Skillet Queso Dip (from Chili’s)

My husband worked at Chili’s in college and knows the ins and outs of the menu. It’s so funny to go with him to Chili’s because he ‘s always making suggestions on little ways on to make specialty orders of certain dishes. I do admit that I get embarrassed as the waiter looks at us like we are either crazy picky, or eat there WAY TO MUCH. I would say that neither is true, my husband just knows great food.
When I saw the ingredients for this recipe at Everything in Moderation, I knew it had to be very close to the “real deal” because of all the spices that the other “copy cat” recipes did not include. My husband agrees that it tastes EXACTLY the same! Yay! Now the only trick is waiting to make it again until we have a party so we don’t eat it all! 😉


  • 16-ounce box Velveeta Cheese
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 15-ounce can Hormel Chili (No Beans)
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin


1. Cut the Velveeta into cubes. Combine the cheese with the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

2. Stir frequently until cheese melts.

Enjoy with tortilla chips!


  1. he-he-he
    I’d be embarassed if my husband did that, LOL
    Looks like a yummy recipe! Enjoy your party…. when you have one. Who needs an occassion, just throw a party!

  2. Love it! Never could get the taste just right. I think we will have to make it this weekend. This is awful, but I bet it would be good over crispy fries.

  3. I love Mexican food! Thanks! Visiting on the UBP journey!

  4. I LOVE, LOVE Chili’s queso dip! I’m so going to have to try this!

  5. Thanks for putting this up – this is my all time favorite dip. And as far as your husband asking for little improvements at Chili’s, I’m the same way at restaurants I used to work at. I mean, if I can make the food even better why not? that is why I’m at a restaurant – to eat great food

  6. My wife and I found a copycat recipe for Applebee’s Spinach Artichoke Dip. We were big fans of that and had to make our own after getting Applebee’s 2 for $20 meal and getting a big bowl of Spinach Artichoke Dip to share as the appetizer. Well we recently went back there and Applebee’s had seemed to make the Spinach Artichoke Dip a third or a fourth of its original size for their 2 for $20 menu. So now we found we could make a copycat version for cheaper with more to go around.

    Looking for a deal like Applebee’s 2 for $20 meal years ago, we came across Chili’s doing the same thing back when they were first getting on the bandwagon. One of the first 2 for $20 appetizers they had on the menu was the Skillet Queso Dip. This was during their prototype menu before it was finalized. My wife wasn’t a big chili fan back then. However, she fell in love with the flavor. Unfortunately Chili’s nixed the Skillet Queso Dip from the 2 for $20 lineup of appetizers, opting instead for things like “Half order of Texas Cheese Fries” or something of that nature. While at Chili’s recently, my wife longed for their Skillet Queso Dip again. So thank you for sharing this recipe!

    We’ll have to try it, and if it tastes good to my wife, then we’ll keep this recipe on hand like we have the Copycat Applebee’s Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe. My wife’s only complaint is that the local Skillet Queso Dip had strips of what seemed like steak in the ingredients. Perhaps your husband might be able to enlighten us on if there is something similar being sold in retail stores that we could use to emulate those steak like pieces my wife claims is in the skillet queso dip? If all else fails, I guess I could convince my wife to have some actual small strips of steak mixed in.

  7. Just made the Skillet Queso Dip using this recipe. One website says on how to make a Copycat Skillet Queso dip, to just mix in Hormel Chili no beans and Velveeta Cheese. I’ve done that for years and Chili’s Skillet Queso has an altogether different taste than just Hormel Chili with Velveeta Cheese.

    At first I could taste the Hormel chili right off the bat, but then with the combination of spices it really brought a very similar taste to Chili’s actual Skillet Queso Dip, much more than just Hormel Chili and Velveeta Cheese mixed together by itself.

    I recall my wife saying that the actual Chili’s dip was “Spicy, but a good spicy”, her words meaning that she can tolerate the cayenne pepper. I was afraid that my wife would object to me putting cayenne pepper in the dip, but I figured 1/2 teaspoon as per the recipe was just right. Right now I’m sweating from the cayenne peppers, but it’s not enough to burn my tongue or esophagus going down. The more I eat it, the more it tastes like we just went to Chili’s Curbside and picked this dip up from the actual restaurant! Great recipe!

  8. I made this tonight and it tasted exactly like Chili’s! Thank you so much. Quick and easy dip! I’m going to Pin it.

  9. jennifer lyn tinney raymond says:

    could you put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook it that way?

  10. I made this for family at New Years and it turned out awesome! I couldn’t find the Velveeta cheese block, so I just got a package of sliced (not individually wrapped) American cheese. I found all of the ingredients at Wal Mart. Put everything in the crock pot on high, and in about an hour it was hot, melted, and ready to stir and serve. I dropped the crock pot to low after that to keep it warm. I can attest that it is every bit as good as the Chili’s recipe and I’ll definitely be making it again.

    • Brian- Thanks for sharing, so glad everyone enjoyed it! I will have to try it in the crockpot next time! Thanks for letting us know that worked for you!

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