Is Tostitos Queso Gluten Free? Safe Brands and Recepies

Tostitos Queso
  • Queso dip is naturally gluten free.
  • Tostitos Queso dips don’t contain gluten ingredients.
  • The products are not tested for gluten content.
  • Cross-contamination in manufacturing facilities is a possibility.

An evening of Netflixing and chilling is incomplete without snacks, right? Popcorn is a standard favorite. But Tostitos Tortilla Chips are the naturally non-gluten snack we love to gorge on – with the delicious Tostitos Queso dips. The brand offers two delicious queso flavors. But is Tostitos Queso gluten free?   

Queso dips are usually naturally gluten free, and so are Tostitos’ Quesos. But Frito-Lay’s site mentions that the Tostitos line of products is not tested for gluten content. The manufacturing facilities may also be used for gluten-containing products. So we can’t rule out the possibility of cross-contamination.   

Is Queso Gluten Free?

Did someone say Queso? You’re probably thinking about a delicious dip that’s made of cheese and cream and flavored with peppers and tasty spices and aromatics. Here’s a little fact about your delightful food fantasy: this dip is called Chile Con Queso, and it’s a Mexican side for tortillas. 

But when a Spanish friend mentions Queso, they probably mean ‘cheese’. Chile con Queso, commonly called Queso, is a cheese dip that we all love. Whether you’re having tortilla chips or potato chips, Queso seems like the perfect addition. But its thick texture and flavors beg one question: is Queso gluten free?

The primary ingredient in Queso is cheese. Often, a variety of cheeses go into the Queso blend. These include Velveeta, Monterey Jack, cream cheese, processed cheese, or more. No wonder it has such a thick, creamy consistency! So, it is safe to say that the base of Queso is gluten free and safe. 

Cooks add cream to their Queso dipping sauce recipes for an improved texture. Others use thickeners like corn starch. If the thickener or texturizer is free from gluten, the sauce’s gluten status won’t change. Check if the Queso you’re about to have contained wheat, barley, rye, or any other gluten derivative.  

Queso has a beautiful hit of spiciness because it contains chili peppers. Also, it may include pico de gallo, a Mexican salsa. Some recipes also call for guacamole, black beans, and animal proteins like corned beef and pork. Packaged Queso may contain additional flavoring agents.

You need to check the list of ingredients on the container if you’re about to pick a bottle of Queso from the supermarket shelf. Sometimes, flavoring agents and other additives may have gluten. So keep an eye out for hidden gluten.

Is Tostitos Queso Gluten Free?

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Who doesn’t love tortilla chips? It’s the perfect non-gluten snack! Anyone who loves tortilla chips also swears by Tostitos for making the best tortilla chips and moreish dips, including Quesos.

People who follow a gluten free lifestyle love tortilla chips with Queso. But is Tostitos Queso safe for everyone?

Tostitos is a Frito-Lay brand. The company’s site clarifies that the gluten status of Tostitos products isn’t tested. While its Quesos are naturally gluten free, they’re not labeled so. But just because they aren’t tested doesn’t mean they’re unsafe. Trying small amounts will help determine if they’re safe for you.  

Frito-Lay also mentions that Tostitos does not contain wheat, barley, rye, or any gluten-rich derivatives. Frito-Lay followers vouch that its products always mark allergens and gluten ingredients. Since Tostitos Quesos don’t mark gluten among ingredients or allergens, they are naturally gluten free.

But these products, including the Tostitos Queso dipping sauces, may share manufacturing facilities with products that contain gluten-containing ingredients. Even though the facilities are appropriately cleaned, there’s a possibility of cross-contamination. So you must first check how your body reacts to Quesos.

Most people with a gluten allergy or celiac disease rely on Frito-Lay products, including Tostitos Quesos. Even if there are traces of gluten in the sauces, they will not trigger reactions unless you’re severely allergic. There are only some isolated cases of people getting allergic reactions from Frito-Lay products.

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Naturally Gluten Free Ingredients of Tostitos Queso  

Tostitos offers two delicious varieties of Queso dipping sauces, the Queso Blanco Dip and the Salsa Con Queso. The Queso Blanco Dip is a medium-spicy dip with jalapenos and red bell peppers. The Salsa Con Queso also contains fresh tomatoes for a bit of tang. Take a look at the ingredients of the cheese dips.

Queso Blanco Dip contains Monterey jack cheese and cheddar cheese as the base and whey and buttermilk. Modified corn starch and maltodextrin are used as texturizers in the sauce. Both of these are free from gluten. It also contains other flavor enhancers like MSG, added flavors, Datem, and many more. 

All the other ingredients like yeast extract, flavors, citric acid, acetic acid, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, sodium phosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate, canola oil, sunflower oil, sugar, and salt are all naturally gluten free. So are jalapenos, red peppers, and milk protein concentrate used in the sauce.  

