Ultimate Game Day Chili Con Queso

Serving Size: 25
Prep Time:
Total Time:

Real chili con queso has ground meat, spices, onions, and lots of other secret ingredients designed to make for heaven on a chip. Well, I’m here to help steer you to a slightly healthier and less cruel option, which also happens to taste better than any queso I’ve ever made. I’ve worked with lots of variations of this recipe to get the color, flavor, and consistency just right. Why? Because as a Texan, my rep is on the line here. Moreover, I want to show the world that you can make a remarkable dairy-free, cholesterol-free queso dip, no sweat. This recipe is also my most popular repeat request for catering gigs. People literally hover over the bowl and say, “Can you believe this isn’t cheese?” That makes me feel good.

Go ahead: bring this to a Superbowl party or potluck. Set the bubbling cauldron of cheesy goodness down and watch people go Bananas. The only thing people will ask you for is the recipe.


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Legit corn tortilla chips for maximum dippage
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 0.75 cup water to achieve desired consistency
  • 0.75 cup red salsa (I use medium hot, chunky salsa, but this is a matter of preference. Use what you like)
  • 1 package of Daiya Cheddar Wedge, diced in to cubes
  • 2 packages of Daiya Havarti Wedge with jalapeño and garlic, diced in to cubes
  • 0.75 cup light beer (I used Corona)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 packet of Trader Joe’s beef less ground beef (or heirloom beans, if you aren’t a faux meat type)
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • For garnish: Finely-diced green onions, avocado slices, diced purple onion, or anything else you think sounds rad.


  1. In a saucepan over medium-to-high heat, combine oil, diced onions, beef less ground beef, and coat with spices. Allow to cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are slightly transparent (we still want them crunchy, so don’t cook them too much) and the spices have permeated the mixture.
  2. Once cooked, add beer and simmer on lower heat for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add cubed Daiya and salsa, stirring occasionally to encourage melting.
  4. Once melted, add water (or additional beer, if you prefer) to achieve desired consistency.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and any preferred spices to taste. I sometimes kick this up a notch with hot sauce or red pepper flakes, but the key is to keep it not too spicy.
  6. Ladle in to bowls or a crock pot and garnish with green onions (my favorite), avocado, purple onion, cilantro (if you’re in to that. I think it’s an abomination), lime wedges, or anything else that tickles your fancy. Serve with GOOD CORN TORTILLA CHIPS (no Tostito’s here, people), and go to town. Pop a cold beer and enjoy.
  7. Be prepared for total world domination. Cover and store in refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat in saucepan or microwave.

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