queso in cast iron skillet

While macaroni and cheese is America’s No. 1 cheese recipe (per International Dairy Foods Association), queso may also be a favorite with its roots from Texas as a zesty cheesy snack, typically paired with tortilla chips (via Eater). Although many think of queso as a treat best enjoyed at a Mexican restaurant, this delectable dip is also a perfect dish to whip up at home. In fact, queso is one of Pioneer Woman’s top picks for a party side that will please your house guests. The snack has also become synonymous with watching sports that recipes like a football-shaped queso bread bowl have been created, per My Food and Family.

But whether you’re an old pro at prepping a zesty queso cheese dip for your nachos or it’s your first time attempting to make the gooey delight, there is an extra ingredient you can add to your recipe that will take your queso’s taste to the next level. And this game-changing queso tip has nothing to do with adding in extra spices or what type of cheese melts best.

Add a sweet potato to your queso

two sweet potatoes

Admittedly, combining savory cheese with a sugary-tasting sweet potato may sound a bit strange. But chef and cookbook author Ann Taylor Pittman revealed to Food & Wine that the sweet potato will not clash with the flavor of the cheese. In fact, it will actually enhance it. Throwing a sweet potato into your queso will also make sure the dip is perfectly thick and give it a slightly sweet tinge that Pittman states "adds dimension."

To successfully make your sweet potato’s consistency queso-ready, Pittman recommends throwing it into a food processor. This will ensure that you aren’t serving up chunky queso. After that, you can prepare your queso as usual with a mix-in that will make all the difference in its taste.

Or, if you’re feeling up to it, you can up the amount of sweet potato in your recipe and skip out on the cheese altogether. According to Detoxinista, you can make a tasty vegan cheese sauce by using sweet potato as your main ingredient.