The Salsa Con Queso contains most of these ingredients, with a few changes and alternatives. For instance, it has tomatoes and no cheddar cheese. It also has spices and soy lecithin. So this Queso sauce, too, is naturally gluten free. But they are not the ideal sauces for you if you’re allergic to soy or dairy. 

But once again …

Everything that goes into both these dips is naturally gluten-free by general standards.

Since the dips aren’t tested, it is hard to tell if any of the ingredients have come into direct contact with gluten ingredients and have been “glutened” due to cross-contamination. 

Note, all the standards and claims by Frito-Lay can differ based on the country.

For instance, the Tostitos Queso dips are naturally gluten free in America and Canada. However, for other countries, the list of ingredients is your only hope. But you’re probably already used to the idea of checking product labels.

Gluten Free Queso Brands 

Besides Tostitos, several other brands also produce Chile Con Queso dips. If you want a jar of Queso in your pantry to serve with nachos and chips, these store-bought Queso sauces can become your besties. They are either tested and found to be gluten free or use naturally gluten free ingredients.  

Let’s take a look:

a) La Terra Fina Chile Con Queso Dip

If you are looking for a brand that proudly flaunts its “GF” (Gluten Free) label on the container, La Terra Fina Chile Con Queso is one of the best options for you.

The company offers several other sips and sauces, of which the Chile Con Queso stands out as a versatile and delicious dipping sauce and spread.

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b) Austin Slow Burn Chile Con Queso

Austin Slow Burn’s Chile Con Queso is not only tasty but also healthy. You can enjoy it while you’re on a zero-carb keto diet, as it is sugar-free.

The container mentions that it’s gluten free, too. Just throw the container into the microwave and heat it for a while to get a creamy dip that goes with your snacks.

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c) Mrs. Wages Pepperjack Queso Mix

If you don’t want to serve Queso out of the jar and wish to be more involved in the preparation process, Mrs. Wages’ Pepperjack Queso Mix is an excellent product.

You just have to cook it with milk to make your Queso ready. You can also add ingredients like chorizo.

The package mentions that it’s gluten free.

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You can also try some of the other naturally gluten free Queso dip options available in the market. These include Luisa’s Queso Blanco, Stonewall Kitchen’s wide range of Queso dips, Desert Pepper Trading Con Queso Chile, and 505 Southwestern Queso sauces.

Gluten Free Queso Dip Recipes

Is Tostitos Queso Gluten Free

You may be new to the gluten free lifestyle or might be following a no-gluten life for a while. Either way, you probably know that making your favorite dishes at home is one of the safest options for you. This will ensure that there is no cross-contamination and only gluten free ingredients go into your food.

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Let’s take a look at some of the best recipes for gluten free Chile Con Queso at home!

a) Gluten Free Queso Dip Recipe

Is Tostitos Queso Gluten Free
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This is a simple Queso recipe that you can make and store at home to enjoy with your nachos and chips whenever you want. Check it out!

Ingredients

  • Canola oil: 1 tbsp
  • Rice flour: 1 tbsp
  • Garlic: 2 cloves (finely chopped)
  • Onion (large): 1 piece (finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes (diced): 10 oz
  • Jalapenos: 2 pieces (finely chopped)
  • Red chili pepper (small): 1 piece (finely chopped)
  • Cream cheese: 10 oz
  • Aged cheddar (shredded): 1 cup
  • Whipping cream: 1/4-1/2 cup      
  • New Mexico chile powder: 1 tsp
  • Lime juice: To taste
  • Cilantro: As needed 

Instructions

  • In a bowl, put the chopped tomatoes, a squeeze of lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Mix everything well.
  • Set a cast-iron pan on the heat and put oil into it. 
  • Once the oil gets heated, put chopped garlic and onion into it. Keep cooking on low heat until the onions become soft and you can smell the garlic.   
  • Put chili pepper and jalapenos into the pan and stir for a few minutes.  
  • Next, add rice flour and keep stirring. Add the mix of tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice, followed by chili powder. Stir it.  
  • Then, put cream cheese into the pan. Stir and break the cheese and let it melt completely. 
  • Follow it up with shredded cheddar and 1/4 cup of whipping cream. Stir and check the texture of the sauce. If it’s too thick, add another 1/4 cup of cream. 
  • Keep cooking until all the cheese is melted and everything is combined properly.

Your gluten free Queso dip is ready! Take it off the heat and enjoy it with tortilla chips with family and friends – or all by yourself when you’re feeling like indulging in some gooey deliciousness!      

b) Gluten Free Queso Dip with Beer

Is Tostitos Queso Gluten Free

Here’s an interesting recipe for a Queso dip with the zing of beer – only for the die-hard beer fans. Take a look!

