Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chili Cheese Dip - Vegetarian style

I'll bet lots of you have made Chili Cheese Dip for casual parties. We put this one together all the time, especially when the kids are entertaining. Easy, fun, tasty. And it can be assembled ahead of time and heated up in the microwave when it's time to serve.

Sunday was Academy Awards night and all three girls were home. That doesn't happen too often, but the promise of everyone's favorite snacks was probably too good to pass up. We had Buffalo wings, cucumber sandwiches, pizza rolls, popcorn, egg rolls, caprese flatbread, kiddie cocktails (the girls still love it when Dad makes these), little hot dogs in Pillsbury roll up croissants (my particular favorite) and today's feature - Chili Cheese Dip.

This is not usually a vegetarian option, but we needed something to share that we all loved and kept veggie-daughter happy. So we adapted this to suit. And it worked out great!

First, for those of you who have never made this before, the regular recipe:

Chili Cheese Dip

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 can Hormel Chili (no bean)
8 oz shredded cheddar
1 bag of Tostito chips

I use a glass pie plate for this dish and it's perfect.
Spread cream cheese in the bottom of pie plate
Cover with chili
Cover with shredded cheddar

Heat in microwave until the cheddar is melted. Serve with chips.

Yep, it's that easy.

For our veggie version, I substituted Meal Starters crumbles for the chili. I "browned" the crumbles in a saucepan with a little water (you have to get the crumbles to 165 degrees, according to pkg directions), and then added McCormick brand Chili seasoning. Once this was sufficiently mixed and warmed, I spread it over the cream cheese and continued with the directions above. The taste is different than the original version's but it was good on its own, nonetheless.

Avery was right - busy week here. I'm catching up from being out of town and I don't think I'm even halfway back to normal yet!

In the meantime, congratulations are in order!

The winner of our Cookie Cutter contest is
Danica Rice!
Congrats, Danica! Have fun with your prize!

Also, our very own Jenn McKinlay just had a new book released. Sprinkle with Murder is in bookstores near you - I just picked up my copy this past Saturday. Can't wait to start reading.

And don't forget Jenn's cupcake contest! If you’d like to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop, send us an e-mail at MysteryLoversKitchen@gmail.com or a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of.


Author of Grace Under Pressure - a Manor of Murder Mystery - coming June 2010

My next newsletter will be coming out soon. Sign up at my website or on my personal blog http://juliehyzy.blogspot.com/ today!


  1. This does sound good. Quick and simple, I like that. Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new series. I'm sure it will be an award winner like the White House Chef Mystery series.

  2. I love the idea of making this vegetarian...I haven't used the meal starters, so thanks for the tip! Hope you're settling back in from your trip!


  3. Kris - I prefer it with the Hormel, but I have to admit, the veggie version isn't bad!

    Mason - Thanks so much! I love your prediction and I hope you're right!

    Elizabeth - the meal starters aren't bad. Definitely a different taste. And I'm finally getting settled back in. Why does it seem to take so long to "recover" after a trip? But it was totally worth it. I put a couple of tour pics up on my personal blog yesterday. Hank and Karen were so much fun to tour with. And Molly was great!

  4. I LIVE on veggie crumbles (even though I'm not a vegetarian). This sounds awesome!

  5. Hi Juju - my daughter really enjoys the crumbles. And we've had good luck with the veggie "chicken" strips too. I have to agree that SPRINKLE WITH MURDER sounds awesome. I have my copy here, just haven't had time to start reading...

  6. Snack food is so much fun! Thanks, Julie! I also love Morning Star products. My nephew is a vegetarian and because of him I've tried some veggie breakfast sausages and other items from Morning Star. I didn't know about their meal starters so thank you for turning me on to this. (I've been wanting to make a vegetarian chili and this will be a big help!)

    Loved the photos on your blog from your NC trip! (Funny note about Pete and the character in your book. LOL!)

    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
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  7. Julie, love this. So easy. Such comfort food! Hang in there as you return to write your next book and start your next tour. Lots coming your way. Comfort food and breathing time is a must!


  8. Julie, this is definitely a cheese lovers delight! Would you share your husband's kiddie cocktails sometime? They sound like a lot of fun!

    ~ Krista

  9. I bet most people wouldn't know this was a vegetarian dish if you didn't tell them. Yum!

  10. Cleo - the crumbles are *great* for vegetarian chili. Really excellent. And the chicken strips have been fun to work with so far. I made them with the same mix I usually use for pork chops (long story) and they've been pretty excellent. We're thinking about trying them soon with another concoction.

    Avery - Thanks! Writing today, as a matter of fact. It feels so good to be back at it.

    Krista - I never thought of sharing the kiddie cocktail recipe. It's a major favorite in this house and all the girls' friends even ask for them when they come over. Too fun. Coming up soon!

    Janel - I think you're right! Maybe next time I'll serve it and keep the "veggie" a secret *g*


  11. Hub and I are trying for a less
    meat diet. This is a fabulous recipe
    for us! Thanks.

  12. Hey Jenn! This is a good one and those crumbles are pretty versatile! Congrats on the news that SPRINKLE WITH MURDER is #9 on the Mass Market PB list!! Woo-hoo!!