Little Dipper Southwestern Salsa Dip

Day 261.

yay, a Little Dipper recipe! I love this Little Dipper because it's so gosh darn cute, but I'm having a hard time coming up with mini-sized dips or sauces to cook in it.

I made up this dip. I kind of wish I had something else to post in it's place, but I don't. There is nothing wrong with it---it just tastes a bit different. I can't decide if the different is good or bad. Just different. The kids ate a few chips dipped in it, then asked for a slice of cheddar cheese. Adam came home, I threw a chip in his mouth covered in dip, and he said "huh. that's different."

I love that man.

So. If you have a favorite warm dip and think I can make it in a Little Dipper, please let me know.

'cuz I obviously could use some help.

The Ingredients.

--2 cups of prepared salsa
--1 package of dried Ranch salad dressing/dip mix
--1/2 cup shredded white cheese (I had Monterey Jack in the house)

The Directions.

The Little Dipper says that it only holds 1 cup. I started with 2/3 of a cup of salsa, and stirred in the Ranch dressing packet. It was so tangy and weird, I added another 2/3 of a cup. That gave me 1 1/3 cups inside. And it still tasted weird. So I added another 2/3 of salsa. And I'm pretty sure that gives me 2 whole cups.

So the Little Dipper can hold 2 cups. I did stir in the cheese, but it mostly melted away (except that I used Kraft because it was on sale and it's coated with some weird anti-stick coating so it doesn't melt as nicely as other shredded cheese or cheese that you shred yourself. I should know this. But I still get sucked in to the buy-one-get-one deals at Safeway.)

Cover and cook for about 2 hours (there is no heat setting on a Little Dipper). Since the Dipper is so full, it will take longer than normal.

The Verdict.

It's not offensive, but it's not very good. Ranch may taste good with teriyaki sauce, but it doesn't go well with salsa.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at September 17, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. How do you clean your little dipper? I made a cheese dip last night and it's so hard to clean it without "submerging in water", as the directions tell you NOT to do.

  2. Ewww. I had no idea that Kraft put a coating on its cheese. I wonder if Sargentos or Tillamook does? do you know if its only on the shredded stuff? Or its block ones too?

    I can not wait to make the applesauce. Im so excited! We go thru a large jar every week, so to make my own will be wonderful!

    Thank you so much for your blog. I use my crockpot now about 2-3 times a week, and am rarely disappointed!
    Thanks Steph!

  3. This is my first post to your great and inspiring blog. I make a quick dip in the microwave that would work better, probably, in the Little Dipper crockpot. Use a small can of refried beans, throw in some chopped jalapenos, finely-diced onion, a sprinkle of cumin and cheddar cheese. A half an hour before completely heated through (I think your two hours would probably be enough) add some chunks of cream cheese, when melted stir through the dip. I have also stirred sour cream through the dip at the end.

    Please know that I have not tried this in the crock pot but it always turns out great in the microwave and has a gooey goodness we like.

  4. As usual, I LOVE your honesty! Hubby bought me a little dipper a few years ago and I'm ashamed to admit that I have YET to use it.

    Please send some good dip recipes this way so I can dust the cobwebs off!

  5. Steph -- this is my ALL TIME FAVORITE blog! I enjoy reading it everyday, and I don't know what I will do next year, when your year of crocking is up.
    Now, on to is a great dip for your little dipper...
    Hot Artichoke Dip
    1 can marinated artichoke hearts drained and chopped
    1 clove garlic minced
    1/2 t celery salt
    1 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup parm. cheese
    1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
    8 oz real mayo
    mix all ingredients together...cover and cook to warm and bubbly. Great with sourdough bread chunks!

  6. Anonymous9/17/2008

    What about spinach and artichoke dip? I make mine with chopped, frozen spinach, chopped artichokes from a can or frozen, mayonaise, feta and parmesan, sometimes I add some greek yogurt or ricotta. Yum. Thanks for all of your ideas, I've used a lot of them in our gluten free household!

  7. Hi Jackson's blog, I make sure the plug part is up on the counter, and I fill it with hot water, then scrub with a sponge. I haven't had too much trouble keeping it clean, although I'm noticing that the stainless steel exterior is spotted.

    cooking mama, the package reads: monterey jack cheese, potato starch, cellulose powder, and calcium sulfate added to prevent caking, natamycin (a natural mold inhibitor)

    I like to cut Kraft slack because they don't hide allergens---but I don't think I'm going to get their shredded cheese bags anymore. We'll keep them in business by continuing to buy their processed cheese slices. ;-0

    Susan, this sounds great! thank you so much!