Ingredients

  • Onion (large): 1 piece (chopped)
  • Garlic (finely chopped): 1/2 tsp 
  • Beer (gluten free): 1/2 cup
  • Corn Starch: 3 tbsp
  • Sharp cheddar (shredded): 1 1/2 cups
  • Tomatoes (diced): 10 oz
  • Green chilies (chopped): To taste
  • Green onions (chopped): 1/3 cup
  • Ground cumin: 1 tsp
  • Chili powder: 1 tsp
  • Milk: 1 cup + 1/4 cup 

Instructions

  • Take a large non-stick pan and spray cooking oil on the pan. Once the oil starts to get heated, add garlic and onion and saute them till they become tender and give off aromas. 
  • Add gluten free beer to the pan and cook for about a minute. The liquid will start to reduce.  
  • Add 1 cup of milk and keep cooking till the mix almost starts to boil. 
  • In a separate cup or small bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk with cornstarch and make a slurry. Add this to the pan and cook. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to thicken and bubble. 
  • Reduce heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir gently and let the cheese melt completely. 

Your beer Queso sauce is ready to serve. To add a little more zing to the beer, just replace the milk in the recipe with beer. If your friends are coming over for a drink or two, this dip can make your party a hit! 

c) Dairy-Free Gluten Free Vegan Queso Dip 

Have you been avoiding Queso dips all your life to keep away from dairy? Don’t worry! Here’s a unique recipe that will allow you to enjoy this vegan Queso recipe. Note the recipe!

Ingredients

  • Potatoes (large): 2 pieces (peeled and chopped)
  • Carrots (large): 2 pieces (peeled and chopped)
  • Nutritional yeast: 1/2 cup 
  • Onion powder: 1 tsp
  • Garlic powder: 1 tsp
  • Olive oil: 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Water: 1/2 cup + as needed
  • Lemon: 1 piece (squeezed)
  • Tomatoes (diced): 20 oz
  • Green chilies (chopped): To taste
  • Salt and pepper: To taste
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Instructions

  • Take a large pot of water and boil the peeled and roughly chopped potatoes and carrots. Use a fork to check the tenderness of the vegetables. 
  • Once the potatoes and carrots are fork-soft, put them in a food processor. Keep the lid open to allow the heat and steam to escape.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water into the processor and all the other ingredients except the tomatoes and green chilies. Blend everything correctly to get a smooth mix. 
  • Take a cast-iron skillet and set it on the heat. Transfer the mixture from the food processor to the skillet and stir. 
  • Add tomatoes and green chilies and start to cook. 
  • If the mixture becomes too thick, add water to it. Just put one tablespoon at a time into the mix and stir until you get the consistency you want.    

Your vegan Queso is ready. You can top it off with some fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lemon, and some chopped jalapeno. To store the leftover dip, put it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. Just reheat in the microwave or stovetop at the time of serving.  

d) Gluten Free Queso Dinner 

Is Tostitos Queso Gluten Free
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Chile Con Queso is more than just a delicious dip. It can be a part of your dinner to put on top of your nachos or in your enchiladas. It can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian queso sauce. Check it out:

Ingredients

  • Cream cheese: 4 oz
  • Velveeta cheese: 8 oz
  • White cheddar cheese (grated): 1/2 lb
  • Milk: 2 tbsp
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Black beans/raw chorizo: 8 oz
  • Tomatoes (diced): 10 oz
  • Green chilies (chopped): To taste
  • Chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin: 1/2 tsp 
  • Garlic powder: 1/4 tsp 
  • Red onion (diced): 1/4 cup 

Instructions

  • If you want to make a vegetarian Queso, take a deep pot and boil the beans in water over high heat. Once cooked, let the beans sit for an hour before draining and rinsing. 
  • For a non-veg Queso, cook chorizos in a skillet that’s preheated over medium heat till they become brown and crisp. Break them into small bits. Put the cooked chorizos in a paper towel.
  • Take your pressure cooker and add a cup of water to it. Place a trivet. 
  • Take a cooker-safe bowl and add cheddar, Velveeta, cream cheese, tomatoes, green chilies, diced onion, milk, and cooked beans/chorizos, along with seasonings. Stir properly.     
  • Set the bowl on top of the trivet in the cooker. 
  • Set the cooker on High and turn on the manual pressure and quick release. Cook for 6 minutes. 
  • Once cooked, stir the ingredients and make sure that all the cheese is melted and mixed.

Your Queso sauce for dinner is ready. It can be as fancy or rustic as you want, and you can make any delicious dish with it. Both kids and adults will love this creamy, spicy sauce. 

Final Lines

Chile Con Queso, of just Queso, is one of the world’s most favorite dips to go with nachos, chips, enchiladas, burritos, and other Tex-Mex foods. People with a gluten allergy or celiac disease can enjoy this dipping sauce because the ingredients that go into it are naturally gluten free and safe for everyone. 

The two delicious Queso varieties from the house of Tostitos by Frito-Lay also use naturally gluten free ingredients. But these sauces are not tested, and there’s no telling if they have trace gluten due to cross-contamination. But most people rely on the products’ labels that don’t mention gluten.     

We hope we reviled everything you wanted to know while were searching for an answer to question – Is Tostitos Queso Gluten Free?

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About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.