Healthy Homemade Salsa Queso Dip
I have been on a quest lately for a healthy, homemade salsa queso dip recipe. I used to make queso for my family frequently but once I looked into all the ingredients in the cheese food brand we used to make it, well, lets just say it wasn’t quite as appetizing any longer. When I eat cheese, I want to eat real cheese. I do not want to eat processed “cheese food”. What does that even mean? Either it’s cheese or it isn’t and I am now sure that the processed chunk of orange goo, is not cheese.
Lately we had been making baked nachos instead of eating queso because then you just pile all the goodies on top of the tortilla chips and bake until melted and crunchy. Pretty yummy ! But it’s not queso and when you want to serve it for Mexican night, a creamy, melty, salsa queso dip just makes the menu complete. So I set out to find a way to make the creamy yumminess using good, whole ingredients. After searching and searching, I put together a recipe that I was sure my family would enjoy. Not too hot, not too bland, but just right!
I started with my own homemade canned salsa recipe. I make dozens of jars of salsa every summer because we eat a lot of salsa! It is one of my favorite things to cook with too. So if you have a favorite salsa already made, I suggest you start with that. It makes the queso dip so much easier to throw together. Haven’t canned salsa at home before? Make sure you use an approved canning recipe for safety reasons. Here are some good places to look for a recipe for home canned salsa.
In addition to the salsa, I added the cheese, and the secret ingredient that helped make the dip creamy! Plain yogurt! This surprised me. I can honestly tell you that I would not have thought about using yogurt to make the salsa queso dip creamy, I saw a recipe that used milk, butter and plain yogurt, but it seemed like a lot of unnecessary ingredients, so I tried it with less and as we all know, less is more!
Here’s how it all comes together.
Healthy Homemade Creamy Salsa Queso Dip
- 8 ounces home canned or jarred salsa from the store
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, or a blend of cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons cilantro (optional, I love it)
- additional spices to suit your taste
Using a heavy saucepan, heat the salsa over low heat. If you want your queso spicy, you can add extra drops of hot sauce, or chopped Jalapeno’s now.
when the salsa is just coming to a boil, reduce heat and slowly add in the shredded cheese allowing the cheese to melt slowly.
Remove from heat and add the yogurt. Stir to completely blend. Transfer to a small crock pot and keep warm on low heat setting.
Serve with crispy tortilla chips.
I hope you will enjoy this variation of queso dip and the fact that it includes only whole foods. If you want to can your own salsa for the future, follow the canning guidelines from knowledgeable and helpful sites such as Simply Canning.
And here is another recipe that would be a great addition to a Mexican theme meal.