The first time I had this Baked Queso Dip was almost a decade ago at my wife’s annual family reunion. One of her family members, also named Nick, was said to be bringing an epic queso dip.
I was a bit confused at first because, in fact, I was not bringing queso dip to dinner that night.
She meant one of the other Nicks… turns out there are many Nicks in my wife’s family.
“I’ll believe that when I taste it,” I huffed.
Later that night, after I consumed a few truckloads of said dip, I agreed with her. I adapted the original recipe a bit, but it’s still super easy and makes for a very tasty Baked Queso Dip!
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The Bean and Pepper Layer
There are three basic layers to this dip. The original recipe just uses a can of refried beans, which was very delicious, but I took the opportunity to inject a bit more flavor.
Melt the butter in a large skillet and then add the drained beans, green chiles, and scallions. Season it with a pinch of salt.
Cook this mixture over medium heat and as it cooks, mash the pinto beans with a large spoon.
There’s no need to make it completely creamy. Some texture is a good thing so don’t worry about getting it completely smooth.
Cook and mash it for about 4-5 minutes. After it has cooked together, spread this bean layer out in a baking dish. You can use an 8×8 baking dish or a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
Making the Creamy Layer
The other two layers for the dip are pretty simple. One is just sour cream or Greek yogurt (I used yogurt) mixed with taco sauce and hot sauce. I’ve made this recipe many times over the years and basically alternate between sour cream and yogurt. Both work equally well so I would say use what you have in your fridge!
The third layer is just about a pound of grated cheese. I used a mix of cheddar and monterey jack.
Building and Baking The Queso Dip
Once the yogurt mixture is spread evenly, go ahead and top with the grated cheese. Reserve about 1 cup of grated cheese for later, but otherwise just pile it on!
Bake this whole thing at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
It should be bubbly and melted.
Now for the key part… stir the dip together!
Really stir it together well so all the layers mingle. It should look something like this!
I get this step of the recipe isn’t completely appealing, but we can fix that in a minute. The key is to completely combine those layers that we made early into a single melty dip. Lots of flavors are going on here.
Adding the Final Toppings
While this is delicious, we can pretty it up a bit for serving.
So add the reserved grated cheese to the top along with the extra scallion greens.
Stick this back in the oven for 10-15 minutes to melt the top cheese and then you are ready to rock.
Serve this as soon as possible with lots of tortilla chips!
I really like the extra cheese topping. You get this solid cheese layer and then a creamy dip underneath.
I will admit that Betsy and I basically ate just this Baked Queso Dip for dinner one night. Well, actually, it took us two nights to finish it off.
I think that should be evidence enough that it’s a pretty awesome dip!
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As you can imagine, this queso dip is fairly flexible. Here are some ideas to change it up!
- To simplify the bean layer, use a can of refried beans, warmed up and stirred together with the canned peppers.
- Make the dip spicier with diced serrano peppers.
- Add browned chorizo to the dip either before baking or as a topping at the end.
- Use Queso Fresco or Pepper Jack cheese to change up the cheeses.
Making in advance and reheating
This dip actually holds up pretty well and reheats nicely. It does congeal a bit if you let it sit at room temperature for an hour so you can always pop it back in the oven and it will come right back to life like magic. If you bake it too many times or for too long (one time I forgot about it somehow in the oven) the top cheese layer will brown and turn crispy. Not the worst thing in the world.
Otherwise the dip does fine in the fridge for 3-5 days and you can reheat it in small batches if you want.
Baked Queso Dip
- 1 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained
- 1 5 ounce can green chiles
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounces monterey jack, grated
- 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
- ½ cup bottled taco sauce
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup mixed cheese, grated
- 2 scallions, green only chopped
- Tortilla chips
- Chop four full scallions. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Then add drained beans, chile peppers, and scallions. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Gently mash beans with the back of a spoon. The mixture doesn’t need to be completely smooth.
- In a small bowl, stir together taco seasoning, hot sauce, and yogurt.
- In a large baking dish, spoon in bean mixture followed by the yogurt and hot sauce mixture. Spread it evenly over the beans. Top with about 1 pound of grated cheese, but leave 1 cup of cheese for the topping. I like to use a mixture of cheddar and monterey jack.
- Bake dish for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Stir dip well to mix layers and ingredients. Top with reserved cheese and two chopped scallions (just greens).
- Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately with tortilla chips!