This Loaded Cowboy Queso Dip is the ultimate game day appetizer. Packed full of ground beef, creamy queso, Rotel tomatoes, beans, and plenty of cheese, it’s a simple, hearty dip recipe that everyone loves.
Cowboy Queso Dip
While most cheese dips are purely for snacking, this Baked Cowboy Dip is almost a full meal on its own. Every delicious bite is full of ground beef, spicy Rotel tomatoes, black beans, and creamy queso dip with melted pepper jack.
Another favorite way to prepare this is as a Velveeta Queso recipe, substituting a 16 ounce brick of Velveeta cheese for the yellow queso. Garnish with green onions, black olives, and cilantro for a true Tex-Mex fiesta.
You can bake and serve this cheese dip in a cast iron skillet, or you can even make this in the crock pot. No matter what, it’s guaranteed to disappear almost immediately. Serve warm with a big bowl of tortilla chips, your favorite crackers and crostini, or even raw veggies.
Ingredients in This Cowboy Queso Dip
- Ground Beef - I like to use lean ground beef so that the dip isn’t quite as greasy. You could also substitute ground turkey or ground sausage.
- Queso - for this dip recipe we use yellow queso dip, or salsa con queso, rather than queso blanco (white queso). You can often find it in jars at the grocery store. The best substitute would be to use a 16 ounce brick of Velveeta cheese, which would just need to be melted down first.
- Rotel Tomatoes - Rotel diced tomatoes have a very distinct, zesty flavor because they have green chilis added to them. You could substitute regular diced tomatoes if you prefer a less spicy dip.
- Black Beans - these should be drained and rinsed before being added to the dip.
- Pepper Jack Cheese - you’ll need about 1 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese to add to the dip and another 1 cup to sprinkle over the top before baking.
- Green Onions - make sure to slice the green onions fairly thin before garnishing.
- Black Olives - you can purchase pre-sliced olives in the can, or slice them yourself.
- Cilantro - fresh chopped cilantro adds a great finishing flavor to this Cowboy Queso Dip.
How to Make Baked Cowboy Dip
- Cook the ground beef. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the ground beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, browning the ground beef until cooked through. Remove cooked beef from the skillet and transfer to a plate with a paper towel to remove excess grease.
- Add ingredients to a cast iron skillet. Spray a 10" cast iron pan with vegetable oil. Add the cooked ground beef, queso dip, Rotel tomatoes, black beans, and 1 cup of the pepper jack cheese. Mix until combined, then top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the dip is bubbly, the edges are golden, and the cheese is melted on top.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and garnish with green onions, sliced black olives, and minced cilantro. Serve hot with tortilla chips, crackers, crostini, or raw veggies. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Queso is the Spanish word for cheese, but queso dip refers to “chili con queso” or “cheese with chilis” which is a creamy melted cheese and chili Tex-Mex specialty. Often made with melted Velveeta cheese and Rotel diced tomatoes, this popular appetizer is often served with tortilla chips. Queso blanco is a similar dish that is made with white cheese.
Yes! This recipe works great in the crock pot. You will still need to cook the ground beef on the stove top first, and since you won’t get that browned cheese over the top you can mix both cups of pepper jack into the mixture. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours or on high heat for about 2 hours.
I love the presentation of the 10” cast iron skillet, as well as how evenly it distributes heat. However, you could also bake this in a 9” square baking dish.
Storing and Reheating
- To make ahead: to make ahead, mix your ingredients together, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to bake, remove the mixture from the fridge and transfer to your 10” cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with cheese and bake as directed.
- Refrigerator: store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To reheat: reheat on the stovetop over medium low heat until warmed through. Small portions can also be reheated in the microwave.
Loaded Cowboy Queso Dip Recipe
Buffalo Chicken Dip
- ½ pound Ground Beef lean
- 2 cups Salsa con Queso or 16 ounces of Velveeta cheese
- 1 10 oz-can Rotel Tomatoes
- 1 10 oz-can Black Beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups Pepper Jack Cheese shredded (save half to top dip before baking)
- ¼ cup Green Onions sliced thin
- ½ cup Black Olives sliced
- 2 Tablespoons Cilantro minced
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat a large skillet or medium heat, then add the ground beef. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned through. Remove cooked beef from the skillet.
- Spray a 10" cast iron pan with vegetable oil. Add the cooked ground beef, queso dip, Rotel tomatoes, black beans, and 1 cup of the pepper jack cheese. Mix until combined, then top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the dip is bubbly, the edges are golden, and the cheese is melted on top.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with green onions, sliced black olives, and minced cilantro. Serve hot with tortilla chips, crackers, crostini or raw veggies. Enjoy!
More Cheese and Queso Dip Recipes
- Pepper Jack Queso Dip
- Cheddar Queso Dip
- Spinach Dip Bread Ring
- Warm Spinach Dip
- Baked Cranberry Brie
- Jalapeno Artichoke Dip
- Chicken Alfredo Dip
- Cheesy Bean Dip
- More Easy Appetizer Recipes
- More Game Day Party Food
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This recipe for Queso dip is a simple, hearty appetizer that is perfect for game day. It's packed full of ground beef, beans, spicy tomatoes, and lots of cheese.