Frugal Food: Con Queso – Meaty, Cheesy Chip Dip

Just in time for the super bowl, a recipe for a meaty, cheesy, and hearty chip dip called – Con Queso!  This dip has been in our family for as long as I can remember.  We even ate it as a meal served over rice (it’s that good).  This was also one of the first recipes that I requested from mom and pop when I moved out on my own. 

After taking Spanish, I learned that con queso literally means “with cheese”.  This helped explain some confusion over the years as friends kept asking “What with cheese?”  Well my friends, con queso stands on its own – like Cher and Madonna, the name needs no further explanation.  Accept it, enjoy it, and eat it up!

ingredients

Ingredients:  makes approx. 6 cups of dip

8 oz ground hamburger
8 oz hot pork sausage
1/2 onion, diced
7 oz can mushrooms, diced
canned jalapenos, diced (the can shown here is 13 oz, you can use more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
16 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

freeze meat

Here’s a handy tip to start out with:  Since this recipe calls for 8 oz of both hamburger and sausage, cut your packages in half and immediately pop 1/2 of each meat in a Ziploc bag for your next dip endeavour.  You might get a little more or less of hamburger depending on the total meat weight in the package (here it was 1lb 2oz).  That’s okay.

brown meat

Toss the hamburger and sausage in a pot and brown over medium heat.  I like using a wire wisk to break down the meat into uniformly small bits.  I run a fork through the tines of the wisk to clear out any meat chunks.

diced onions

While the meat is cooking, toss in the diced onions.  I like a large dice, because I like a chunky dip.  If you want a smoother dip, dice the onions smaller.  When the meat has browned (not raw and pink) and the onions have softened, drain any grease from the pot.

mushrooms and jalapenos

Throw your diced mushrooms and jalapeno peppers into the pot.  Again, the dice size is your personal preference.  You can try fresh jalapenos if you’d like, but they don’t have time to soften in this recipe and add a sort of grassy flavor.  The canned jalapenos are also pickled, which contributes flavor to the dip.  As for how much of the jalapenos to use, that is your preference as well.  I throw in the entire 15 oz and then some, but I like it hot!  If you and your guests have problems with fire-butt, you might want to take the heat down a couple notches and only use a couple oz of peppers.

chop velveeta

Cube the Velveeta cheese, so it melts faster, and throw it in the pot.

mix it all together

Lastly – the secret ingredient – toss in the Cream of Mushroom soup and mix all ingredients together.  Whenever I make this, people keep going back for more and they can’t figure out what makes it taste so good.  It’s the soup.  It tones down the cheese and mellows out the dip.   

con queso

Frequently stir the dip over medium low heat until the cheese has melted.  Serve warm with chips.  We love this dip with Frito Lay corn chips the best. 

This is a great dip to make in advance.  When left in the fridge overnight, the flavors meld together and the jalapenos have time to diffuse their spiciness.  Either warm the dip back up on the stove, or pop it in the microwave. 

Speaking of microwave, I’m going to pop some in right now and have myself a snack. I’ve been eating it for 3 days now since I made the last batch and it’s been hard not to down the pot in one sitting!

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