Cowboy Queso may become your new favorite go-to dip! It takes beer cheese dip to the next level with additions like ground beef, Pepper jack cheese, creamy Velveeta, black beans, and tomatoes, with a little heat from jalapeno peppers. SO GOOD! But, don’t wait until the big game to enjoy this hearty, flavorful dip! I also have an easy Slow Cooker Queso if you need an easier option!

Skillet of spicy Cowboy Queso on a wooden table from overhead.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Customize Your Cowboy Queso: Ingredients & Smart Substitutions

  • Meat: Although I used ground beef in the dip, it would also be delicious with ground turkey, ground chicken, or Italian sausage! Or, skip the meat altogether for a cheesy, meatless, flavorful dip!
  • Beer: When choosing a beer for the dip, I like to use one that is a bit more hoppy, like an IPA or Pale Ale. (I used an IPA for this recipe.) But, other kinds of beer would work, too. You only need 3/4 cup of beer, so cheers to sipping the rest of it!
  • Cheese: For a little kick, I used pepper jack shredded cheese. For a milder flavor, use Monterey Jack, which also melts well. Or, try it with cheddar or Colby jack.
  • Velveeta: For the creamiest dip, I love to use Velveeta. It is a processed cheese, but I do have a homemade recipe for it if you want to try that. It will work perfectly in this dip.
  • Black Beans: Be sure to drain and rinse the black beans before using. I only added a cup of black beans, but if you want to use a whole can, go for it! Pinto or cannellini beans would also be great in the dip.
  • Jalapeno Pepper: If you want the most heat from the pepper, leave the seeds and membrane intact when dicing; that is where the heat is. For less heat, seed it before dicing or just leave it out.
Skillet of Cowboy Queso on a wooden table.

Can I Make Cowboy Queso Without Beer?

Sure! If you are looking for a nonalcoholic substitute for beer in the dip, you could replace it with:

  • Chicken broth
  • Beef broth
  • Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Water

Start with small amounts and adjust to reach your desired dip consistency.

Make-Ahead Cowboy Queso: Storing & Reheating

This dip is a great one to get made and store until ready to serve and dip in! Here is how:

To Store: First, let the dip cool to room temperature. Then, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

To Reheat: Reheat the dip in a saucepan over low heat on the stovetop or in a heat-safe bowl in the microwave. You may have to add a little broth or milk to maintain the creamy texture.

Dipping a chip into a skillet of Cowboy Queso topped with fresh tomato and jalapeno.

Slow Cooker Cowboy Queso Recipe: Easy Crock Pot Method

It’s easy to make this dip in a slow cooker or crock pot. First, cook the ground beef (or meat you are using) until fully cooked. Then, add the cooked beef to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 2-3 hours, or until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are heated through. I like to occasionally give it a stir while it’s cooking. When ready, garnish and serve!

This dip, adapted from The Cozy Cook’s Velveeta Queso recipe, is a must-add to your Super Bowl Foods list!

Skillet of spicy Cowboy Queso on a wooden table from overhead.
No ratings yet

Cowboy Queso

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Take your dip to the next level with Cowboy Queso! This flavorful beer cheese dip with ground beef, Pepper jack cheese, and jalapenos is perfect for any occasion!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup (177 g / 6 ounces) beer, we used an IPA
  • ½ cup (56.5 g) Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 16 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup black beans, drained, rinsed
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced (about ½ of a small onion)
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded, finely diced
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilis, drained
  • fresh tomatoes, diced for garnish
  • fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • lime wedges, for garnish
  • tortilla chips, for serving


  • To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add ground beef. Cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go, until no longer pink (about 5-7 minutes). Drain grease.
  • Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  • Pour in the beer. Let it simmer for about 4-5 minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce slightly.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Add the shredded cheese and Velveeta to the skillet. Stir occasionally until all the cheese is melted and smooth.
  • Add black beans, red onion, jalapeno, and tomatoes. Stir to combine.
  • Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until everything is well combined and heated through.
  • Garnish with freshly diced tomatoes, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
  • Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


I really like this dip! It's easy to make and perfect for game day, or any day for that matter!


This dip is kind of a unique twist on the classic Velveeta cheese dip. I like all of the added ingredients, especially the kick from the jalapeno and pepper jack cheese.


I liked how creamy and cheesy the dip was with the subtle kick from jalapeno peppers. I would make this for friends and family!


This dip is so addicitive! I think it's great for any occasion, and I like that you can make it in a slow cooker.


My family will love this, for sure. I, myself, could eat this every day, it's so good. And, I like that you can easily adjust the spice level.

Share with your friends!

Categorized in: ,

Related Recipes

Meet Amanda Rettke

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating