Thursday, September 30, 2010

Easy Hot Spinach Salsa Queso Dip

If you have processed cheese laying around, you should definitely make this. (I know, I know--I'm supposed to be into healthier cooking and Velveeta is not considered good for you. But we all need a little processed cheese in our lives. And if you snub your nose at that....you're no friend of mine. AAAAND, you're totally missing out.)

The 'heat' (spice) can be controlled by what type of salsa you get--we used a medium spicy salsa and it was tempered somewhat by the creamy/mild cheeses. And it gave just the right amount of heat.




HOT SPINACH SALSA QUESO DIP


  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 lb Velveeta cheese (2% fat--this is the reduced fat version)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (light)
  • 1 jar salsa (I used 3/4 full jar of a 16 ounce jar)
  • A handful of chopped cilantro (optional-but good)



Now there's 3 ways to make this:

1) Cut the Velveeta and cream cheese into cubes and place all ingredients in a microwaveable-safe dish. Heat until cheese has melted and stir to combine all ingredients.

2) If you prefer, you can place all the ingredients in an oven safe dish and bake until the dip is heated through--continuing to stir to mix all ingredients. I usually put the dip in at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes--keep an eye on it as it depends on how deep your dish is--it can take as little as 10 minutes or as much as 20-25 minutes to have all the cheese melted. When it's hot and bubbly, it's ready!

3) OR, you can place all ingredients in a crockpot and heat until cheese has melted (continuing to stir the mixture to combine ingredients). It should take somewhere around an hour to have the cheeses melt (but check as crockpots vary). This particular method is great if you can leave it on the low setting--then your dip will stay warm for a while. But I bet it won't last!

Serve warm with tortilla chips. Heaven! Should make a small crowd very happy before dinner is served (like 4-6 people).


55 comments:

  1. We did a version of this that had bacon in it, yummy!

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  2. Wow! What a great idea! I will have to try that--thanks for letting me know.

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  3. How long do you think it would take in a crock pot?

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    1. I made it the other night and it was a hit. It took about an hour on high to get it melted well, then I turned it down.

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    2. Oh WOW!!!! This is amazing, easy and awesome!

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  4. I'm sorry, I didn't enjoy this... I haven't had velveeta since I was a child and perhaps just don't like it like I thought I did... I just found this to be bland, even after adding some extra salsa and even some leftover ground beef to try to help it. Thanks anyway for the recipe.

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    1. Try Rotel (chili tomatos) in it instead of salsa. Should liven it up!!

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    2. Try adding sausage instead of ground beef. Gives it a great flavor kick.

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    3. This is why I use Philadelphia Cooking Creme -- Sante Fe flavor. I'm not a Velveeta fan either :)
      As someone else suggested, sausage is much better than ground beef (I don't like sausage and I even prefer it in this recipe). I use Rotel too, instead of salsa :)

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    4. Ground chicken would work too. Especially if its browned w onions and bell peppers!

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  5. YUM!!! I think I'll try this with hot rotel instead of salsa and add some bacon. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Yum! This looks great. It sounds a lot like a dip I get at a restaurant I go to with my co-workers. We've been trying to replicate it and haven't had luck. This one looks like it might do the trick. Thanks for posting!

    -Amanda of agrainofcumin.blogspot.com

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  7. How many servings does this make? It says a small crowd, but doesn't give a specific serving size.

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    1. I think I already replied below, but probably about 4-6 people.

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  8. I made this for a girls night in, ended up being 3 girls and we devoured the whole thing! We baked it in the oven :)

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  9. You know, I don't know the exact yield, but can measure it out next time I make it and update the post. I usually serve this recipe for a group of 4-6 and we clean it out, but I also serve food pretty close to the appetizer so it depends on how hungry you are, how much other food you are serving, your guests' preferences, etc. But, I would say that it would be good for 4-6 people. I have doubled the recipe before to serve more like 8-10 people when I put it in the crockpot.

    My crockpot took a little less than an hour to melt all of the ingredients (double recipe) before I turned the heat to 'low'. But I have noticed that like ovens, the strength of heat differs from crockpot to crockpot. Hope that helps! (I'll try to update the post with my comments.)

    And yes, if you haven't had Velveeta for a while, it might take some getting used to :)

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  10. rotel and Sausage!! I am making this for football weekend! THanks for the idea!

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  11. Replies
    1. Heather, I think any salsa would work. Let me know if your green salsa is a winner!

