Undeniably Dairy Campfire Queso

Planning a tailgate party, picnic or backyard barbeque? Or maybe you’re ready to bring next-level dining to your campsite. This campfire queso recipe is for all the outdoorsy grillers and everyone lucky enough to hang with them. Pro tip: Chop and assemble these fresh ingredients at home and carry them in a cooler to wherever you plan to unleash the spicy-gooey goodness. For other dairy-licious recipe ideas go to UndeniablyDairy.org.


  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef (ground turkey or chicken may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed and diced (optional)
  • 12 ounces Mexican blend cheese, shredded (a mixture of cheddar and queso quesadilla)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 block low-fat cream cheese, cut into cubes (8 ounces or fat level of choice)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt (or fat level of choice)
  • 1 cup reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped and loosely packed
  • Tortilla chips for serving


1. Combine ground beef, bell pepper (and jalapeño, if using) and onion in a skillet over high heat and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the beef is browned and the vegetables are soft. Drain fat from the beef and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine shredded cheese, cornstarch, cumin, salt, chili powder and smoked paprika and toss until the cornstarch and spices are evenly distributed.

3. In an 8×10-inch disposable foil pan, arrange ground beef mixture, shredded cheese mixture, canned tomato with green chilis, cream cheese and Greek yogurt. Wrap pan tightly with heavy-duty foil and store in refrigerator until ready to cook.

4. To cook queso dip, preheat a gas or charcoal grill to 250 to 300 degrees (low to medium). If using charcoal, arrange coals so that queso dip can cook over indirect heat.

5. Place foil pan on grill, over indirect heat, and grill for 15 minutes with the grill lid closed.

6. After 15 minutes, carefully open the foil wrapping and stir the cheese mixture. Add about a half cup of milk and continue stirring until smooth. Close lid and continue cooking the queso dip for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the dip is completely melted and smooth. Add remaining milk, as needed, to achieve a smooth consistency.

7. Use potholders to carefully transfer foil pan from the grill and remove the foil wrapping. Garnish queso dip with fresh cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.

8. Enjoy your campfire queso dip with family and friends.