Cowboy Queso Dip

This easy Homemade Queso Dip is loaded with 2 savory cheeses, beef, pale ale, Rotel tomatoes, black beans, and fresh cilantro.

Pair this with my homemade salsa, it tastes like it’s from a Mexican restaurant!
A black cast iron skillet filled with loaded Cowboy Queso dip topped with black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and cheese.

We have been making this super loaded queso dip for years, it instantly became one of our favorite recipes when we first made it.

Of all of my appetizer recipes, I think I’ve made this one the most. (Along with my sweet cream cheese wontons.)

Now, it’s get into some FAQ!

Ingredients

  • Ground Beef- See below for other meat options. You can also go meatless if you prefer.
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes – Optional
  • Pale Ale– I like to use Tuckerman Pale Ale. See below for beer substitution options.
  • Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Velveeta- If you try to substitute another cheese it won’t be as creamy, stick with Velveeta if you can.
  • Rotel Tomatoes
  • Black Beans
  • Red Onion

What Other Meats Can I Use?

  • Ground Turkey, Ground Sausage, and Bacon are all great meat variations!

What Can I Use for Beer Substitute?

  • Chicken or beef broth make great beer substitutes in this recipe.
  • Root beer or coke adds interesting flavors in place of beer as well.

Crock Pot Queso Dip

Can you make this queso dip in the Crock Pot? Absolutely!

  • Just brown the meat and drain the grease first, then add all remaining ingredients. Heat on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5 hours.

This is the Crock Pot that I have which allows you to sear/brown meat on the stove top within the crock pot dish which eliminates cleaning an extra pan. It also automatically switches to warm if once the time is up!


Can I Make This Ahead of Time?

Yes! This is an excellent dip to fully prepare ahead of time.

  • After it’s prepared, let it cool, and refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
  • Reheat it over low heat on the stove top and serve once heated through.
  • This dip fits perfectly in this 1.5 quart crock pot. Be sure to stir it on occasion if reheating in this crock.

What’s The Best Cooking Vessel For This Dip?

I like to use my 10-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe. Cast iron conducts heat really well and makes everything super flavorful.

A hand dipping a tortilla chip into a large cast iron skillet filled with loaded cowboy queso dip.

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Cowboy Queso

5 from 21 votes
This easy Homemade Queso Dip is loaded with warm, melty cheddar, pepper jack, beef, pale ale, Rotel Tomatoes, black beans, and fresh cilantro. It's a Cowboy's dream!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes, optional
  • 3/4 cup Pale Ale, I use Tuckerman Pale Ale
  • 1/2 cup Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 16 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes, partially drained
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  • In a large, high-walled skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble the ground meat, adding in desired amounts of salt and pepper.
  • Once it’s nice and brown, drain any excess grease, toss in the crushed red pepper flakes and add the beer. Let the beer reduce for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add in the cheese and let it melt and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the cheese is melted, stir in the beans, red onions, and cilantro. Add the tomatoes and some of the juice from the can, only if you want it to be a little thinner in consistency. If you've already reached your desired level of thickness, don't add any juice.

Crock Pot Instructions

  • Brown the meat and drain the grease first, then add all remaining ingredients. Heat on high for 2 hours or on low for 4-5 hours.
    This is the Crock Pot that I have which allows you to sear meat on the stove top within the crock pot dish which eliminates cleaning an extra pan. It also automatically switches to warm if once the time is up!


Video

Notes

*Tillamook is my preferred brand of choice.

To Garnish: I like to sprinkle some extras on top, like a few more black beans, tomatoes (or pico de gallo/salsa fresca), grated cheese, red onions, and cilantro. Not necessary, but it looks nice!
You can substitute the ground beef with hot (or regular) pork sausage with the casings removed.
Be sure to pair this with some homemade restaurant salsa!

Nutrition

Calories: 352kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 1276mg, Potassium: 489mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 860IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 519mg, Iron: 1.5mg

Recipe Adapted from The Cookie Rookie

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