12 Quick Queso Dip Upgrades
Ready to spice up queso dip? The home team always wins with these clever queso dip mix-ins and meal ideas.
We love grabbing a bag of tortilla chips and a jar of our favorite store-bought queso dip for a quick snack. But sometimes convenience doesn’t replace that cheesy, savory craving that we’re wanting from homemade queso.
If you have a jar of queso dip in your cabinet that’s lacking flavor or you want a way to easily prepare an appetizer for get-togethers, try one of these quick and easy upgrades. They’ll help you transform your jarred cheese dip into a loaded, meal-worthy dip in just a few minutes.
Add Your Favorite Pepper
Top your queso with jalapeños, serranos, cayennes or other hot peppers, like we did in this chili con queso recipe. Leave the seeds and membrane intact, as shown in the sliced peppers, for more heat; discard them and chop peppers for a milder result.
Sprinkle on Pizza Toppings
Add a little pizza-zz to your hot cheese dip by layering on your favorite pizza toppings. Start by spreading a mild queso dip in a baking dish, add toppings like black olives and pepperoni, then bake until golden brown. Serve with breadsticks, garlic bread or toasted Italian bread.
Spice It Up with Hot Sauce
Mix two legendary dips into one—buffalo chicken dip and cheese dip. Start by adding a few (or a lot of) dashes of Louisiana hot sauce. Then stir in a couple handfuls of cooked chicken and you get this heavenly buffalo chicken dip. Serve it with celery, chips or crackers for a satisfying scoop.
Stir in Beans
Looking to bulk up your queso dip without having to cook something? Try adding a can of beans, like kidney, white, black or refried beans to make a satisfying dip. You’ll want to heat up the beans in the microwave before adding them to the dip for an all-around enjoyable experience.
Start with Chili
Use up a few of your canned goods lying in your cabinet with this idea. Reach for a simple can of chili, then melt in Velveeta cheese for a cheesy chili dip. Pair it with tortilla chips on the side or make a walking taco by using small bags of Fritos.
Toss in Cooked Veggies
This is one simple way to sneak in your vegetable servings for the day—cover them in cheese! Saute veggies such as chopped onions and bell peppers and add them to your queso dip. It’ll add a little extra crunch and flavor to an ordinary jar of queso, a truly simple upgrade for any dip.
Go Sweet & Smoky
Add an extra oomph to your queso dip by going with ingredients that’ll add tones of sweet and smoky flavors. Drizzle your favorite dip with taco or barbecue sauce for a sweet enhancement, then pile on chopped veggies, more cheese and crumbled cooked bacon to add a balance of savory flavors. With just a few ingredients, you get a masterpiece like this cheddar bacon dip.
Add In Protein
Bulk up your favorite queso dip with a savory protein addition. Meat lovers go loco for queso con carne, a cheesy dip loaded with cooked taco meat. Or, for a pescatarian-friendly option, try adding in some crabmeat or chopped shrimp for a seafood-inspired cheese dip.
Use It In Your Nachos
Queso and nachos were made to be put together, like in these queso baked nachos. Start by layering tortilla chips in a baking pan, then cover them in your favorite nacho fixings like ground beef, diced tomatoes and refried beans. After baking in the oven for 10-15 minutes, remove the nachos and douse ’em with warmed queso dip. Grab some forks and start digging into this unrivaled game-day grazing.
Load It Up
Take a handful of these upgrades and put them into one cheese dip! Toss in peppers, chiles, beans and meat to make a loaded cowboy queso, perfect for serving at gatherings. Or take beans, chiles, corn and chorizo for a Mexican-infused appetizer that’s a great starter for Taco Tuesdays.
Start With a Puree Base
Get a velvety smooth cheese dip by combining it with your favorite vegetable puree. Simply combine a can of pumpkin puree and your store-bought queso dip in a bowl, then heat in the microwave. Stir the ingredients together and add more time in the microwave as needed until the puree and cheese are well combined. In no time, you’ll have yourself a pumpkin queso that’s packed with autumn flavors.
Use pumpkin puree for other dips on your get-together spread, like upgrading store-bought hummus.
Make It a Meal
If you have leftovers or a few extra jars of queso dip lying around, try incorporating the cheesy sauce into your next meal. It’ll upgrade any meal, from breakfast to dinner. Ladle hot queso dip over these sloppy joe dogs, or onto po’boys, Philly cheesesteaks or even scrambled eggs tucked into a burrito.