Southwest Chile Cheese Fondue

Serving 6 people

45 min


  • canned tomatoes 2 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) petite cut diced tomatoes, well drained
  • cayenne pepper 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • cilantro 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro and/or scallions
  • cornstarch 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • cream cheese 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • garlic clove 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • light cream 2 cups light cream or half-and-half
  • lime juice 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • monterey jack cheese 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • onion 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • red bell pepper 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • salt Salt
  • sharp cheddar cheese 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • vegetable oil 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
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How to make it

  1. In a large bowl, toss the Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese with the cornstarch to coat.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chile peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the light cream and cook, stirring, until the sauce just reaches a boil. Reduce the heat to low.
  5. Break the cream cheese into small pieces and gradually stir into the hot chile-tomato sauce until melted and smooth. Gradually stir in the shredded cheese mixture, letting each addition melt before adding more. Stir in the lime juice, cumin, and cayenne. Taste, adding salt if needed.
  6. Transfer to a fondue pot, preferable ceramic or enameled cast iron. Sprinkle the cilantro and scallions over the top of the fondue and serve at once. Regulate the heat under the pot, if possible, so that the cheese fondue remains warm, not hot.