I planned our Super Bowl menu around this dip. Thankfully, it was very well received! I served it in the skillet and we scooped it out onto individual plates to gobble up with tortilla chips. Some chips may have also been dipped directly into the pan. 😉
The recipe was adapted from a Bon Appétit “healthyish” recipe, contributed by Shilpa Uskokovic. The original recipe convinced me to use American cheese slices in the queso layer to help it emulsify and to keep the cheese layer from solidifying.
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 T Diamond Crystal or 1 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
1 T apple cider vinegar
For the Queso & Assembly:
2 tsp adobo from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt, plus more
4 oz yellow American cheese, coarsely grated or chopped or torn if using singles (about 1 cup) (I used 6 Trader Joe’s singles)
3 oz Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
freshly squeezed juice from half a lime
1/4 cup (4 T) sour cream
1/2 cup good-quality salsa, drained if watery (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle salsa)
1 (4 oz) can fire-roasted, diced green chilies or 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
tortilla chips, for serving
To Make the Beans:
Melt the butter, cut into pieces, in a medium deep skillet over medium heat. (I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add the chopped onion, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Monitor the heaat, and continue to cook, stirring often, until onion is pale golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
With the pan over medium heat, and add the chopped garlic cloves and cumin. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add chopped chipotle chiles, pinto beans, rinsed, and salt. Pour in 1 cup water and bring to a simmer, mashing beans with a potato masher until mostly smooth.
Cook, stirring often, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. (Beans should be risotto-like in consistency, loose enough to fall off a spoon.)
Remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Cover and keep warm.
To Make the Queso & To Assemble the Dip:
Whisk adobo, cumin, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Add chopped/grated American cheese and cook, whisking vigorously, just until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add grated Monterey Jack; whisk until cheese is melted and queso is smooth (return to low heat briefly if needed). (I cooked it over low for about 2 minutes to melt the additional cheese.)
Using your hands to avoid bruising, toss the avocados pieces with lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl.
Uncover beans and pour queso over.
Top with dollops of sour cream, followed by salsa, diced chilies, and then avocados.
Scatter sliced scallions and chopped cilantro over the top.
Serve dip warm in skillet with tortilla chips.
Do ahead: Beans can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat over medium-low, thinning with water and seasoning with salt as needed.
My daughter was absolutely obsessed with making cowboy caviar this summer. This recipe made a large volume. The leftovers were perfect to have available to eat as a side, a dip, or over salad greens. Everyone loved it.
This version was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Margaux Laskey. We ate it with tortilla chips and grilled chicken sausages for dinner. 🙂 I served the diced mango as an additional topping on the side to please everyone in my crowd.
Yield: 8 cups
5 T olive oil
4 T freshly squeezed lime juice or red wine vinegar
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp granulated sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 beefsteak tomato, seeded, cored, and diced plus 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or any combination of tomatoes resulting about 1 cup diced)
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans or black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 to 4 cobs) or thawed, drained frozen sweet corn (about 8 ounces)(I used kernels from 3 ears of corn)
1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish, if desired
1 avocado, diced, optional
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled, optional
1 mango, diced, optional
1-2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped, for garnish, optional
tortilla chips, for serving
Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to combine.
Cut the corn kernels off the cob directly into the bowl with the dressing.
Add the tomatoes, red onion, black beans, pinto/black-eyed peas, bell pepper, jalapeño and cilantro. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
To serve, toss well and season to taste. Add the diced avocado, crumbled feta, and diced mango, if using.
Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with scallions and serve with tortilla chips. (Alternatively, the avocado can also be served over the top.)
I used my beautiful CSA basil to make this flavorful vinaigrette. We ate it drizzled over my CSA tomatoes and cucumbers from a friend. We also enjoyed it on sourdough baguette slices. Great.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Melissa Rubel Jacobson. The original recipe notes that it would also be great on grilled chicken or fish, on corn, or in pasta or panzanella salad.
Yield: Makes 1/3 cup
1 small garlic clove
1 cup packed basil leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 T sherry or Champagne vinegar
pinch of crushed red pepper
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor, pulse the garlic until chopped.
Add the basil and pulse until finely chopped.
Add the oil, vinegar and crushed red pepper and process until smooth.
