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The Most Delicious Slow Cooker Taco Dip

16 Reviews

Good mercy. There’s dip recipes and then there’s this, the Most Delicious Slow Cooker Taco Dip recipe. It’s a layer of spicy queso, saucy ground beef and lots of cheese. 

A photo of someone scooping out a helping of slow cooker taco dip with a tortilla chip.

It is all the flavors of the tacos you love layered in an irresistible dip. Have I mentioned my love affair with dips? It is strong and it is real! I mean, what is there not to love about dip, especially this dip?! Every layer just gets better and better!

It all starts with the Tillamook Spicy Queso Starter which knocks this dip out of the park! It is crazy easy. All you have to do is add milk and it is REAL cheese. The thick shreds of cheese melt down perfectly and the flavor is perfection.

The next layer is a saucy ground beef mixture that combines with the spicy queso in the slow cooker to make the flavor-packed base of the dip. Then it is topped with loads of cheese, olives, chopped tomatoes and cilantro. You won’t be able to stop dipping into this, I guarantee it!


We have talked many times about our love for Tillamook. Plain and simple, is just the BEST. Hands down, bar none, no question…the BEST.  I am a little biased since I grew up near Tillamook and went there regularly and ate all their delicious products as a kid. But it is far more than just hometown nostalgia. Tillamook just does things right…like everything right! You can read more about their amazing-ness here.

We are totally obsessed with their various sauce starters. Here are a couple of other recipes where we have used the sauce starters: Easy Philly Cheesesteak Bread and Spicy Queso Pasta Primavera. If you are looking for the sauce starters at your local grocery store, they will be in the refrigerated sections right by all the cheese. You can also use the Tillamook locator to determine where you can find Tillamook sauce starters near you.

A photo of a package of Tillamook Spicy Queso Sauce Starter.


What Kind of Ground Beef Should I Use?

We prefer to use 85% lean/15% fat ground sirloin for this recipe. It is a little bit healthier than the 73/27 and 80/20 options but still has that full beefy flavor. The 85/15 also isn’t as dry a the 90/10 or 93/7 that is also available, though those could be used as well. It all just depends on what kind of flavor and texture you want in your beef. Just be sure to drain off the fat after you cook the beef especially if you use beef with higher fat content.

You can read all about the various types of ground beef and what dishes they are best in here.

What Goes in a Taco Dip

We add onions, beef broth, corn starch, a can of fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles and taco seasoning to the ground beef to make a totally saucy and delectable layer in this taco dip that will keep you coming back for more.

A photo of slow cooker taco dip in a black oval slow cooker topped with melted cheese, sliced olives, chopped tomatoes and cilantro.

Tillamook Mexican 4 Cheese Farmstyle Thick Cut Cheese

The secret to this slow cooker taco dip is that layer of perfectly delicious queso under the ground beef layer, but the real secret is to use the best shredded cheese. A thick cut cheese melts down way better than other shreds and a combination of cheeses in the Mexican blend will take the flavor to a whole new level.

Tillamook actually uses a research and development team to make sure the cheeses selected will lead to the most fantastic flavor combination for your perfect meal, so going with a Mexican Cheese Blend will only make your dip all the better all while opening only one package. 


How to Make Homemade Taco Seasoning

We are all about the homemade taco seasoning and keep a jar of it in our pantry. It lasts for months and is so convenient. You don’t have to worry about picking up that taco seasoning packet at the store. If you want to make your own taco seasoning, here is what you will need:

  • Chili Powder
  • Ground Cumin
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Oregano
  • Coriander
  • Onion Powder
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Cornstarch
  • Cayenne

If you go this route, one packet is equivalent to about 2 tablespoons (maybe a smidge more) of seasoning.

A photo of slow cooker taco dip in a black oval slow cooker topped with melted cheese, sliced olives, chopped tomatoes and cilantro.

What is in Mexican Blend Cheese?

Once the spicy queso and ground beef mixture has simmered away in the slow cooker, we add 1 to 2 cups of Mexican blend cheese. We prefer the Tillamook Mexican 4 Cheese Blend which is a combination of naturally aged cheddar, Monterey Jack, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero. You can’t have a taco dip without cheese…lots of cheese!

Get the Farmstyle cut of shredded cheese. It’s thick and delicious in a dip because a thick shreds melts down even better than the littles! Just a little secret tip for you!

A photo of someone scooping out a helping of slow cooker taco dip with a tortilla chip.

Are a Slow Cooker and a Crock Pot the Same Thing?

It seems like slow cookers and crock pots can be used interchangeably, but they are actually not the same thing. A crock pot is a slow cooker, but not all slow cookers are crock pots. How is that for confusing?! Crock Pot was the original creator of the slow cooker though several other companies have produced crock pot style slow cookers. “Crock pot” has become the generic name for all slow cookers.

One thing that makes a slow cooker different from a crock pot or crock pot style slow cooker is that a slow cooker is only heated from a the bottom. Long story short, you can use a slow cooker or a crock pot to make this Most Delicious Slow Cooker Taco Dip. This is our preferred slow cooker.

A photo of slow cooker taco dip in a black oval slow cooker topped with melted cheese, sliced olives, chopped tomatoes and cilantro.

