One of the best foods to make for a party is queso. You can throw everything in the crockpot and just let it do its thing. It’s easy to carry if the party isn’t at your house and you don’t have to worry about anything staying warm or cold. Plus, who doesn’t love queso?
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I was invited to join a Cookbook Club and this month’s cookbook selection is from one of my favorites, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get it! I haven’t opened a cookbook in forever… thanks Pinterest, so I was excited to get this one.
This cookbook is over 300 pages!!! I love that each recipe has step-by-step pictures plus she also shares personal pictures throughout the book. I’ve already made two recipes and plan to make many more.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Come and Get It!
If you want to pick up a copy, which I highly recommend, you can get it through Amazon at the link below. I also included a link to a free 30 day trial to Amazon Prime if you don’t have it yet. If you shop at Amazon more than twice a month, it pays for itself in the free 2-day shipping. We use it to get free movies and tv shows, books and magazines, and free shipping several times a month.
Sorry, I just love Amazon. We use it so much and save a ton of money.
Back to the recipe…
I was most excited about making this Merc’s Queso recipe. Normally I just use Velveeta, sausage, and Rotel for queso. This was a little more labor intensive but so worth it.
I made a few changes to the recipe. I used spicy rolled sausage instead of chorizo, cut down on the Anaheim peppers, and used bottled garlic. My step-son said it was delicious and my husband hasn’t stopped eating it. Delicious from an 11-year-old is a high review lol
First, I turned on the crockpot and my oven’s broiler to start heating them both up. I don’t have a gas stove to roast the Anaheim chiles so I used a sheet pan and broiler. Place the chiles on the sheet pan underneath the broiler, turning to get all sides blackened.
Once they are done, place in a Ziploc bag for about 20 minutes to allow them to sweat. I just let them sweat it out while I cooked everything else. You won’t need them again until the end.
Next, brown the rolled sausage in a medium skillet over medium to high heat.
While that is cooking, I went ahead and cut up the Velveeta into cubes. This just allows it to melt faster. If you have one of these cheese knives, they are the bomb when cutting Velveeta. My grandparents got me this at Sam’s Club at some special table they had set up. It slices right through the cheese without making a mess.
Once the Velveeta is cut, place it in the crockpot. You will also need to chop a medium onion and 2 cloves of garlic (or used minced in a jar like I did).
When the sausage is cooked thoroughly, place it on top of the cheese in the crockpot. I took the pan and wiped it out with a paper towel to start cooking the bacon in. You can use a new pan if you’d like but I didn’t want to do more dishes! Cook the bacon until crispy and then chop it into small pieces. Add it to the crockpot.
You can go ahead and throw in the 2 cans of Rotel, juice and all.
Again, I used the same skillet that the bacon was cooked in to saute the onions and garlic. I drained out the grease into my grease jar/coffee cup I keep in the fridge. (I use the grease for things like bacon gravy, green beans, etc.) Then sauteed the onions and garlic in the pan until the onions were no longer white, more clear. Once done, I added them to the crockpot.
Take the Anaheim peppers out of the bag and carefully peel the outside skin off. Remove all of the seeds inside and then chop into small pieces. Add these to the crockpot.
At this point, the cheese should be melted enough to stir all of the ingredients together. I turned my crockpot down to warm at this point and just let everything cook together. You can let it cook for a couple hours or serve immediately. Make sure you refrigerate when you are no longer cooking it.
Serve with tortilla chips, vegetables, Doritos, or anything else that needs some cheesy, queso goodness.
You can also top nachos, hot dogs, burgers, or other foods with the queso.
Oh, you see that delicious strawberry drink in the picture? That is a strawberry lemonade smoothie and it was so delicious!!! It’s kid friendly so me and the boys enjoyed our queso and smoothies.
Regular sausage will also work in this recipe if you don’t like spicy foods.
If you are short on time or just don’t want the hassle of cooking all of these different ingredients, my go-to queso recipe is: 1 roll hot sausage, 2 cans rotel, and 2lbs. velveeta. If you need it thinner, add a little milk.
This makes a huge batch of queso with 2 lbs of Velveeta and then all of the other ingredients so it is great for parties. I made it on Friday so that we could eat on it all weekend. I’ll probably end up taking some to my parents, too.
The queso sat in the fridge overnight and I just heated up a small bowl. It is so much better today. All of the flavors have really come out. It’s a lot spicier today. I can taste the bacon and Anaheim peppers that got a little lost yesterday. So, my recommendation, if you have time I would make this in advance and let those flavors have time to really come through.
Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman: Come and Get it! Cookbook.
Anaheim chiles, bacon, Rotel, onion, garlic, and spicy sausage all melted into Velveeta cheese to create this creamy, flavorful queso.
- 2 ea Anaheim chiles use more for additional flavor
- 1 roll spicy or hot sausage
- 2 lbs Velveeta cheese
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 2 cans Rotel
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced fresh or bottled
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- tortilla chips for serving
Turn a crockpot on to high heat and turn your oven's broiler on to preheat. Place your Anaheim chiles on a baking sheet underneath the broiler. Turn them so that they get blackened on each side.
Once blackened all over, remove from the oven and place them immediately in a Ziploc bag. Zip the bag closed and set aside to steam in the bag.
In a medium skillet, crumble and brown the spicy sausage over medium to high heat. While that is cooking, cut the block of cheese into small cubes. These don't have to be precise. It just allows the cheese to melt faster. You will also need to dice an onion and mince the garlic if you are using fresh.
Place the cheese cubes in the crockpot. Once the sausage is cooked thoroughly, layer it in the crockpot on top of the cheese.
Get a new skillet or wipe the grease out of the one you used for the sausage and cook the bacon. Cook until crispy and then chop into small pieces and layer on top of the sausage in the crockpot.
Remove the grease from the skillet and use the same pan to saute the onions and garlic or you can get a new skillet for this. Once the onions are clear, place the onions and garlic in the crockpot.
Take the Anaheim peppers out of the bag and peel the skin off of each one. Remove the seeds. Dice into small pieces and add to the crockpot.
At this point, the cheese should be melted enough to stir everything together. Make sure it is combined well. You can serve immediately or cook for a couple hours. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors will blend together and better it will taste.
- Feel free to add more Anaheim chiles. This was my first time using them and I wasn't sure if we'd like the flavor.
- It shouldn't matter what order the ingredients get added or cooked. If you find a way that is faster for you, go for it! I don't think there is really a right or wrong way to making queso.