

When I first tasted Queso Diablo, I remembered the Taco Bell Mild Sauce because of their similarity in heat level. Instead of cheese, the smoky flavor was very dominant. 

I wondered what would happen if I mixed ½ cup of 3-Cheese Queso and ½ cup of Queso Diablo. So, I did mix them. The result? It tasted like the 3-Cheese with a hint of smokiness and spiciness. It has the same spiciness as Taco Bell Mild Sauce. If you want queso and chips and seeking a slight spicy kick, I recommend ordering this dip.

Qdoba Queso Diablo with Food

Before the introduction of Queso Diablo, the Original 3-Cheese is undoubtedly an incredible pairing for chips. I order the Zesty Queso Verde for a savory hot sauce and good nacho cheese sensations. But if I do not like too much cheese flavor in my chips, I opt for Queso Diablo to add smokiness and heat to every bite.

On the other hand, if you want those three dips, Qdoba offers Queso samplers. So, my tortilla tips came with Queso dips in small portioned cups. 

How about Queso Diablo with burritos? 

After making Queso Diablo as a nacho dip, I tried it with the seasoned beef burrito. I find the dip’s flavor tastes better with the beef. It also goes well with the burrito’s shredded cheddar. I guess it is because the shredded cheese’s sharpness knocked the Queso Diablo’s deficiencies back into focus.

However, if you want to achieve moistness, a spicy back-end, and sauciness in your burrito, go for 3-Cheese Queso. I don’t think Zest Queso Verde is an excellent fit for the beef – the savory combo doesn’t work.

I also tried the Queso Diablo with the grilled chicken burrito. This dip came out stronger once again because of the supporting ingredients.

How to Make Qdoba Queso Diablo Dip at Home 

It’s not always that I can visit Qdoba to taste nachos or burritos with Queso Diablo. So, every time I crave it, I go to the kitchen and make my version. 

If you also miss Queso Diablo, there’s no Qdoba in your location, or you are just curious about its taste, here are simple ingredients and procedures to make it at home:


  • Eight oz. of white cheddar 
  • 8 oz of aged Monterey Jack cheese
  • Two jalapeno peppers
  • Two chipotles
  • 1 cup of heavy cream 
  • 2 Roma tomatoes 
  • One tablespoon of olive oil 
  • ¼ teaspoon of dried minced garlic 
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper 


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. 
  2. Pit and cut tomatoes and peppers into pieces (I cut my peppers into 6″ and tomatoes into 4″), discarding the seeds and centers.
  3. Place sliced tomatoes and peppers on an aluminum foil lined on a single layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes and peppers.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  6. Bake tomatoes and peppers for 15 minutes until their skins turn black.
  7. Remove them from the oven.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  9. Once enough to touch, remove the skins.
  10. Put peeled tomatoes and peppers in a food processor.
  11. Add ½ cup of heavy cream and blend. Alternatively, chop the tomatoes and peppers if you have no food processor.
  12. Cube and put cheese. 
  13. Add the remaining ingredients to a crock pot.
  14. Heat the mixture on low for 2 to 4 minutes.
  15. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  16. Serve with tortilla chips.
  17. Enjoy!

Note: Do not heat this recipe on high. Plus, time varies depending on the crock pot size. For example, if you use a mini crock pot, I recommend heating it for 4 hours. However, if you have a larger crock pot, it takes up to 2 hours. Since the pots’ temperatures vary, remove the mixture from heat if you see the cheese start to melt.

If it is your first time making Queso Diablo at home, here are some of my tips:

  • It is better not to cook Queso Diablo on the stovetop. Although it can speed up the preparation, the recipe usually becomes oily, grainy, or too thick, which is likely to separate.
  • Ideally, the recipe must be cooked on the slow cooker’s low setting.
  • Although you can cook it in a high setting, the texture and appearance will be an issue.
  • Always roast the peppers and tomatoes ahead of time. This adds a layer of unique flavors to the cheese.
  • After roasting, don’t forget to remove the skins. 
  • Adding 2 ounces of cream cheese helps keep the dipping liquid a little longer.

This delicious, spicy, and smoky dip is perfect for different snacks. So, do not hesitate to try this home version. It is a dip that spicy food lovers should try. The drop might not cause so much fire in your mouth, but the smoky and tangy combination is just enough to bring excitement to your snacks. 

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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