Leftovers often hold untapped potential, and brisket is certainly no exception. Have you ever made a deliciously smoked brisket only to find that it was too big and you had a lot of leftovers? This is the perfect solution to transform those leftovers into something mouthwatering and unexpected – Leftover Brisket Queso. The smoky notes of leftover brisket meet the creamy, gooeyness of queso, creating a dip that is more of an experience than a snack.
Queso is hugely popular in Austin, Texas and there are a lot ways to make it. I prefer white queso made with white American cheese. I also like a meaty queso dip and nothing screams Texas like adding smoky leftover brisket.
This easy recipe turns what might have been just reheated brisket into a cheesy, beefy queso dip that will be the star of your next gathering. Your guests are in for a treat as we combine the best of barbecue and Tex-Mex in one delicious, crowd-pleasing appetizer that's perfect for game nights and gatherings. It's also great for a quiet movie night.
- Pico de Gallo
- Roma tomatoes
- White onion
- Jalapeño peppers
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Leftover brisket
- White onion
- White American cheese
- Heavy cream
- Tortilla chips
See Leftover Brisket Queso recipe card for quantities.
Pico De Gallo is perfect for spicing up queso and adding some color. Mix the chopped ingredients together and adjust the salt as needed.
Chop the brisket into ¼" pieces.
Reheat chopped brisket in a large skillet on the stove top with a little oil over medium heat. I prefer to let the brisket brown just a bit because it adds a great flavor to the queso. Remove the brisket from the heat and set aside.
In a heavy sauce pan or saucier pan, add the olive oil and onion and cook for 3 minutes over low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly add ¼ cup of heavy cream, stir and simmer for one minute.
Add cubed white American cheese and stir every 30 seconds until he cheese has melted and has a creamy consistency.
If necessary, thin the queso with more cream.
Add the pico de gallo to he melted cheese and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Carefully pour the queso into a large serving bowl. Stir in ¾ of the brisket then spread the remaining brisket on top. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and serve with warm tortilla chips. Keep the brisket queso warm in a slow cooker or crock pot set to low heat. Enjoy!
This recipe also works well with almost any leftover meat including steak, pulled pork, ribeye, prime rib and carnitas.
Yellow American cheese can also be used but white American makes a better presentation. There are a lot of queso dip recipes that use cream cheese or velveeta cheese. Personally, I think white American makes the best queso dip.
Red onion can certainly be used in place of white onion in the salsa.
Kick up the heat a little bit by adding another jalapeño pepper to the pico de gallo. In a pinch, canned green chiles, pepper jack cheese and chili powder could all be added to the queso to raise the heat.
Make a kid-friendly version by setting aside a little bit of the queso before the pico de gallo, brisket and cilantro is added.
No special equipment was used in this recipe, although I prefer to use a saucier pan when making this kind of dish. A saucier pan has rounded sides which makes it easier to stir the cheese and avoid areas of stuck, burned on cheese in the bottom of the pan.
Store leftover queso in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Gently reheat in a small sauce pan over very low heat, stirring every 30 seconds.
Make sure that the saucier pan is over low heat when the cheese is added. Stir the cheese every 30 seconds because cheese can burn quickly. Once it starts to burn and stick to the bottom, the queso is ruined. The burned cheese smell will permeate the queso. If that happens, don't try to save it. Go get more cheese and start over.
As you scoop up the Brisket Queso, take pride in turning what could have been forgotten leftovers into a wonderful cheesy appetizer. The combination of smoky, tender brisket and the cheesy gooeyness of queso is an example of how you can repurpose last night's dinner into tonight's appetizer.
This recipe isn't just about repurposing leftovers, it’s also about the great things that can happen when adapting and experimenting with flavors. Some of the most delicious dishes can come from the simple act of reimagining what's already in your kitchen.
So, the next time you find yourself with leftover brisket, don't reheat it, reinvent it! Turn it into a delicious queso. Enjoy!
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with this recipe.
Leftover Brisket Queso
Pico de Gallo
- 2 roma tomatoes diced small
- ½ cup white onion diced small
- 1 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 jalapeño pepper stemmed, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 lime juiced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lb brisket cooked and chopped
- 1 cup white onion diced
- 1 glove garlic diced
- 16 oz white American cheese cubed or grated
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 3 cup tortilla chips
Pico De Gallo
- Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, olive oil, lime and salt to a medium bowl and mix well. Adjust salt as needed.
- Heat the chopped brisket in 1 tablespoon of canola oil until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, add the olive oil and onion. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Be careful and do not let the garlic burn.
- Add ¼ cup of the heavy cream and simmer for one minute. Add the cheese and stir every 30 seconds.
- Once the cheese has melted, add the remaining cream and stir until combined. Stir in the pico de gallo and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Place in a serving bowl and top with the brisket and cilantro and serve with chips.