Cheesy Beef Taco Dip
This Cheesy Beef Taco Dip is full of rich and beefy taco flavor, featuring ground beef, taco seasoning, Rotel, and a heaping pile of cheddar cheese. Serve this hot taco dip with sturdy tortilla chips for a cheesy, hearty appetizer everyone will love!
Easy Ground Beef Taco Dip
My mom’s recipe for Cheesy Beef Taco Dip has been a longtime family favorite. Full of rich, beefy, taco flavored goodness, it’s an easy recipe that’s hard to resist – and it comes together in just 25 minutes!
This hearty beef taco dip has all the crave-worthy taco flavors that taco lovers adore.
It’s rich with flavor from ground beef, cheddar cheese, and tomato. Rotel adds a hint of heat. And your favorite taco seasoning brings this appetizer recipe altogether into one super fun dip.
To add another layer of fun – offer additional taco toppings like green onions, sour cream, and chopped fresh tomatoes. Margaritas are also a great pairing!
It’s perfect for parties (Mom served this at my high school graduation party) because you can easily keep this cheesy beef dip warm in the crockpot or a fondue pot for hours, for everyone’s dipping pleasure.
We’ve even been known to call this “supper”. Yep. I move the hot skillet from the stovetop to the table, set out some tortilla chips, and we all dig in. Talk about a happy meal time win!
What You’ll Need
This hot taco dip is made with a handful of your favorite taco ingredients, plus Rotel and shredded cheese. See the recipe card for measurements.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post for exact ingredient amounts.
- Ground beef – I use a lean ground beef, and then still drain any excess grease once it’s browned.
- Onion & garlic – Saute these with the ground beef to add extra flavor to this cheesy taco dip.
- Tomato sauce – This adds rich tomato flavor and provides the base that makes this “dippable”.
- Rotel – The “Original” Rotel with diced tomatoes and green chiles adds loads of flavor to this recipe. Add the juices, too. Do NOT drain the can.
- Taco seasoning– You can use whatever your favorite taco seasoning is and adjust the amount to your preference.
- Frank’s Redhot Sauce – Adds just a bit more heat + a really delicious flavor. You can substitute your own favorite hot sauce if you don’t have Frank’s.
- Black pepper
- Shredded cheese – I use medium cheddar. And I highly recommend shredding your own as it will give you the best melty, silky texture.
Pre-Shredded vs Freshly Shredded Cheese
For this cheesy taco dip, I highly recommend grating cheese off the block. Why? Pre-shredded cheese is typically coated with a powder to prevent clumping…but that powder also prevents it from melting as smoothly.
I also just think that freshly shredded cheese has a better, fresher flavor.
While you can obviously still use shredded cheese from a bag, I do recommend taking a few minutes to shred a block of cheese yourself.
How to Make Cheesy Beef Taco Dip
This hot taco dip with ground beef is super easy to make. And it’s perfect for parties, since you can keep it in a crockpot for hours.
- Cook the ground beef. Cook the beef and onion over medium heat in a large skillet. Once the beef is nearly browned, stir in the garlic. Cook until beef is fully browned, then drain and discard any excess fat.
- Add the other ingredients. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the cheese and flour. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until warmed through – about 5 minutes.
- Add the cheese. Toss the shredded cheese with flour. Slowly add to the beef mixture, stirring until all the cheese is melted.
- Serve. Serve hot, straight from the skillet. Or transfer the dip to a serving dish – or a small crockpot or fondue pot to keep it warm for a longer time. Serve with sturdy tortilla chips.
Tips & Variations
Here are a few tips for making this cheesy taco dip with ground beef, including ways to customize the flavor.
- Spice it up. This dip has a pretty mild heat level to it. If you prefer things spicy, try adding some fire-roasted chiles, diced jalapenos, or using a spicy Rotel or taco seasoning. Consider tossing in some minced fresh jalapeno when you add the garlic. Or add a few more splashes of hot sauce!
- Load it up. Feel free to add in additional ingredients like black beans, corn, or diced bell peppers. Just be sure to drain off any excess liquids from canned items such as beans and corn.
- Use ground turkey. You can also use ground turkey or chicken in place of ground beef. The flavor won’t be quite as rich, but it’s a great way to incorporate a leaner protein.
- Add the cheese slowly. It’s easier to achieve the perfect melty texture if you stir smaller amounts of cheese in at a time, versus dumping it all in at once.
For parties, I like to keep this cheesy ground beef taco dip hot in either a crockpot or fondue pot, set to low.
Grab some sturdy tortilla chips for dipping. You can either dip the chips straight into the dip, or load your plate up with a pile of chips, cheesy taco dip, and toppings.
I usually offer a few taco toppings on the side to go with this dip, like sour cream, sliced green onions, chopped tomatoes, diced jalapeno, fresh cilantro, and avocado or guacamole. I like to offer a bottle of hot sauce as well, so guests can spice it up further if they choose.
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftover cheesy beef taco dip in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
You can easily reheat the dip in the microwave. Or gently reheat it on the stovetop or slow cooker on low heat.
More Easy Party Dip Recipes:
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- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can (10 ounces) Rotel "Original" Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies (do not drain)
- 1 teaspoon your favorite hot sauce (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (more or less, depending on your preference)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef and onion, breaking up the beef, until beef is nearly browned. Stir in the garlic and cook until beef is fully browned. Drain fat and discard.
- Stir in tomato sauce, Rotel, hot sauce, taco seasoning, and black pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thoroughly warmed.
- In a small bowl, toss cheese with flour. Add cheese to beef mixture, a little at a time, stirring just until melted. Transfer to a small crockpot or fondue pot to keep warm.
- Serve hot or warm, with sturdy tortilla chips. If desired, offer taco toppings such as sour cream, sliced green onions, chopped tomatoes, diced jalapeno, avocado or guacamole, etc. alongside.
Adapted from Mom’s recipe box, original recipe from Anytime Appetizers by Better Homes and Gardens.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 488mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 24g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Mom made this cheesy beef taco dip for my high school graduation party. After the party, she wrote on the recipe card, “Used for Brenda’s graduation party and every bit of it was gone!”
While big hair and big glasses will go in and out of style, dips as good as this never will!!
This post was originally published in 2013, then updated in 2022.