Retro Queso Dip Recipe (2 ingredients, 5 minutes)

My dad graduated from Ohio State University a million years ago, which means Sunday afternoons in the fall and winter are all about football. To this day, I avoid their family room on game days so I don't have to listen to my civilian parents yelling about “#@$% idiot ref” at the TV screen.

One thing that made such occasions enjoyable for me when I was younger, although I'm ambivalent about football, I'm forever devoted to chips and dip. Mom would whip up a big batch of my family's favorite dip every time an OSU game started, and I would make late lunches and early meals of this hot, rich, creamy dip, watching my brother and dad's emotional reactions.

The secret to this classic dip

Ready? It's Ro*Tel diced tomatoes and green peppers plus a can of Velveeta. My mom is an amazing cook, so it's amusing that this practically easy dip is what she's known for. She just knows a good thing when she sees it.

If you know about this dip, you know my mom didn't invent it. He doesn't even remember where he first got it, but it's been a staple Ro*Tel recipe for years (on their site they call it the “Famous Queso”). My mom's pantry in the basement is full of canned goods and shelf-stable foods, with a block of Velveeta and giant bags of tortilla chips on hand at all times. She still shops like she has kids growing up in her house. But that means a quick batch of this delightful dip is always just moments away.

The best part about this dip is that everyone scarfs it down every time it appears. When I was a teenager, my friends would often hang out at my house after school. I was proud that we were the designated snack house. If we find Ro*Tel and Velveeta dip in the fridge, we'll heat it up and polish it off.

Once, my mom came home from work to find all my friends gathered in the kitchen, dipping into chips, and I wasn't even there. They just dropped by our house unannounced, out of habit. My goal as an adult is to be the designated house for my teenage daughter's friends to show up to for any reason, anytime. A great dip can set it in motion.

Just recipes / Ciara Kehoe

You have to use Velveeta.

The other best thing about this dip is how easy it is to make at the sink, all thanks to Velveeta. Plus it's best in the microwave, right in the dish you serve it with.

Velveeta isn't one of my go-to foods, but it's what makes this dip so good. When you use it in queso it doesn't curdle or curdle the way “real” cheese can. It melts easily and clings to the tortilla chips with enough oomph to give you the most queso per chip. I'll shamelessly take this dip over queso made with real cheese every time.

This Super Bowl Sunday, or any other event where hungry people gather for fun, whip up this classic two-ingredient queso dip. I swear it will disappear before halftime.

My Mom's Cheesy Ro*Tel Dip Recipe

You will need:

  • 1 (10-ounce) can Ro*Tel real diced tomatoes and green peppers (do not drain)
  • 1 (16-ounce) block of original Velveeta, cut into 1-inch cubes.

Combine the canned tomatoes and peppers and the Velveeta cubes in a microwave-safe dish that holds about 1 1/2 quarts. Cover, then microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir, then microwave for another 2 minutes. The exact time will depend on your microwave.

Stir until smooth. Serve with tons of tortilla chips. Serves about six hungry teenagers after school or 12 to 20 people grazing at a party.

A few additional tips

  • Mom has used low fat Velveeta in the past and no one seems to have noticed.
  • Store brand Velveeta works, but it doesn't. enough Like the real thing. I also prefer Ro*Tel diced tomatoes and green peppers to stock brand, but not having Ro*Tel on hand won't stop you from making it.
  • If the dip cools as it sits out, heat it in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth and piping hot.
  • Leftovers keep well (you can thank Velveeta's franken-food nature for that). Cover them and refrigerate for up to a week. My co-worker heated up the dab to eat over her takeout fries. Be careful!

For a hearty dip, try my mom's recipe for Creamed Tacos, which just adds ground beef and a few cans of beans to the dip.

Just recipes / Ciara Kehoe

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