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  12. Have a similar recipe minus the spinach but it also calls for 4 oz of pepperjack cheese, 1 tsp cumin. Mine is 2lb velveeta, 2 cans of regular rotel with the cream cheese. Can't wait to try with the spinach.

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  13. Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious!! Loved it :) Tastes like the version at Jay Alexander's restaurant that my husband and I love. Thanks!

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    1. Wonderful! Thanks for letting me know.

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  14. Could this be eaten as a cold spinach dip as well?

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    1. I don't think it could be served as cold. Velveeta tends to harden pretty well in the refrigerator, so it would be next to impossible to serve with chips as they would all break.

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    2. I would have to agree with LindsaySG13. Velveeta tends to thicken when cold. Sorry :(

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  15. This is a great dip! The one change I made was I used a can of hot Ro~tel instead of salsa, it gave it just the right zip. This one is a keeper!

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  16. Thanks! Going to try this at the next office potluck!

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  17. Looks super yummy! I found a recipe for making your America cheese. I think I will try with that recipe! Here is the link http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/do-it-yourself/2011/09/how-to-make-american-cheese/

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  18. , a while back I researched velveeta and it is just cheese with the whey added back in, do not too bad for you. Although not sure about the orange color...

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  19. This dip is delicious and your recipe is very close to what we used to enjoy at a restaurant in New Mexico. It was their specialty and called espinaca con queso which means spinach with cheese. Will definitely make this but also agree with using Rotel then adding some diced green chilis to it. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. Any one ad any more seasonings? Like garlic or anything spicy I didn't have much salsa so I may need to add some more of something if I have on hand any ideas

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  22. I didnt have much salsa left so what other stuff could I use for spices I could put in it like garlic or spicy or just anything any ideas

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  23. I have a similar recipe with garlic and cumin. Cumin rocks! Try a pinch of that.

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  24. This looks delicious! I'm making it tonight! How long and at what temp. should I place it in the oven? Thanks so much!

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  25. Made this yesterday to take to family Christmas and it was eaten up!! I used Rotel instead of salsa and no extra spices as we had lots of kids. Will make this again for sure!!

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  26. Ruby, try blogging and never make a spelling error.

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  27. I'm making this for the first time. i planned on baking but wasn't sure what degree to the set the oven to...

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    1. I will add directions--350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until cheese has melted thoroughly.

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  28. Made it last night without the cilantro and it's by far one of my favorite dips! I am obsessed!

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    1. Awesome! Thanks for letting me know.

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  29. This would also be great with Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles

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  30. I made this for volunteer appreciation party. I traded out the regular velveeta for the white version so much creamier. Added ground breakfast sausage and a 16 oz. tub of cottage cheese and used homemade salsa instead of jar. It was a hit!!

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    1. That sounds heavenly. I am tempted to try it with vegetarian sausage and see if I have the same successful results as you did. Thanks so much!

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  31. Double Boilers work awesome too!!

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  32. Someone suggested this in a King's Hawaiian Bread Bowl. Sounds like heaven to me!!

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  33. What other kind of salsa can i use??...is it the same as the tostitos?..im dying to try it but kind of confused of what salsa should i use :(

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    1. What kind of salsa do you regularly buy & enjoy? I prefer Herdez Medium Casera Salsa. It's a red tomato based salsa. But Pace, Muir Glen, Chi Chi's, Whole Foods, etc. should all work.

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  34. This sounds good,,,would be nice with either ground pork breakfast sausage or lean ground beef, fried and cooked thoroughly...drain any grease! I might even add 2-3 tsp. of chili powder or taco seasoning, to spice it up. Plus maybe a 1/2 tsp. onion powder & 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or more to taste)...to up the flavor. And maybe even 1-2 tsp. powdered Ranch dressing...yum...going to try this soon!!!

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  35. LOVE THIS DIP. found the recipe last month and have made it 6 times!! its so good and SO easy. i haev made it in the microwave oven and crock pot and its all equally as delicous. just depends what you have available. great for thanksgiving/ christmas appy! everyone loved it adn asked for the recipe. so glad i found this! its my go to dip now :)

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  36. I made it last night for my holiday party... a huge hit... I agree with the others... you need 2 cans of Rotel dip if you double up on this recipe... I added no meat.. next time I might put some Artichoke hearts in there and probably some ranch dressing to make it more creamier...

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  37. Plan on making this for super bowl with sausage great way to sneak the awesomeness of spinach into my picky kids diets!!!!!

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  38. I have made this and added one can each of cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup, and 1/2 lb each of browned ground turkey and ground spicy pork. It practically makes a complete meal!

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