    Robyn, lol. thanks, but I must admit I was tempted to cook something overnight just so I wouldn't have to post another flop.


  8. Mmmm, you need some sour cream up in that dip!

  9. Anonymous9/17/2008

    I looked for little dipper recipes for you, but man, they are hard to find! You kept coming up! One website I found, though, was:

  10. Try skipping the ranch and doing equal parts salsa, cheese, and either browned hamburger or browned sausage (like jimmy dean in the tube or fresh from the meat section - I always use Neece's but I don't know if that's availible everywhere). We call it sausage dip or cheeseburger dip (depending on which you use) and I always use velveeta becuase it melts so nicely and you use equal parts of each so there's a lot of cheese, but any type of cheese would work - real cheese would just be greasier. It's best served with fritos scoops but those flax seed chips from trader joes (I'm pretty sure that's what you have in the picture) are a favourite for us so we often use those instead.
    Hope you like it!

  11. Oh, and thanks for hte applesauce recipe. I can't wait to get a bunch of apples at the farmers market this year and make a ton!

  12. How about cooking steel cut oats overnight for you and the hubby for breakfast? Through in some brown sugar and I bet the kids would eat it too.

  13. Salsa and cream cheese heated through and stirred up is pretty good.

  14. You ought to use it as a fondue pot. Make small batches of cheese sauce or chocolate sauces. For example:

    Caramel Rum Fondue

    7 ounces caramels

    1/4 cup mini marshmallows

    1/3 cup whipping cream

    2 teaspoons rum

    Combine caramels and cream in crock pot.

    Cover and heat until melted, 30 to 60 minutes. Stir in marshmallows and rum.

    Cover and continue cooking 30 minutes.

    Serve with apple wedges, marshmallows, strawberries, other sliced fruit or pound cake.


    Crock Pot Cheese Fondue Dip Ingredients
    1 can (10-3/4) condensed cheese soup
    chives to taste
    1 1.2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    1 c. Grated sharp cheddar cheese
    1/2 tsp. Lemon juice

    Cauliflower; cut up
    Celery sticks
    Corn chips
    French bread

    Instructions for Crock Pot Cheese Fondue Dip
    Combine condensed soup, grated cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and chives. Cover and heat on low in crock-pot for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Stir until smooth and well blended. Keep hot in the pot.


  15. Anonymous9/17/2008

    Here are a few dips for you:

    My friend makes this really yummy dip in the oven, but I'm sure you could make it in the crock pot!

    Spread a block of cream cheese in a baking dish, pour salsa over top of it (as much as you like) and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake until cheese is melted.

    Here's another dip...
    Hot crab dip
    2 8-oz packages of cream cheese
    2 8oz cream cheese
    2 T chopped onion
    8 oz crab, canned & drained
    1 t. worsch sauce
    4-5 drops hot sauce
    1 T horseradish

    Topping: Chopped walnuts & paprika
    Cream top 6 ingred. Add topping. Bake 20 min 375 degrees.

    Mix and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

  16. For anyone's information anything that's "prepared" has some sort of processing to it, even baby carrots are not the same as regular carrots!

    As for salsa with ranch, I disagree! Prepared ranch (real stuff, not bottled) in salsa is really good. I wonder if it is because you had no sour cream with it, or if it was because it was warm ranch...that might be the problem. I believe I have a little dipper recipe, I will check to see if that's the right size.

  17. LOL it looks like you have already gotten my advice which is tha Ranch and salsa are delicious so like a couple people have mentioned if you added some sour cream i am sure it owuld be delicious!!!

  18. Why not try this: add two teaspoons of fajita / taco seasonings rather than ranch dip. Squeeze 1/2 lime into it and add a block of Pepperjack cheese and allow it to melt, stir, and serve!.

  19. Anonymous9/17/2008

    I have a little dipper recipe that every one loves!!
    Dried Beef Dip

    8 oz cream cheese
    8 oz sour cream
    3 green onions, chopped
    2 TBLSP. milk
    1 cup pecans, chopped
    1/2 jar dried beef (found by canned chicken, chili, etc.)
    Garlic Salt, to taste

    Combine all ingredients in little dipper, let heat up and serve with crackers, like ritz, wheat thins, etc.