My daughter recently had a camp out with a few friends in our backyard. They slept in a giant, 14-person tent. What fun! 🙂 The camping was combined with another event on their summer bucket list- a “dip-night.” (inspired by TikTok 😉 )
The girls each contributed a different dip, savory or sweet, to create the feast. We made this Mexican layer dip and served it with tortilla chips and Trader Joe’s corn dippers. The recipe was adapted from ThePioneerWoman.com. I loved that her version incorporated warm beans as the base of the dip. It was an easy crowd-pleaser.
1 can refried beans (I used Trader Joe’s Fat Free Refried Beans)
hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholula, to taste (I omitted it for this crowd)
1 can diced green chilies (I used Trader Joe’s mild green chilies)
ground cumin, to taste
3/4 to 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (mild or sharp)
tortilla chips (and/or other corn chips), for serving
Begin by heating the refried beans in a small pan over medium-low heat.
Add one or two dashes of hot sauce, if using, and a small can of undrained diced green chilies. Stir well.
Sprinkle the bean-chile mixture with a little bit of ground cumin. Stir to incorporate.
Spread the beans on the bottom of a glass bowl or high-sided or wide serving dish.
Sprinkle the shredded cheddar evenly over the top.
Next, dollop the sour cream over the cheese. Spread it into a single layer, as much as possible, being careful not to disturb the cheese underneath.
The next layer is the guacamole. (I used my favorite guacamole recipe (link above) using 2 avocados and garlic-chipotle salsa. This time, I omitted our traditional add-ins of chopped tomatoes and red onions.)
Next, sprinkle an even layer of shredded Monterey Jack cheese over the guacamole.
Top with a generous layer of Pico de Gallo.
Sprinkle chopped black olives over the top, if using.
Microwave an ear of fresh corn for 1 minute on high. When cool enough to handle, place upright in a bowl and slice of the kernels. Sprinkle the kernels over the top as the final layer.
Garnish with jalapeños and cilantro, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.
Broccolini is one of the most prized items that I receive in my CSA share. Eating it with a cheesy dip was a wonderful way to enjoy it.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. We ate the leftover dip with pita chips- which was also a good vehicle. It was also delicious with sliced radishes. Easy and tasty.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
broccolini, for serving
pita chips, for serving
Bring a pot of water to a boil; season with salt. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
Blanch the broccolini in the salted, boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, until bright green and tender. Remove and place in the ice water until cool. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, and set aside to continue to dry while you prepare the dip.
Combine the Pecorino, ricotta, 2 T olive oil, and lemon juice.
Season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Drizzle with olive oil and more pepper. (I used Tuscan herb olive oil for the drizzle.)
Many years ago, my husband and I first tried Romesco sauce while on vacation in Barcelona. It was served with grilled ramps. We were instant fans! Using jarred fire-roasted red peppers as a shortcut is an absolute genius way to create it. I served the meatballs and sauce in this dish with slices of sourdough baguette to sop up every last drop. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sara Frost. I modified the proportions. The original recipe notes that the delicious sauce can add richness to other lean proteins such as fish, pan-roasted chicken breast and can also be used as a dip for vegetables. Next time, I may serve this dish with grilled scallions. Yum.
My son ate the leftover meatballs and baguette as a luxurious sandwich with melted cheese, topped with Romesco sauce, of course. This dish could also be served as a fabulous appetizer.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 3/4 lbs ground turkey
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/2 cup panko
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp paprika
4 to 6 T finely chopped parsley, plus more coarsely chopped for serving
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 T plus 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup toasted almonds (I used toasted sliced almonds)
1 12 to 16-oz jar fire-roasted peppers in water, drained (I used Trader Joe’s)
2 to 4 small garlic cloves, crushed (I used a garlic press)
1 T red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
finely grated zest of half of a lemon
crusty bread, for serving, optional (I served it with a sourdough baguette)
Preheat oven to 425°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Using your hands, mix ground turkey, eggs, panko, cumin, onion powder, paprika, parsley, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl.
Working one at a time, use a 1 1/2-inch scoop out to ration out the mixture. (I had 28 meatballs.) Place on a plate.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. (I used a large stainless steel “all-in-one” pan.)
Working in 2 batches, cook meatballs until golden brown all over, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer skillet with all of the meatballs to oven and bake until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, pulse almonds in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Pulse drained fire-roasted peppers, garlic, vinegar, and cayenne in food processor until almost smooth.
Transfer to bowl with almonds and stir in remaining 1/2 cup oil; season Romesco sauce with salt, to taste.
Spoon romesco sauce onto a platter or into shallow bowls; arrange meatballs on top.
Finely grate lemon zest over and scatter coarsely chopped parsley on top. Serve with crusty bread, as desired.