Tonight is the first night of football season, which is the perfect excuse to make and consume as many awesome appetizers as possible between now and the beginning of February. Not that I need an excuse, of course. I’m happy to consume anything that’s cheesy and bubbling and served with a side of carbs at any point during the year. Football season just makes it a tad more acceptable to call chips and dip lunch… and I tend to do that on a regular basis during the fall. Which leads me to this dip. It was my lunch on Monday. I’m so not sorry about that decision. I’ve made a number of cheesy dips, and as far as queso goes, the one I made to go along with my soft pretzel nuggets is definitely my favorite 100% from-scratch recipe. However, sometimes there are last minute plans and you need something quick for a crowd. THIS is for those times.
How To Make Slow Cooker Spicy Beef Queso Dip
To make this, I started by browning ground beef with an onion, then cooking it down with a huge jalapeño and my homemade taco seasoning mix (although you could use store-bought packets). I threw that in the slow cooker with Velveeta (I know, but seriously, once in a blue moon/everything in moderation/etc etc) and two cans of Rotel. The cooking time will vary a bit depending on the size of your slow cooker (the smaller the slow cooker, the longer it will take), but everything should be nice and melted down together within two hours. Then, just keep it on warm, give it a good stir, grab your chips and dig in.
I think you could also do a similar version with sausage instead of the ground beef that would also be insanely good. If doing that, I would omit the onion, jalapeño, taco seasoning and water.
A question that always comes up with a recipe like this one is how spicy is it?! I find spiciness so subjective and hard to gauge because everyone tolerates spice somewhat differently. What one person considers mild another might consider really spicy. For my personal palate, I would give this a mild to medium on the mild/medium/hot scale. If you’d like to tone down the spice, you can omit the jalapeño and use mild Rotel instead of the original.
However you make it, I guarantee you’ll have people standing over your slow cooker, dipping chip after chip, as was the case at my house on Monday. This is a crowd-pleaser, if there ever was one.
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain. Add the jalapeños, water and taco seasoning, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.
In a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker, add the prepared beef mixture, the Velveeta cheese and the cans of Rotel. Stir well and cook on low until the cheese is completely melted, 1 to 2 hours. Keep the slow cooker set to warm to serve during a party, giving the mixture a good stir before serving.