Looking for a tasty alternative to queso dip? Try the famous Arkansas Cheese Dip that’s loaded with cheese and zesty flavors from a blend of seasonings, spices, peppers, tomatoes and more!
This is the BEST dip for any party from game days and the Super Bowl to backyard barbecues or potluck get-togethers. A sister to Texas-style queso, Arkansas Cheese Dip is super simple to make and delicious served with tortilla chips!
Why is it called Arkansas Cheese Dip?
So did you know Arkansas was known for this cheese dip recipe? Oh yes, it’s a state favorite. But where did this cheese dip recipe get it’s name? Let’s take a look at the history of cheese dip. Here’s the SCOOP…
Supposedly melted cheese dip was born in north Little Rock, Arkansas when Mexico Chiquito owner and Central Arkansas restaurateur Blackie Donnelly invented it back in 1935. This predates Texas-style queso or other Ro-tel dips. So despite Texans claim to cheesy queso, it appears Arkansas can claim the top spot as the birthplace of cheese dip!
Even the Wall Street Journal claims Arkansas is the king of cheese dips. You can visit Little Rock annually (usually held in October) for the World Cheese Dip Championship! So if you love the cheese dip served at Mexican restaurants, you must give this one a try!
What’s the difference between Arkansas Cheese Dip and Queso?
Cheesy dip served with crispy tortilla chips? So what’s the difference between Arkansas Cheese Dip and queso? Unlike queso, Arkansas Cheese Dip is made with Velveeta cheese, keeping it smooth and creamy longer. It also has a unique blend of spices and peppers that make it irresistibly delicious.
Ingredient Notes & Tips
VELVEETA – You don’t want to make any substitutions here, Velveeta gives this cheese dip that creamy, silky texture, even at room temperature, so stick with original Velveeta.
JACK CHEESE – You have some options here. Use any jack cheese variety you like. If you want it extra spicy, then go for pepper jack cheese. I highly recommend grating your own cheese rather than buying pre-bagged, the flavor difference is astounding!
MILK – You can use whole milk or a reduced fat, either will work.
PEPPERS – Use 1 jalapeno and 1 poblano pepper. Be sure to deseed them both (unless you like spice) and finely dice or mince them. I like to reserve a tablespoon back to garnish over my finished cheese dip when ready to serve!
TOMATOES – Feel free to mince your own tomatoes, you’ll need 1 cup. Or buy 1 cup of crushed tomatoes and drain out some of the excess liquid.
ONION – Mince up your onion finely and add it in! If you don’t have a fresh onion, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of dried minced onion for 1 cup of fresh minced onion.
SEASONINGS & SPICES – You’ll see a nice blend of cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Feel free to adjust if you have preferences.
Make It Spicy
Love spicy cheese dip? Keep those jalapeno seeds in, use pepper jack cheese and kick up the cayenne pepper a notch!
What to serve with Arkansas Cheese Dip
Tortilla chips reign supreme as the perfect dipper for this delicious cheese dip, but you might be wondering what else to serve alongside Arkansas cheese dip? Here are a few ideas…
If you happen to have extra leftover cheese dip, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just reheat and enjoy!
Here’s a replica of the Mexico Chiquito cheese dip loved by so many! It is one of the best cheese dip recipes, I hope you love it too!
Arkansas Cheese Dip
- 1 slow cooker or double broiler
- 1/2 pound Velveeta Cheese cubed
- 2 cups jack cheese grated
- 2 cups milk
- 1 jalapeno pepper deseeded and minced
- 1 poblano pepper deseeded and minced
- 2 cans diced green chiles
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes drained
- 1 cup yellow onion minced
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- Add cubed Velveeta, shredded jack cheese and milk to a slow cooker on high. Add in minced (or very finely diced) peppers, green chiles, tomatoes, minced onion and seasonings. Stir well.
- Stir occasionally until completely melted, smooth and hot (About 30 minutes to 1 hour on high). Serve with tortilla chips.