Dinner's a party when appetizers become the main course. This is a real "big game" kind of dip, reminiscent of that wickedly yummy canned-chili-and-melted-Velveeta one. You could, of course, make it with canned chili and Velveeta, which I secretly love — but can we serve our kids cheese that requires no refrigeration until it's opened? I'm not sure. For now, I make it with refrigerated cheese, nutritious meat and beans and enchilada sauce instead of salsa because it has none of those peppery chunks that can make my kids skittish. The recipe makes lots — try spooning leftovers over pasta or rice.
Note on Dippers: Serve the most wholesome dippable food you can get away with: whole grain breadsticks or crackers (Ak-Mak and Finn Crisps are brands that we like, though they need to be broken into pieces); strips of whole wheat bread or toast; pita chips; whole grain tortilla chips; and veggies such as snow peas, raw carrots, bell peppers, and celery sticks, or lightly steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas and green beans.
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup enchilada sauce or mild salsa
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (Goya pink beans are perfect)
4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- In a large pan, heat half the oil over medium-high heat, add beef or turkey and salt, and brown for about 10 minutes, stirring to break up clumps. If the meat has given off a lot of fat, drain it off; otherwise simply push meat to the side.
- Add remaining oil and garlic, and cook briefly over medium-low heat.
- Stir in the sauce or salsa, bring to a simmer, and add beans and cream cheese. Stir gently until cream cheese melts, then turn heat to low and add cheddar, stirring until everything is hot and molten. Pour into a bowl to serve.
Per Serving (1/4 cup): 139 Calories, 9g Protein, 5g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 0g Sugar, 9g Fat, 4g Saturated Fat, 279mg Sodium, 33mg Cholesterol.