Not Really Chili’s Queso Dip
It’s hard to make a copycat version of this restaurant favorite on a stovetop, given the way the cheese can burn, even with constant stirring. The only way to make a smooth, creamy dip every time is with the PIP (pot-in-pot) method in an Instant Pot. Even so, we still wanted to up the game (as you well know by now). Most copycat recipes use 100 percent Velveeta; we supplement it with sharp American cheddar for better flavor. The smoked paprika offers a bit of “hearth” or “grill” flavor. And we save the lime juice for the end for a brighter, fresher taste.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 5minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 5minutes
Cook Time
  • 1 1/2cups Water
  • 1 can chili without beans (15 oz)such as Wolf Brand Chili No Beans or Skyline Original Chili, 2 cups
  • 8oz Velveeta cheeseshredded
  • 8oz American sharp cheddar cheeseshredded (2 cups)
  • 1cup whole or low-­fat milkdo not use fat-free
  • 1tbsp mild smoked paprika
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2tsp thin red hot saucesuch as Texas Pete (can use less)
  • 1tbsp lime juice
  1. Pour the water into the insert set in a 5-, 6-, or 8-quart Instant Pot. Set a pressure-safe rack or trivet into the pot.
  2. Stir the chili, Velveeta, cheddar, milk, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, and hot sauce in a 2 quart, 7-inch-round, high-sided, pressure-safe baking or soufflé dish. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and set it on the rack. Lock the lid on the cooker.
  3. MAX model: Set the pot for Pressure Cook and set the pressure to MAX. Set the time for 17 minutes with the Keep Warm Setting off.
    For other models: Set the pot for Pressure Cook or Manual and set the pressure to HIGH. The valve must be closed. Set the time for 20 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  4. When the pot has finished cooking, use the quick-release method to bring the pressure back to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Use hot pads or silicone baking mitts to transfer the (hot!) baking dish to a nearby wire rack. Stir in the lime juice (perhaps also re-emulsifying the dip). Let sit for 5 minutes to blend the flavors and thicken slightly before serving.
Recipe Notes

• Garnish the dip with stemmed and minced fresh cilantro leaves.
• For more flavor (and color), stir one 4-ounce jar diced pimientos,
drained and rinsed, into the mixture with the cheese.

Other Pots
• For a 3-quart Instant Pot, you must halve almost all of the ingredient amounts except you must use 1 cup water in the insert. You must also use a 1-quart, 6-inch-round, high-sided, pressure-safe baking or soufflé dish.
• For a 10-quart Instant Pot, you must increase the amount of water in the insert to 21/2 cups while otherwise completing the recipe as stated.