Food & Drink

7 Chefs' Super Bowl Dip Recipes That'll Make You the Potluck MVP

Con Poulos

When you reach a certain age, Super Bowl Sunday becomes less about watching the big game (did the Patriots cheat their way to victory yet?) and more about consuming as much food as John Madden at a turducken conference. And you want most of this food in dip form. Obviously. For convenience. 

Since you aren't 13 anymore, a bowl of chilled Velveeta (though admittedly delicious) is just not going to cut it. Here are seven dip recipes from vetted chefs that will elevate your Super Bowl spread and make people think, "Man, this person really has their dip game together."

Giphy/notey.com

Queso Fundido with Chorizo and Rajas

Queso is already a Super Bowl classic, so adding chorizo and fresh poblano chilies is like putting Jerry Rice on the '72 Dolphins: A good thing becomes better. This recipe from Chicago's Frontera chef Rick Bayless is exactly what you need to keep your queso from becoming basic.

You can't spell "queso fundido with chorizo and rajas" without "fun!" You also can't spell it without "adjudicated, if horn woos quiz horns." Not sure which one best applies here, so leaving it up to you. 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 fresh poblano chilies
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) Mexican chorizo sausage (remove casing)
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • Salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 8 ounces Chihuahua or other Mexican melting cheese such as quesadilla or asadero (you can also use Monterey Jack or mild cheddar in a pinch), shredded (approximately 2 cups)
  • About 1 teaspoon of crumbled dried oregano, preferably Mexican
DIRECTIONS:
  • Roast the poblanos on an open flame or on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, turning regularly until the skin is evenly blistered and blackened (about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes for the broiler). Be careful not to char the flesh -- only the skin.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand for 5 minutes. Rub off the blackened skin, then pull or cut out the stems and the seed pods. Tear the chilies open and quickly rinse to remove stray seeds and most bits of skin.
  • Cut into ¼-inch-wide strips about 2 inches long.
  • In a medium-size skillet (preferably nonstick), cook the chorizo over medium heat, stirring to break up any clumps, until half-cooked, about 5 minutes. As the chorizo heats, it should render enough fat to cook the meat; if the mixture seems dry, add a little oil.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it's richly golden and the chorizo is done, about 10 minutes. (If the mixture looks very oily, drain.)
  • Stir in the poblano strips, taste, and season with salt if you think the mixture needs some.
  • Sprinkle in the cheese. Stir slowly and constantly until just melted -- too long over the heat and the cheese will become tough, oily, and stringy. Immediately scoop into a warm serving dish (a small fondue dish with a tea light below is ideal).
  • Sprinkle with the crumbled oregano and serve without a moment's hesitation, accompanied by the warm tortillas.
pimento cheese
Johnny Autry

Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is a Southern staple, and in honor of Atlanta getting the distinct privilege to lose to New England in the Super Bowl, it's only right that we include a classic take on pimento cheese.

This one comes from chef Ashley Christensen of Poole's in Raleigh, NC and is a traditional, diner-style rendition of the spicy, cheesy spread.

Reprinted with permission from Poole's by Ashley Christensen, copyright © 2016. Photography by Johnny Autry. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 small to medium red bell peppers ( about 14 ounces)
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup mayo (or cider mayo)
  • 4 tablespoons finely grated red onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground toasted black pepper 
  • ¾ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vinegary hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1 tablespoon tomato-based hot sauce, like Texas Pete
  • 20 ounces 3-year-aged cheddar, finely grated
  • 15 ounces sharp white cheddar, finely grated
  • Crostini, for serving
DIRECTIONS:
  • To roast the peppers, place them directly over a high gas flame. Using metal tongs to safely rotate the peppers, char the entire surface of each pepper. If you don't have a gas range, roast the peppers under an oven broiler set on high: Rotate them with metal tongs so they char evenly.
  • Transfer the peppers to a metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes.
  • Use a dish towel to gently rub off the skins of the peppers; don't run them under water, as this will wash away some of the flavor. Remove the stems and seeds, then finely dice the peppers.
  • In a small bowl, combine the diced peppers and cider vinegar to pickle the peppers. Refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, combine the peppers and their vinegar with the mayo, onion, pepper, salt, and both hot sauces in a large bowl; mix well.
  • Combine the cheeses in a separate bowl and mix well. Add the pepper mixture to the cheese and mix to combine.
  • Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving; it should be thick but still spreadable.
  • Serve with crostini, or jar it up and refrigerate it for up to 7 days.
smoked seafood dip
Tatiana Vorona/Shutterstock

