8ounces(2 cups) grated pepper jack cheeseOR Monterrey Jack or sharp cheddar
¼cupchopped fresh cilantro leavesplus additional for garnish
In a medium pot set over medium heat, break up the cream cheese into chunks. Add the refried beans, salsa, and taco seasoning and mix together until well incorporated. Stir occasionally until smooth and heated through, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent the bottom from burning.
Stir in the grated cheese until melted, and then add the cilantro. Garnish with additional cilantro, if desired, and serve warm with tortilla chips.
I made this dip with medium salsa and pepper jack cheese and it was moderately spicy, but not so hot that my kids couldn't eat it. If you prefer a milder dip, you may use mild salsa and/or substitute your favorite non-spicy grated cheese.
I didn't want my dip to have an overt taste of tacos, but I wanted it to be adequately seasoned. I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning, and if you think more is needed, add an additional teaspoon at a time. I ended up using a total 1 ½ tablespoons taco seasoning in my dip. You can also supplement the taco seasoning with some plain salt and pepper, if you wish.
You may add more salsa for a thinner dip, but keep in mind that adding a lot more will change the flavor.
To keep warm while serving, you may transfer the dip to a small slow cooker set to WARM, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning and the surface of the dip from drying out.