    Love, love love it

  20. HAHAHA! I love your blog. You crack me up!! I have gotten some yummy recipes too. This Salsa looks pretty on your plate! HA

  21. LOL about the teriyaki & ranch...I remember that! Oddly good.

    I'd throw in some Velveeta & Dennison's chili and call it a day. :)

  22. Anonymous9/17/2008

    Shoot. I had such high hopes when I first read this post. I'm always looking for excuses to use my Little Dipper.

  23. You could try this with Velveeta instead of shredded cheese. And maybe less Ranch mix.

  24. I love your blog! My favorite dip is:
    1 lb browned sausage
    1 block cream cheese
    1 can rotel tomatoes

    Just put in the little crock pot and melt together and keep warm. It's really good with scoops chips.

  25. Anonymous9/17/2008

    Have you tried Queso Dip?

    Spay the inside with Pam to prevent sticking.

    Cube up Velveeta and add it with a little milk to thin and a can of Rotel. Garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Quick and easy queso.

    My aunt adds bacon, another adds more green chilis, chopped in the can.

  26. Sounds like it SHOULD be good, doesn't it?

    Disappointing towaste cheese and ranch seasoning.

    I have a spinach artichoke dip recipe that I adapted to fit in a regular crockpot that could easily be cut in half to go in a mini...holla at me if you're interested in the waaay overdone spin dip.

  27. Hot Reuben Dip


    1 (16 ounce) jar sauerkraut, drained
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
    2 cups shredded cooked corned beef
    1/4 cup thousand island dressing

    In a slow cooker, combine the sauerkraut, cream cheese, Swiss cheese, corned beef and thousand island dressing. Cover, and cook on high for 45 minutes if you're in a hurry, low for longer if you're not, or just until hot and cheese is melted. Stir occasionally while cooking. Serve with cocktail rye or crackers.

  28. Dear Stephanie,

    I have SO enjoyed your Year of Crockpotting blog and have eaten SO much good food as a result of it that, well, I was wondering if next year you would please do something like "365 days of SLIMMING crockpot recipes", or "365 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT WITH A CROCKPOT" or something like that? Because I don't want to lose your blog-fun and I am now crockpot-dependent (in a happy way) but I surely could stand to lose a few inches and thought, well, maybe Steph can help!!! Okay, thanks for considering it. Bye!

  29. Anonymous9/17/2008

    I have made the Hot Reubuen Dip and we didn't like it at all. But to each their own!

    I also have a little dipper and never know what to do with it.

    Thanks for a great blog!

  30. Anonymous9/17/2008

    I just got a Little Dipper, and have only used it thus far to warm up hot fudge for sundae night here (oink).

    As far as hot dips go, what about Velveeta and salsa? We make queso out of those two things on the stove all the time during football season and I'd think it would translate nicely to the little crock. Sometimes I add in some browned ground beef or some chopped garlic for kicks. I usually just cube up the velveeta and chuck it into a pan with the salsa and cook until it melts. I'd just do the same thing in the Little Dipper, probably giving it the occasional stir.

    I'm making myself hungry here...mmm.

    Love, love, love your blog!

  31. Do you have a crockpot recipe for chicken noodle soup?? I looked through the soups that you've made previously, but I didn't see any ol' fashion chicken noodle soup. I love all your recipes! Thanks so much for giving me so many good ideas for dinner. I'm a starving student with little time on my hands and your crockpot recipes allow me to eat cheaply without spending too much time away from my studies! Thanks!!

  32. Anonymous9/17/2008

    I am ashamed to admit my lil dipper was "free gift with purchase" with my big crock....and the only thing I really use it for doesn't use food at all! I use it for making the house smell good!

    For the holidays:
    1 quart apple juice (use the juice as the pot dries)
    1 (1 1/2 ounce) package pickling spices
    1 (5/8 ounce) package whole cloves
    1 (3/4 ounce) package cinnamon stick

    Or to remove odors: 1 dryer sheet cut in half, 1/2 cup febreeze or generic good smeller stuff, and can even add good oil if you want. I do this in the where the dog's crates are, and it smells oh so good!

  33. Anonymous9/18/2008

    there is a yummy buffalo chicken dip on 30 day gourmet. I think that's where I got it. It says to use low fat cheeses, and you should. I didn't, and after while the fat in the cheese separated and floated on top (I multiplied it x 8 in a regular crock for a party. In a little dipper it might not last long enough to do that!)

