Warm, decadent Chili Cheese Dip -- combining homemade chili, real cheddar cheese sauce, cream cheese, black beans, and fresh garlic, jalapeños, and cilantro -- will be the cheesy hit of any party or get-together!
Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away, and today I've got a recipe that just might prove to be the ultimate champion at your game watching party!
Some of y'all may have already heard that queso is one of my favorite things on earth...hallelujah and amen. And this Chili Cheese Dip is basically like homemade queso loaded with chili and so much more.
It is, quite simply, heaven in a bowl. I
have literally eaten it, er, could literally eat it with a spoon -- no chips required -- but I'll do my best to refrain while in the company of others. 😉
If you've ever eaten at Chili's, you've probably had their Skillet Queso. It's delicious, and I've eaten more bowls of it over than the years than I care to admit. It's also super easy to replicate at home...can of chili + block of Velveeta. But seeing as how I attempt to avoid feeding my family processed ingredients for the most part, I decided to adapt that chili cheese goodness to a recipe featuring real food ingredients.
And you know what? My version even better. Good gravy is it better! Does it take more time to make than cracking open a can and slicing up a processed cheese loaf? Why, yes...yes it does. But I'm telling you...it's so totally worth it.
How to Make Chili Cheese Dip
I always keep a jar of Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix on hand in my pantry.
- So you can use that or your favorite chili seasoning plus a pound of beef, some diced tomatoes, fresh garlic, and minced jalapeño to whip up a batch of chili.
- At the same time, make a pot of homemade cheese sauce, my favorite version of which I have used in some form or fashion across multiple recipes on the site.
- Once the chili is done, melt a block of cream cheese into it (hey...I said that this was a real food recipe, not a light and healthy one!) and then stir in your cheese sauce.
- Next comes a drained can of black beans and a generous handful of fresh minced cilantro.
- Stir it all up and transfer your dip to a medium-sized crock pot to keep it warm!
Simply set out the chips for scooping it up (or a pile of fresh, warm flour tortillas -- I die), and you, my friend, will be revered by everyone who tastes this masterpiece of chili and cheese.
Ways to Enjoy Chili Cheese Dip
Orrrr...there are other options.
Can I admit that on the day I cooked and photographed this recipe for the blog, I turned it into nachos and served it to my family for dinner that evening? Yessiree...I was the cool mom that day.
But don't worry...I piled plenty of diced tomatoes and avocado on top and served a boatload of carrot sticks and raw peppers on the side. My philosophy is that real food Chili Cheese Dip can be totally balanced out with lots of raw veggies. 😉
When I told my 2-year-old that we were having queso for dinner that night, I believe her exact words were, "Yippee!" But then, when I presented her with her plate, she paused.
"No, Mama...I no want orange queso. I wike ye-wo queso."
After much coaxing to try a tiny bite, she finally caved...and whaddya' know? Orange queso is her new favorite. 😉
So make it for Super Bowl Sunday, make it for Cinco de Mayo, make it for taco night...just make it. I think it's totally worth the little bit of time and effort to enjoy something so decadent and delicious, with nary a processed ingredient in sight.
More Super Bowl Snacks
- Pimiento Cheese & Bacon Mini Cheese Ball Bites
- Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders with Creamy Broccoli Slaw
- Bacon Cheeseburger Monkey Bread
- Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread with Bacon, Garlic, Cheddar, & Swiss
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Fluffy Chocolate Fruit Dip
- Skillet S'mores Dip
Chili Cheese Dip
To Make Chili:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 cup water OR beef broth
To Make Cheese Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
- 8 ounces sharp OR extra-sharp cheddar, freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained
- 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
- In a large pot set over medium heat, brown ground beef, garlic, and minced jalapeno; drain fat. Stir in chili power, cumin, oregano, salt, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice, and water or beef broth. Reduce heat to low and place lid on pot. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding additional tomato sauce, beef broth, or water, if chili becomes too dry.
- When chili is almost done, prepare cheese sauce by placing a medium pot over medium heat. Melt butter. Use a whisk to stir in flour, whisking continuously until light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Continue to whisk while slowly and gradually adding milk. Whisk until sauce is smooth and thickened, between 5 to 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Add grated cheese, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until completely melted and smooth before adding more. Once all cheese has been incorporated and cheese sauce is smooth, stir in garlic salt and pepper, to taste.
- When chili is done, cut the cream cheese into chunks and stir it into the hot chili until completely melted. Pour cheese sauce into chili and add black beans and chopped cilantro; stir all ingredients until well-combined.
- For serving, transfer mixture to a medium-sized slow cooker (it fits perfectly in a 3-quart round crock pot) set to warm. Serve with tortilla chips or large corn chips.
- If you keep my Homemade Chili Mix on hand, use 3 tablespoons of it in place of the chili powder/cumin/oregano/salt listed above.
- For some heat in your dip, leave the seeds and membranes intact before mincing your jalapeño. For a milder dip, scrape them out and discard them.