This Hot Cheeseburger Dip is a fun - if artery clogging - twist on tradition. Top with crumbled bacon to make it a bacon cheeseburger dip!
Originally posted January 8, 2013. Updated 1/26/2023
They may just be the perfect appetizer for watching football games, and a fun variation of party dip for your next party or other special occasion - even a summer cookout!
I’ve posted a few hot cheesy dips already:
... and now I have a an delicious dip for you, based on classic cheeseburger flavours!
I want to preface this easy dip recipe with a warning that this gooey cheeseburger dip recipe is not high cuisine.
What a way to start out a recipe, eh?Here's the thing: As I was sauteeing the onions and ground beef, it smelled exactly like White Castle.
Funny, that such a basic pair of ingredients can have SUCH an association with them.
I had some sharp cheddar, and I had some thawed ground beef - and easy cheeseburger dip hit me as a fun, probably kind of trashy idea to try.
Porter was skeptical about its viability - kind of a rare state, for him.
This delicious cheeseburger dip whipped up quickly, and when all was said and done... he loved it!
It's kind of a rare thing for me to see him surprised anymore, so it was a treat for me, too!
Oh, and the first thing he said after trying it? That it tasted like White Castle. Uhhh...
He DID follow it up to say that it was a good thing, so know that we're going for nostalgia here.
It’s not exactly something I’d suggest for those on a low calorie diet (well, small portions should be Ok...), but it’s an easy recipe that is sure to become a family favorite.
Top this cheesy goodness with your favorite burger toppings, and you’ve got the perfect dish for the big game or a summer BBQ!
This recipe actually has two main version, with variations that can be made to either one. Whichever way you go, it uses simple ingredients that can be found in any local grocery store.
Originally, this recipe started out as a super chunky, meat-heavy, richly cheesy dip.
Ground beef held together with dip, rather than dip with some ground beef in it, would be how I’d describe the difference.
This is the way I prefer it, but I know a lot of people prefer it the second way - so I’ve included that variation as well.
The original recipe has a more robust cheeseburger taste, the second recipe is creamier, and closer to a traditional dip.
This recipe is written such you can start out with the original recipe, and add the additional ingredients if you’d like it creamier.
To make the base cheeseburger dip recipe - which is also the base for the creamier recipe - you’ll need a few basic ingredients, and I have some notes on a couple of those ingredients:
Lean Ground Beef
You’ll want to use the leanest ground beef you can. Otherwise, be sure to drain off any excess fat before adding the other ingredients you can.
Alternately, you can use ground chicken, ground turkey, or even vegetarian ground meat substitute if you prefer.
We had to stop using ground beef a few years back, so now we make it with ground chicken - pictured.
I like to use a block of sharp cheddar cheese, which I shred at home.
Pre-shredded cheese usually has anti-caking ingredients, which can affect how it behaves/tastes when cooked.
It should still taste good, but it may be a bit thicker than if you shred it yourself - you can always thin it with beef broth or milk.
Anyway, there are other types of cheese that would work fine in here - mild or medium cheddar, Cheddar Jack, Colby Jack, Monterrey Jack, Swiss, whatever - just use whatever you like on your burger.
Caveat: Mozzarella doesn’t melt right for use in this recipe.
Dill pickles serve two purposes in this cheeseburger dip recipe - as chopped pickles, and the brine used to bring some flavour and acidity to the cheesy dip.
Use whatever type of pickles you like on your burgers. If that’s “bread and butter” pickles, I’ll try not to judge 🙂
Milk - or Not
Originally, I made this recipe with 2% milk. Since then, we’ve been making it with either beef broth or unsweetened almond milk.
Milk - or a plant based milk alternative - makes for a slightly creamier dip, beef broth makes for a bit more robust burger flavour.
Rounding out this recipe, you will need:
Olive Oil or Bacon Grease
Mustard (We use Dijon)
Salt & Pepper
To make the creamier option, you’ll use the ingredients mentioned above, as well as some softened cream cheese, additional milk, additional pickle brine, and additional mustard.
You can add the cream cheese after the burger meat is cooked, or - as pictured - at the end, if you decide you want it to be the creamer option at the last minute.
As written, this is a super basic recipe that is RIPE for customization. A few suggestions:
Add some bacon crumbles on top - or IN the dip - for a bacon cheeseburger dip.
Pro tip #1: Cook your bacon before starting the dip, use bacon grease in place of the olive oil.
Pro tip #2: Bake your bacon! Line up your bacon slices on a parchment lined baking sheet, bake for 22 minutes or so at 400.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, us paper towels to blot the excess grease off, then crumble bacon into small pieces - easy!
My husband hates tomato, so I left it out entirely.