Smoked Seafood Dip

This dip looks -- and tastes -- like it takes way more work than it actually does. That's a monumental benefit. It leaves you more time to waste your retirement fund on Super Bowl boxes from your dry cleaner (you'll win this year for sure, man). 

Cookbook author Steven Raichlen -- master of all things grilling and BBQ -- turns his attention to seafood with this dip, and we all reap the snacking benefits of this choice. He covers the heavy lifting while allowing at-home chefs/dippers the option to choose the type of seafood (smoked bluefish might be best) and flavoring (Thai chili!) to suit their own party's needs. Choose wisely. Or, not wisely. This one is hard to mess up. 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 ounces smoked bluefish, salmon, clams, oysters, or other seafood (drained if canned)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Crackers, breadsticks, or slices of grilled or toasted smoked bread for serving
  • You can also punch it up with extra flavors, including minced sweet onion, chives, scallion greens, lemon zest, horseradish, or Worcestershire sauce.
DIRECTIONS:
  • Flake the fish into a food processor, discarding any skin or bones, or add the clams or oysters. If you don't have a food processor, dust off your knife skills.
  • Coarsely or finely chop (your choice) by running the processor in short bursts.
  • Add the mascarpone or cream cheese, salt, and pepper to taste, and any of the flavorings, and process to mix. If you like a more coarsely textured pâté, mash the ingredients with a fork in a bowl.
  • Taste and correct the seasoning; the dip should be highly seasoned.
  • Transfer the dip to a serving bowl. Serve with crackers or grilled or toasted bread.
hummus
Courtesy of Rodale Books

Hummus with Meat All Over It

If there's one problem with hummus, it's that most of the time it's not covered in meat. This changes everything -- Hummus with Meat All Over It (what a name!) is basically a perfect marriage between beef nachos and hummus. 

From blogger Molly Yeh, known for her wildly inventive recipes, this bluntly named, spicy, meaty hummus is worth ditching your chili for. Possibly forever. 

Hummus with Meat All Over It excerpted from Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh, by permission of Rodale Books.

INGREDIENTS:
  • ​​​​​​2 tablespoons flavorless oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Black pepper
  • Hummus (store-bought)
  • Tahini sauce 
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Zhoug 
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Pita chips for serving
DIRECTIONS:
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the beef and sprinkle it with the Aleppo pepper, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, ¾ teaspoon salt, and a few turns of black pepper.
  • Cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon or spatula, until it is fully cooked and no longer pink. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  • Spread the hummus in a serving bowl and top it with the beef.
  • Drizzle on the tahini sauce and sprinkle with the pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and zhoug. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with pita chips.
Con Poulos

Tahina

Tahina is an excellent, super-efficient option if you want that tahini sauce vibe sans hummus. It may be the easiest thing to make on this list, and it tastes (and looks!) more spectacular than Brady and Giselle's vacation pics. 

From Israeli baking maestro Uri Scheft of Breads Bakery in New York, this tahina has a super-garlicky, nutty taste that works just as well with vegetables as it does with bread. Of course, bread is preferred. When is bread not preferred? 

Excerpted from Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016.