  34. Anonymous9/18/2008

    Those chips you are munching on with your dip are the Trader Joe's flaxseed chips!! I am IN LOVE with them!! I like the spinach-garlic ones!! Keep up the great crockpot recipes!

    Here is a favorite in our home:
    Spread 1/2 block a cream cheese in bottom of slow cooker top with chili (canned *gasp* is actually the best for this), about 1/2 can, and them top with shredded chedder. Delish!!


  35. Anonymous9/18/2008

    we've been eating the same cheese dip recipe since i was in school. ive never used it in a little dipper, but im sure you could cut down the measurements to fit.

    1 block velveeta
    1 tub sour cream
    ground beef (browned and in little pieces)
    chili powder to taste

    no real directions, just throw it all in the crock until the cheese is all melted.

  36. Anonymous9/18/2008

    i forgot, equal parts chili and melty velveeta is good over tortilla chips too.

  37. Anonymous9/18/2008

    A totally easy, and I mean easy little dipper recipe is a can of chili and an 8 oz block of cream cheese. It sounds boring but EVERY time I serve it my visitors usually like that more then the meal (and I am not a bad cook :)

  38. Anonymous9/19/2008

    I make Espinaca Con Queso and it's always a hit. I don't measure. Just use cream cheese and Velveeta (I use half and half) cut in cubes. Thin with a little salsa and cook till melted. Stir, then add some fresh spinach that has been washed and finely chopped. I add quite a bit. Let heat through for about 20 more minutes and serve.

  39. Anonymous9/23/2008

    Try this dip -
    1 can refried beans
    1 pack of ranch dressing mix
    16 oz sour cream
    1 cup shredded cheese

    I don't have a little dipper but I bet this would work. When I prepare this, everyone loves it!

  40. Anonymous9/23/2008

    But....ranch dressing and salsa mixed together is delicious! I like it as a salad dressing on southwest-type salads. Or a dip.

    It must be because you had no dairy-like stuff in there--you need to dilute the ranch seasonings, otherwise they're overpowering.

  41. If you mix the dip with sour cream and then mix the salsa and cheese it is pretty good.

  42. Are those chips in the picture the soy and flaxseed chips from Trader Joes? I love those chips.

  43. Anonymous11/12/2008

    Hey Steph, just going back looking for the chex mix recipe and thought I would post a dip or two for you..

    This can also be used as filler for burritos, not sure on measurements for the little dipper, maybe cut in half or fourths?

    1 large can refried beans (you can use your own beans and just mash them and add a touch of olive oil)
    1 pkg cream cheese (I have used plain, onion, chive, garlic herb and veggie flavors, all are wonderful)
    1 packet of taco seasoning (or I am guessing garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, onion flakes and a squirt of ketchup?)

    It is good mixed at room temperature or straight out of the fridge too, but really good hot and then garnished with shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, black olives, whatever you like.

    I really love spanikopita and came up with this a while back.

    Spanikopita Dip

    1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained
    4oz cream cheese or neufachel(have used sour cream when out of cream cheese)
    4oz feta (plain or flavored, I like garlic and herb, my mom likes the the tomato and basil)
    1T onion flakes (or be fancy and cut up some green onions)
    2 cloves of garlic smashed and chopped
    1tsp greek seasoning, if you have it.. doesn't make a huge difference, though it does have spearmint in it.

    It is usually salty enough from the cheese to me, my hubby likes using the whole 8oz of cream cheese instead of just half and leaves the rest of the recipe the same.

    Ok, off to find that chex mix!

    Jess in SC

  44. I'm a little late in commenting, but I thought I should mention that cheese with the non-stick coating isn't always gluten-free. I don't have issue with gluten, but a co-worker does, and she brought me a giant bag of shredded cheese a few months ago, because there was flour or something in the coating and she couldn't use it.

  45. I mostly use my little dipper as a popperrie pot during all the holidays, using holidyay appropriate fruits and spices. You just have to watch it and add warm water, apple or orange juice to keep (depending on the ingredients and holiday)it from going dry. Makes the whole house smell delicious. My whole family comes to my house for a lot of the holidays so the mini is not large enough to be used a a cooking pot. I save that for when it is just me and the hubby.