You can definitely add a bit of tomato paste when cooking the beef, and/or some ketchup at the end, to taste.
Chopped tomatoes would also make a great topping!
Spice it Up
While I designed this to be themed around a really basic fast food type burger, sometimes we’ll spice it up.
I like to add some garlic powder and Montreal Steak Spice - have you tried my Montreal Steak Spice Recipe?
If you like worcestershire sauce, add some, to taste.
Like a spicy burger? Add some Sriracha, green chiles, or pickled jalapenos.
While I like to make this on the stove top, you could always make it as a crockpot cheeseburger dip.
I don’t have patience for cooking ground beef and onions in a slow cooker, so the closest I come to this is serving it in a crock pot on low or “keep warm”.
Serving Hot Cheeseburger Dip
While we created this as a dip for soft pretzels, it would work with other dippers and finger foods, as well!
- Tortilla chips, pita wedges / pita chips, bagel chips, crunchy pretzels, kettle-cooked potato chips, etc
- French fries, potato wedges, golden brown tater tots, etc
- Fresh veggie sticks (for a bit of balance!)
Whichever way you go with it, just be sure to keep it warm!
As for physically serving it, we tend to use our Fondue Pot, but there are other products out there that accomplish the same, sometimes more efficiently.
Sure, they're fairly single-objective appliances... but it's a lot better than constantly having to go re-heat your dip during the game!
How to Make Cheeseburger Dip
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is a visual walk through.
Finely chop your pickles and onions - the smaller, the more dippable!
Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to break the meat in smaller pieces as it cooks.
Add milk and pickle brine, continue stirring until also fully incorporated. Heads up: it will NOT look appetizing at this point, don’t worry when you see it!
In a separate, medium bowl, toss cheese with cornstarch.
Season dip mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot, with a large bowl of dippers!
For the Creamier option:
You can add the cream cheese in right after the ground meat is cooked, stirring until it’s melted and smooth.
Alternately, if you decide you’d rather do the creamy option at the last minute, you can add the cream cheese towards the end, stirring to melt and incorporate it before adding the additional liquids.
You’ll need the additional liquids called for to thin it out a bit - and the pickle brine helps cut the richness of the cream cheese.
Leftover dip can be cooled to room temperature and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
I like to store it in a microwave safe baking dish (Or small bowl, depending on how much is leftover!), for easy reheating.
Looking for More Recipes for "The Big Game"?
... or other watching party, or just to up your snack food game for the hell of it? I've got you covered - here are some favorite recipes!
40+ Fantastic Wing Recipes
Bacon Jalapeno Poppers - Smoked
Bacon Roasted Potato Skins
Baked Reuben Poppers
Beer Pretzels with Jalapeno Jack Dip
Dill Pickle Cream Cheese Dip
Fat Elvis Cupcakes
Game Day Popcorn
Ginger Wasabi Dip
How to Cook Perogies in an Air Fryer
Baked Jalapeno Artichoke "Backfire" Dip
Jalapeno Beer Brittle
Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Pretzels
Porter House Guacamole
Porter's Epic Popcorn
Queso Dip from Scratch
Smoked Cheese Balls
Smoked French Fries
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- 1 Small Onion finely chopped
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef can use ground pork or chicken
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil or Bacon Grease
- ¼ cup Finely Chopped Dill pickles
- 2 tablespoon Mustard we use Dijon
- ⅓ cup Milk
- ⅓ cup Pickle Brine
- 8 oz Sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoon Corn starch
- Salt & Pepper
- 8 oz Cream Cheese softened
- ¼ cup Additional Milk
- 2 tablespoon Additional Pickle Brine
- Additional mustard to taste
- In a large saucepan, cook onion and ground beef in olive oil until beef is cooked through and onions are soft and translucent.
- Add in chopped pickles and mustard, stirring until well incorporated.
- Add milk and pickle brine, continue stirring until also fully incorporated. Heads up: it will NOT look appetizing at this point, don’t worry when you see it!
- In a separate bowl, toss cheese with cornstarch.
- Add about half of the cheese to the pot, stirring until melted in. Add the rest, continue stirring until everything is melted and smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot!
For the Creamier option:
- You can add the cream cheese in right after the ground meat is cooked, stirring until it’s melted and smooth.Alternately, if you decide you’d rather do the creamy option at the last minute, you can add the cream cheese towards the end, stirring to melt and incorporate it before adding the additional liquids.You’ll need the additional liquids called for to thin it out a bit - and the pickle brine helps cut the richness of the cream cheese.
We recently re-shot this recipe (after a decade!), so here are the old photos for posterity... and to avoid breaking any old links 🙂