Guest Post: Dirty Queso

We have a guest in our kitchen today!! Heather from The Tasty Gardener is here and she has the perfect game day appetizer to share with you!

I love a good Queso cheese dip. Gooey, messy and spicy it is a perfect accompaniment to crunchy, salty chips. When I found myself at a Mexican restaurant one day not hungry for a full meal but needing something a little heartier I noticed on their menu they had Queso with the option to make it “dirty”. Basically they add a layer of taco beef on the bottom. Where had it been all my life?

I decided to make my own version but fortified it with lots of minced mushrooms. Less fat but all the flavour. Super simple to make you will never go back to plain Queso again.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook Time:20-25 minutes.



Taco Beef

1/2 lb ground beef or beef and pork blend

1 pint mushrooms, approx.20-25

1 medium onion, quartered

1 tbsp chili powder

3/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup jarred salsa, (you can pick your heat level)



  1. In a large non stick fry pan over medium high heat brown the meat, breaking it up into small pieces using back of a wooden spoon.
  2. While the beef is browning add the mushrooms and onions to a food processor and pulse until everything is ground fine.
  3. Add the vegetables to the beef and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes to allow some of the moisture to evaporate.
  5. Layer the beef in the bottom of a casserole dish or pie plate and keep warm.



Cheese Sauce

4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp flour

2 1/2 cup milk

1- 4 oz can green chilies

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper

5 cups old cheddar cheese, grated



  1. In a large pot over medium high heat melt the butter.
  2. Whisk in the flour until a paste is formed. Whisk in the milk.
  3. Whisking constantly add the chilies and spices and cook until thick.
  4. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  5. Pour cheese sauce over the beef.

*this makes enough cheese sauce that you can put some in a dish on its own for your vegetarian friends.


Sprinkle with green onion and tomatoes if you wish. Serve immediately with thick chips.


You can follow Heather on her cooking adventures on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.


This project was funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of the Partnership in Ontario.


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