Ann Taylor Pittman is giving all of us permission to eat queso for dinner. 

By Bridget Hallinan
May 31, 2019

In one of her recent F&W Cooks videos, Ann Taylor Pittman makes an irresistible-looking queso—a “snack dinner,” as it’s called by her kids, with the bubbling skillet of cheese surrounded by various chips, vegetables, and fixings on a platter. But this isn’t just any queso. Pittman begins by explaining her recipe has a surprising ingredient that not only makes the dip delicious, but also slightly healthier. Her secret? The humble sweet potato—she says the color matches the cheese (and therefore makes it seem even cheesier), the creaminess of the vegetable adds richness and thickens the queso, and its hint of sweetness adds dimension. As an added bonus, it’s a great way to sneak in a vegetable if you have picky eaters in your family—Pittman says your kids will never know. Check out her key tips for making (secretly healthy) queso snack dinner below:

Stick with the food processor

While you can mash the sweet potato with a fork, Pittman says you really need to commit in order to get it to be smooth enough. Instead, she uses a food processor.

Always shred your own cheese

Cheese, clearly, is major component of this meal. Pittman says you always want to shred your own cheese for a recipe like this—pre-shredded cheese is coated in starch, which will interfere with the melting and the creaminess of the final dip.

Don’t use all of the onion

When adding the onion and the garlic into the pan, Pittman says to reserve about a tablespoon of the onions for the garnish at the end.

Remove excess moisture

Press the diced tomatoes and chiles with the back of a spoon through a strainer before adding them into the pan, so you remove excess moisture.

Save half of the cheese

Only add half of the cheese to the pan when you’re mixing everything together. Save the other half to sprinkle on top later.

Broil low

Make sure the broiler is at a low temperature when you put in the queso, so the cheese stays creamy when it melts.

Don’t forget the garnish

For the topping, Pittman uses the reserved onions, red Fresno chiles, jalapeño, and fresh cilantro, which she says adds a bright, zippy, herbal note. Then, you’re all ready to dig in—it’s the perfect meal for family game night, or watching a sporting event.

Get the recipe here.

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