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Tailgate Queso

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Cheese dip is the ultimate party food and is a must for tailgating and watching the game at home. This tailgate queso is full of flavor and it is super simple to make.

dish of nachos topped with tailgate queso, sour cream and green onions.

Tailgate cheese dip is a staple at pre-game tailgates. It is also perfect for watching the big game at home or any party.

It is full of flavor and super easy to make.  You can do it on the stove top, the extra burner on your grill or in the slow cooker.

This recipe is definitely a favorite appetizer for game night, football watching parties, and more. Set it out and keep watching people come back for more!

How We Got This Cheese Dip Recipe

My sister-in-law Jess and her husband, Anthony are both proud Northwestern alumni.  They have a group of friends that tailgate at every home football game.

slow cooker filled with velveeta, rotel and queso ingredients.

We try to join them at a game each year, though as the number of kiddos expands it gets a little more difficult.  The regular tailgaters plan who is bringing what.  

There are a number of game day treats that have to be there. This tailgate queso dip is one of the menu items that is required, they take turns making and bringing a batch.  

A huge pot of it is set out with plenty of tortilla chips and people just dip into the communal queso pot.  It also gets slathered on brats and burgers.  It is always a hit.

slow cooker filled with tailgate queso ready to enjoy.

They make it in a large saucepan at home, then bring it to the game. It gets warmed back up on the extra burner on the grill.

Within seconds of the chip bags being opened and the pan being set on the table, the swarms of people surround it. They all know what’s in there and can’t help themselves.

Nacho boat filled with chips topped with queso, cream cheese and chives.

We have adopted the recipe and make it at home now too.  The easy part about making it for a party at home is you can use the slow cooker to melt it and keep it warm.

Just like at the tailgate, people swarm it the minute it is put out.  It is great for all kinds of parties, but is a must have at our big game party.

Jess says she normally likes to make things from scratch or with store brands, but in this case she prefers using exactly what she spelled out in the recipe.  Enjoy!

More Great Cheesy Dips

For another great chunky cheese dip, check out my recipe for super loaded queso. It has a little bit of everything in it for a hearty appetizer.

Or try using leftover pulled pork to make cheesy pulled pork dip. It is loaded with goodness and is sure to fill you up.

Fiesta dip is a fun cold dip. It is still loaded with cheese and spice, but is eaten chilled instead of warm.

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

dish of nachos topped with tailgate queso, sour cream and green onions.

Tailgate Queso Dip

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
Queso is the ultimate party food and is a must for tailgating and watching the game at home. This tailgate queso is full of flavor and it is super simple to make.
4.92 from 12 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 pounds Velveeta
  • 2 cans Rotel
  • 1 can Hormel hot no bean chili
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Optional: diced jalapenos or hot sauce if you like more kick


  • Put the chili, Rotel and seasonings in the bottom of a large saucepan.
    2 cans Rotel, 1 can Hormel hot no bean chili, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Cut Velveeta into cubes and put it over top of the other ingredients.
    2 pounds Velveeta
  • Cook over medium-low heat until completely melted. Make sure to stir frequently because it can scorch quickly. (Alternatively, melt it in a slow cooker on low heat)
  • Add some jalapenos or hot sauce if you want a little extra kick.
  • Serve with sturdy tortilla chips or on burgers, brats or hot dogs.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 133kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 746mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

Tailgating and queso are not really part of my culture - and I didn't even recognise half of those ingredients! But some of those snacks certainly made my mouth water. I love the look of the stuffed footballs, they look so cute. Thanks for sharing this cultural experience with the Blog Fair.


Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

I love seeing some of your ingredients too! In a lot of ways we eat very similarly, but there are some fun differences as well. It is really cool how this blogging stuff makes you a little more aware of how things are on the other side of the globe!


Wednesday 27th of January 2016

Thank You Jess! This sounds fantastic! Pinning! So glad you shared at Inspiration Thursday.


Thursday 28th of January 2016

Thank you!


Tuesday 26th of January 2016

I know, my jeans get tighter just looking at it all (and it is completely worth it!) Thank you!


Saturday 23rd of January 2016

Queso dip is one of my favorites too, perfect for a party and all of these other ideas look so good too, I need some Hot Cuban Dip in my life soon! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend?!


Saturday 23rd of January 2016

Doesn't the Hot Cuban Dip sound awesome! That is my list of things to try soon.

Lisa @ Drugstore Divas

Saturday 23rd of January 2016

Wow. I'm not sure why making my own queso never crossed my mind. I'll have to try it for the Super Bowl this year.

Thanks for sharing at the Tips & Tricks party. That's how I found this post. Be sure to come back again on Monday!


Saturday 23rd of January 2016

It is a perfect party food! We drained the whole batch while watching the playoffs. I am sure we'll have to make more for our Super Bowl party! Thanks for stopping by!