What Toppings Should I Add to my Taco Dip?

We like to keep our taco dip fairly simple and pleasing to everyone in the crowd.  We add chopped tomatoes, sliced olives and chopped cilantro to ours. You could add lots more depending on your taste. Some options might include:

  • sliced jalapenos
  • avocados
  • black beans (drained thoroughly)
  • corn (drained thoroughly)
  • dollops of sour cream (you may want to keep this on the side since it won’t do well if it sits on the hot dip for long periods of time)

Make this for your next football party, holiday gathering, Cinco de Mayo fiesta, or just for dinner (we might have done that!).

Visiting Tillamook

You may have seen our frequent trips to Tillamook in Oregon and we’ve had so many questions I thought I’d answer a few really quick!

  • Is the Tillamook Creamery Worth Visiting?

Not if you like fun, delicious and memory making moments.

It seriously is the best little trip to make with your family. We have such a blast! We wander around, pretend to milk a cow upstairs, try cheese samples and watch the cheese get made then head back downstairs to order lunch (a brand spanking new menu!) and of course, a big scoop of ice cream before hitting the newly improved gift shop!

  • What to Order at Tillamook Creamery

With a brand new menu I know you might be confused on what to get, but my two favorites are the grilled cheese and tomato soup or fried cheese curds. My goodness, I love the fried cheese curds like girls love being told their pretty. Just makes my whole heart melt!

  • What is the Best Tillamook IceCream?! 

Glad you asked but we differ. Cade loves Mudslide and I love Marionberry Pie with all of my heart and soul. 

  • Where to Stay by Tillamook 

Let me just throw this out there, you should never stay anywhere but the Headlands Lodge in Pacific City. I know, you’re going to have a little drive to Tillamook but my goodness, the views are breathtaking and the lodge is the most beautiful, peaceful place ever. 


Looking for a few different dip recipes other than our Most Delicious Slow Cooker Taco Dip? Here are just a few to get you started:


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a close up of slow cooker taco dip with a chip scooping some up with olives and fresh cilantro on top

The Most Delicious Slow Cooker Taco Dip

3.88 from 16 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 10
The layers of spicy queso, saucy ground beef and all of that cheese with the pops of toppings are going to knock your socks off.


  • [1 Tillamook Spicy Queso Sauce Starter]
  • 1 lb Ground beef I use 85/15
  • 1/2 Large yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 Cup reduced sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Packet Taco seasoning
  • 1 Can 14.5 ounces Fire Roasted diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1-2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Sliced Olives
  • Tomatoes chopped
  • Cilantro chopped


  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  •  Add ground beef and cook 3-4 minutes, crumbling as you cook with a ground beef chopper (that is life changing and less than $5!! Link below), until mostly browned. Add in diced onion, and cook about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Drain grease.
  • Add the beef broth, cornstarch, taco seasoning, and diced tomatoes with green chiles. Stir to combine well and bring to a simmer, turning the heat to medium low.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pot, cook the Tillamook Spicy Queso according to package directions. Pour into the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • Top with the ground beef mixture.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours, or LOW for about 4 hours. Remove lid, add the shredded cheese. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted on top.
  • Sprinkle with garnishes and serve with tortilla chips!


Taco dip will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
The Most Delicious Slow Cooker Taco Dip
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 243 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 64mg21%
Sodium 467mg20%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 19g38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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A photo of someone scooping out a helping of slow cooker taco dip with a tortilla chip.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • Best recipe ever

    • Reply
    • You’re the best, Eva! Thank you!

      • Reply
  • I remember this being so good. I made it a few times a couple of years ago and it was a family favorite. I think the Tilliamook starter kits have been discontinued since then, I and can’t quiet remember what was in them. Do you have any substitutes or ideas to recreate it? Either way, thanks for all of the recipes!

    • Reply
    • Hi Emily! Ugh! I know…I’m pretty sure they have stopped making them. I’m going to have to try to come up with comparable substitutes. I’ll have to experiment a little! Thank you so much for the support!

      • Reply
  • If you’re going to cook everything before putting it into the crockpot then what’s the point of the crockpot? I followed this recipe and put it in the crockpot where it just started to burn. If you take slow cooker out of the name this would be a perfect recipe for taco dip

    • Reply
    • Hi Jani! The time the crockpot allows all the flavors to meld together and become extra delicious! It shouldn’t burn in a crockpot.

      • Reply
  • So how spicy is this dish with the queso starter?

    • Reply
    • Not spicy at all! I’m totally weak sauce when it comes to spicy, and I love this stuff!

      • Reply
  • Can’t seem to find the Tillamook starter in my grocery store. What store did you find it in? Or could I substitute it with a different queso?

    • Reply
    • I’ve found it at Smith’s, Harmon’s and Walmart. If you can’t find it, a jar of queso should work just fine.

      • Reply
  • what a beautiful family. i am so glad i came across your website i am a foodie all the way.your recipes are wonderful,im already printing some recipes,artisan bread,slow cooker tacos,seven layer dip.where do i find tillamook spicy queso sauce starter?

    • Reply
    • Yay! Thank you! It will be in the refrigerated cheese section of your grocery store.

      • Reply
  • This looks amazing! I can’t find the link for the ground beef chopper, though.

    • Reply

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