INGREDIENTS:
  • About 1 cup ice water (or use less for a thicker tahina)
  • 290 grams (1 cup) tahini sesame paste
  • 1 tablespoon to ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional), minced or grated
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • Pinch fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional), finely chopped
DIRECTIONS:
  • Fill a small bowl with ice and water and stir for a few seconds to allow the water to get icy cold, then measure out 1 cup.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, ice water, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, the garlic (if using), and the salt. Stir in the parsley (if using).
  • Taste and adjust the flavor and thickness with more water, lemon juice, or salt as needed.
  • Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Pate
Nicole Franzen

Creamy Chicken Liver Pâté

Pâté probably is not your go-to game-time snack... but really, isn't that why you clicked into this thing in the first place? While it might seem a little too elevated for your coffee table strewn with Twinkie wrappers and beer cans, the sweet, fatty taste of the pâté and the surprisingly manageable recipe make this a solid option for anyone looking to do better than store-bought guac. 

This recipe comes from the mind of Suzanne Lenzer -- an ex-advertising pro who decided to turn her creative energy to cooking. We're all for that choice, Suzanne. Nice work.

Excerpted from Graze by Suzanne Lenzer, by permission of Rodale Books. Coming July 2017.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Sea salt
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 loaf brioche bread
  • Red onion jam
DIRECTIONS:
  • In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until softened but not coloring, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the livers to pan, sprinkle with salt, and cook until the livers begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Flip them and cook the other side. You want the outside to brown but to keep the inside relatively pink. If you're not sure about how the livers are cooking, cut into one and check.
  • Transfer the livers and onion and all the buttery juices to a food processor. Reserve the skillet.
  • Add 4 tablespoons of the butter, the cream, thyme, and a good bit of pepper to the processor and puree until smooth.
  • Add the brandy to the skillet you fried the livers in and set it over high heat to deglaze and cook off some of the alcohol. Add the brandy to the puree and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Pour the liver puree into the sieve (you may have to work in batches depending on the size of your sieve) and use a rubber spatula to press the mixture through the sieve. Then do it again -- it's a pain, but it's worth it for a truly perfect pâté without a hint of any grainy bits.
  • Once the mixture is velvety smooth, transfer it to a wide-mouth jar. Smooth the top.
  • In a small pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over low heat and spoon off any foam.
  • Pour the melted butter over the top of the pâté (this will keep the livers from discoloring), cover, and refrigerate to set up, ideally overnight.
  • To serve, cut the brioche into ¼-inch to ½-inch thick slices and halve diagonally.
  • Toast the brioche until just beginning to color.
  • Remove the hardened butter seal from the top of the pâté and smear each toast with a bit of the pâté (once the butter seal is broken you can keep the pâté sealed in the jar for a couple days). Serve it with the brioche toasts and, if desired, gently drape a tangle of red onions over the pâté.
Tenor Media

Kentucky Bourbon Beer Cheese

When you hear "Kentucky bourbon beer cheese," the only word you should be even semi-unsure about is "Kentucky." The rest is absolute Americana gold. 

Beer cheese is a delicious, thick spread of sharp cheddar accented by garlic, beer, and -- in this case -- whiskey. It's a sharp, super-cheesy spread that goes perfectly with salty snacks like pretzels. Or... basically anything. This one comes from Lexington-based chef Jonathan Lundy. It pairs best with toasted pieces of bread. Also beer. And bourbon. Look, you get it. 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 14 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons caramelized onions
  • 12 ounces beer (Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale recommended!)
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorn
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
DIRECTIONS:
  • Shred yellow and smoked cheddar cheese.
  • In a food processor, puree cream cheese, shredded cheese, and caramelized onions.
  • With processor running, slowly add beer.
  • Stop processor and scrape down sides. Turn machine back on and repeat as needed until you've achieved a smooth consistency.
  • Add remaining ingredients and continue to puree.
  • Store in a crock in the refrigerator. Flavors develop and improve over a few days' time. The cheese will keep for 2 weeks.
  • Serve with fresh-cut crudites, dense, thin-sliced German pumpernickel, or breadsticks.

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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. He actually blames Gwyneth Paltrow for most of the world's problems. Follow him @wilfulton.